My wife and I have been happy with the standard of food we have enjoyed on cruise ships. There are many things we are missing, as we wait for cruise travel to resume. Yes, Cunard is our favorite cruise line, but other lines offer great food too. As you know, it’s often not just the food, but the presentation.
- A glass of champagne as the ship sails away. Our vacation is starting! It’s a pleasant day. Maybe we have a balcony. No matter. We go up to an open deck, iPhone in hand to take pictures. There’s live music in the background. A uniformed waitstaff person comes along with a cart laden with champagne and glasses.
Can we do this at home? Yes, easily. Except we are missing the deck, railing, anticipation of the vacation starting and the live music in the background.
- Pain au Chocolates delivered in the AM. Every night we fill out the stateroom service card and hand it on the door handle. Our wakeup call is a steward with a tray of tea, juice and pastries. It holds us until breakfast. My favorite is the Pain au Chocolates, pastry with pieces of dark chocolate inside.
Can we do this at home? Sure. The Lidl Supermarket carries the same exact pastry. So do other shops. They just aren’t as warm and flaky when you get them home.
- Cappuccino with breakfast. It’s usually a dining room treat. Our in-stateroom pastries have sustained us through showering and dressing. We are now in the dining room. We usually order cappuccino because we don’t have the machine to make it at home. Don’t want it either. It’s huge and expensive.
Can we do this at home? Yes, but it involves driving to Starbucks.
- Canapes delivered to our cabin. We don’t book a cabin that includes afternoon canapes as part of the deal. We figured out you could visit the purser’s office, order them and get them delivered before dinner. It’s not outrageous.
Can we do this at home? It would take a lot of work to make a small number for two people. You need puff pastry, salmon and caviar.
- Scones, jam and clotted cream. It’s afternoon tea. Sometimes we have in in the formal setting, complete with harp music. Other times we head up to the buffet deck and help ourselves.
Can we do this at home? Maybe. You can make scones. Jam is easy to find. Clotted cream is tough. You need to find an upmarket grocery store, the type with 300 cheeses and see if they have clotted cream in tiny bottles.
- May I have two lobster tails please? Usually there’s a lobster night on the voyage. It’s often surf and turf. The waiter is usually agreeable. Two tails arrive.
Can we do this at home? Yes, but you need to buy the lobster tails at Costco or your upscale supermarket, season and grill them.
- Caviar with all the trimmings. We try to do it once per voyage. There’s a champagne bar. I recently learned you order it a day in advance, but I can plan ahead. A great surprise for my wife!
Can we do this at home? Good caviar isn’t hard to find. Blinis, those little pancake things and all the trimmings takes some work.
- Chocolate souffle. May I have two, please. Another dining room favorite. We check out the menu ahead of time once it’s posted in the corridor. It happens maybe once a voyage, but it’s a treat.
Can we do this at home? It’s very difficult. The ingredients are easy enough, but it takes skill to get them just right.
- Crystallized ginger after dinner. It’s a treat. I take a few pieces for the cabin as I leave the dining room.
Can we do this at home? Yes. Trader Joe’s sells crystallized ginger.
- Chocolate squares on our pillows. You see them when you return after the show. Maybe we eat them, maybe we don’t. The last voyage featured Godiva squares.
Can we do this at home? Yes. They are easy to find. It’s not practical because the cats might bat them around.
You must have favorite shipboard foods too. Hopefully we all get to try them again soon.