Since this is the week of the annual “World’s Largest Cruise Night”, I want to continue on the cruise theme. Nearly 80% of North Americans have never been on a cruise before and my guess is that many in that group would tend to agree with the notion that cruising is only for “the over-fed and the nearly dead”. This old joke still gets a laugh at the industry events that I attend. We laugh because everyone in the room has probably been on several cruises, and have toured many of the newest and most fantastic ships with their zip lines, skating rinks and state of the art fitness centers, and we know how ridiculous that statement is. Yet, it is an image that must be overcome and I think I can help.
The “nearly-dead” part can be simply dismissed by looking at the ships. Go online and check out any cruise line and you’ll be amazed at the things you can do on a cruise ship these days. We’ve come a long way since the Love Boat of 1977 and the daily shuffleboard tournaments. Then, there’s the variety of activities available in the ports of call, like sailing, golf, kayaking, hiking, biking, snorkeling, etc. Here’s some photos that I’ve taken on ships in the last 3 years.
As for “over-fed”, I think we could improve the line to “well-fed” and be closer to the truth. Gone are the days of the midnight buffet which used to be a regular feature on cruises 10 years ago. People just didn’t want to eat again before they settled down for the night and the food just went to waste. Most all of the cruise lines now offer at least one venue with totally healthy fare – usually in the spa or adults area of the ship. The spa café would offer items like yogurt shakes, granola, fresh fruit and whole grain salads. Of course, healthy choices are offered every day at every meal in the regular dining rooms and the buffets. Some ships have specialty dining venues that only offer healthy and low fat menus like the café Blue on Celebrity’s Solstice. As in your everyday life, it’s all about the choices you make.
For those who enjoy fine food, I’m here to tell you that it is available and in reasonable quantities on cruise ships. I find the regular dining rooms on most ships offer exquisite meals on their menus and these meals are included in the price of your cruise – of course some are better than others. Then, there are the specialty restaurants available on many ships which do charge an additional fee. They are usually themed dining like Italian, steaks or sushi and are definitely worth the fee. The buffet is the place where most people over-eat (think Old Country Buffet). If this is too much of a temptation for you, have your breakfast and lunch in the dining room. This is always an option on your cruise and included in your price.
Being well fed on a cruise is a given. Whether or not you are over- fed is your choice.
Some food I’ve enjoyed on ships beginning with Carnival’s phenominal “chocolate melting cake”!