Cruise ship cuisine has seen a major upgrade in recent years – esteemed chefs craft select menus three months in advance, buffets offer options like fresh seafood and homemade ice cream, and there is even waiter service at buffets on some ships. As career foodies and Instagram hashtags become more the norm, cruise ships are revealing fancy dining rooms and more all-you-can-eat options than ever before.
In order to assemble our list, we built a short-list from existing rankings, considering oceanic cruises only, and then judged them according to food selection, décor, and hours of operation. When you’re considering your next trip with a seaward view, take these smorgasbords into account.
This luxury cruise line’s buffet option for select ships is called the Colonnade, offering ocean views, indoor and outdoor seating, and buffets for breakfast and lunch. For dinner, the restaurant serves regionally-themed table-service dinners with menu options like pan-seared grouper and caramelized guava cheesecake.
Sit indoors or outdoors at the Lido Restaurant, a seafaring buffet with options like a salad bar, deli, and Asian food. It’s open for lunch and dinner and is included in the ticket price for all Carnival ships. Added plus: the pizza station and soft serve and frozen yogurt stations are available 24/7.
Azamara’s answer for snacks and casual cuisine, the Windows Café is part of an all-inclusive dining experience on board select ships. The buffet’s choices change daily, but some examples are fresh sushi, fish, pastas, desserts, and a carving station. The Café also offers Indian, Spanish, Italian, Mexican, and other global cuisine.