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Cruise Deal of the Week – August 16, 2019
Cruise Deal of the Week
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Cruise Deal of the Week – August 16, 2019

Porthole Cruise Magazine - August 16, 2019
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Choice Dining – The specialty restaurants on today’s cruise ships are a delicious delight… for most of us.

Monday Mantra

What’s for dinner?… What’s for dinner?… What’s for dinner?

Choice Dining

The specialty restaurants on today’s cruise ships are a delicious delight… for most of us.

You never forget your first… alternative dining venue aboard a cruise ship. For me, it was Norwegian Majesty’s intimate Le Bistro during a 1999 sailing from Boston to Bermuda. My husband and I were taken aback by the restaurant’s $5-per-person surcharge but, after peeking through the windows and admiring the elegant and intimate atmosphere, decided to try it anyway. After one glorious Le Bistro meal and a heavenly dessert of chocolate fondue, we threw caution — or at least another five bucks each — to the wind and rebooked Le Bistro a couple of days later.

Cruise ship dining has come a long way from the days of an assigned table in the main dining room and a buffet and poolside grill at lunchtime. On today’s megaships, it’s not uncommon to find a dozen or more options — everything from steakhouses to Italian, sushi to Mexican, Asian fusion to burger joints, some complimentary, and some carrying surcharges that range from $10 to $75 per person. Even small ships like those of Silversea Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, and Crystal Cruises offer a few dining alternatives such as Crystal’s exquisite Silk Road, Silversea’s oh-so-elegant La Terrazza, and Regent’s decadent Signatures.

Isn’t this great? Who could possibly object to having a myriad of dining choices during their vacation cruise? Turns out I found someone.

As an experienced cruiser, friends and coworkers often approach me for information and suggestions when they’re planning a vacation. So not too long ago, when a coworker solicited my advice for a family cruise, I enthusiastically sung the praises of a new cruise ship, most of the song’s chorus dedicated to the vast dining options offered.

“Pass,” said my coworker abruptly, before I even finished. “I can’t get my family to agree on which car to take to go to the in-laws on Thanksgiving. No way I’m going on a cruise that will end up with a battle over whether we have Chinese food or Mexican. I want ONE dining room, ONE time for dinner, ONE waiter who understands that my daughter doesn’t want a basket of bread anywhere near her, ever, and ONE peaceful vacation.”

I was sort of stumped. Sure, traditional dining still exists on some ships but it’s usually hidden among the vast array of choices that most cruise ship guests love.

In the end, my coworker and his family rented a house in the Hamptons for a week and ended up going out to dinner at a different restaurant each night.

Go figure.

 

Judi Cuervo

 


Do you have a favorite specialty restaurant? Or do you prefer traditional dining? Tell us in the comments below!


Photo: Norwegian Cruise Line

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13 Comments

  1. Personally, I would prefer having lots of dining options on a cruise ship! We’d find a way to negotiate where we’d eat every night. We like food WAY too much to bicker about it! lol

  2. I’ve never been on a crusie, but as far as dining goes, we are open to anything , especially when we are on vacation. We’re mostly Europe travelers in the summer and our daugher is extremely picky, but somehow she always finds something she likes. We love to try new places.

  3. I just went on a carnival cruise this past December and the food was absolutely amazing! Really looking forward on going on another 🙂

  4. I love an opportunity to dress up and see a beautiful table setting, so I’m one for traditional dining whenever possible. In the cruises I have taken this was the ambiance of the main dining areas. I hope they continue doing it in most cruise lines!

  5. I wish I could go out to dinner at a different restaurant each night… I can’t even remember when we went to a proper adult restaurant last time 🙁

  6. We just took our first cruise ever as a family and we loved it and the food was amazing!! Amazing and beyond what I anticipated. It was really a great time and steak and seafood and such delicious lunch options too. I would do that again. But first I must lose the 5 pounds I gained on the dang cruise from eating.

  7. Vegetarians have NO problem on board a cruise ship! Many ships have a special section of the menu devoted to vegetarian or vegan choices.

  8. We have always liked traditional dining and have enjoyed the food in the main dining room. When we booked our recent tripped on Quantum of the Seas, we were a bit worried about having to go from restaurant to restaurant each night without the same staff. The food was amazing on Quantum, so I am glad we had the extra choices. It was also the first time we spent money at a specialty restaurant, and I would say that the experiences we had at Wonderland and Jamie’s Italian were well worth the up-charges! We are now looking forward to our sailing on Anthem of the Seas and trying out some new venues!