A big part of travel is eating. We all know that. And a big part of cruising is eating, too. For some cruisers, it's all about quantity. (And cruises play to that crowd brilliantly, with abundantly stocked cafeteria lines open all hours.) But for more and more of us, it's about quality. I noticed that, while the food was fine in the main mess hall, the ingredients were much better in the "Specialty Restaurants." Photos by Trish Feaster, see her blog at The Travelphile.com.
These days, any cruise ship will offer premium restaurant options for an extra fee. On our Princess Line ship, we paid $25 extra apiece several nights to enjoy the fine-dining options...and loved it.
A fun thing about cruising is that you meet lots of people, and you always have something in common: You're both enjoying wonderful vacations -- with lots to talk about. We would often team up with new friends over a meal in the evening after setting sail to our next destination.
The food served on a cruise ship rarely has anything to do with where you are sailing to or where you just visited. It's generally just good, basic international cuisine...and nothing to get the American out of his or her comfort zone. Here, after adding a shrimp to give my steak a Florida, I had a nice red-meat USA on my plate.
Cruising keeps you on your traveler's toes. Each morning over breakfast, I'd review that day's port chapter in my new Northern European Cruise Ports guidebook. I love this new book as much as our Rick Steves' Mediterranean Cruise Ports guidebook. My staff did a wonderful job of putting it together, and refining it as we cruise is a joy. I know that in coming years, tens of thousands of cruisers will get the most out of each day in each port thanks to this new guidebook.