Recreate Your Cruise At Home, Legally


The core elements of a good cruise vacation add up to an excellent travel value.  Travelers unpack once but see multiple destinations. They like that much of the experience is included in the price. Traveling from place to place in comfort, cruise travelers enjoy being pampered all around the ship too.  Regardless of the cruise line, ship or itinerary, we want to bring home some of that experience, one way or another.  Some stock up on souvenirs from a ship’s gift shop or while ashore at the unique destinations visited.  Others remember their cruise vacation with photos, sharing them socially along the way.  Still others remember people they met while traveling and rank the friends they made as the best part of the experience.  But some cruise travelers go deeper, looking to re-create their fabulous cruise vacation at home, in one way or another.

Difficult Ways To Live Your Cruise All Over Again

  • Your Lovely Stateroom– Reproducing the luxurious bathroom from your cruise vacation is one way to re-live the experience.  Beyond stealing towels and bath products, some cruise lines make this easy, selling their bedding online.  Still, you have to buy to get it.
  • Bring Home The Fitness Pro– Did you like a particular machine in the ship’s fitness center?  Odds are it can be purchased for home use too. The fitness pro: Not for sale, so pay attention when he/she is training you for free on the cruise ship.  You’ll need to remember their instructions later.
  • Have A Production Show In Your Living Room- I suppose we could try, but asking me to sing, dance or entertain you in any way other than with questionable literary skills is not going to go well.  Perhaps you and your family members are more talented.  Equipping your home with a state-of-the-art sound and lighting system could prove problematic however.

An Easier Way To Recreate Your Cruise
Also commonly attempted at home: Culinary efforts, with mixed results…mainly because obtaining recipes has been a difficult task in the past.  Still, attempting to recreate a marvelous dessert or amazing entree at home can be one of the most rewarding post-cruise activities one can engage in.  If nothing else, featuring a cruise line recipe when having guests for dinner is a great ice breaker.  “We saw a celebrity chef make this on our cruise” goes a long way and directs the conversation toward a topic anyone who has sailed at least one time (and is now an expert) has no problem talking about.

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Viking River Cruises Wienerschnitzel with Parsley Butter Potatoes

A Natural Extension Of What They Do
Some cruise lines make recipe wrangling easy, with favorite menu items featured on their easy-to-navigate web site.  Destination-focused cruise line Viking River Cruises has a Viking Recipes page that has a sampling of the cuisine offered, which changes as ships sail through different countries and regions of the world.

Cruise lines with an intense focus on learning and enrichment, also seem to have easier-to-access recipes.  Culinary demonstrations are becoming more popular all the time too.  We saw that first hand recently on the Seabourn Food & Wine Cruise with culinary demonstrations being the best-attended of the entire experience which also included wine tastings, lectures and other wine/food-related content.  Add that an early morning Shopping With The Chef experience took Seabourn guests ashore to select ingredients they would see on the ship later that day; made it even more meaningful.

Holland America Line, boasting ships built complete with display kitchens, has a Culinary Council that includes an innovative team of top-name chefs from around the world assembled to guide and enhance all aspects of the shipboard culinary experience.  Holland America guests come away from the experience with printed recipes after seeing various dishes prepared from scratch and have a good chance of making them at home.   But some cruise lines are a bit more secretive about their culinary endeavours, closely guarding recipes for one reason or another.  Still, there is a way around that hurdle too.

“When you think of cruising, what is one of the first thing that comes to mind?,” asks Scott Sanders of his Disney Cruise Line Blog, adding “If food is on your short list, then you may enjoy our latest addition to the site.” Over the years, Sanders had been collecting menu item recipes from his Disney Cruise Line sailing.  Last July, those recipes were organized in a  Food & Drink Recipe Collection that presents a good number of appetizers, soups, salads, main courses and desserts as well as specialty cocktails.

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Worth The Time To Find
While the very best way to get a recipe from a cruise line is to ask while on the ship, there are other sources to which we can turn:

  • CruiseRecipes.net specializes in “favorite recipes from cruise chefs around the world” and has recipes as well as cookbooks, cooking video and can even connect travelers with food- and wine-focused sailings to join.
  • CruiseCritic.com has a Readers Favorite Recipes page that takes reader requests and breaks  them down into four categories: Cocktails, Entrees, Desserts and ( a bonus) In-Port Eats & Drinks.
  • TasteForCooking.com also has an extensive library of cruise line recipes.
  • LifeIsCruising.com (our sister site, specializing in first-time cruise travelers) has frequently requested recipes.
  • ChrisCruises.com – yes, right here we have many popular reader-requested recipes.  Looking for a recipe?  Ask here.

Readers can (and do) also ask us to help source hard to find recipes.  Still, finding the recipe and knowing what to do with it are two entirely different animals that may or may not be possible at home.  Case in point:  After enjoying sausages from Budapest to Amsterdam and everywhere in between,  both on and off Viking River Cruises longships while sailing European river cruises, I tried to emulate the experience at home on the backyard grill.  The end result: Americans know nothing about sausages compared to Germans.  There is no version, flavor or choice of bratwurst (the closest relative to Germany’s ‘wursts’) that come close..and that’s ok too.  It just means we will have to sail again, soon, to satisfy our culinary curiosity.  There are worse problems to have.

Oh and the breadsticks pictured above?  Those are from Seabourn and a recipe featured at another good source, Saveur.com. On our sailing, we were told that 49,712 of them were consumed along the way.  I don’t doubt it.