TEST STORY - Where to find great burgers and beers on your next cruise


Cruise lines pride themselves in coming up with tempting dining options. But what if you just feel like a plain ol’ burger and a beer when you’re at sea?

They’ve got that covered too, but in a very gourmet way. Here’s where you’ll find great options for upscale burgers (vegetarian ones too) and remarkable beers.

Princess Cruises features the “Ernesto” Burger, a gourmet patty that CruiseCritic recently declared the “best burger at sea.”


It’s named for creator Ernesto Uchimura, executive chef at the original Umami Burger and founding chef of the Electric Owl in L.A.

The outsized gourmet burger is a ground ribeye and short rib patty, topped with grilled pork belly, gruyere cheese, caramelized kimchi, beer-battered jalapenos and onion aioli.

It’s available at the Salty Dog Gastropub aboard the Crown Princess, Emerald Princess and Ruby Princess. It costs $19 to eat at the Salty Dog, which also features small plates and other Uchimura-created menu items.

Viking Ocean Cruises ranked second for best burgers at sea for three Angus beef burgers and one vegetarian option served as part of the regular menu (no extra charge). An example: the Viking Burger, which features cheddar cheese, red onion marmalade, bacon and barbecue sauce.

Holland America’s gourmet take on the American burger comes with bacon jam, garlic chipotle aioli, cheddar cheese, Cabernet red onions and avocado. It’s served at the Pinnacle Grill aboard all ships and costs $10 to eat at the specialty restaurant.

The line also has a Dive-In menu with four specialty burgers to order (one is vegetarian, featuring a portobello mushroom) at the ship’s Lido Pool.

(Check out the rest of CruiseCritic’s “The 6 Best Burgers at Sea.”)

When it comes to beer, the Carnival Vista makes its own draft beers at the onboard RedFrog Pub & Brewery.

The brewery recently unveiled Miami Guava Wheat, which Carnival describes in a release as having “a light body and palate-pleasing notes of tangy pink guava.” It joins three other craft beers made on the ship under the purview of brewmaster Colin Presby.

CruiseCritic also ranked best ships for craft beers and picked the Norwegian Escape as No. 1. The ship takes the top spot for its rotating offerings of 24 beers on tap and 50 different bottled beers.

The wide selection is the result of a partnership with Miami-based Wynwood Brewing Co., which helped create the onboard bar District Brew House.

Celebrity Equinox and Eclipse came in second for the 40 brews and bottles it serves in Gastrobar, and Royal Caribbean‘s Quantum of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas third for its beer menu at Michael’s Genuine Pub.

Here’s the list of the best ships for craft beer.


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