Five Faves: Chill Out

Hallucinating in this heat? Envision yourself cooling off on a cruise ship with these cold treats.

As my beloved Jiji was fond of saying, “it’s hotter than two rats cuddling in a wool sock.” All over the United States, July has been brutally hot … and August doesn’t look to be bringing any relief. Fortunately the cruise industry is on the case, taking us tortured Earthlings to the places on our planet with the most cooling of breezes and most necessary of comfy-climate juxtapositions. Best of all, those rescue fleets are rich in their own relief offerings … particularly in terms of cool tasty treats. In an attempt to trick your overheated brain into “experiencing” the relief, here are our five favorites!

Cherry On Top, Carnival Vista

This candy and confection heaven can be found on select ships in the Carnival Cruise Line fleet, but only on Carnival Vista has the store been further sweetened with an ice cream–making — nay, dream-making — chilled slab. Cruisers can pick their favorite candies from the brimming heaps, choose a preferred ice cream flavor, then have a specialized mixologist-of-sorts combine the choices and, in essence, revolutionize the world as your taste buds know it.


Venchi Gelateria, MSC Divina

The name Venchi has been synonymous with fine chocolate since the late ’70s. That is, the late 1870s! And only on MSC Divina, next to the Deck 14 main pool, can cruisers experience its selection of all-natural gelato favorites at sea. Whether it’s dark chocolate delights or refreshing fruit sorbets, Venchi puts those other poolside ice-cream machines to shame.


Johnny Rockets, select Royal Caribbean ships

Any diner worth its greasy spoon — whether it’s retro-styled or otherwise — better have a milk shake delicious enough to forgo meals altogether. The multiple at-sea Johnny Rockets definitely fulfills that qualification with its smooth, creamy-and-dreamy shakes, while also offering the burgers, fries, and other ’50s-flashback fare you know and love from the on-land restaurants.


Ben & Jerry’s, select Royal Caribbean ships

Not only was Johnny R. invited to Royal Caribbean’s cool treat party, but both Ben and Jerry were as well! Most Royal ships have Ben & Jerry’s shops, some even having dedicated cabins where guests enjoy both complimentary Ben & Jerry treats and a unique view of the brand’s mascot; just open the curtains and look out the window of Cabin 6305 on Freedom of the Seas, Liberty oPorthole editor Jodi Ornstein enjoys the Ice Bar on Norwegian Cruise Linef the Seas, and Independence of the Seas and you’ll see the less-welcoming end of their trademark cow.


SVEDKA Ice Bar, Norwegian Epic

Just as the weary hiker sees water mirages in the desolate desert, the cruiser must be forgiven for thinking this floating igloo couldn’t possibly be a reality. We assure you it is — on Deck 7 of Norwegian Epic — and their selection of vodka-centered drinks is a must for any of-age cruiser. If you’re not convinced that drinking is the new eating, look to the alcohol-free options on the menu, which include ice cream- and puree-creations that will have you forgetting all about the sun and its pesky heat.


Rico Bronte

Photos: carrieontravel/Carnival Cruise Line, Jodi Ornstein.

Now in its 25th year, Porthole Cruise and Travel Magazine is published bi-monthly and available worldwide through digital subscription. It offers the latest news in cruise and travel, with in-depth features on voyages, new ships, the best destinations, readers' picks, onboard cuisine, entertainment, and more!