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December 24, 2004

Cruise Ship Fine Dining


New York - Cruise ship dining is as good as people say it is. Actually, it‚??s better! Passengers aboard the ships of the Cruise Lines International Association‚??s (CLIA) member-line fleets will find extraordinary cuisine and a choice of dining experiences unparalleled at any land-based resort.

‚??With the variety of cuisine and experiences available onboard, a cruise is a great opportunity to have your fill of your favorite tastes or sample something new,‚?Ě says Terry L. Dale, president and CEO of CLIA, the non-profit association representing the North American cruise industry and nearly 16,000 travel agencies. ‚??Cruise lines pride themselves on being able to cater to each guest‚??s individual tastes and that includes the dining experience.‚?Ě

Dining on cruise ships has changed over the years, so even experienced cruisers who have not been onboard recently will find many ways to enjoy fine dining at sea. Here are some common questions asked about cruise ship dining by both first-time and experienced cruisers:

Do I have to eat at the same table every night?
Many ships offer a choice of seating times with traditional assigned seating in the main restaurant while others offer open seating ‚?? the option to dine at a time when it is most convenient for you. While some enjoy the experience of assigned seating and meeting people who may become friends for a lifetime, others prefer a cozy table for two. The cruise lines make every effort to accommodate individual preferences.

Is the main dining room the only place to eat?
Actually, the dining room is only one of many dining venues available onboard. A cruise ship can have as many as 10 different restaurants onboard. Often, each venue reflects a different theme, atmosphere or cuisine. Guests can select from traditional American favorites to French, Italian and Asian menus as well as specialties from part of the world the ship is visiting and menus prepared by some of the world‚??s most renowned chefs. Since there are no prices on cruise ship menus, it‚??s a great opportunity to sample something new or order second helpings of your favorites. Many ships also feature alternative dining options in the form of supper clubs, bistros or upscale restaurants featuring specialty cuisine. Some of these alternative dining options carry nightly reservation fees per person while others only require reservations.

Do I have to dress formally for dinner?
Dinner does not have to be a formal affair. While most ships include ‚??formal nights‚?Ě as part of the cruise ship atmosphere, tuxedos are generally not required ‚?? jacket and tie suffice. And for those who opt not to ‚??get dressed up,‚?Ě most ships feature a variety of options, such as informal buffets on deck or poolside, pizza bars, grills and coffee shops. Some lines even feature such unique dining experiences as a beach barbecue, dinner under the stars or dining in the surf ‚?? the choice is yours!

What if I am hungry in the middle of the night?
You can eat 24 hours a day. Guests can grab a bite to eat from pizzerias, ice cream/frozen yogurt stations, and even restaurants that are open 24 hours a day. And those who prefer the comfort of dining in their stateroom or on their verandah can order from room service at any time of the day or night.

With all this food, isn‚??t it hard to eat healthy or maintain a diet?
While there is definitely an abundance of food, there is also an abundance of healthy options. From salads and vegetables to chicken, beef and fish, a variety of choices are available on each menu.

What if my youngster doesn‚??t want a gourmet meal or if I have special dietary needs?
Whether it‚??s youngsters who prefer kid-sized favorites like hamburgers, hot dogs and chicken fingers to five-course gourmet meals or those following specific diets, cruise ship galleys can accommodate preferences and dietary needs.

‚??With more than 150 ships in the CLIA fleet, it is important to select the cruise that meets your culinary expectations and can satisfy your dining needs. A CLIA-member travel agency can help you do just that,‚?Ě says Dale. ‚??These agents are the recognized experts when it comes to sharing the good word about cruise vacations. They have taken advantage of CLIA‚??s extensive ongoing education program, including personal cruise ship inspections and actual cruise experience.‚?Ě

Press Release By CLIA

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Posted by Denise at December 24, 2004 11:21 AM
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