If eating fine food is your pleasure, a cruise vacation is
for you. If you get up early enough, go to bed late
enough and catch the elevators on your ship just right -
you can eat up to 13 times a day on board. And that does
not count 24 hour complementary room service.
Fine cuisine and five star dining has always been a part
of the cruise experience. On board, you'll be treated to
more options than ever before. As soon as one serving is
ending, somewhere on the ship another is beginning. Today
the on board dining experience rivals almost any land
Celebrity Cruise Lines cuisine, for example, is acclaimed by food experts, travel authorities and the most discriminating connoisseurs of all, their passengers. Whether the succulent, broiled lobster tails and coquilles Saint Jacques served on the finest china or fresh pastas and omelets "made to order" from the buffet, an array of exotic dishes and familiar favorites are yours to enjoy.
Menu offerings on Celebrity are created by master chef,
Michel Roux, a Michelin three star restaurant owner, and
are as outstanding as the setting in which they are
served - grand, multi-level dining rooms, with a piano
played softly in the background. Imagine Smoked Salmon
Claudine, Pheasant Mousseline with Blueberry Vinaigrette,
Consomm? with Vegetable Brunoise, Broiled Lobster Tail,
Veal Medallions, Coffee Profiteroles with Jamaican Sabayon
and Swan Puff with Chocolate Sauce.
The price? Includedwith your cruise as is all dining on board your floating resort. And there is virtually no limit on what or how much you can order!
If what I just described is too formal for you, how about
breakfast in bed, sunrise coffee and pastries on deck. Of
course there is always a full breakfast in your ship's
dining room or a relaxed buffet in one of the alternative
dining areas. French toast. Spanish omelets made to
order. And Danish, of course. You'll find them all at
breakfast, along with such traditional fare as ham and
eggs, fresh fruit and yogurt, a choice of toast and rolls,
pancakes and home fries Lunch? Casual, poolside lunch or
full menu in the dining room and on some cruise ships the
between meal most popular attraction, 24-hour pizzerias
and ever present ice cream bars or buffets.
While the 24 hour room service on some ships is restricted
to snacks, cold sandwiches and sometimes hamburgers, other
cruise lines offer you a full dining room menu in your
cabin during regular dining hours. Princess Cruises now
offers true 24-hour dining in their Horizon Court
restaurants featuring their own galley which allows it to
stay open ALL day and ALL night, offering a full menu of
both hot and cold meals. Your dinner is served tableside
by waiters from 7:30p.m. through 4:00a.m. and all other
meals are available buffet style from free-standing
islands designed to eliminate lines.
I do not want to panic the health conscious crowd, so you
will be secure in knowing that most ships can accommodate
salt-free, low-carbohydrate, kosher or other diet
preferences. The variety of healthy and guilt-free
choices will astound your eyes and your taste buds.
Almost all Cruise lines offer a "heart smart" section on
their menus, including vegetarian entrees at lunch and
dinner and fresh fruit and other natural snacks are always
available. And then there is always the expansive fitness
areas for you to use and remain ship-shape.
On mainstream cruise lines, you'll have to choose your
dining time when making your cruise plan. There are
usually two dinner seatings, one between 6:00p.m.- 6:30pm
and one between 8:00p.m. and 8:30p.m. depending on your
ship itinerary. The 6:00p.m seating will allow you to
work up an appetite for the mid-night buffet. But some
ships have a 1:30a.m. buffet so you can be comfortable
going to the late seating. Your table is reserved for you
for the entire cruise and your waiter and busboy will
become like family, dedicated to making your cruise a
Table size is usually, for 4, 6, 8 or 10 with the occasional table for two. If you are traveling in a group or with friends you'll want to ensure that your seated together at the same dinner seating.
My suggestion is to always ask for a large table. What a great way to meet new friends from around the world. Unless, of
course, your stateroom has a balcony and your significant
other wants a private dinner for two!
Best of all, the one thing you'll never see on a cruise
ship menu is a price! Bon Appetit!
Mr. Kaplan has an extensive travel background and opereatd a large cruise only travel agency in Canada. He and his wife are both in the Cruise travel industry.
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