6 of the best cruise lines for food lovers
Fine dining with ocean views come as standard with these cruise lines.
Whether you’re an avid foodie or simply a lover of food, a gastronomic experience on a luxury liner is not to be missed. Luxury cruise lines are notorious for their fine dining options and often enlist the knowledge and expertise of a lauded chef to deliver an exciting menu that’ll tantalise your tastebuds and make your imaginations soar.
Salivating? You should be because these are the hottest tables on the water - and yeah, their ocean views are pretty darn good, too.
1. Princess Cruise Lines
You’ll be that much closer to Australian celebrity chef Curtis Stone when you dine on his Crafted by Curtis menu.
Princess is flying the Aussie flag for foodies and has enlisted the expertise of Curtis Stone to curate meals in its main dining area. Foodies can opt for the “Chef’s Table by Curtis Stone” experience which includes a galley tour and multi-course meal.
- Top restaurants: SHARE by Curtis Stone, Salty Dog gastropub (developed in collaboration with Ernesto Uchimura), Sabatinis and Kai Sushi. All these are not included in your cruise fare.
- Included in your fare: A variety of fine and casual dining options come complimentary with your fare. This includes Vines, named the Best Wine Bar at Sea by USA Today, the pizzaria on deck, named the Best Pizza at Sea by USA Today, and the Horizon Court.
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2. Celebrity Cruises
Double down with Celebrity Cruises and enjoy fine fare and culinary workshops during your sail.
Aside from the main dining area's 29 sections, let’s talk about specialty dining. From its modern-French Murano restaurant's wild forest mushroom cappuccino to the QSine experience complete with sushi lollipops, your tastebuds are in for an adventure.
- Top restaurants: QSine, Murano, Tuscan Grille and Silk Harvest. All these are not included in your cruise fare.
- Included in your fare: Main dining and casual dining areas such as the Oceanview Cafe and the AquaSpa Cafe.
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You’ll dine in the most opulent surroundings when you book yourself a Cunard cruise.
Few can say they’ve delighted in a traditional afternoon tea inside the Queens Room, but when you board your Cunard cruise, you can be one of them. Board the Queen Mary 2 and you also get the chance to dine on dishes by celebrity chef Todd English.
- Top restaurants: Queens Grill, Verandah, Queens Room, Kings Court and Britannia Restaurant.
- Included in your fare: All restaurants in the main dining area. Alternative dining venues Verandah, Lido and parts of Kings Court charge dining fees.
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4. Disney Cruises
Whether you’re a toddler or a senior, there’s a restaurant onboard your Disney Cruise line that’s just for you.
While Pinocchio’s Pizzeria and Pluto’s Dog House do exist, fine dining does too. Opt for adult-exclusive fine dining adult-exclusive fine dining venues Palo and Remy for a different Disney experience.
- Top restaurants: Palo, Remy, Lumiere’s and Enchanted Garden.
- Included in your fare: All restaurants in the main dining areas. Alternate dining venues such as Pao and Remy will incur a charge.
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5. P&O Cruises via CruiseAway
P&O’s Food Revolution is all about innovative dishes, fresh ingredients and fantastic food.
With over 15 restaurants at your fingertips, you won’t be short on dining options with P&O. The place to be? Salt Grill by masterchef Luke Mangan. It was Australia’s first ever celebrity chef restaurant at sea and is arguably still one of the best.
- Top restaurants: Salt Grill, Luna, Plantation and Chef’s Table.
- Included in your fare: Restaurants in the main dining area such as The Pantry, Angelo, Dragon Lady, Plantation, Waterfront and The Grill are included in your fare. Specialty restaurants such as Luna Salt Grill and Chef’s Table are not.
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6. Royal Caribbean International
Expect variety, high culinary quality and the flexibility to dine when you like on your Royal Caribbean cruises.
My Time Dining puts you and your appetite first, letting you decide when and where you’d like to dine on a daily basis. When it comes to celebrity chefs, Royal Caribbean boasts Jamie’s Italian on its ships.
- Top restaurants: Wonderland, Jamie’s Italian, Izumi, Sabor, Chef’s Table and Mystery Dinner Theatre.
- Included in your fare: Complimentary dining is available at a variety of restaurants including the main dining room, Silk, American Icon Grill, The Grande Restaurant, Sorrento’s Pizza and Solarium Bistro.
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Which cruise lines cater to dietary requirements?
Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian, halal or gluten-free, cruise lines are generally happy to meet dietary requirements.
During the booking process, be sure to notify the line of any special dietary needs so they can cater for them throughout your journey. When dining, it may also be helpful to meet with the maitre d’ to discuss the best menu options available for your diet.
Top cruise line deals
Up to 80% off top cruise lines
Enjoy up to 80% off top cruise lines with Norweigian Cruise Line, Costa, Royal Caribbean cruises and more at Cruise Direct. Conditions apply
20% off sailing adventures
Valid on departures between 1 April - 10 May. Destinations include Thai islands in Asia, Greece and Croatia in Europe.
3 for Free Sale: Upgrades, Drinks & Credit
Cruise on selected voyages and you can enjoy a free stateroom location upgrade, plus free onboard spending money, plus a free Wine and Dine package T&Cs apply. See site for details.
Up to 30% off + onboard credit on Royal Caribbean Cruises
Valid on sailings departing before 22 April and also includes 50% off deposits when you book select cruises in Australia, New Zealand, South Pacific, Transpacific and Asia repositioning cruises and more at CruiseAway. T&Cs apply.
Save up to $4,620 on select cabins and departures in Norway, Iceland, Greenland and Canada
Save up to $4,620 on select cabins and departures in Norway, Iceland, Greenland and Canada. Valid for select 2018 departures, for travel between June and September 2018. Conditions apply.
Up to $600 onboard credit + free specialty dining
Get up to $600 free onboard spending money per stateroom. Plus book a Balcony, Mini-Suite or Suite and receive free specialty dining. T&Cs apply.
Up to $8,300 off select Antarctic voyages
Get up to $8,300 off select Antarctic voyages departing in the 2017-2018 season at Peregrine Adventures. T&Cs apply.
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Valid on select river cruises departing before 31 July in the Amazon, Ganges, Mekong and in Burgundy.
Fred. Olsen's Cruise Sale + freebies and more
Enjoy big savings, freebies and more when you book a cruise during Fred. Olsen's Cruise Sale.
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Valid on Croatia Coastal Cruising Adventure only, all available cabin types, Dubrovnik to Sibenik or reverse, all 2017 departures: Discount excludes Private Groups. Discount applies to new bookings made and deposited between 9 Dec 2016 and 27 Feb 2017.
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Valid on cruises departing between 1 March 2017 and 31 January 2018. Cruises longer than seven nights will get a free premium beverage package. Cruises less than seven nights will get a free soft drinks package.
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Feature image: Celebrity Cruises