1. Home
  2. Planning
  3. Best Cruises
  4. 6 Best Sushi Restaurants on Cruise Ships

6 Best Sushi Restaurants on Cruise Ships

Tamarind on Eurodam (Photo: Cruise Critic)
Tamarind on Eurodam (Photo: Cruise Critic)

Find a Cruise

Most cruise ships limit their Japanese food offerings to premade rolls languishing on the buffet. If you want fresh sushi, sashimi and miso soup prepared on the spot, you'll need to seek out a ship with a dedicated sushi venue. When you do find them, cruise ship sushi restaurants range from casual spaces with simple "quick fix" menus to upscale venues that go beyond the limits of sushi and sashimi with lobster, steak and other fancy dishes. The majority of them are priced a la carte -- and one even offers free lunch. We've narrowed down the six best places to indulge on raw fish at sea. When the craving strikes, these sushi restaurants are bound to satisfy.

Updated October 10, 2019

1. Crystal's Sushi Bar

Crystal Cruises' Silk Road sushi restaurant.

Ships: Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity

Why We Love It: Master Chef Nobuyuki "Nobu" Matsuhisa is the mastermind behind Crystal's Sushi Bar, attached to the Umi Uma (Crystal Symphony) and Silk Road (Crystal Serenity) restaurants. Revered for his Japanese cuisine with South American flair, Matsuhisa personally trained the chefs onboard, and it's evident in the food quality. The Sushi Bar offers a handful of seats on a first-come, first-served basis, and you can enjoy fresh rolls, sashimi and specials such as yellow tail or salmon tartar with caviar. Alternatively, you can order sushi and sashimi as a starter when you dine at Silk Road or Umi Uma. There's no cover charge for the Sushi Bar, and each passenger is entitled to one complimentary reservation at the main Nobu restaurant per weeklong cruise.


2. Holland America's Tamarind

Holland America's Tamarind restaurant.

Ships: Nieuw Statendam, Koningsdam, Nieuw Amsterdam and Eurodam

Why We Love It: Serving dinner for $20, Tamarind offers affordable, high-quality sushi and Asian cuisine in an upscale setting. The menu -- which blends flavors from Southeast Asia, China and Japan -- includes an array of sushi and sashimi options and divides other entrees into four categories: water (seafood), wood (meat), fire (spicy) and earth (vegetarian). Tamarind also serves up some of our favorite cocktails at sea such as the jalapeno martini.


3. Royal Caribbean's Izumi

Royal Caribbean's primary sushi venue, Izumi.

Ships: Adventure of the Seas, Allure of the Seas, Anthem of the Seas, Brilliance of the Seas, Explorer of the Seas, Grandeur of the Seas, Harmony of the Seas, Legend of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas, Navigator of the Seas, Ovation of the Seas, Quantum of the Seas, Radiance of the Seas, Rhapsody of the Seas, Serenade of the Seas, Splendour of the Seas, Symphony of the Seas, Vision of the Seas and Voyager of the Seas

Why We Love It: Izumi's menu is almost entirely sushi and sashimi -- all prepared in unique ways. Sushi is served by the roll, in assorted combos and bento box-style, which includes a starter and dessert. Sashimi is available as individual pieces, a carpaccio (thinly sliced raw fish on a plate of olive oil and other ingredients) and on hot rocks. The hot rocks are heated to 575 degrees Fahrenheit; perfect for those who prefer their meal cooked. Edamame and miso soup are complimentary, while the rest of the menu is a la carte. (Roll prices range between $9 and $14.) The Izumi venues on the four Oasis-class ships also include hibachi.


4. Carnival's Bonsai Sushi

Bonsai Sushi onboard Carnival Breeze.

Ships: Carnival Breeze, Carnival Dream, Carnival Horizon, Carnival Legend, Carnival Pride, Carnival Sunshine and Carnival Vista

Why We Love It: Sushi, sake and impromptu dance parties... there's much to love about Carnival's full-service sushi restaurant. The casual, a la carte venue -- which is open for lunch and dinner as late as midnight -- allows you to create your own meal by checking off options from the menu. Dabble with a $1.50 sashimi piece or splurge on a $22 "ship for two" (miso soup, side salad and assorted rolls). Intimidated by chopsticks? You're in luck. Each table setting comes with a chork (fork/chopstick combo).


5. Norwegian's Wasabi

Wasabi, Norwegian Getaway's sushi restaurant.

Ships: Norwegian Breakaway, Norwegian Getaway and Norwegian Epic

Why We Love It: A lively sushi bar is the heart of Wasabi, a small space with a lot to offer. The menu is pretty basic at first glance, but its three appetizers and assorted sushi and sashimi options are only a starting point for adventurous eaters. If a menu item piques your interest, but you're not keen on one of the ingredients, speak up. The chefs have free rein of the kitchen. They're full of suggestions and eager to customize orders. Rolls range from $5 to $7.50.

6. Seabourn's Sushi

sushi platter

Ships: Seabourn Encore and Seabourn Ovation

Why we love it: During the day, Sushi serves bento boxes, with delicious non-sushi options such as chicken teriyaki, miso salmon and ramen noodles. But at night, the restaurant transforms, and the sushi options are fabulous, with standard offerings like tuna or salmon rolls along with specialty rolls, like the dragon maguro or oyako salmon and asparagus roll. Passengers can order sashimi and nigiri, along with delicious small plates that offer items such as hamachi mizore yuzu. Make sure to try the salmon tataki salad, with a spicy creamy wasabi dressing. Complement your meal with hot or cold sake, or try one of the Japanese beers on offer.  The restaurant is free, and you can eat there as many times as you'd like during your cruise.

Find a Cruise

Popular on Cruise Critic

How to Find the Best Cruise Bargains in 2019
It's the end of a decade, 2019, and a lot has changed in the world of cruising -- race cars, haute cuisine, digital everything -- but some tips on how to save on your next sailing stay tried and true. To uncover the best ways to land a cruise bargain this year, we spoke to travel agent experts and consulted industry surveys. What we found is that cruising shows no signs of slowing down, but getting on the right ship to the right destination might mean taking quick action. We've narrowed down the who, what, where and when of finding the best cruise deals in 2019 so you can spend less money and more time enjoying the seas.
What Not to Forget On a Cruise: 10 Things to Remember to Pack
We all know that sinking feeling when you realize you've left something important behind, whether it's your phone in the car or your wallet at the restaurant you just left. That feeling is much worse when you're on a cruise and discover that you've forgotten something at home. While not every "oops" will upend your cruise, some will, while others can prove to be enough of headache to put a dent in an otherwise great vacation. From A to Z, we list a few critical things not to forget the next time you cruise.
7 Ways to Outsmart Deck Chair Hogs
In the wee hours of the morning, under the cover of darkness, they creep. Their flip-flops smack across the pool decks of cruise ships everywhere as they shuffle like a horde of zombies armed with towels, sunscreen and books. If it sounds like a scene from a horror movie, you're on the right track. We're talking about deck chair hogs -- those inconsiderate fellow passengers who rise before the sun to stake out prime poolside real estate, mark it with personal belongings and then abandon it, rendering it useless to others. If you've had enough, we urge you to stand up to these selfish sunbathers and claim the deck chair that's rightfully yours. Join the peaceful revolution by employing the following seven tips for outsmarting deck chair hogs.

Find a Cruise