A Movable Feast • Cruise Life

Food And Cruising

From the beginning of the great steamship era to todays amazing floating resorts, one thing that has remained a major part of cruising is great food. Today most cruise ships typically offer a main dining room and some more than one, along with a buffet style venue serving breakfast, lunch and dinner along with smaller food options like burgers and pizza.

The main dining rooms serve sit-down dinner from daily featured menus. On many ships, you will be assigned to a main dining room, while other ships, like Norwegian Cruise Line, will offer a couple of dining room options you can select from on any evening. Celebrity’s newer ships offer several dining rooms each with a different culinary theme.

The buffet option will usually offer many themed cuisine stations (salad bar, carvery, ethnic offerings, pasta, stir fry, desserts). Once you have a full plate, you find your own table, either indoors or sometimes outside and you can go back as often as you want. Many ships also offer poolside grills serving burgers and hot dogs. Some will have casual cafes like a 24 hour pizza station.

Some cruise lines like Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and Holland America have separate dining rooms for suite guests, frequent cruisers or concierge passengers. These dining venues are also included in the cruise cost for those passenger groups.

“Specialty Dining” is the cruise name for onboard pay restaurants and it’s a growing trend. Charges can range from a flat charge, usually from $30 to as high as $100 per guest while some price meals a la carte.

Before you cruise it is possible to visit some cruise line websites and look at typical menus along with exploring speciality dining restaurants. Below you’ll find recent sample menus from main dining rooms on Royal Caribbean, Carnival and Celebrity.

For a larger collection in one place a cruise blog called ProfCruise regularly updates its cruise menu collection HERE.

Celebrity Sample Menu

Carnival Cruises Sample Menu

Royal Caribbean Sample Menu

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