Best cruise ships for dining

Theresa loves her food and wants to know which cruises scoop the dining awards.


Q. Theresa
One of my favourite things about cruising is all the food options available while you are at sea. While I have never been disappointed with any cruise that I have been on, I was wondering which ships had the best dining experiences? Are there awards for cruise food?

A. There are a number of different awards for cruises and for dining experiences on cruise ships as well, but they all use different methodology to arrive at their conclusions and have different results.

Website compiled what I believe to be the most comprehensive assessment technique, hiring a panel of travel experts from around the world to pick 20 nominees for the best food on a cruise before opening the awards up to a popular vote.

Here are the top five food ships according to

Viking Sea (Viking Ocean Cruises)
All meals are free of charge aboard Viking Sea, even at specialty restaurants. The star of the ship, Manfredi’s, serves a menu of hearty Italian fare in a homey setting. The Chef’s Table is themed to a different region of the world each night, while The World Cafe serves global specialties buffet-style. For an extra cost, guests can sign up for The Kitchen Table, part restaurant and part shore excursion to a local market to pick out ingredients for dinner.

Viking Star (Viking Ocean Cruises)
Unsurprisingly, the Sea’s sister ship, the Star, which provides an almost identical dining experience polled just as well with the cruise ship regulars.

Royal Princess (Princess Cruises)
Passengers aboard Royal Princess can opt for traditional set-time dining in the traditional dining room, or go with more flexibility at one of the ship’s numerous restaurants through the anytime dining option. The ship’s three specialty restaurants, Sabatini’s, Crown Grill and Crab Shack, serve Italian, steaks and fresh succulent seafood respectively, while casual eateries include Horizon Court top deck buffet, Chocolate Journeys, Alfredo’s Pizzeria and Vines wine, sushi and tapas bar.  

Scenic Eclipse (Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours)
Scenic Eclipse brings 10 dining experiences to guests, representing flavours from around the globe – sushi and teppanyaki at Koko’s, contemporary French at Lumiere and casual fare from the poolside Yacht Club, among others. Passengers can see culinary art in action at open galleys or get involved in the ship’s Epicure cooking school.

Marina (Oceania Cruises)
The only trouble foodies face aboard Marina (Oceania Cruises) is the problem of deciding what to eat. Culinary highlights include Parisian bistro classics at Jacques and contemporary Asian fusion at Red Ginger.

View the rest of the top 10 here.

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