Just thinking of cruise food makes me full!
The fact is, whenever your family takes a Caribbean cruise vacation, you will never be hungry - unless you choose to be.
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There are some things to be said about your cruise meals right off the bat:
1. There is a lot of food;
2. The food is nutrition-rich;
3. Food is always available; and,
4. The cruise food varies.
One of my family's favorite moments on board the cruise ship is eating - more so my three children and I - my wife to a lesser extent.
Let's just say that the boys in the family love to eat and the plentiful and highly varied Caribbean cruise food makes this so much more enjoyable.
The beauty of cruise ship dining is that you have choices - many choices! Some people are vegetarians and that is fine. You will not go hungry.
Some people love meat. Yum! Yum! You have your meat. Others like fruits. You have your fruits.
Some people like American. You have your American cuisine. Some prefer Asian. You have your Asian cuisine. And others prefer West Indian. You will get that too.
Have I made the point? Your family will find something that each person enjoys included in your cruise ship's menu.
Caution: Your family may return to port with a few extra pounds after indulging in that highly varied and plentifully available, cruise cuisine.
It may be a smart idea to start losing weight now before boarding your cruise ship.
Where does one eat? What are mealtimes like?
I knew you would ask.
Cruise Dining Rooms and/or Eating Spots
I have included "Eating Spots" in this section because in addition to formal restaurants, your cruise ship will have several eating areas (bigger cruise ships have more) around the ship.
However, let us look at the restaurants first.
Cruise Ship Dining Rooms:
Generally, you will be assigned to one of two major dining rooms onboard the ship. Some cruise lines like Carnival Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean even assign you a specific time for meals (along with everyone else).
At the time of booking, you may choose to dine early or late and with a certain number of people.
Now, you may also choose to dine during a certain period of time. That is called "Your Time Dining", "Anytime Dining" or something else. It depends on which ship you're on.
Norwegian Cruise Line has popularized something called "Free Style Cruising" and does not assign you to a specific time for meals or to sit with specific people.
Let me hasten to add that while some cruise lines assign times for meals and with whom you sit, they also have other dining options.
Being assigned to a dining room for your cruise meals, does not mean you must report each time food is being served. However, if you choose to go, you're in for a great treat.
You may sit in a formal setting with people waiting on you and be served breakfast, lunch and dinner. Your family will enjoy the experience.
There is just one thing to note: if you choose to have dinner as part of your cruise meals in the dining room, you will be reminded of an expensive restaurant back home and your portions will be small.
However, the service is superb, as three or more people serve you a four course meal and you can even request seconds.
Yes, you will have a four course meal so it may not matter that the main course is usually laughable in terms of size - though beautifully arranged.
Something else to note is that having dinner in one of the cruise ship's main dining rooms means that your family will get a chance to choose a different cuisine for dinner each evening.
Now, that's rich!
In terms of drinks, your family will be offered water, lemonade or iced tea with your meal (on some ships).
If you would prefer a glass of wine, soda or something else, you must order that from the "bar".
Generally, each cruise ship will have you indulge in the overly abundant provision of cruise food in a large area of one upper deck.
This is called the Lido Deck on some cruise ships, such as Carnival Cruise Line's fun ships.
The Lido Deck is also a place where you can have breakfast, lunch and dinner - buffet dining.
If you or your family are not too thrilled about eating in a semi-formal setting every day for every meal, then the Lido Deck is yours to own.
The food on the Lido Deck is served buffet style - no one waiting on you - except those serving special items like omelettes in the mornings or cutting the ham for lunch or dinner. There are also crew members who clean up after you - pick up your dirty dishes.
In addition to the main area on something like the Lido Deck, you will find many other smaller restaurants or eating areas around the ship where cruise food is served.
There is generally a place for pizzas, a place for ice-cream, a couple places for hot dogs and hamburgers, and some cruise ships have areas for specific cuisines such as a Asian cuisine, an American deli, and a grill hangout, etc.
Pizzas are generally available 24 hours!
In addition to all the free items that make up your cruise food, there are several specialty restaurants onboard your cruise ship. The bigger ships have more. You may find restaurants that serve steaks, sushi, or seafood.
There is one thing to remember about these specialty restaurants - you must pay extra to eat at any of them!
Are you full yet?
I just cannot wait to get on our next family cruise vacation to the Caribbean this July. I can already smell the good and savory Caribbean and other dishes. Yum! Yum!
You may see the Carnival Destiny Dining page for additional and specific information on meals and dining options.
This part of your cruise food is one heck of a meal. You will generally find stuff that you would never eat on the same day or during the same week at home.
Breakfast will include; eggs (omelettes, scrambled or boiled), sausage, ham, hashbrown, pancakes, waffles, rolls, biscuits, lots of fruits, cereal, pastries and more.
Your best bet for lunch is the "Lido Deck", but you may also eat in the dining room.
Lunch will include; meats (chicken, fish, etc.), rice, salads, ham, potato (different kinds), lots of fruits, lots of dessert items, ice-cream, and more.
As mentioned above, each evening your cruise ship ensures that your food includes different choices in cuisine. Try something that you have never had before!
Dinner will include; soups, rolls of bread, lamb, fish, chicken, shrimp, crawfish, lobster, pork, steak, salads, side items, desserts, and more.
Remember that you get a four course meal.
While you have the three fixed meals throughout the day, there is always one or two of the smaller restaurants opened at different times during the day to accommodate those of us who like to get a snack in between meals.
You notice that I said "us". :-)
There is even food at night!
There is just so much to say about your cruise food. However, the bottom line is that your cruise ship will feed your family very well, unless you decide otherwise.
By the way, if you or members of your family wish to stay away from the crowds, just order room service.
This is also included in your all-inclusive Caribbean cruise package.
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