On Cunard’s Queen Mary 2, for $10 per person (drinks are additional), 24 to 30 guests attend a chef’s galley dinner held each evening in a dedicated dining room with a demo kitchen. The chef explains the preparation of each course before it is served and the themed menus vary nightly.
On all Carnival ships, for $75 per person, on a number of evenings during each cruise, 12 to 14 guests tour the galley and enjoy a champagne reception and seven-course gourmet dinner with wines complementing the dishes.
To ensure a seat at the table, find out whether reservations need to be made in advance, or if and when they can be made onboard. Not all lines offer them, some lines have them only on certain ships, and some are limited to one seating per cruise. Ask about the price and what it includes.
Check your calendar and seaboard itinerary to allow sufficient time for the meal, which can take up to four hours depending on the number of courses served.
“Cruise ships are about entertainment — and food is definitely entertaining,” says Forrest. “Getting a seat at a chef’s table at sea is like getting a backstage VIP pass at a concert.”
Irene S. Levine can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.