I must admit, I know nothing about cruising. The last time and only time I was on a cruise was in my 20s when I went was on a Club Med sailing ship to the Caribbean (one of the many benefits of handling the Club Med account was I could travel free). I loved the experience but I have this crazy fear about my kids falling overboard. Don’t know why. If I could get over this one BIG phobia, there is a great appeal to arriving at a new port every day to explore a new destination as well as the ship itself with kids. Maybe Alaska or Galapagos …hmm.
If cruising and cooking with the kids combo appeals to you, you should look into Holland America’s Culinary Art Center program for kids (there is a program for adults as well). Designed as a first-class show kitchen at sea, the Culinary Arts Centers, aboard all of Holland America’s fourteen ships, resemble the elaborate show kitchens used by celebrity chefs on TV. Each facility features a theater-style venue with two large plasma video screens and a large cooking display counter where guests can learn from the visiting guest chefs.
The kids cooking program, featuring 45-minute classes, was created 2 years ago. Kids under eight years old learn to master such delights as Bear Tracks (Alaska theme cookies), Fruit Leather (fruit roll-ups), Ice Cream Sandwiches, Salad People Art, and Denali Peaks (Alaska Theme Scones). Kids eight and over learn to make fun treats like Soft Pretzels, Granola Bars, Pita Chips and Hummus, and Saltwater Taffy.
If you are also interested in learning a few cooking tips for yourself, check out these two upcoming 7-day cruises to Alaska with great guest chefs:
ms Oosterdam (7/11/2010 with visiting chef Mark Fiorentino (Chef of Daniel Boulud restaurants)
ms Statendam (7 day 7/25/2010 and 8/1/2010 with Tre Wilcox (from third season at Top Chef)