It’s different things for different people, isn’t it? For some, it’s the destinations themselves: the scenery, the city-scapes, the beaches. For others, it tends to be the culture and the history of each destination. The human interactions that we have with locals when we’re abroad most likely features highly on most peoples’ lists. For me, whilst all of the above are extremely important, I must confess that one of the highlights when I travel tends to be the food. I have enjoyed a love affair with food all my life and sadly, I have the physique to prove it! It truly is one of life’s great pleasures and nowhere can you exploit that passion more than when cruising. The great thing about cruise ships is that because they have to cater for such an international audience (50 or more nationalities on a typical cruise itinerary would be normal), rather than dumbing the food down to some lowest common denominator, instead they celebrate the diversity of their guests by showcasing cuisines from all over the world. Where else (other than perhaps some of the most exclusive hotels in Las Vegas) could you expect to choose from traditional English or American breakfasts, freshly baked confectioneries, Japanese Sushi, oriental stir fries, crepes, waffles, pancakes, continental style selections of yogurts, cheeses and cold meats to name but a few — for your first meal of the day!
Not only do you get to enjoy a literal cornucopian feast for the eyes at every meal time (and in between!), but you also get to be entertained, amazed and impressed by the increasingly popular concept on the premium cruise lines of what is generically referred to as ‘specialty dining’. These range from more refined dining experiences specializing in specific ethnic cuisines such as Italian, Mexican, French or Asian but also what I can only describe as ‘experimental’. One particular specialty dining meal that I had recently abroad one of the Celebrity ships in a restaurant called Qsine, was simply amazing. Not only was the food superb but the theatricality with which it was presented truly justified the use of the term ‘experience’. To be able to enjoy great food presented in this way for just an additional $20 or $30 per person that you would simply not find outside of the best restaurants in the world is a much under-valued and under-promoted benefit of modern day cruising.
In a somewhat perverse sense, cruising offers the best possible choice for travellers, immaterial of which end of the culinary spectrum you occupy. If you’re a foodie like me, then you’ll think you’ve died and gone to heaven. If, on the other hand, you’re a ‘meat and two veg’ kind of person or just have idiosyncratic tastes, I can absolutely guarantee you that the multiple kitchens on board any modern cruise liner will be able to whip up anything that meets your hearts’ desire. The photo that accompanies this blog is of just one course from a tasting menu in Qsine! Impressed? I certainly was.
Food for thought, I think you’ll agree!