If you’re a steak lover – and let’s face it, most people are – you will be attracted to the allure of the high quality steakhouses found on many of the cruise ships sailing in local waters. Ranging from exotic poolside grills to formal experiences, there is a steakhouse for every kind of cruiser. We take a look at six of our favourites for you to consider on your next cruise.
The Nouveau Steakhouse – Carnival Cruise Line
Aboard: Carnival Spirit & Carnival Legend.
Set high above the atrium on both Carnival Spirit and Carnival Legend, guests dining at Carnival’s American steakhouse are in for a treat. Soon after being seated, a trolley of meat is wheeled over to your table, from which guests can choose their preferred cut for the evening’s meal, which will be served on fine Versace china.
A cover charge of AUD$45 per person entitles guests to a selection from the four course menu. For entree, standard tasty delights such as jumbo prawn cocktails are offered in line with more international delicacies such as beef carpaccio (sliced raw beef served with olive oil and parmesan cheese) and Escargots Bourguignonne (snails in a herb butter).
For mains, ten different meat selections ranging from lobster ravioli to a 500-gram scotch fillet will see most tastes catered.
The dining experience in Nouveau can be a long one, so book for a night where you won’t want to rush – such as a night before a port with a later start. Additional value can be had from Nouveau on the night the ship sets sail from port at the start of the cruise, with a free bottle of wine given to diners choosing to dine on embarkation evening.
A relaxed dress code also applies on embarkation night, so if you’re one for dressing a little more casual as opposed to more formal, this is the night for you. Bookings for Nouveau are absolutely essential as one of the few limited specialty dining options aboard Carnival Spirit and Carnival Legend sees it booked out well in advance on some nights, such as those prior to a sea day. Guests can pre-book their dining experience prior to boarding by clicking here.
We recently reviewed Nouveau Steakhouse recently and loved it! Check out our review here!
The Grill – Silversea Cruises
Aboard: All Silversea ships except expedition vessels.
Poolside dining is taken to a new level with The Grill on the luxury Silversea Cruises fleet. One of the more casual options, The Grill is part relaxed eatery part dinner theatre. All steaks are cooked to order on a special hot lava stone. The sterling silver premium beef is marinated and seasoned for 24 hours prior to being served, ensuring the correct level of moisture in the meat and a memorable final product ending up on your plate.
Wait staff are on hand to help with the lava cooking process, so don’t worry if you feel that you’re on holiday and therefore don’t want to cook, someone is there to do it for you.
Reservations at The Grill are complimentary, however extreme popularity sees the venue book out so you’ll want to secure your table early in your voyage.
Crown Grill – Princess Cruises
Aboard: Emerald Princess, Golden Princess, Crown Princess, Star Princess.
Offered locally on Emerald Princess and Golden Princess, Crown Grill is Princess Cruises’ signature steakhouse. Aged, hand cut steaks are cooked to order in the open kitchen, with guests invited to enjoy the theatre-like atmosphere of the kitchen.
A dark wooden interior and rich leathers put forth an intimate setting to enjoy the American beef, which is specially flown in to the ship regardless of its location. A wider menu than most other at-sea steakhouses sees the inclusion of an extensive seafood selection, Maine lobster tails and mussel pots as just some of the more popular seafood selections. This is in addition to an extensive steak selection – Crown Grill offers no less than five different types of chops.
This restaurant is also the only steakhouse at sea offering a salt menu, with numerous salt options to complement the grilled specialities. Interesting salts on offer include a Hawaiian black salt known as Hiwa Kai, which combined with charcoal gives your meat a unique smoky taste, while a lemon myrtle-infused salt results in a uniquely Australian flavour.
Crown Grill charges guests a very affordable $29 per person to dine, making it one of the best value options for enjoying a steak at sea. Guests staying in a higher end suite will receive a complimentary dinner in Crown Grill on embarkation evening, while others can pre-book a dining experience prior to embarking at www.princess.com.
Chops Grille – Royal Caribbean
Aboard: All Royal Caribbean ships.
Now on every Royal Caribbean ship sailing in Australian waters, Chops Grille is a favourite among the ‘Loyal to Royal’ crowd.
Applying a smart casual dress code, this venue takes a more relaxed tone than others. Entree portion sizes in Chops Grille are a little more restrained than your typical cruise ship restaurant, however the main courses more than make up for the smaller portions to start.
The Mains menu include a nice spread between steak, pork, seafood and chicken options, with a variety of lighter and heavier main courses depending on your mood. Ask your waiter for any off-menu specials which the kitchen may be preparing for that evening. Dishes such as Alaskan salmon and New Zealand lamb are two such dishes that regularly pop up off the published menu, with chefs drawing inspiration from the destination to influence such dishes.
To get the best bang for your dollar, keep an eye on Royal Caribbean’s pre-cruise planner which periodically offers discounts for guests wishing to book their dining options in advance. If you can’t secure a discount, expect to pay USD$30 per person to enjoy Chops Grille, with no discount for children.
Chops also holds the distinction of being open longer than most speciality dining venues, with guests seated until 9pm and the venue not closing until 10:30pm on most evenings. This makes it great if you wish to catch the early show prior to dinner, yet still wish to enjoy the full Chops Grille dining experience.
Cagney’s Steakhouse – Norwegian Cruise Line
Aboard: All Norwegian Cruise Line vessels.
Certified Angus beef, flown in straight from the farm in Montana is the signature storyline behind Norwegian Cruise Line’s steakhouse – Cagney’s. A multifaceted dining experience, Cagney’s mixes curated wine lists and cocktails paired specifically for red meat.
Themed around a New Orleans speakeasy, Cagney’s even has its own signature martini – The Speakeasy – a roaring combination of Southern Comfort, apricot brandy, Grand Marnier and Prosecco which is designed to really kickstart your pallet into life.
Pricing at Cagney’s – and all of Norwegian’s speciality restaurants for that matter – is based on an a la carte model, so you only pay for what you consume and not a flat fee. Main courses start from USD$17.99 to USD$29.99 while entrees begin at around USD$7.95.
This venue also holds the distinction of being the only steakhouse at sea with alfresco dining. The outdoor tables which feature on Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Escape are some of the most popular, as they offer 270 degree views of the ocean. It’s a great way to eat.
Polo Grill – Oceania Cruises
Aboard: All Oceania vessels.
Not only will this complimentary option have you salivating from your first glance of the menu, you will be begging for more at every stage of your meal. Prime 28-day dry aged beef flown to join the ship at each port around the world bodes well when enjoyed with entrees such as Oysters Rockefeller and crab cakes. Oceania’s famed truffle fries are also so good, you will be craving them months after your cruise.
The line’s Country Club style elegant dress code applies when dining in Polo Grill, with relaxed sophistication the order of the day. Oceania’s extensive wine cellars at sea go hand-in-hand to cater to the unique tastes created by the Polo Grill menu, with sommeliers on hand to provide an educated recommendation, no matter what combination of dishes you prefer.
Don’t miss the table-side Caesar Salad either, it’s hand prepared for each guest in front of their eyes to their exact specifications, with croutons even hand cut for each guest.
Have you dined at any of these restaurants? What did you think? Tell us in the comments!