Cruise dining

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Most passengers eat a lot because the food is free, copious and served around the clock. If the breakfast, lunch, poolside buffet, dinner and midnight buffet meals are insufficient, there are frequent snacks and a 24-hour cabin room service. If you gain just a few temporary pounds, feel guiltless and consider it part of the fun of cruising.

Healthy choices

Unlike the cruise ships of old, the contemporary ones offer healthy, moderate calorific fare in addition to their diet-killing feasts. Essentially, the kitchen creates variety and leaves the rest up to the passenger's will power.

Food quality varies

A sole meuniรจre can be fresh, flavorful and flaky textured on a luxury cruise - but tired, bland and mushy on a party ship. As always. great food from a kitchen is a response to discriminating diners.


Many ships have two seatings. You must select your preference before the trip.

Starting times vary by ship. The breakfast, lunch and dinner meals normally begin around 7:00, 12:00 and 6:15 for the early seating - and 8:15, 1:15 and 8:15 for the late one.

The first is best for parents with young children and the early-to-bed, early-to-rise set. Service is more hurried because the staff has to clear and reset the room in time for the next time slot.

The second seating is slower paced and more relaxed because the staff doesn't have to prep a third seating. It's also quieter because nearly all young children are first-seating eaters.

Table size

Most tables accommodate 8, 6 or 4 diners. If you want a table for two (as many honeymooners do), make your request as early as possible because they are in short supply.  Some cruisers prefer the largest tables because their size makes it easy for strangers to get to know each other.

Bad table

Tables are assigned for the duration of the cruise. Should you not like yours because of its size, location or tablemates, request a reassignment from the maitre d' promptly after your first meal.


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