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7 Things About Food On Cruises

1.      It’s All Included in the Price

Cruises are full-board. That means breakfast, lunch and dinner are included in the price, and that often goes for room service and snacks too. What it doesn’t mean is that every restaurant is free. More often than not there will be at least one ‘speciality restaurant’ that charges a supplement because it offers an extra special experience, or has an enviable location on the ship. But fear not: the free dining options are plentiful and holidaymakers can eat for free for their whole cruise if they choose to.

2.      The Quality is Exceptional

Fine dining

Just because a ship might be catering for several thousand passengers doesn’t mean a compromise on the quality of the food. It’s not unusual to dine on fillet steak and lobster tails in the main dining room, included in the price of your holiday.

3.      Celebrity Chefs Love Cruises

Famous celebrity chefs just can’t get enough of cruises. Jamie Oliver on Royal Caribbean. Marco Pierre White, Atul Kochhar and James Martin on P&O. Todd English on Cunard. Arnaud Lallement on Disney. Guy Fireri on Carnival. And an exceptional Nobu restaurant by Nobuyuki “Nobu” Matsuhisa can be found on Crystal Cruises. Although the celebrity chefs won’t be there at sea, cooking your dish, they do make appearances on selected cruises.

4.      The Choice is Mind-Boggling

Restaurant buffet

On some of the mega liners, you can pretty much find any food you want, at almost any time of day. From a casual slice of pizza by the poolside, to a fine dining experience for true foodies, the choice on the larger cruise ships covers a full spectrum of tastes. The on board buffet, often the most casual option, can feature cuisine from around the world, sometimes freshly prepared at cooking stations. The huge variety of food also means keeping fussy eaters happy too. Just another reason why cruise holidays are appealing to more and more families.

5.      Eat When You Want


Traditionally, cruise lines have imposed set dining times to help handle the large volume of guests that pass through the restaurant doors. And while this is still an option on some ships, there are now alternatives for those who want more flexibility in choosing the time they eat. Expect to find an open-all-hours buffet as well as reservation-only restaurants that operate as their land-based counterparts.

6.      The Impeccable Food Hygiene Standards

Male cook cleaning the kitchen


Keeping passengers healthy is always a top priority on cruise ships. That means that incredibly stringent processes are in place to ensure the highest food hygiene standards. Food, from ice cream to meats, are stored separately at their absolute optimum temperatures. Storage, preparation and cooking are all done in separate kitchens to prevent cross-contamination. Diligence extends to passengers too, with hand santisers dotted everywhere throughout the ship, particularly around food outlets and restaurants.

7.      No Eating with Strangers (If You Don’t Want To)

Couple eating dinner together

Cruise lines are moving away from putting large groups of passengers together to eat. Sometimes it’s still done that way and it’s something that many passengers enjoy as it’s an opportunity to meet new people from around the world and even make life-long friends. But now it’s possible get a table for two, or dine with who you choose to, just as you would on land.


To speak to a cruise expert, call 0800 840 5819 or visit Imagine Cruising for more inspiration.

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