Cruise dining has always been a lavish experience. But now some celebrated chefs — Top Chefs, Iron Chefs, Michelin-starred chefs — are bringing a whole new dimension to dinner at sea with onboard cuisine that's nothing short of spectacular.
Here's where you can experience the culinary wizardry of these superstars, either at no additional charge or at a fraction of what their onshore restaurants would cost.
Chefs Curtis Stone and Ernesto Uchimura Curtis Stone, host of "Top Chef Masters" and owner of the award-winning Beverly Hills eatery Maude, brings his inspired flair to Princess Cruises with the onboard restaurant Share, as well as Crafted by Curtis selections in the main dining room.
The atmosphere of Share, decorated with Stone's personal family photos and charming glass lamps etched with sayings that inspire personal connection, fosters a sense of warmth and intimacy. The $39 multi-course menu, designed to be shared, features Stone's personal favorites, including tagliatelle with roasted Alaskan king crab, butter-poached lobster and twice-cooked duck.
Ernesto Uchimura, founder of the original Umami Burger and owner of the L.A. celebrity hangout Plan Check Kitchen + Bar, has launched the Salty Dog Gastropub aboard Princess Cruises. The six-course prix fixe menu is just $19.
CRYSTAL CRUISES: Chef Nobuyuki "Nobu" Matsuhisa "Iron Chef" star Nobu is internationally acclaimed for his modernist meld of classic Japanese foods with Peruvian and European influences.
His two restaurants aboard Crystal Cruises provide a rare opportunity to enjoy the Nobu experience for just $30 per person. At Silk Road, you'll find dishes like Nobu-style lobster with truffle-yuzu sauce and grilled Wagyu beef. Selections at the Sushi Bar include salmon tartare and yellowtail sashimi with jalapeño. Be sure to leave room for dessert — a bento box filled with chocolate soufflé and sesame ice cream.
OCEANIA CRUISES: Chef Jacques Pépin
From the days of his PBS series with Julia Child, "Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home," to appearances on "Top Chef" and "The Wahlburgers," French-born master chef Jacques Pépin is a living legend.
Pépin is also executive culinary director for Oceania. His onboard French bistro, Jacques, is decorated with art from his personal collection.
CARNIVAL: Chef Guy Fieri and Dr. Seuss
Outrageous Food Network star Guy Fieri brings an outrageously fun lunchtime restaurant to Carnival Cruise Lines, Guy's Burger Joint. The burgers are fresh off the grill, with a selection of innovative toppings and hand-cut fries. He's just launched a new barbecue joint too, Pig & Anchor, where the "Championship Pork Butt" is slow-cooked on an onboard wood smoker.
Also aboard is Dr. Seuss. Well, O.K., he's not exactly a chef. But he is famous for Green Eggs and Ham, which is also the name of Carnival's breakfast eatery.
Egg-celent breakfasts and flavors of Europe For guests serious about breakfast, Emerald Waterways has a resident egg chef to ensure each meal hits the spot. Hot and cold buffets are available for lunch and for dinner, enjoy a four-course taste of the finest European cuisine in Reflections, the ship's main restaurant. Want to dine al fresco? Head to the bow of the ship and grab a seat at Terrace to enjoy a beautiful setting with your delectable meal.