Okay, so not literally. But you can enjoy dining like you are on cruise, even at home. Over the years, food has become such an integral part of cruising. It's expanded from just two dinner seatings in the main dining room to including specialty restaurants, flexible dining times, and ethnic buffets available all day long. Since many cruise enthusiasts are also self-proclaimed "foodies", cruise lines have recognized this and incorporated it into the experience.
Numerous cruising entertainment options and activities center around food. Celebrity Cruises offers themed cruises based on the television show Top Chef on Bravo TV in which actual chefs come aboard and have various competitions throughout the entire cruise. Then they will also showcase the Top Chef's winning dishes on a special night in the main dining room all season long.
Even if you aren't on Celebrity Cruises week-long themed cruise, they sometimes offer a friendly Top Chef competition during sailings year-round. The Cruise Director is the host who asks for guest volunteers to work side-by-side with the ship's chefs to prepare dishes for the judges. You'll learn tips and tricks from actual cruise chefs that you can use when back in your own kitchen. Don't miss this event! It's a lot of fun and even the kids enjoy it.
For other unique culinary enrichment activities, Holland America Line is bringing America's Test Kitchen to life by offering cruisers the chance to learn cooking techniques and new recipes through demonstrations and workshops in a culinary inspired atmosphere. This will be rolled out fleet-wide by end of 2017 and sounds fantastic.
Or be your own sommelier. If wine is more your style, visit Blend on select Holland America Line ships for a wine blending and tasting experience sponsored by (one of my favorites!) Chateau Ste. Michelle. This activity offers a winemaking experience taught by a wine expert where you can learn all about wines and even concoct your own flavor to enjoy at dinner or in your cabin.
On most cruise lines, you can take a tour of the galley onboard and learn how many meals are prepared or gallons of ice cream are served. You may even get to see the preparations taking place for the buffet or dinner.
If you are participating in a food-themed activity onboard, you may have the opportunity to purchase the cruise ship's signature cookbook. Sometimes they will offer to have the Executive Chef personalize it for you. We purchased the cookbook on Celebrity Cruises on the last night of a cruise and asked the Executive Chef to sign it, as well as our beloved wait staff who took amazing care of us throughout our vacation. Not only were they thrilled to be asked, but every time I look at their autographs, it brings back great memories.
Sometimes dining in specialty restaurants can be a fun activity in itself. After experiencing the unique restaurant Qsine on Celebrity Cruises, we were thrilled to see the recipe for the delicious sauce that accompanied the sliders was available in the cookbook. I was so excited to make it at home and now serve it for all of our family and friends cook-outs.
Excite The Senses is a beautiful coffee table book as well as cookbook. If you are cruising on Celebrity Cruises, I highly recommend that you purchase it. However, if your senses are already excited to try the slider sauce, I'll share the recipe. But if you make it, you have to comment below and let me know how you enjoyed it.
So there actually is one type of cruise food that you can bring off the ship with you! With designated cruise cabins, often a complimentary signature sparking wine is presented in your room upon arrival. We are usually so satisfied with our beverage packages, that we love bringing this bubbly beverage home. (Depending on the cruise line, this is allowable as long as it's unopened.) It's perfect for those long nights when you are nostalgic and wishing you were back on the cruise.
My Virtual Vacations Blog
About the Author
Thanks for cruising by! Along with creating this website and blog, I work in an office full-time and as a mom to two energetic teenage boys. With our family's busy work and school schedule, we look forward to traveling during holidays. Although it seems that our family can never agree on anything, we do when it comes to vacations. We typically travel on cruises or stay at luxury hotels. We enjoy upscale dining, beautiful decor, excellent service, and spacious accommodations. However, with a family including two teenage boys, we still need family friendly and comfortable.
Virtually escape and start planning your next luxurious cruise vacation on land or sea with My Virtual Vacations. Contact me for any specific questions or recommendations. And don't forget to keep checking back for the latest blog posts and information. There are always more family vacations in our future!
About the Photos
Our beautiful photographs are creatively captured by my talented freelance husband/photographer located in Baltimore, MD. Click here to explore more of his work.
Time flies! We are quickly moving into the cooler months and that means the winter holidays are on the way!
We'll be heading to a winter wonderland in Washington, D.C. this holiday season and staying at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill. We are excited to try their renovated restaurant Article One and experience the winter flair!
A stop at the National Christmas Tree is a must, as well as to explore the city for all of the best holiday decorations.
If you have suggestions for My Virtual Vacations to visit, reach out to us on our Submission Form. We'd love to hear from you!
Be in the know!
Sign up for our email list and you'll receive a sneak peek when we have an update or new blog post.