Food is to cruising as water is to the ocean. It's essential; a cruise just wouldn't be a cruise without vast amounts of delicious goodies. Although some cruise lines are jumping aboard the health food craze bandwagon, there are still plenty of sinful options available, not the least of which are these nine decadent cruise ship desserts. If you want to make sure your splurge is worth all those calories, read on for our list of the best desserts at sea.
- Warm Chocolate Melting Cake - Carnival Cruise Line
- Baba and Gelato - MSC Cruises
- Norman Love Chocolate Journeys - Princess Cruises
- Decadent Brownie S'more Coupe - Norwegian Cruise Line
- Bread and Butter Pudding - Holland America Line
- Chocolate Buffet - P&O Cruises
- Cheese Trolley - Oceania Cruises
- Strawberry Fields - Celebrity Cruises
Photo: Princess Cruises
Warm Chocolate Melting Cake
Carnival Cruise Line
This Carnival Cruise Line staple -- arguably the most famous modern-day cruise ship dessert, perhaps next to baked Alaska -- is available most nights in the main dining rooms on all ships. It's a tiny chocolate cake filled with ooey gooey hot fudge, and served with a side of vanilla ice cream. Try the Warm Chocolate Melting Cake once, and we bet you'll be ordering it again and again throughout your cruise.
Photo: marcyn/Cruise Critic member
Baba and Gelato
MSC is a Mediterranean cruise line, so it's no surprise that it does a great job with its Italian sweets. The baba is certainly no exception. A small cake filled with cream and soaked in liquor, this little dessert -- found in the main dining room on all ships -- packs a big punch. Another exceptional onboard treat that's great for dessert is the authentic Italian gelato. The baba is free, but gelato costs extra.
Photo: Heather Cowper/Flickr.com
Norman Love Chocolate Journeys
Through a fleetwide partnership with renowned chocolatier Norman Love, Princess offers several ways for cruisers to indulge in his chocolatey creations, which include cinnamon profiteroles with chocolate mousse and dark chocolate cream; heart-shaped raspberry chocolate mousse; chocolate love pops (truffles on sticks); and even chocolate cocktails. Look for special (and complimentary) desserts offered on select main dining room menus on all ships, as well as in Sabatini's, Sterling Steakhouse, Crown Grill and at the Chef's Table. Special chocolate and wine pairing events are also available fleetwide for an added cost.
Photo: Princess Cruises
Decadent Brownie S'more Coupe
Norwegian Cruise Line
The Decadent Brownie S'more Coupe at Coco's, a creperie and sweet shop found only on Norwegian Bliss, is the ultimate indulgence. Double-fudge gelato serves as the base ingredient for the oversized sundae, which also includes fluffy marshmallow cream, graham cracker crumble, brownie pieces and whipped cream. It's topped with toasted merengue and chocolate shavings. The whole thing is put together like a piece of art, served in a glass goblet overflowing with gooey goodness. This one is best shared. Desserts at Coco's, including this one, cost extra.
Photo: Cruise Critic
Bread and Butter Pudding
Holland America Line
It's rare to meet a longtime Holland America fan who hasn't tried the line's legendary bread and butter pudding -- and most will rave about it. The warm, "melt in your mouth" dessert has been around for years. While some argue the recipe has been tweaked over time, one detail remains the same: It's best served with a drizzle of vanilla sauce. Look for the bread and butter pudding in buffet dessert sections across the fleet (tip: sometimes you need to ask for it).
Photo: Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock.com
Chocolate lovers on P&O Cruises get not only one dessert, but an entire spread of cocoa confections. Once per week on cruises of at least seven nights, each ship hosts a chocolate buffet -- complete with a flowing chocolate fountain. The sumptuous affair, which takes place in either the main dining room or buffet, coincides with afternoon tea, so passengers can enjoy their daily cup of Earl Grey with a side of eclairs, brownies and chocolate lollipops.
Photo: Costin Constantinescu/Shutterstock.com
For those who prefer a plate of cheese over cheesecake, nothing beats the trolley in Jacques restaurant on Oceania Marina and Oceania Riviera. Served on a glass-encased marble platter, the cheeses are imported from France and AOC-certified (which guarantees a product's authenticity in terms of style, ingredients and origin). Just remember, don't judge a cheese by its smell!
Photo: reposado/Cruise Critic member
There's no shame in ordering Celebrity's Strawberry Fields dessert solely for its presentation, although we think it's too good not to devour. Chocolate-covered strawberries, topped with colorful sprinkles, are served on sticks that poke out from a bed of real grass, to give the illusion of a field of strawberries. You'll find this whimsical treat in Qsine restaurants on Celebrity Eclipse, Celebrity Infinity, Celebrity Silhouette, Celebrity Summit, Celebrity Millennium and Celebrity Reflection.
Photo: Celebrity Cruises
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.