It’s a meal that’s unpretentious and basic in its conception.
But when done right, the classic burger can be a highlight of your day.
Maybe that’s why so many cruise lovers are also burger aficionados. Nothing quite beats biting into a hearty juicy cheeseburger when hunger strikes after your day of exploring on excursions ashore or when it’s lunch time after a morning spent playing and sunning by the pool.
I’ve done some research over the years, downing dozens of ground beef patties slathered in everything from bacon and cheese to chili and jalapenos.
Here are the seven best burgers you can get on a cruise ship. These are taste-tested, and Cruise Addicts approved.
Salty Dog Gastropub on Princess Cruises
This eatery serves up comfort food in a bar setting for casual dinners on select Princess Cruises’ ships. The highlight of the menu (cover charge) is The Ernesto, a gourmet creation named to honor celeb chef Ernesto Uchimura who created the Salty Dog menu. The Ernesto is a juicy ground steak and pork rib patty cooked to perfection and stacked high on a brioche bun with gruyere cheese, caramelized kimchi, breaded jalapenos and an onion aioli spread.
Guy’s Burger Joint on Carnival Cruise Line
Just try to walk past without grabbing a burger and fries. The smell wafts across the lido deck on Carnival Cruise Line ships and beckons to cruisers who form long lines to snatch up a variety of great burgers available because of Carnival’s tasty partnership celebrity chef Guy Fieri. The nearby toppings bar lets you customize your burger with chopped up bacon, fried mushrooms and caramelized onions, plus condiments like Cajun ranch dressing and barbecue sauces.
Trident Grill on Crystal Ocean Cruises
The burgers are made fresh to order and served up with bacon, cheese and sides of either french fries or sweet potato fries. I customized mine with a dollop of meaty chili for one of my lunches while onboard Crystal Serenity. I loved these burgers so much, I lunched on them three times in one week.
Pool Grill on Viking Ocean Cruises
This eatery features a menu with an all-star lineup of burger creations. Go for the classic Viking Burger with cheddar, bacon, barbecue sauce and sweet red onion marmalade, or try varieties like the Pancho Villa burger (with blue cheese, jalapeno mayo and guacamole) or the Pastrami King (black angus, pastrami, double American cheese and chili fries).
These burgers are calorie bombs jam packed with flavor.
Dive In on Holland America Line
When hunger strikes, Dive In has you covered with amazing burgers on select Holland America ships. The Cannonball features a juicy beef burger, chopped lettuce, sliced tomato, applewood bacon, sweet caramelized onion and Gouda cheese stacked high on a toasted brioche bun. The basic but satisfying High-Dive has American cheese, lettuce and tomato. The eatery also offers one of the best veggie burgers at sea. The Freestyle is a grilled portobello mushroom that you can customize with your favorite toppings.
Waves Grill on Oceania Cruises
Waiters will take your order tableside and deliver a fresh, gourmet burger made to your liking. Waves Grill has a deep roster of burgers, including the Classic with Swiss or American cheese, the Texan with grilled onions, bacon and bourbon barbecue sauce, the Swiss with sautéed garlic mushroom buttons, and the Romano with provolone, roasted peppers and pesto sauce on Ciabatta.
Bistro on Crystal River Cruises
Sometimes you want the reliable taste of a familiar American comfort food when you are traveling on the rivers in Europe. Crystal River Cruises delivers an amazing burger that is a nice change of pace from your meals of pork schnitzel, duck confit, Hungarian goulash and beef Wellington.
The Bistro offers made-to-order burgers any time of day. I went with the standard cheese burger, and it was delivered with a steak knife in order to cut the towering, cheesy creation down to size. Be sure to order the basket of fries, too.
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