We reached out to Gerald Mosslinger, vice president of hotel operations for Seabourn, to give us his view on what makes the cruise line one of the best offerings for a culinary experience on the high seas.
Paloma Villaverde de Rico (PVR): Why is a gourmet culinary experience on board a high-end cruise so important for today’s luxury traveler?
Gerald Mosslinger (GM): Luxury and cuisine are natural partners, just as fine wine pairs with a wonderful meal. Luxury travelers are used to gourmet experiences ashore and as a luxury resort at sea we need to meet and exceed these expectations with a top-notch culinary experience.
PVR: What does Seabourn offer in its culinary offerings that makes the cruise line stand apart from other cruise lines?
GM: All dishes in The Restaurant are cooked to order using well-sourced quality ingredients. Our culinary team includes many staff trained in top European institutions, supported by our relationship with chef Thomas Keller where all staff in The Grill by Thomas Keller have been through rigorous training in Napa Valley and his restaurants. Innovation is continuous and is exemplified by new offerings such as artisanal gelato made fresh on board and the introduction of Earth & Ocean at the Patio with its diverse menu of globally influenced dishes. Our team also focuses on purchasing local ingredients as we travel, including our Shopping with the Chef experiences. A guest favorite is our Beach BBQ where the ship is literally translated to the beach with Caviar in the Surf. Of course, I can’t forget Seabourn Moments, which are unique for each guest, but are created in an intuitive fashion that makes a lasting impression.
PVR: A top culinary experience is not just about the food—what else is Seabourn doing that creates just the right ambiance?
GM: I would say it all goes back to innovation, which goes beyond the simple recipe or dish to an entire atmosphere created in the venue. In The Grill by Thomas Keller, guests enter and immediately feel a vibe from the lighting, music, and the personality conveyed by the staff. Seabourn has long been known for our high crew-to-guest ratio and that flows into our intimate restaurants, where the experience includes craft mixology and fine wine, along with name recognition and remembering guest preferences. When we launched Seabourn Encore, we started roasting fresh coffee in the early morning hours in Seabourn Square and the same experience is now on Seabourn Ovation as well.
PVR: Why should travel advisors recommend the Vintage Seabourn pre-purchase option to their clients as part of the onboard culinary experience?
GM: For any luxury traveler who appreciates upgraded wines at a great value pre-purchasing makes for a flawless and stress-free experience when they arrive on board.
PVR: Can you give me some fun details on the Earth & Ocean at The Patio experience? Why are experiences like these for luxury cruisers so important?
GM: Earth & Ocean breaks up what some may see as the ‘formal’ routine by creating a dinner venue that operates completely outdoors. The team at Earth & Ocean surprises guests with very unique experiences such as our ‘smoke box,’ which adds a bit of theater and wonderful flavor to some dishes. Though more relaxing in feel and atmosphere, with our service staff in khaki pants and casual shoes, the menu selections remain comparable to the finest restaurants that can be found ashore.
PVR: Give us a ‘taste’ of the global cuisine experiences a passenger can expect?
GM: A guest on our ships can experience a wide range of choices including sushi, dishes reminiscent of the classic American restaurant of the 50s and 60s at The Grill by Thomas Keller, an eclectic menu of globally influenced dishes at Earth & Ocean such as Madras curry and beef cheeks, as well as classics such as Beef Wellington in The Restaurant. One of the best secrets on Seabourn is our homemade artisanal gelato made fresh onboard by a team trained in the principles of gelato-making taught in the heart of Italy.
PVR: How does a travel advisor introduce Seabourn’s gourmet culinary experience as one of the top reasons that their clients should book a Seabourn cruise?
GM: Food and Beverage has always been one of the main pillars of the Seabourn experience no matter the venue. We’ve always been viewed as a leader in the industry when it comes to cuisine. Coupled with our personable, highly trained staff, the culinary experience on our ships rivals any dining experience in the finest restaurants around the world.
For more information, visit seabourn.com.