Which is better, Early or Late Dining?
Dining time is really matter of personal choice. If you are used to eating at around 6pm at home then you would probably take the early choice, usually about 6.30pm. If you are used to eating later then the late choice would suit. If dining early you obviously have to vacate the restaurant ready for the late seating at about 8.15 to 8.45pm although the service is usually very good and this gives ample time to enjoy your meal. Eating early gives you the chance to dine and then carry on to the evening’s show while eating later gives you the chance to wind down possibly after a day’s excursion and take in a show before dinner. If you are travelling with children, or generally go to bed between 10pm and midnight then the early dining would suit. If it takes you a long time to get ready for dinner and you don’t mind finishing your meal around 10.15pm then late dining may suit. If you want to confirm a particular seating, book early.
Is cruise ship dining as good as I’ve been told?
Ships are no different to restaurants on land. The better grade ship often have a better standard of food though as a general rule food onboard is of a high standard, varied and often caters to most diets. There’s virtually no limit on what or how much you can order. You can choose low-cal, spa, or fitness menu selections that are just as tempting as the regular menu. On many ships you can have breakfast, morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner with many special occasion events such as poolside barbecues, chocolate evenings or quite often food like burgers and pizza is available throughout most of the day not to mention free room service. Most ships can accommodate salt-free, low-carbohydrate, Kosher, or other diet preferences. However, this request must be made in advance, so be sure to advise us of this requirement when you book your cruise.
What if I don’t like my tablemates?
Rarely is this a problem. However, if you wish to move to another table, speak with the maitre d’. He’ll make every effort to seat you with more compatible dining companions…discretely and politely.
Can we get a table for 2?
On the higher grade ships a table for two is usually no problem. It’s on the mass market lines where this request is a little more difficult to confirm. We can never confirm a table for two, we can only request it. Table and dining assignments are made by the ship’s Dining Coordinator who works in the cruise line’s corporate office. This person makes the assignments 2 weeks prior to sailing and submits the list to the maitre’d the week before sailing. We can’t guarantee you’ll get it, but we will make the request. If you get on board and you didn’t get a table for two, see the Maitre’d. Maybe he can do something for you if it’s available.
I am not a morning person, will i miss breakfast?
You may feel like skipping a breakfast or two after being on the ship for a few days but really the answer is no. Breakfast and lunch are always available in the buffet. Breakfast is usually served until 10am or later
Are there non-smoking areas?
Today, virtually all ships have smoking and non-smoking tables or non-smoking sections in the dining rooms and lounges. In fact, many cruise ship dining rooms are now totally smoke-free, and at least one ship is a completely smoke-free cruise ship, reflecting passenger requests. If you want your dining table in a non-smoking area, or prefer a smoke-free ship, just tell us! Onboard, in “open-seating situations,” you can advise your waiter or the maitre d’.
Can we celebrate a special day?
Absolutely! Most cruise lines will even treat you to a complimentary cake and a chorus of Happy Whatever to honor the occasion. Your birthday or anniversary can be more festive with champagne, flowers, canapés, wine or cheese. You can even arrange for a special private party. All you have to do is advise us in advance.
What about tipping?
Tipping or gratuities is included in the price of some cruises but not in others. Check when booking or considering an advertised cruise. Tipping is often a bone of contention with Australian passengers because Australia is not a big tipping country as opposed to America or Britain. Tipping is a matter of preference but on a cruise when gratuities are not included cruise lines will normally charge about US$12pp per day to your shipboard account. If you strongly object to this you can request for the charges to be taken off you account but do this at the very start of your cruise.
What can I wear to dinner?
Dinner falls into 3 categories: Formal, Informal and casual.
Here are the general guidelines:
Casual nights: Men: No jacket required a sweater or shirt with slacks. Ladies: Blouse or sweater with skirt or slacks or similar attire.
Informal: Men: Slacks with a jacket. Ladies: blouse with either a skirt, slacks or a dress
Formal: Men: Suit or optional black tie. Ladies: Evening gown or other appropriate formal attire.
If you do not wish to dress to suit the main restaurant then you can more often than not dine casually in alternative restaurants on board