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The Best Cruise Lines For Foodies

The Best Cruise Lines For Foodies

Cruise line food has gained much more attention in recent years. While the main dining rooms and extensive buffets still feature on most cruise ships, food on cruise lines has evolved to offer some of the best dining experiences and quality that rival top restaurants on land. But, which cruise line has the best food?

If you’re booking your next cruise holiday and want to experience some incredible dining at sea, read on to discover where to find the best restaurants on a cruise ship. We’ll explore which cruise lines offer the best food quality and where to find exciting, immersive dining experiences.

And if you have a dietary requirement, don’t worry; we’ll also cover which are the best cruise lines for food allergens.

Which cruise line is the best for foodies?

Several of the leading cruise lines offer remarkable dining experiences that attract foodies from around the world; here are three of our favourites.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises

Often one of the cruise lines ranked by food critics as the best for onboard dining, Regent Seven Seas sets the bar high when it comes to all-inclusive luxury, exquisite dishes and an emphasis on personalised service. So, if you’re looking for the best cruise line for food lovers, its gourmet cuisine prepared by award-winning chefs will not disappoint. 

Its flagship restaurant, Compass Rose, offers an extensive menu featuring classic and contemporary dishes. Here, you also have the unique opportunity to design your main course, choosing your preferred meat or fish, sides and sauces.

If you love steak, you must take advantage of Regent Seven Seas’ speciality restaurant, Prime 7. Choose from cuts, such as aged prime New York strip, porterhouse or filet mignon, elevated further with carefully crafted sauces. 

For vegans and vegetarians, Regent Seven Seas has a 100% vegan menu. Consisting of over 200 delicious plant-based dishes, it showcases vegan food at its best with modern influences from around the world.

Regent Seven Seas offers one of the most all-inclusive rates of all cruise lines. Included in your cruise fare is their fantastic speciality dining options and room service, unlimited beverages and foodies’ shore excursions, such as wine tastings and market tours.

Holland America Line

For acclaimed celebrity dining experiences, some of the best restaurants on a cruise ship are found on Holland America Line’s fleet. Known for its Culinary Council ® comprising celebrity and award-winning chefs, including the renowned Master Chef Rudi Sodamin, Iron Chef America’s David Burke and master sushi chef Andy Matsuda, the cruise line delivers exceptional dining experiences. 

Discover Holland America’s speciality restaurants, such as the Pinnacle Grill (additional cost to dine applies), where you can relish mouthwatering steaks and seafood. There’s also Tamarind, serving dishes highlighting the traditional flavours of Southeast Asia, China and Japan.

If you enjoy learning about different cuisines, look out for Holland America Line’s Culinary Cruises, where you get the exclusive chance to participate in cookery classes and demonstrations and sample the signature dishes of the onboard celebrity chefs.

Holland America Line is also recognised as one of the best cruise lines for vegan food. With a focus on healthy eating, their head chef, Rudi Sodamin, has created an incredible 22-dish vegetarian and vegan menu available across all ships at no extra cost.

Celebrity Cruises

Celebrity Cruises has to top the list for being the best cruise line for food when it comes to creative approaches, diversity of options and a focus on indulgence throughout. Sail on Celebrity Cruises’ Edge-class ships, and you’ll have the choice of four complimentary main dining restaurants, each with regionally inspired dishes and its own distinct style and ambience. 

For a more innovative experience, book an evening at the unique speciality restaurant, Le Petit Chef (cover cost applies). Here you will see 3D mini characters come to life at your table to ‘serve’ your dishes and provide whimsical dining entertainment.

Meanwhile, the onboard speciality dining restaurant of Murano (cover charge applies) offers classic French fine dining. Or, for a taste of traditional Italian cuisine, try the Tuscan Grille (cover charge applies).

On Celebrity Cruises‘ ships, you will find the Select Dining options, designed to accommodate guests’ mealtime preferences. With Celebrity Select Dining Early or Late, you will have a designated time for dinner each evening.

Alternatively, opt for Select Dining Anytime, and you can enjoy the flexibility of choosing when to eat each night.

The best cruise line for flexible dining

Norwegian Cruise Line is known as a bit of a pioneer in onboard cruise dining. When many cruise lines still offered fixed dining schedules and formal dress codes, Norwegian Cruise Line launched its Freestyle Dining.

With a more relaxed approach to mealtimes, Freestyle Dining allows you to dine when and where you wish. Norwegian Cruise Line’s food is still high quality. However, there are no specified dining times or fixed seating plans. 

Norwegian Cruise Line‘s food options include everything from casual and on-the-go to upscale four-course menus showcasing a range of worldwide culinary influences. On board, you’ll find 2-3 main dining rooms and a buffet featuring dishes to tempt every taste.

It also has several eclectic speciality restaurants, where a cover charge will apply, where you can sample authentic Japanese teppanyaki, Mexican flavours or Texas Smokehouse BBQ. Just remember to book for these, so you’re guaranteed a table.

The best cruise line for family fun

For family-friendly mealtimes, Disney Cruise Line knows how to create memorable dining experiences. Disney Cruise Line’s food comes with a serving of fun, including larger-than-life Disney characters and colourful entertainment.

The three main restaurants have a uniquely themed menu each night and personal Disney servers. Or you can opt for the casual dining self-service options, where you’ll find a wide range of international favourites.

However, when it’s time for a more refined experience, Disney Cruise Line also has adult-exclusive restaurants, such as the French-influenced Remy (additional cost to dine applies) and the Northern Italian cuisine of Palo (additional cost to dine applies), offering luxury dishes and tasting courses that rival some of the best food on cruise lines. 

The best cruise line for food allergens

While many cruise lines have become very good at offering options for different dietary requirements, such as vegan and gluten-free, some cruise lines have gone the extra mile. 

As mentioned above, some of the best vegan food on cruise ships can be found with Regent Seven Seas and Holland America Line. The other dietary requirement that is now relatively well catered for is gluten-free.  

The best cruise line for gluten-free food

Carnival Cruise Line‘s food has been recognised as offering an excellent variety of gluten-free options across all its ships. Whether you’re looking for pizza, sandwiches or desserts, there will be options available.

While many other cruise lines, such as Cunard Line, Princess Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line, also cater well for gluten-free diets, it is always best to notify your cruise line in advance so they can prepare a wider variety of choices for you. The same applies to other dietary needs. Most cruise lines are generally pretty accommodating if you provide them with details about your requirements before sailing.

Which cruise line offers Halal food?

large dinner table set up for a lot of people

Several cruise lines can offer Halal dishes for their cruise guests. However, because specialised ingredients are required, you will need to let them know ahead of time, ideally at least six weeks before sailing.

The cruise lines that stand out for being most obliging when providing Halal dishes are Royal Caribbean Cruises, Celebrity Cruises and Disney Cruise Line. You’ll also often find that when cruise ships depart from the Middle East or East Asia, they can provide a wider choice of Halal dishes. In fact, some cruise ships are exclusively Halal when sailing on certain itineraries in these regions.

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