Enhance Your Cruise Ship Dining Experience With These Tips

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Today we have the very first guest post on Down Home Inspiration.  I hope you will all help me welcome Kacey!

Kacey is a lifestyle blogger for The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations and cultures, all while portraying her love for the world around her through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts.

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Anyone who has ever been on a cruise knows one thing to be true: making the most of it requires a bit of planning. Sure, you can find plenty to do on board the ship, but having an idea of what you want to experience will ensure you end your trip with zero regrets.

cruise dining

This is especially true when it comes to the food you’ll eat while you’re cruising. Today’s ships offer a myriad of dining options that you will want to research and try out on your own. In order to get the most out of every meal, follow these four tips:

  1. Do Your Research

As we already mentioned, your cruise ship will likely have lots of dining options. Rather than sampling them one by one, do a bit of research into your ship’s food options before you board. That way, you can be more efficient and deliberate in your dining choices throughout the duration of your cruise.

This research will not only shed light on the on-board restaurants, but also help you decide between the dining options and packages available to you as a passenger. For example, many ships allow you to decide between fixed dining, where you sit at the same table in the same dining room each night, or flexible dining, which allows you to eat in a handful of restaurants at no additional cost.

There are pros and cons to each option: with fixed dining, you have a time and place to eat set in stone, although you might not hit it off with the other people at your table, for example. On the other hand, flexible dining might incur wait times at the restaurants where you want to eat on a particular evening.

  1. Look For Celebrity Chefs

Another great way to ensure you’re eating well on your cruise is to see if there’s a celebrity chef involved with the cruise line. Because food-inspired travel has become so popular, many cruise lines have brought well-known chefs on-board to lend their famous recipes to ship-based eateries. You’ll find the likes of Guy Fieri on Carnival Cruise Line, Curtis Stone on Princess Cruises and Jamie Oliver on Royal Caribbean boats.

Even if there aren’t celebrity chef-designed restaurants, your ship’s menu might still have an expert’s touch. Windstar Cruises, for example, now has James Beard Foundation Culinary Cruises, which feature a James Beard-winning chef at the helm. These chefs build bespoke menus to compliment the destinations to which your ship will travel. Needless to say, you won’t soon forget the dishes they whip up.

cruise dining

  1. Scope Out the Ports, Too

Just as you research the food options on board, be sure to look into the cuisine in places where your ship will dock. Chances are, you can try out some equally-as-memorable fare once you’re ashore, so long as you know exactly where to look.

Obviously, your research can only go so far, so start with websites like Urbanspoon or TripAdvisor. You can make notes of which eateries are top-ranked and try them once you arrive in port. If you find another site with reviews but aren’t sure if it’s a reliable source, try the hometown test: see if the top-ranked restaurants in your hometown are, indeed, great places to eat. If so, you can probably rely on the results and enjoy some equally as tasty meals when your ship docks.

  1. Build a Relationship With the Staff

This is especially true if you’ll be partaking in the fixed dining plan, which will have you at the same table with the same waiter each night. By building a friendly relationship right off the bat, you’ll have no hesitation asking your waiter which dishes are lauded by diners and which ones aren’t as tasty. With that kind of insider information, you’re sure to have a much more memorable dining experience while on the ship.

You can solidify your relationship early on in the cruise by tipping your waiter at the start of your voyage instead of at the end. The money will only go to improve the service and food-ordering advice you receive. To that end, a well-placed tip can go a long way with cruise ship staff, whether you tip a restaurant host for that table for two by the window or you hand over an extra-large tip to a bartender so he remembers you — and your drink order — for the rest of your trip.

cruise dining

Now, Raise a Fork

You’ve done all of your research and you’re ready to build a rapport — all you have left to do is get on board your ship, set sail and eat. Whether you’re dining on the ship or at its many ports, your pre-trip prep will only serve to make every single meal a memorable one. So, raise a fork and get ready: you’ve earned every morsel.  



-I hope that you’ll check out some of Kacey’s other posts!  Here a couple of my personal favorites:

I Am Proud to be a Woman Traveler

How to Plan Your DIY Travel Itinerary

Healthy and Non Perishable Food to Keep You Fueled on Your Road Trip


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