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Fresh Puerto Rican tostones and stone crab highlight new Caribbean menu on Holland America Line

  • HAL
    Half Moon Cay Lobster Shack
  • Caribbean Tropical Bread Pudding
  • Braised Brisket Criolla
  • Mahi Mahi Diablo

Themed brunch now served on Caribbean cruises; award-winning mixologist David Wondrich crafts exclusive 18th Century Pirate Punch.

SEATTLE, WASH. – Fresh, local flavors lead the way for Holland America Line’s award-winning cuisine on Caribbean sailings with new regionally themed menus in the Dining Room and Lido Market. Adding to the culinary journey, Caribbean-bound guests can now enjoy a new themed brunch, indulge in local rum tastings, and savor a traditional, pirate-inspired rum punch crafted by renowned mixologist David Wondrich, who also will share his expertise on a March cruise aboard Zaandam.

Offered on sea days, all dishes on the new Caribbean Brunch menu in the Dining Room showcase fresh, local ingredients. Selections range from sweet tropical flavors to savory and include Jamaican Banana Pancakes, Sweet Potato Chowder with chili peppers, Cuban Medianoche Pork and Cheese Sandwich, Jerk Burger with grilled pineapple salsa, Dominican Fried Chicken with beans and rice, and Florida Key Mahi-Mahi Sandwich with grilled pineapple.

“The rich flavors of the Caribbean add a new dimension to our guests’ dining experience with an immersion into the region’s culinary heritage – from fresh Puerto Rican tostones made from local plantains to a variety of tropical fruits and spices,” said Michael Stendebach, vice president of food, beverage and guest services at Holland America Line. “Even traditional Holland America Line favorites, like our bread pudding and crepe bar, will embrace Caribbean flavors with new variations in Lido Market.”

Local Flavors on Display in the Dining Room

The Dining Room features a range of new dishes showcasing island staples and favorites on all Caribbean cruises, including:

  • Chilly Caribbean Shrimp Cocktail with orange habanero aioli.
  • Jerked Pork Tenderloin with peanuts, rice pilaf and black beans.
  • Mahi Mahi Diablo with cilantro rice and guajillo chilies.
  • Spiced Pork Belly with pineapple, salsa, roasted squash and sweet potatoes.
  • Corn and Salt Fish Fritter with garlic aioli.
  • Chicken and Callaloo Soup with butternut squash, garlic, thyme and toasted coconut.
  • Steamed Stone Crabs served chilled with a Dijon aioli dipping sauce (supplemental charge).
Taste the Caribbean Islands in Lido Market

During Caribbean sailings, the casual Lido Market features regional favorites like Puerto Rican Tostones. Made fresh daily with plantain chips, Puerto Rican Tostones are served open-faced for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Topping selections range from tropical fruit for breakfast to pulled pork, garlic shrimp or vegetarian for dinner.

The Lido Market’s popular crepe bar features regional fruits and toppings with a buttered rum sauce. Lido dinner options include Caribbean Lamb Curry, Caribbean Roasted Pork Sandwich, Jerk Lamb Shank, Braised Brisket Criollo, Frita Cubana, Jamaican Garlic Shrimp, Jamaican Braised Oxtail, Rockfish Cou-Cou, and a selection of regional island hot sauces.

Caribbean Bread Pudding

Holland America Line’s bread pudding is a longtime favorite and the most requested recipe by guests. While traditional bread pudding originated in Europe, it also has strong ties to the Caribbean where early settlers used local flavors to create their own, unique bread puddings. To honor this fusion of flavors, Caribbean sailings feature new bread puddings, including Jamaican Bread Pudding, Chocolate Hazelnut Bread Pudding, Caribbean Bread Pudding, Chocolate Bread Pudding, Coconut Bread Pudding, Cinnamon Roll Bread Pudding and Blueberry Croissant Pudding — all served with a warm rum vanilla sauce.

Pirate History Meets Modern Mixology

While the original Caribbean pirates didn’t have the luxury of today’s premium cruise ships, modern guests can indulge in a concoction inspired by their seafaring traditions. Crafted by David Wondrich, a James Beard award-winning drinks historian, the new 18th Century Pirate Punch draws inspiration from the rum punch shared by pirates. It features pot-stilled Jamaican rum, a dash or Orange Curaçao, various citrus juices and a traditional sprinkling of fresh-grated nutmeg.

In addition to the punch, guests can indulge in a unique rum tasting that samples premium rum from distilleries in the region. Highlights of the rum tasting include:

  • Bacardi 8 – Aged for a minimum of eight years, this smooth, rich rum has a complex flavor profile with hints of vanilla, caramel and oak.
  • Pussers Admiralty – A British Navy-style rum that boasts a full-bodied flavor profile with hints of brown sugar, toffee and exotic spices.
  • Pryrat XO – Aged up to 15 years in French Limousine oak barrels for a deep amber hue and velvety texture, flavored with caramel, honey and tropical fruits, complemented by subtle notes of spice and vanilla.
  • Brugal 1888 – Aged in ex-bourbon barrels from the Dominican Republic and finished in ex-sherry casks, resulting in a refined and complex flavor profile with notes of chocolate, dried fruits and oak.
  • Mount Gay Eclipse – A medium-bodied rum with subtle notes of ripe banana, vanilla and almond.
Learn Cocktail History from Beverage Aficionados on Panama Canal Cruise

Beverage aficionados David Wondrich and Jeff Berry will be on the March 16, 2024, 14-day Panama Canal voyage aboard Zaandam to host seminars and tastings titled “From Pirates to Tiki: A Voyage Through the History of Cocktails on the Panama Canal.”

An internationally renowned cocktail historian, Wondrich is one of the founders of the modern craft cocktail movement. He is the author of five books, including “Imbibe!” the first cocktail book to win a James Beard award, and editor-in-chief of the Oxford Companion to Spirits and Cocktails. Wondrich has been involved in the creation of several world-renowned spirits found in most craft cocktail bars, including Ransom Old Tom Gin and the multiple award-winning Plantation Stiggins’ Fancy Pineapple Rum.

Jeff Berry also is an innovator of the cocktail revolution who specializes in vintage tropical drinks. The New York Times cites Berry as “the Indiana Jones of Tiki drinks.”  Berry has been featured multiple times on national television and in major news publications, including profiles in USA Today and Wine Enthusiast Magazine, and his drinks have won critical acclaim in Esquire, Playboy, The New York Times and other national magazines.

Fresh Fish Program

Holland America Line recently introduced a new fresh fish program fleetwide. The pioneering initiative engages a global network of 60 ports, including many in the Caribbean, to source and serve 80 types of fresh fish on board in all restaurants, going from port to plate in less than 48 hours.

2023-2024 Caribbean Voyages

Departing from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Holland America Line’s Caribbean cruises sail October 2023 through April 2024 on six ships: Eurodam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Nieuw Statendam, Rotterdam, Volendam, Zaandam, Zuiderdam. Voyages offer flexible itineraries with convenient weekend departures ranging in length from seven-day getaways to 21-day explorations. Most cruises include a stop at award-winning Half Moon Cay, Holland America Line’s private island, recognized as the “Best Private Island” by the readers of Porthole Cruise Magazine.

Theodore Koumelis
Co-Founder & Managing Director - Travel Media Applications | Website

Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.

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