Updated October 10, 2019
Who else is guilty of breaking out their phone at a cruise ship restaurant, when an exquisitely presented dish is placed in front of them?
Food has become one of the most popular subjects of vacation inspiration on Instagram. With so many ships offering a plethora of specialty restaurants -- and cuisine that keeps getting more innovative -- the opportunities to photograph (and then devour) a picture-perfect meal are seemingly endless. Savor a culinary work of art and "do it for the 'Gram" with these 14 Instagram-worthy dishes at sea.
1. Norwegian Waffle at Viking Ocean Cruises' Mamsen's
Instagram-worthy food meets wanderlust at this "hidden" food counter in Viking Ocean Cruises' Explorer's Lounge -- serving Norwegian delicacies, like this waffle, on vintage china. Decorate your waffle with toppings such as fruit, chocolate and cheese; then take a bite, and you'll see why it's one of the line's most raved-about dishes. Do we need to tell you to take a photo first? We didn't think so.
2. Milkshakes at Norwegian Bliss' Coco's
Norwegian Bliss cruisers with a sweet tooth will at some point find themselves at Coco's, a dessert restaurant that serves artfully designed treats with an emphasis on chocolate. While its gelato bowls, bonbons and fondue dish all have wow factor, no dessert is quite as photogenic as one of its milkshakes. Just don't forget to snap a photo of it being made -- that's part of the fun of enjoying one.
3. Sushi Lollipops at Celebrity Cruises' Qsine
It's hard to narrow down only one picture-perfect dish at Celebrity Cruises' whimsical global fusion restaurant -- made popular by the innovative twists it puts on familiar favorites, like sushi. In this signature dish, eight rounded rolls are served on mini-skewers that protrude out of a plank. The lollipops are served with a side of wasabi mayo and pickled ginger radish salad, and are just as tasty as they are intriguing.
4. Baby Vegetables in the Garden at Royal Caribbean's Wonderland
Veggies don't get much fresher than when you're eating them straight from the garden. This fun dish -- designed to look like baby vegetables growing out of a bowl of dirt -- is perhaps the most Instagram-worthy food dish at Royal Caribbean's "Alice in Wonderland"-inspired restaurant. Bonus for you: The dirt is also edible.
5. Specialty Pies at Holland America Line's New York Pizza
Most cruise pizza is pretty subpar, but a few lines have nailed it -- such as Holland America, with its beautifully crafted, New York-themed specialty pies. Choose from a variety of attractive flavors, or build your own and share it with the world. Be prepared for comments from jealous friends and family members questioning why they didn't get an invite.
6. Hot Rocks Dinner at Grand Classica's Rock Grill
Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line's short, budget-friendly Bahamas cruises might span only two nights, but there's no shortage of food photo opportunities. The alfresco Rock Grill on Grand Classica is one of them. Diners get to cook their own meats and veggies on hot lava rocks, all while enjoying breathtaking views from the back of the ship. We suggest making reservations for around sunset, for a romantic ambiance -- and optimal lighting.
7. Citron Tart at Princess Cruises' Share
Australian celebrity chef Curtis Stone developed this captivating dessert at his restaurant onboard select Princess Cruises ships. Garnished with meringue and fresh raspberries that add gorgeous pops of color, the tart makes for a perfect aerial shot for those willing to get creative. Oh, and it's as delicious as it is photogenic.
8. Mickey Waffle on Disney Cruise Line
One of the happiest meals on earth, Disney's famous Mickey Waffle is a must-try when having breakfast on any of the line's ships. The waffles -- found in the buffet and other select venues -- are shaped like Mickey Mouse's head and make for the perfect photo op. Bonus points if you can get Mickey to pose with you and your waffle.
9. Bread Basket at Oceania's Toscana
This top cruise line for foodies offers a breadth of sumptuous, beautifully presented foods -- turning even underrated items like bread baskets into works of art. The bread selection in the line's signature Italian restaurant is a feast for the eyes, and one that deserves to be 'Grammed. Pair it with your favorite glass of vino, and watch the "likes" pour in.
10. Caramel Popcorn Sundae at Regent Seven Seas Cruises' Prime 7
Save room for dessert at luxury line Regent Seven Seas' signature steakhouse. You won't want to miss this decadent sundae -- the perfect combination of sweet, salty and camera-ready. Snap a photo for the 'Gram before it melts, and then indulge in the glass of vanilla and chocolate ice cream (made from scratch), caramelized popcorn, salted peanuts and whipped cream with bourbon sauce.
11. Tacos at Carnival Cruise Line's BlueIguana Cantina
There's a certain level of pride in building the perfect taco -- and with all the colorful ingredients you can use at Carnival's much-loved BlueIguana Cantina, it's an Instagram-able moment that deserves to be captured. Place your creation on the poolside eatery's festive tiled tables for the perfect backdrop. Prefer to pair it with a cocktail? Spruce up the shot even further with a margarita from the nearby BlueIguana Tequila Bar.
12. Gelato at MSC Seaside's Venchi
Leave it to a cruise line with Italian roots to whip up arguably the best gelato at sea, which -- held against a backdrop of the ocean -- also makes for the ultimate Instagram-worthy food shot. Take your gelato to go in a cup, cone or martini glass, and start snapping away before it begins to melt.
13. Caviar on Seabourn Cruise Line
Caviar literally served on a silver platter calls for a photo, preferably posted with the hashtag #TreatYoself. Luxury line Seabourn pampers its passengers with complimentary caviar throughout the day or night. Order it after a long, hard day of sunbathing, or on your balcony with a glass of Champagne. Hey, somebody's got to do it.
13. Baked Alaska on Carnival Cruise Line
Part of what makes baked Alaska such an Instagram-worthy food is how it's presented. On Carnival, that involves waiters parading around the room with the flaming dessert in hand. If you're lucky enough to capture the conglomerate of ice cream, cake and meringue while it's still sizzling -- even better.