Specialty Restaurants on Cruises: Are They Worth It?


I returned from a one week Caribbean cruise recently.  In the elevator during the early part of the trip, I overhead two middle-aged ladies chatting about dining on board.  The gist of the conversation was about the alternative restaurant options on board.  One comment that struck me was “You should not have to pay for your meals on a ship”.   But thinking about this conversation, it became apparent that the comment was not really correct.  You don’t HAVE to pay for dining on any ship as each cruise line offers included dining in the main dining rooms, buffets and snack venues. On the other hand, optional restaurants have limited seating, upgraded menus and more interesting venues.  The cost, usually presented as a “cover charge”, runs from about $10 to $25.   If you are celebrating a special event while on board or just want an excellent dining experience once or twice while cruising, then consider alternative dining for just what it is “alternative and optional”.  Or you can blissfully dine 3 to 6 times per day at the free restaurants.  But if you have not sampled an alternative restaurant, be careful, you might get hooked!  It must be a popular feature because the cruise lines that used to offer only “traditional” first and second seating dining are adding flexible dining options as well as more extensive alternative restaurants to new and existing ships.  I’d love to hear your take on this and your experience one way or the other.  Please call me: 203-221-3171, 888-499-7245, egreenwald@cruiseplanners.com, www.BestCruisesAndTravelNow.com


About evagreenwald

I co-own Best Cruises and Travel Now, a full service, home-based travel agency. Our customers save a lot of time, a lot of money, a lot of aggravation from travel mistakes, while we give them expert, personalized travel advice and excellent customer service. Since we are affiliated with Cruise Planners/American Express, our clients can pay for part or all of their trip using their American Express Reward points! We specialize in specialty and theme cruises and trips, honeymoons and destination weddings, corporate travel and sales incentive trips, family and school reunions and friends getaways. We will exceed your expectations!
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