by Vanessa Lee

Sabatini'sCourtesy Princess cruises

There are so many delicious options on ships these days for your dining choices; a veritable array of tempting and tasty culinary moments. The range of cuisine offered is quite remarkable and not only that, but the cruise lines are also very well aware of serving their dishes in the most gorgeous restaurants and dining spaces. Cruise ships are being built with a myriad number of restaurants onboard, many of those focusing on alternative cuisines, and with a focus to satisfy every foodie’s wishes. Gorgeous and exquisitely designed rooms with wonderful ambiances are a part of creating the right sensibility for the cuisine being offered. Come with us now as we explore some of the latest trends in food and the restaurants onboard. 

Princess Cruises Celebrates Its Italian Heritage

Specialty restaurant Sabatini’s Italian Trattoria, a long-standing guest favorite on all Princess ships, has undergone a makeover on Caribbean Princess (italics) and will enjoy a fleetwide enhancement in coming months. The restaurant is now offering a fresh new design and menu – all in collaboration with acclaimed Italian chef, Angelo Auriana. Features include antipasti and handmade pasta dishes along with family recipes curated from Italian Princess chefs across the fleet. The restaurant itself has also been redesigned and combines a contemporary look with some rustic touches – all in keeping with the new culinary offerings. Old and New world moments coming together to delight both new and returning guests.

Sabatini's - diningCourtesy Princess Cruises

Enjoy such dishes as Roman Seafood al Cartoccio – grouper, shrimp, black mussels, scallops, potato and artichoke; as well as Picagge which is marjoram-infused long pasta, white prawns, clams, artichoke pesto and to top it off, Ligurian olive oil. Or perhaps you might delight in a Tortelloni dish which is mint-specked pasta, roasted lamb, pecorino crosta nera, cacio e pepe sauce and broccoli rabe. Totally delicious and mouth-watering!

And of course, there’s a superb wine list, some iconic Italian cocktails and Limoncello liqueurs available to complement this Italian dolce vita experience onboard. There is a $25US per person cover charge which includes a four-course dinner plus dessert. And watch out for Sabatini’s offering pasta making classes for guests – details coming soon.

A Journey For your Taste Buds

AmaKristina Chef's TableAmaKristina, Chef's Table - courtesy AmaWaterways

Taking a delightful, somewhat slow cruise down a European river with AmaWaterways can also be a delectable journey when it comes to tantalizing your palate. Enjoy a real taste of the good life in more ways than one when you choose to embark on a river cruise with this award-winning company. AmaWaterways is the only river line to ever be included in the prestigious La Chaîne des Rôtisseurs (add French accents plse), an exclusive international culinary society with membership by invitation only. So, you can imagine the calibre of the onboard dining.

Chef's TableCourtesy AmaWaterways

There are a variety of offerings onboard with a charming main restaurant, the alternative Chef’s Table dining room on many of its ships and a more casual breakfast and lunch offering daily in the lounge. Also a menu of delicious tapas bites is always available if you ever feel the need for a snack. The superb cuisine served in the aft of the ship at the Chef’s Table is truly outstanding. The seating for about 24 guests, an open kitchen and a small yet excellent tasting menu paired with local and regional wines, is an absolute winner. And the view doesn’t hurt either. Reservations required.  And if you have a sweet tooth, then AmaWaterways’ pastry chefs will more than delight you with their concoctions, decadent cakes, ice cream and sorbets, all made fresh daily with the highest quality ingredients.

New And Noteworthy Dining Morsels

James BeardJames Beard Foundation Food Event - courtesy Windstar Cruises

Great dining and exceptional culinary learning experiences are being served up daily aboard Windstar Cruises – so pack your appetite. Windstar Cruises has a love for all things tasty and has partnered with the James Beard Foundation to create food and wine themed cruises. The lineup will feature not only special guest appearances and cooking demos by the Foundation Chefs on select cruises but also highlight exclusive wine, brewery and distillery tours.  Look for sailings this year and next with a celebrity chef coming to a Windstar cruise near you!

RSSC Culinary ArtsCulinary Arts Kitchen - Courtesy Regent Seven Seas Cruises

In the welcoming Culinary Arts Kitchen found on Regent Seven Seas Explorer, guests are given all the ingredients necessary to expand not only their culinary skillsets but also to better enjoy their cruise. In an environment, reminiscent of the world’s most prestigious cooking schools in both layout and design, complete with 18 culinary workstations, top of the line induction cooktops and stainless steel sinks, Regent provides outstanding instructors to work with guests who want to get their “chef” on for the day.

Silk RoadSilk Road - Courtesy Crystal Cruises

Crystal Cruises will soon have a new take on dining options onboard their two large ships, Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity. This year and next, both stunning vessels will undergo a makeover and new dining choices will emerge with more of what guests love as they set sail. New venues aboard both ships will include Marketplace, a gorgeous social space for dining and conversation by day and then turning into a Brazilian steakhouse – a Churrascaria – by night with open seating and no reservations required.

Also look for a contemporary, new specialty Asian restaurant called Silk also complimentary, and a rebranded main dining room named Waterside which will feature “dine as you desire” open seating for guests. Nobu’s enormously popular only sea-going restaurants are found on both Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity and will be renamed “Umi Uma” which is Japanese for seahorse, Crystal’s iconic logo.

Originally published in Dream Voyages Fall 2017 issue.

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