The lifestyle maven partnered with MSC Cruises to curate "new, exclusive culinary and discovery experiences on board and ashore."

By Shay Spence
April 24, 2019 08:01 AM

Deciding on which activity, if any, to partake in during your day at port while on a cruise vacation can be a daunting task—but not if you put your trust in Martha Stewart.

On Wednesday, MSC Cruises announced their partnership with the lifestyle maven, who has curated “new, exclusive culinary and discovery experiences on board and ashore,” according to the press release. Stewart traveled with MSC to various port cities to develop shore excursion itineraries—most of which revolve around food and culinary activities—that go way beyond your standard zip-lining and parasailing trips.

At a roundtable discussion announcing the news, Stewart said she was drawn to cruise travel because it’s “an organized and logical way to treat your family to something that’s fun,” and hopes to dispel myths for those who are skeptical by creating intimate, one-of-a-kind experiences for guests.

“Many people are a little bit fearful of taking a cruise, they think there’s a lack of privacy or there’s so many people,” she said. “But it’s so funny because everyone who has been on one comes back liking it, so there must be a reason. Nobody’s saying they’re never going to go on a cruise again. I think it’s because it’s a good value for a fun time and an interesting time.”

 

 

The shore excursions will be available at all destinations served by MSC Seaside and MSC Armonia ships, and include: a Creole-style cooking course in St. Maarten; a boat tour of fishing villages in Roatan, Honduras; a five-stop eating and drinking tour of San Juan, Puerto Rico; a margarita mixology session in Cozumel, Mexico; and riding the swimming horses in Grand Cayman, among others. Meals during each excursion have been experienced and vetted by Stewart herself.

Douglas Friedman

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Stewart noted that cruises are a particularly good vacation option for the holidays when resorts are often full and rates have skyrocketed, which is why she is creating special holiday menus on board for Easter, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

Her dishes, which are still in development and have not yet been announced, will be available in the main dining room as well as the exclusive restaurant in the MSC Yacht Club, a private area of the ship where the rooms cost extra. Diners will also go home with recipe cards for what they ate to recreate their experience when they get back home.

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Finally, cruisers can complete the on-board Martha Stewart experience by purchasing “celebration surprise packages” to be delivered to their staterooms, which will include a personalized letter from Stewart along with one of her signature desserts with a recipe card. Prices for these start at $10, but more expensive packages also include a bottle of wine, professional photos and a frame, and a canvas beach tote bag.

The Martha Stewart excursions and experiences will be available on sailings of MSC Seaside and MSC Armonia starting June 1, and additional Caribbean sailings on MSC Divina and MSC Meraviglia starting in November.

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