A cruise is food, food and more food if you want it. There are usually as many as 13 opportunities to eat each day. An early continental breakfast, regular sit down breakfast, brunch, sit down lunch, mid afternoon snack, afternoon tea, sit down dinner, buffets for breakfast, lunch and dinner, midnight buffet and room service. You’ve seldom had so many eating options. There are also pizza and ice cream stations offered on many ships.
Many lines feature haute cuisine. The more pricey lines will offer exotic foods to please all those with pampered tastes. If that fits you, do some research to find the best match for your likes and dislikes. Usually, sample menus are posted on a cruise line’s web page, giving an example of their offerings. Most lines sailing from U.S. ports provide very good quality food. However, it would be naive to expect it to compare with a five star, on land restaurant. Most restaurants don't have to serve 1000 to 3000 passengers up to 13 meals a day.
Usually if you contact the cruise line in advance they will accommodate you. Most regular menus have choices that are low calorie, low sodium or vegetarian. You’ll still may want to notify them before sailing to make certain that they can accommodate you.
Try to let your waiter know so they aren't waiting for you. Don't worry, you’ll have many more meals, so you can catch up ! You'll never go hungry on a cruise ship. Of course, there are so many other opportunities if you miss a meal. You can always try an early breakfast on deck, a buffet lunch by the pool, tea and sandwiches or wait for the midnight buffet. Today, most ships have 24 hour room service.
Breakfast depends on whether you are an early riser or like to sleep later.
You probably will choose times that correspond with when you usually eat at home.
Consider other cruise activities. One schedule may cut into your pool time. A late seating may conflict with your nightlife.
If you are inclined to linger over dinner, the later seating will allow you to do so without feeling pressure to clear the table. There won't another seating following your dinner, so you can stay for that after dinner drink.
Most ships have 2, 4, 6, 8, or even 10 person tables in each dining room. They will try to accommodate your preference, but just like getting the best cabins, if you book early the chances are always better.
When there are just the two of you, ask for a "deuce' if you want privacy. They go quickly, since there are a limited number of two person tables on most ships.
The four person tables can be "chancy" for a couple. You’ll have one other couple or two singles sharing your table. Chances are you'll either get stuck with a people that you find boring or you'll meet new lifelong friends.
Many people look forward to the chance to meet others and request the larger tables.
A big table increases the odds that you'll find someone compatible and with whom you will enjoy spending time.
They first consider the time you requested and your table size preference. Matching you up with others with similar requests is the hard part, but usually works. If you have a problem with the original arrangement, you can ask to be changed. It will depend on availability, after sailing.
It could be tricky. Speak with the Maitre d’ as soon as possible. Often they won’t be able to make a change immediately, particularly if it's a heavily booked ship. The time you want may already be full, especially the early seating. Give them time so that can start to work out something. If not, there's always the buffet on another deck !
Again, speak with the Maitre d’ immediately, but don't expect an immediate solution. Try to be subtle and gracious and realize that all the tables may will already be full. Be prepared to accept any table change and not be demanding. There's also no guarantee that you are going to love your new table-mates !
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