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Royal Princess has the best food at sea, according to readers

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Passengers on winning ship can choose between traditional dining, specialty restaurants or casual eateries

Gone are the days when fixed seating meals in a single dining room are your only option aboard cruise ships. Modern cruisers enjoy their choice of several restaurants–over two dozen aboard some of the bigger mega-ships, cooking classes, creative menus and dishes created by some of the world's top chefs. Our readers voted these 10 cruise ships as the best bets for discerning foodies.

  • Royal Princess
    Princess Cruises

    Passengers aboard Royal Princess can opt for traditional set-time dining in the Traditional Dining Room, or go with more flexibility at one of the ship's numerous restaurants through the Anytime Dining option. The ship's three specialty restaurants, Sabatini's, Crown Grill and Crab Shack, serve Italian, steaks and fresh succulent seafood respectively, while casual eateries include Horizon Court top deck buffet, Chocolate Journies, Alfredo's Pizzeria and Vines wine, sushi and tapas bar.  
    Photo courtesy of Princess Cruises

  • Carnival Horizon
    Carnival Cruise Lines

    Dining options abound aboard Carnival Horizon – feast on barbecue at the world’s first Guy’s Pig & Anchor Smokehouse | Brewhouse, sink your teeth into a juicy burger at popular Guy’s Burger Joint, enjoy some culinary theater at Bonsai Teppanyaki or tuck into seafood with ocean views at the Seafood Shack. Both included and specialty dining shine, with something for everyone.
    Photo courtesy of Carnival Cruise Lines

  • Viking Star
    Viking Ocean Cruises

    Cruisers aboard Viking Star have plenty of options come meal time, including the spacious main dining venue, The Restaurant. Manfredi's (Italian), The Chef's Table (global), The World Cafe (buffet), Mamsen's (Norwegian deli) and Wintergarden (afternoon tea) provide variety. The Kitchen Table takes passengers on an excursion into a local market at port before returning to the ship for a multi-course feast.
    Photo courtesy of Viking Ocean Cruises

  • Viking Sea
    Viking Ocean Cruises

    All meals are free of charge aboard Viking Sea, even at specialty restaurants. The star of the ship, Manfredi's, serves a menu of hearty Italian fare in a homey setting. The Chef's Table is themed to a different region of the world each night, while The World Cafe serves global specialties buffet-style. For an extra cost, guests can sign up for The Kitchen Table, part restaurant and part shore excursion into a local market to pick out ingredients for dinner.
    Photo courtesy of Viking Ocean Cruises

  • Carnival Vista
    Carnival Cruise Lines

    Aboard Carnival Vista, the cruise line's newest vessel, guests can savor the ocean's bounty at Seafood Shack, sip sake at Bonsai Sushi or tour Asia's culinary landscape at JiJi Asian Kitchen. Vista also has two celebrity chef Guy Fieri eateries on board, Guy's Burger Joint and Pig & Anchor Smokehouse.
    Photo courtesy of Carnival Cruise Lines

  • Star Pride
    Windstar Cruises

    Sailing aboard the Star Pride feels like vacationing aboard your own private yacht, and that feeling extends to the table as well. Guests can dine at any venue, any time (including 24-hour room service), and the chefs try to source as many local ingredients as possible while in port.
    Photo courtesy of Windstar Cruises

  • MSC Seaside
    MSC Cruises

    MSC Seaside has nine onboard restaurants for guests to enjoy, plus 20 more bars and lounges. The main restaurants specialize in Mediterranean cuisine, while specialty dining includes Asian Market Kitchen by Roy Yamaguchi, sophisticated seafood at Ocean Cay Restaurant, steaks at Butcher’s Cut and casual fare at The Biscayne Bay Buffet.
    Photo courtesy of MSC Cruises

  • Azamara Journey
    Azamara Club Cruises

    Guests aboard the Azamara Journey can choose between six different dining options, including two specialty restaurants, Prime C steakhouse and Aqualina Italian restaurant (both complimentary for suite guests). 
    Photo courtesy of Azamara Club Cruises

  • Koningsdam
    Holland America Line

    Guests sailing on Holland America Line's Koningsdam have 10 dining options to choose from. In addition to the main dining room, there's Asian specialties at Tamarind, French seafood at Sel de Mar, authentic Italian at Canaletto, poolside burgers at Dive-In and the chance to take hands-on cooking classes at the Culinary Arts Center presented by Food & Wine magazine.
    Photo courtesy of Holland America Line

  • Norwegian Bliss
    Norwegian Cruise Line

    Guests have no shortage of eating options aboard Norwegian Bliss, thanks to three main dining rooms, a help-yourself buffet and a range of casual cafes–all complimentary. The dozen or so specialty dining options range from seafood at Ocean Blue or steakhouse favorites at Cagney’s Steakhouse to global fusion at Food Republic or smoked barbecue at Q.
    Photo courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line

The top 10 winners in the Best Cruise Ship for Dining category are as follows:

  1. Royal Princess - Princess Cruises
  2. Carnival Horizon - Carnival Cruise Lines
  3. Viking Star - Viking Ocean Cruises
  4. Viking Sea - Viking Ocean Cruises
  5. Carnival Vista - Carnival Cruise Lines
  6. Star Pride - Windstar Cruises
  7. MSC Seaside - MSC Cruises
  8. Azamara Journey - Azamara Club Cruises
  9. Koningsdam - Holland America Line
  10. Norwegian Bliss - Norwegian Cruise Line

A panel of experts partnered with 10Best editors to pick the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote. Experts Don and Heidi Bucolo (EatSleepCruise.com), Carrie Finley Bajak (CruiseBuzz.net), Danielle Fear (Cruise Miss), Sherry Laskin (CruiseMaven.com), Jason Leppert (Popular Cruising), Chris Owen, Doug Parker (Cruise Radio) and Ming Tappin (Your Cruise Coach) were chosen for their knowledge of the cruising industry.

Congratulations to all these winning foodie friendly cruise ships.

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Don and Heidi Bucolo

Don and Heidi Bucolo

Don and Heidi Bucolo

Carrie Finley Bajak

Carrie Finley Bajak

Carrie Finley Bajak

Danielle Fear

Danielle Fear

Danielle Fear

Sherry Laskin

Sherry Laskin

Sherry Laskin

Jason Leppert

Jason Leppert

Jason Leppert

Chris Owen

Chris Owen

Chris Owen

Doug Parker

Doug Parker

Doug Parker

Ming Tappin

Ming Tappin

Ming Tappin

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