During the summer, from Memorial Day to Labor Day, it's time to break out the charcoals and propane and fire up those grills for a warm-weather cookout.
While cookouts are certainly popular on land, you might be surprised to learn that lots of cruise ships also feature this open-flame cooking method at many onboard dining menus. If thoughts of flipping patties and turning dogs this summer have you wishing someone else was doing the cooking for you, here are our five favorite cruise ship grills that are the perfect spot for your next vacation cookout.
The Dive-In at the Terrace Grill
Ships: ms Amsterdam | ms Eurodam| ms Koningsdam| ms Maasdam| ms Nieuw Amsterdam | ms Noordam | ms Oosterdam | ms Prinsendam| ms Rotterdam| ms Veendam| ms Volendam| ms Westerdam | ms Zaandam | ms Zuiderdam
The hamburger is a staple of any cookout menu. While you can get an ordinary hamburger on any cruise ship, you will be hard pressed to find a made to order hamburger on most major cruise lines. That is why the custom burgers of the complimentary Dive-In Terrace on Holland America ships are a welcome surprise. Mounds of meat topped with melting cheese, fresh veggies and other add-ons like crispy bacon, served on a buttery brioche roll, are only the beginning. A variety of specialty hot dogs, featuring Nathan’s Famous All Beef hot dogs, and crispy French fries can also be yours free of charge as you relax at the outdoor bistro-style grill area by the ships’ Lido pool.
Lawn Grill Club
Ships: Celebrity Silhouette | Celebrity Reflection
What cookout would be complete without lounging on the grass or playing some lawn games? Just because you are grilling on a cruise ship doesn’t mean you have to forgo these pastimes. On select Celebrity Cruises ships, you can dine al fresco on a natural lawn that is grown on the outdoor decks. At the Lawn Grill Club specialty restaurant, you and your tablemates will be in charge of the grill as your own personal chef is there to sear up your selections. Choose from flatbreads, steaks and seafood, among other options, which are cooked tableside. You might learn a thing or two from these grill masters or just enjoy their culinary skills. We also want to give a shoutout to crew members of Celebrity Xpedition (pictured at top) for their grill-in-front-of-you craftsmanship.
Ships: Insignia | Regatta | Nautica | Sirena | Marina | Riviera
Who said a cookout couldn’t be fancy? The Waves Grill on Oceania cruise line adds a slice of flame-grilled luxury to your vacation. This open air restaurant, located near the pool, serves up premium selections not found on contemporary cruise lines. Indulge in a surf and turf sandwich (a combination of lobster medallions and filet mignon — or your choice of five different burgers, including a Kobe Beef burger topped with a black truffle sauce, all prepared right in front of you. When you're done, wash these delights down with a homemade milkshake from this one-of-a-kind cruise ship restaurant.
Guy's Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse
Ship: Carnival Magic
This new venue on Carnival Magic brings down-home, Southern-style barbecue grilling to you at poolside. A complimentary venue open during the afternoon, the Pig & Anchor serves some mouthwatering meals. With authentic flavor and a variety of beef, pork and chicken, there are plenty of smoky, carnivorous treats to go around. Add on some comfort-food sides like mac and cheese, potato salad and cornbread, and this might be your favorite meal of the cruise. You may need a few extra napkins for this sea day lunch, though. Given the recent rave reviews, we wouldn’t be surprised if this venue pops up on other Carnival Cruise Line ships in the near future.
The Boardwalk Dog House
Ships: Allure of the Seas | Oasis of the Seas | Harmony of the Seas
Cookouts aren’t just about hamburgers. Who doesn’t love a good hot dog, too? The Boardwalk Dog House on select Royal Caribbean ships serves up much more than just your typical Coney Island frankfurter. Located in the Boardwalk and open throughout the day, the Dog House offers a wide selection of sausages from Poland, Germany, Italy and the U.S. with over a week’s worth of selections to choose from. Don’t forget to pile on the fixings, including sautéed peppers and onions, sauerkraut, mustard and ketchup. When you're done, a trip around the nearby carousel is almost mandatory.
Get cruising & grilling
Whether you're organizing a cookout or just attending one over at the neighbors', you may want to consider spending next year on board a cruise ship. You can enjoy the ocean air, cool breezes and plenty of home-style grill selections as you sail the Caribbean, Europe or other corners of the globe. Why not trade in your apron and tongs and let someone else do the cooking for you? With no dirty dishes or cleanup afterward, all you have to do is sit back and relax.