Kosher-Style Dining: All Aboard Crystal Cruises

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For those who keep kosher at home, dining on a cruise is a challenge when it comes to kosher food.  Crystal Cruises seems to be one of the very few cruise lines to offer kosher cuisine.  Crystal Cruises Kosher-style Dining Program offers a wide range of kosher selections “prepared according to custom” according to Crystal’s explanation.

In addition to vegetarian and fish entrées, the cruise line offers kosher meats, poultry and prepared dishes that fulfill the kosher observance of kosher guests. Technically, Crystal Cruises’ two ships, Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony, do not have a separate kosher kitchen.  However, all Crystal chefs, kitchen and dining room staff have been trained in kosher food preparation, handling and service.  Crystal uses only kosher pots, pans and utensils and all plates, silverware and glassware are separately washed.

How to arrange your kosher cruise

Crystal Cruises suggests that guests who would like to dine kosher-style and order kosher food (fresh or packaged) send advance notice at least 90 days prior to their cruise.  Your travel agent can do this for you or you may directly contact the cruise line.

Once onboard, special requests may be given to the Maître d’ or Headwaiter.  Some special kosher requests outside of the standards may incur charges.  If you would like to arrange for a Mashgiach to travel with you, there will be a $ 25 per person, per day charge.

Don’t wait too long to choose your cruise.  Crystal’s kosher-style program can only accommodate 20 guests per cruise.  Kosher-style is available on both ships  and on all itineraries around the world.

To clarify, “kosher-style” refers to Crystal Cruises’ implementation of standard kosher food guidelines.

Kosher items available to be prepared kosher-style

Beef Burger Dover Sole
Halibut Lamb Rack
Lamb Rib Chop Ox Tongue
Ribeye Steak Salmon
Soups Veal Liver
Veal Rack Veal Rib Chop
Veal Schnitzel Veal Shoulder
Vegetarian Burger Whole Roast Chicken
Whole Roast Duckling Whole Roast Turkey

Crystal Cruises also has the option for you to order pre-packaged, certified kosher meals.  However, be aware that not all pre-packaged selections are available on every cruise. Crystal may substitute a meal with a similar selection.

In addition to the entrée, every pre-packaged meal includes a vegetable and a starch.  A variety of desserts are always available.  Plus, there are red and white kosher wines, too.

Baked Filet of Salmon Beef Burger
Beef Bourguignon Beef Wellington
Grilled Halibut Grilled Lamb Chop
Grilled Salmon Herb Roasted Chicken Breast
Lamb Shoulder Chop Lamb Stew
Marinated Grilled Chicken Red Snapper
Roast Chicken Salisbury Steak
Sliced Lamb Sliced Turkey
Stuffed Cabbage Veal Goulash
Veal Roulade

On a recent Crystal Serenity cruise, one couple at my table had pre-arranged well in advance for their kosher-style meal.  At the end of each dinner, the head waiter would come over and hand them a menu to select the next night’s dinner.  On the evenings when they ordered the whole roast chicken, there was plenty to share at our table.  And it was delicious.

It isn’t easy to find a cruise line that goes to such extreme for a scheduled cruise.  There are chartered kosher cruises but then you have to go when the group blocks their cruise.  On Crystal Cruises, you have the luxury of choosing your itinerary and ship.

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