Meeting and incentive planners, your attendees expect more than a meal during your event…they crave culinary experiences and epicurean adventures! Isn’t it time to take a fresh look at cruise ship culinary trends?
Boring buffets and bland menu options at sea are a thing of the past. Cruise lines are “stepping up to the plate” with unique dining venues and epicurean journeys both on board and ashore, inspired by the destinations they visit.
Below are a few of our picks for best new cruise ship culinary experiences for meetings and incentive groups.
7 Best New Cruise Ship Culinary Experiences (Plus a Bonus!)
1. Le Petit Chef 3D Dining (Celebrity Cruises)
Le Petit Chef offered onboard Celebrity ships is one of the most unique dining experiences in the world. It’s the ultimate fusion of culinary and entertainment! Using innovative technology, diner’s tabletops come to life. This animated 3D character appears right on guest’s plates and prepares each course for a truly interactive, artistic evening. Le Petit Chef experience is currently available onboard the Celebrity Edge-class ships and will be rolled out across the fleet.
VIDEO: A picture can’t capture this mind-blowing experience…you have to see it for yourself! Watch Le Petit Chef
2. Gourmet Explorer Tours (Regent Seven Seas Cruises)
Gourmet Explorer Tours deliver one-of-a-kind epicurean adventures during Seven Seas Explorer and Seven Seas Splendor European & Caribbean voyages. Guests can choose from a variety of optional Master Chef-led tours that take them to local markets to find exotic spices, sample delicious wines at breathtaking estates, learn new cooking techniques and savor gourmet meals expertly prepared by locally renowned chefs.
For example: Treat your group to an authentic French dining experience with Michelin-starred Master Chef René Bérard at his private estate along with a Provençal cooking demonstration in Provence.
3. Star Grill by Steven Raichlen (Windstar Cruises)
Windstar has partnered with Steven Raichlen, global grilling authority, TV host, and award-winning author. Together, they are ready to launch a modern, al fresco restaurant at sea.
Star Grill by Steven Raichlen will offer casual outdoor seating for 95 guests on the top deck of Windstar’s Star Class ships. Diners will enjoy traditional and world barbecue with a modern twist, from maple sriracha chicken wings to lemongrass pork. This savory experience is part of Windstar’s $250 Million Star Plus Initiative.
4. S.A.L.T. Sea And Land Taste (Silversea)
Silversea invites guests to “Travel Deeper” during Silver Moon voyages with their unique Sea And Land Taste program. Curated with Adam Sachs, former editor in chief of Saveur magazine, S.A.L.T. will focus on authentic destination experiences.
From market trips and special dinners in the S.A.L.T. restaurant to cooking demos with local guest chefs in the cooking lab, S.A.L.T. will take travelers further than ever before in destination experiences.
For example: In Livorno, Italy, your participants will meet with a local chef for a guided tour & tasting at the Central Market. Afterward, they’ll discover the secrets to preparing authentic Italian cuisine during an interactive cooking class in the chef’s restaurant.
5. Caribbean Culinary Adventures (Holland America Line)
Holland America Line collaborated with Food & Wine Magazine to create a selection of culinary-themed land excursions that explore the food, wine and culture of the Caribbean islands they visit.
For example: Visit a beautifully preserved Jacobin mansion in Barbados, then observe traditional rum-making techniques in an adjacent plantation. In Curacao, enter the kitchen of chef Heidi Smeulders and help the “Caribbean Spice Girl” prepare a memorable island lunch (pictured above).
6. Private Island Lunch at Perfect Day at CocoCay (Royal Caribbean)
With five new complimentary dining venues located throughout the island, Perfect Day at CocoCay offers loads of options to fuel up between adventures.
Enjoy chicken wings and fries with signature dipping sauces at Captain Jack’s. Freshly grilled burgers and barbecued chicken with harborside views at Skipper’s Grill. And a full menu of Caribbean-style bites at Chill Grill.
7. Unprecedented Choice of Complimentary Dining (Virgin Voyages)
Virgin Voyages’ 2,770-passenger Scarlet Lady will feature 20+ eateries, from redefined dining to relaxed casual. A leading chef will helm each restaurant. And they’re all included!
From experimental and haute cuisine to healthy quick bite options, Virgin promises new cruise ship culinary experiences that reflect the brand’s core values of discovery, transformation, intimate connections and Vitamin Sea (Virgin’s approach to well-being for people and the planet).
BONUS! Cruise lines Expanding Vegan Menus
Wondering how to accommodate your vegan attendees? Take them to sea! Several cruise lines have announced new and expanded plant-based menus, including:
- Royal Caribbean is adding a three-course vegan menu to the main dining rooms across the fleet.
- Regent Seven Seas Cruises is adding an extensive array of innovative plant-based menu items (including the vegan “Impossible Burger”) on all their luxury ships.
- Oceania Cruises has announced major vegan changes to menus on their premium ships.
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