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Planter’s Punch + Part I: Celebrity Cruises Alaska

This has a been the summer of “firsts”. First trip to Seattle, first cruise to Alaska and first Planters Punch. The latter is worth noting, because Matt and I have been making this with some regularity since we’ve been home from our Celebrity Cruise.

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In fact, we are in the midst of trying to copy-cat a few meals from the trip while piecing together a scrap book of photos. This was really a trip of a lifetime. Alaska is nothing short of amazing and getting there on Celebrity Cruises is definitely worth repeating.

I’m so excited to be sharing this trip with you, because now is the time to start planning for your Celebrity’s 2017 Alaska sailings. Before I get to ahead of myself, let’s talk about this cruise with some structure: Part 1 (this one): Food and Part II: The Ship, Excursions and Everything in Between.

Like most cruise ships there’s a main restaurant with two shifts for each meal, so the service never feels crowded and was always top-notch. The menus were created by a James Beard featured chef and range from classic to contemporary. My favorite menu being the Top Chef at Sea. The dishes featured are the ones the judges raved about on Bravo’s award winning show, Top Chef. Below are two of my favorites. I could have had at least three more servings of the Kale Pesto Beignets, but I saved myself for the chocolate cake because it was layered with dulce de leche and fudge—my fave combination. 


Of course since there were seven nights for dining we had to try the other restaurants on board . . . .

Murano ~ I loved the look and feel of this French restaurant—luxury without pretense. The food of course was stunning. The two starters (on the left, top to bottom) below are Diver Scallop Wellington Style with a black truffle emulsion and spinach fondue and Porcini & Morel Risotto with truffle foam and chervil. On the left was my main course, Loup De Mer – Grilled Mediterranean Sea Bass with red pepper melange and crispy eggplant.


Tuscan Grille ~ Offers rustic dishes from Tuscany with a modern twist. Along with the food, the cocktails were equally as crafted. To start things off we did cocktails (from left to right): Italian Sour, Harry’s Belllini and Negroni. Starters and salads (bottom left) are always a must, so we ordered a few things: Calamari, Bufala Mozzarella and Tomato, Ahi Tuna and Goat Cheese Salad. The main dishes (top and middle): Grilled Red Snapper and Grilled Sea Bass; (bottom right):Lobster Pappardelle Alfredo.

Tuscany Grille

Sushi on Five ~ This was the boys’ favorite restaurant. It’s Japanese cuisine with a lot style and a modern twist. Everyone’s favorite from the starters was the Kobe Beef Ramen Burger (top second). After we got through that, we all got busy slurping on some noodle bowls (bottom left) Udon Noodles & Seared Shrimp, (bottom right) BBQ Pork Ramen Bowl and (not seen) Scallop & Shrimp Dynamite. If my boys had their way, they would have me figure out copy-cat recipes for all the dishes here.

Sushi on Five

Silk Harvest ~ Has a collection of family style dishes that are subtle and familiar to downright exotic. Top photo (clockwise): Chicken Satay, Egg Rolls, Wontons and Spicy Rock Shrimp Tempura. The bottom dish is a red snapper prepared in a different way then my boys were use to.  Admittedly, it took some coaxing from Matt and I to get our them to eat fish with the head and eyes still attached, but they ended up loving it.

Silk Harvest

You can see there is an incredible amount of assorted restaurants and cuisines to choose from.  My only regret when it came to the food was not being able to dine at them all. Ah, well . . . .  next time.

Besides that, we didn’t plan this trip so much around the food as we did where and what we wanted to do as Celebrity Cruises sailed through Alaska. But that’s Post II, where I’ll share how to pack for an Alaskan cruise and what to do on and off the ship. Until then, don’t forget to make your self some Planters Punch and tune in for the second installment of this series.

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this recipe

Planter's Punch

Yield: Makes 1 drink


  • 3 ounces dark rum
  • 1 ounce simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water, mixed until dissolved)
  • 3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 3 dashes Angostura bitters
  • garnish pineapple, kiwi and maraschino cherry


  1. Pour all ingredients into a tall glass filled with ice. Stir with a bar spoon until very cold. Garnish with fruit.