Cruise FAQs: Catering | Royal Caribbean Blog

Let’s face it: catering is as essential to the cruise experience as the ocean itself. Despite the ubiquitous nature of food on cruise ships, passengers have many questions about the logistics of all of this.

Here is a compilation of the most frequently asked questions about cruise meals for your reading pleasure.

How is the catering going on a cruise?

The ships of all major cruise lines include three types of catering in their cruise rates.

First, travelers looking for something quick and casual can grab breakfast, lunch, dinner, and between-meal snacks from the self-service buffet on board. It’s free and usually includes multiple stations with a selection of cuisines. This option offers a ton of choices, making it ideal for picky eaters or cruisers with dietary restrictions.

Second, each ship will also have at least one Main Dining Room (MDR), which offers waiter-served meals from a set menu each day.

The MDR is always open for dinner, and depending on the cruise line, passengers will have a choice of fixed seating or meals at any time (one meal hour assigned at the same table with the same server each evening, versus to a meal at any time between fixed times at the first available table). If you choose the former, you might end up sharing a table with other cruisers as well.

Third, room service is available almost 24 hours a day on most ships. Although most deliveries are billed between certain times, breakfast is usually included in the price of your cruise.

You can order it by filling out the order form in your cabin and hanging it in front of your cabin door before going to bed. (It’s a pleasant service on port days when you might be pressed for time before morning excursions.) Keep a few small bills on hand for delivery advice.

Almost all ships also have a number of alternative restaurants on board. The bigger the ship, the more options you will have. While some are free, most have additional costs.

The culinary staff on most mainstream cruise ships are able to meet special dietary needs. If you’re a vegan or vegetarian, have food allergies, stay kosher, or have a special diabetic or low sodium diet, simply let your cruise line know when you book your cruise, and the chefs on board will know. work with you to come up with tasty options.

Read more: Royal Caribbean’s Top Ten Dining Tips

Are meals free on a cruise?

As mentioned above, meals are free at the buffet and in the main dining room. Breakfast served in the room is also free on most ships.

Almost all of the ships also offer a selection of alternative restaurants. While some are included in the price, others charge either a fixed fee per person or an à la carte fee. Check with your cruise line for details and prices.

Read more: What is included in the price of your Royal Caribbean cruise

Should I dress for dinner on a cruise?

Each cruise line’s dress code is different. Sailing was once a luxurious vacation where passengers aspired to dress like new, but this is often no longer the case. As such, formal parties for many brands have been made optional or downgraded to, simply, “elegant.”

Usually trips of a week or less host a fancy dress party, during which passengers can feel free to wear anything from a sundress or cute pants with button-down shirts to the sides. prom dresses and full tuxedos. Longer crossings can provide additional opportunities to be primed.

A standard rule of thumb is to avoid jeans on these evenings, or you might be invited to dinner at the buffet instead.

Otherwise, casual attire (including nice jeans) is acceptable. Most lines simply ask passengers to refrain from wearing shorts, T-shirts, flip flops, swimwear and baseball caps for dinner at all times.

Read more: Ten Culinary Mistakes From Royal Caribbean

Can I wear jeans for dinner on a cruise?

Yes, you can wear nice jeans (no holes) as long as it is not a formal or elegant night out. On these nights, jeans are not allowed in the main dining rooms of most ships.

Can you eat when you want on a cruise?

For the most part, food is available 24 hours a day on most ships. Even in the middle of the night, you can order room service (for a fee) or buy free late-night appetizers from the buffet or from the 24-hour pizzerias found on many ships.

With the number of alternative restaurants available on board and the baked goods readily available at cafes and soft serve ice cream machines, there is almost always something to help you feel less hungry between meals.

For dinner, you will be assigned a specific time if you select fixed seating and choose to eat in the main dining room. Otherwise, you can book at alternative restaurants at times that work best for you, or head to the buffet or barbecue by the pool whenever you want (during their opening hours, of course).

Read more: How to eat healthy on a Royal Caribbean cruise

What happens to leftover food on cruise ships?

The people responsible for supplying cruise ships have logistics to a science, so there is little waste.

Ships are fitted with ample areas below deck for dry storage, as well as freezers and refrigerators that keep everything at the proper temperature so nothing goes wrong. The remaining food ingredients from one navigation are simply used on the next.

Prepared food scraps are disposed of in several ways, which include incineration, unloading at the port as compost or fertilizer, and grinding until it is sufficiently liquefied to be discharged into the ocean (away from the sea. land) as fish food.

Are drinks free on the cruise?

Basic drinks – tap water, iced and hot tea, filter coffee, lemonade, and some juices (with breakfast) – are included in the price of your cruise.

Soda, bottled water, specialty coffees, smoothies, milkshakes, most juices, energy drinks, and alcohol are extra. If you plan to drink a lot, cruise lines sell drink packages for a set daily rate per person, which can save you money if you drink enough.

You’ll need to do the math to determine if purchasing a package is worth it.

Read more: What drinks are included with your Royal Caribbean cruise?

Do cruises offer room service?

Yes, all of the major ocean cruise lines offer some sort of room service. Most offer basic breakfast items for free, but you may need to pay extra for the expanded breakfast fare and all-day menus. Most late night orders also have a nominal charge.

While not required, it is polite (and appreciated) to give a dollar or two to the person delivering your order.

Read more: 25 Must-Have Culinary Secrets of Royal Caribbean


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