Cooking up Culinary Cruise Experiences
Dining on a cruise is always a pleasure, whether you enjoy the casual vibe of a Lido deck buffet or the more elegant service and cuisine in the main dining room. In recent years, cruise lines have enhanced the variety of dining venues with specialty restaurants, coffee houses and other quick-serve options, which have been well-received by passengers.
But, as wonderful as it is to enjoy delicious food without lifting a finger, the opportunity to learn and experiment in the kitchen is becoming a reason to choose a specific cruise. To provide just a few examples:
If you enjoy cooking competitions, Celebrity Cruises’ Star Chefs Cooking Competition is for you. Two of the ship’s chefs, with assistance from two passengers, show off their culinary skills as they compete for the title of "Best Chef” (at least for that day). Celebrity also offers classes in pairing food with wine, and in the "mixology” of popular cocktails.
Passengers learn from master chefs in Holland America Line’s Culinary Arts Center, an impressive "cooking theater.” On some cruises, classes revolve around the cooking techniques and flavors found on the itinerary: you might learn to make a perfect pesto while cruising the Mediterranean. On most sailings, the cruise line also transforms its Pinnacle Grill into a floating version of Le Cirque, the iconic New York restaurant, for one night.
Disney Cruise Line offers onboard cooking classes, but lovers of the culinary arts should also check out the cooking-centric shore excursions. For example, "Cooking Lesson in Tuscany” will take you from the dock in La Spezia, Italy (the port for Florence and Pisa) to a restored farmhouse in the Lucca Valley. Here, you’ll put on an apron and learn to prepare a classic Tuscan lunch of items such as bruschette, ravioli, roasted veal and caprese salad.
Norwegian Cruise Line has partnered with popular chef Geoffrey Zakarian – often seen on TV’s "Iron Chef" and "Chopped" – featuring his Ocean Blue seafood restaurant on the Norwegian Breakaway. Zakarian himself joins selected sailings to meet fans, give cooking demonstrations, and present a special tasting menu to some lucky passengers.
There are many more opportunities to indulge your culinary tastes – or recharge your interest in cooking – on a delightful cruise. In addition to the options above, ask your Cruise Holidays personal cruise expert about sailings with chef-hosted dinners, interactive demonstrations in the ship’s galley, or appearances by guest chefs.