Cruise Holidays - Attheta Travel

I am proud to be certified by CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association) as an Elite Cruise Counselor. The Cruise Counselor Certification Program is CLIA's most comprehensive training which requires agents to successfully complete a number of compulsory training courses and exams, attend cruise conferences, and conduct ship inspections. Anita Thompson, Attheta Travel, dba Cruise Holidays.

Monday, January 1, 2024

Cruise Dining at the Chef’s Table

It’s fascinating to learn how chefs use their skills and artistry to create culinary delights, and it’s even better to get to taste those creations, which has made the “chef’s table” dining concept popular. Fortunately for food and cruise lovers, some cruise lines offer chef’s table experiences at sea, which can be a memorable highlight of your voyage.

On a cruise, a chef’s table dinner is usually a multi-course tasting menu that’s not available anywhere else on the ship. It’s fine dining, and it’s exclusive: a chef’s table may be offered just one or two evenings of a cruise, and only for small groups (usually 12 or less). If the table isn’t actually in the ship’s galley, it’s usually in a private dining area nearby.

Here’s what you and your taste buds can expect at the chef’s table on some popular cruise lines:

Azamara Cruises offers chef’s table dinners that reflect the region the ship is sailing through; a lovely way to get familiar with the local cuisine. If you’re sailing in a wine-producing region, each course will be paired with a local vintage, too.

Oceania Cruises, known for its culinary focus, offers a variety of chef’s table menus in an intimate venue called Privee. These include a degustation (tasting) menu that starts with an amuse-bouche and ends with petit fours; a wine pairing menu; and “Best of Oceania Cruises” selections.

Princess Cruises offers chef’s table dinners for up to a dozen guests. The executive chef visits the table to explain the preparation of each course and gives some tasting suggestions, then sits down with the guests to enjoy dessert and conversation.

Royal Caribbean offers a chef’s table on selected ships and sailings. The menu offers five gourmet courses in a formal setting, and the chef de cuisine serves as host. Each course is accompanied by a special wine chosen by the head sommelier.

Ama Waterways, a river cruise line, offers a chef’s table dinner in a glass-enclosed space with beautiful river views, as well as a full view of the galley.

Most onboard chef’s table experiences come with a cover charge, although the chef’s table on Ama Waterways is an exception: reservations are required, but there’s no cover charge. Still, onboard chef’s table experiences always sell out – a good sign that it’s worth the splurge. To reserve a cruise and a place at the chef’s table, talk with Anita, your professional travel advisor.

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