One of the signature elements that turns a good holiday into a great holiday is delicious food. And with dozens of on-board restaurants, a variety of ports with their own unique dishes, and even luxury chef’s table experiences- there’s plenty on a cruise fit for a foodie.
What Food Can You Get on a Cruise Ship?
On all cruises you will find a main dining room and a buffet. The buffet is a casual dining experience with a variety of all-you-can-eat foods, whilst the main dining room offers a formal meal of at least three courses which cruisers attend in black tie.
As well as these, many cruises offer specialty restaurants. These can include sushi bars, steakhouses, curry places, American diners, French bistros, Italian restaurants and more. Whilst these do usually cost a little extra, they are well worth it, with many of the menus crafted by experts in the specific cuisine.
As if these offerings aren’t enough to fill you up, cruise ships also often have a snack bar by the pool.
What You Need to Know About Dining on a Cruise
Cruisers on a budget can still have a fabulous foodie experience, with the main dining room and buffet being included in the cost of your trip on all cruises. The snack bar is often complimentary too, as is room service. However, you may have to pay for late night orders on Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean cruises, and Princess Cruises charge for pizza delivery.
For those wanting to make the most of formal meals in the main dining room, there are a few key things to remember. Firstly, formal dining has a black-tie dress code, so it’s a perfect opportunity to wear that dress you’ve been saving. Secondly, formal dining times on cruises are quite strict. You will select your sitting and be expected to arrive promptly or risk missing out on the incredible foods being served. It is worth mentioning, however, that Norwegian Cruise Line is an exception to this rule, with their freestyle dining enabling you to eat when you want, wearing what you want.
Best Cruise Lines for a Fine Dining Foodie
Passengers on-board Celebrity Cruises are spoilt for choice when it comes to food, with ships like Celebrity Edge having 29 eateries. Just a few of the fantastic cruise ship restaurants available to Celebrity cruisers include Le Petit Chef, a charmingly interactive dining experience in which you watch a delightful, animated chef prepare your meal. For dinner with a view, take your evening meal on the Magic Carpet, a floating viewing platform on Celebrity Edge. And for a nature-inspired feast, head to the Eden restaurant.
Check out our 2022 Celebrity cruise deals here!
P&O Cruises has the honour of boasting Marco Pierre White as a culinary consultant. Thanks to White’s expertise, their five-course gala menu is packed with sensational flavours.
P&O cruises also offers a wonderful complimentary afternoon tea for those who need an extra bite between lunch and dinner, ideal for a foodie!
Check out our 2022 P&O cruise deals here!
MSC Cruises are a great cruise for foodie families, MSC’s kids club offers a MasterChef at Sea competition for youngsters. MSC are also a marvellous choice for a foodie with a sweet tooth, with the Venchi Chocolate and Venchi Gelato shops, as well as the Jean Phillipe Maury Chocolate bar.
If you love eastern flavours, you simply can’t skip Roy Yamaguchi’s Asian Market Kitchen, which can be found on-board MSC Seaside. Check out our 2022 MSC cruise deals here!
True to their name, Princess Cruises passengers can truly dine like royalty. Enjoy a spectacular six course meal at Curtis Stone’s SHARE restaurant. Or head to the European style Piazza to sip a coffee at the International Café whilst you watch the street performers. Plus, chocoholics will adore the Chocolate Journeys on-board chocolatiers.
Take advantage of the Dine My Way customizable dining service to plan mealtimes and locations, and get your food delivered whenever and wherever with OceanNow. Check out our 2022 Princess cruise deals here!
Holland America Line
If you want to make the most of the incredible cuisines in your cruise destination, Holland America Line is the cruise company for you. With their phenomenal EXC port to table programme, specialist chefs will cook you signature dishes from each location you visit.
Holland America Line also has a partnership with MasterChef and MasterChef Junior, with stars from both shows teaching cookery classes on selected sailings. Holland America’s cruise ship restaurants are each designed by one of the seven chefs on their culinary council, giving them some of the best fine dining eateries at sea.
Check out our 2022 Holland America Line cruise deals here!
Norwegian Cruise Line
As mentioned, Norwegian Cruise Line offers a more relaxed approach to dining than other cruises with no set times or dress code. The casual approach doesn’t extend to the quality of the food, though. Choose from up to three superb main dining rooms, plus specialty restaurants with offerings like seafood and tapas. Lovers of cookies and cakes should pay a visit to the Bake Shop, an on-board bakery.
Check out our 2022 Norwegian Cruise Line deals here!
If you choose to cruise with Royal Caribbean, we recommend taking advantage of the Unlimited Dining Package. This fantastic package enables you to eat at Royal Caribbean’s brilliant specialty cruise ship restaurants as much as you like. A favourite among these is Wonderland where the food is as yummy as it is bizarre and imaginative. And for dessert, head to Ben and Jerry’s or the Cupcake Cupboard.
Check out our 2022 Royal Caribbean cruise deals here!
Combining food with fame, Carnival Cruises offers a number of specialty restaurants with menus crafted by celebrities. A few of the famous faces behind Carnival’s cruise ship restaurants include Guy Fierri, Rudi Sodamin, and even Big Shaq!
Looking to sharpen up your kitchen skills so you can recreate your cruise ship meals at home? Carnival also offers extra-fee cookery classes.
Carnival is also great for culinary enthusiasts of the younger generation, as Carnival Vista’s Chef’s table experience is open to the ages of twelve and up and includes a tour of the galley.
Check out our 2022 Carnival cruise deals here!
Kid’s Dining Options on Cruises
Cruising with little ones? You’ll be glad to hear that cruises offer plenty for kids to eat. Both the main dining halls and buffets will have kiddie options available for all tastes, and snack bars offer hot dogs, burgers and fries which even the fussiest eaters won’t refuse. If your kid is a foodie like you, however, and wants to try all the gourmet options, it’s possible to order a half portion so they don’t feel over-whelmed.
Most specialty cruise ship restaurants will happily allow younger cruisers too, unless otherwise explicitly stated. In fact, some specialty dining experiences are exclusively for kids, such as Disney Cruises’ Royal Court Royal Tea which is available for ages three to twelve. And there’s also a dedicated early children’s tea at the buffet on P&O cruises.
If you’re travelling with a baby, you may have to bring your own baby food. However, you can buy baby food on Princess cruises, and baby food is included in Royal Caribbean’s Babies-2-Go order service. Plus, the chefs on P&O are happy to puree fruit and veg for you.
Disney Cruise Line
For cruise ship restaurants inspired by your favourite characters, set sail with Disney Cruises. Sip on southern favourites whilst listening to jazz at Tiana’s Place. If you’ve ever envied Belle’s dinner in the “Be Our Guest” scene of Beauty and The Beast, eat at Lumiere’s. And for fine French food and a champagne brunch, the adults-only Ratatouille-inspired Remy’s is the restaurant for you.
And, with Disney Cruises, you’ll have ample opportunity to try all the amazing eateries on-board with their rotational dining plan meaning you’ll feast somewhere new every night. Check out our 2022 Disney cruise deals here!
Best Foodie Cruise Destinations
From the pizzas and pastas of Italy to the paellas of Spain. The moussakas and gyros of Greece and the decadent cheeses and wines of France. Mediterranean cruises offers plenty to tantalise your taste buds.
Interested in visiting the Mediterranean? Check out all of our cruises hitting the med here!
If you are a foodie who enjoys classic Mexican Riviera fare like tacos, fajitas and churros whilst also sampling the famous seafood and the exquisite wines of Ensenada. Interested in visiting the Mexican Riviera? Check out all of our cruises visiting Mexico here!
Experience the culinary genius of Asia. Taste authentic Japanese sushi and slurp on flavoursome Vietnamese pho. In Cambodia, eat Fish Amok from a banana leaf bowl. And test your spice tolerance with the red and green curries of Thailand. Interested in visiting Asia? Check out all of our cruises visiting here!
If these magnificent cruise food options have your mouth watering, check out our cruise deals for a holiday both you and your taste buds will love! Want more information for you upcoming holiday? Call us today on 0808 278 3140 and our expert sales team will be guide you towards your next cruise holiday!