Sometimes, a factor holding someone back from booking a cruise may be uncertainty about the level of fine dining options when onboard a ship. Many of us are plagued by previous experiences on various cruise lines that may have included plentiful but mediocre buffets and limited alternative options. But times are changing and cruise lines are trying to be bigger and better across the board — and for those who are traveling with one luxury cruise line, they are about to have access to a rather coveted restaurant reservation.
Crystal Cruises, which was acquired by Abercrombie & Kent in July 2022, has recently relaunched following an extensive makeover. Their new ships, Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony, will include many exciting features – but for sushi lovers, the most exciting part of all may be that UMI UMA by Chef Nobu Matsuhisa is also making a return.
This restaurant concept is actually the only one of Chef Nobu’s that happens to be at sea. Nobu fans will see some familiar dishes but also some flavors not seen anywhere else. “Umi Uma not only offers guest-favorite dishes but upholds the same values as our Nobu Restaurants found around the globe – a scene where innovative fusion cuisine, blending traditional Japanese dishes with Peruvian ingredients meets modern design, while layering in Crystal’s exceptional service,” said Chef Nobu Matsuhisa in an interview.
According to Matsuhisa, Nobu favorites to be seen in Umi Uma will include signature dishes such as the always popular Nobu-Style Black Cod, Grilled Chilean Sea Bass, and Wagyu Beef Filet Steak. “The Umi Uma teams on board have gone under extensive training ahead of the relaunch and guests can expect the most exquisite quality and experience,” said Matsuhisa.
The relationship between Matsuhisa and Crystal Cruises is one that has spanned for decades. “The relationship between our brands has spanned over 20 years when we first began our partnership in 2003. The restaurant was originally known as Silk Road and Sushi Bar and was rebranded to UMI UMA in 2018. I am pleased to continue the legacy and am very excited to welcome Crystal guests back to one of their favorite restaurants onboard. I’m hoping my family and I will be sailing onboard as well again soon,” said Matsuhisa.
Guests on the Crystal Cruise voyages wishing to dine at Umi Uma are allowed one reservation included as part of their cruise experience of up to 11 nights. If they love it so much they want to return, there is a charge of $50 pp and it is up to availability. That still sounds like quite the bargain for a classic Nobu experience, that will include favorites like Crispy Rice (with spicy tuna or spicy avocado), Sashimi Salad with Tuna Tataki and Matsuhisa Dressing, and much more.