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FOOD





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How often can I eat?

Cruise ships are deservedly famous for their food. Whether it's in the formal dining room, by the pool, or through room service, food is readily available 24 hours a day on almost all ships.

Round-the-clock room service is available on many ships. However, after-hours menus usually offer a limited selection of items such as sandwiches and beverages.

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Will the ship accommodate my special diet?

Most cruise lines have no problem accommodating special diets. You'll find "heart smart," vegetarian, and other diet options on their menus. The best way to ensure that your dietary requirements will be met is to inform your travel agent when you book, and double-check when your receive your cruise documents.

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What is the dining dress code?

This varies from line to line and cruise brochures usually explain dress requirements. Casual clothing, including shirt and shoes, are required at all meals.

The evening dress code may change from night to night. On a seven-night cruise, there are normally three casual, two informal, and two formal nights. In general, "casual" means slacks and no tie for the men and slacks or skirts for the women. "Informal" means sport coats for men and slacks or skirts for the women. "Formal" nights can be very dressy: dark suits or tuxedos for men, cocktail or evening wear for women. Talk to your travel agent to make sure there won't be any uncomfortable surprises.

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Should I choose an early or late meal seating?

Late seating is good for those who like to sleep in and stay up late. Some people feel that the later seating is more leisurely, since you don't need to clear the dining room for the next group. Normally, families with children select the early seating, and some lines will try to discourage children at the late seating. If you want to get to the casino before the crowd, or if you enjoy taking a short nap after dinner, the early seating may be better. The same food is served at both times.

Open seating is often provided while the ship is in port. This means that you can choose any table at either the early or late seating, depending on your personal schedule that day.

Some of the smaller cruise ships and those in the luxury class provide only single seating. In these single sittings, you are still assigned a table, but you have a range of hours in which to arrive. Single seating is particularly attractive if you're on a cruise with many ports of call (for example, Europe) where shore excursions can return late. The broader dining hours allow you to make special arrangements without missing a meal.

Single seating does have a disadvantage in that your tablemates may arrive at odd times during your meal, disrupting the flow of service and conversation.

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Can I move to another table if I don't like the people I'm dining with?

If you are unhappy with your dining companions, speak with the maître d'. Explain that you are incompatible with your tablemates and would like a different table. He or she should be happy to discreetly accommodate a change if possible.

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|| CHOOSING A CRUISE ||
|| FOOD ||
|| PAYING FOR THINGS ||
|| ACTIVITIES AND ENTERTAINMENT ||
|| CHILDREN ||
|| PORTS OF CALL ||
|| SECURITY AND MEDICAL ||
|| TIPPING ||
|| CRUISE BOOK RESOURCES ||
|| INTRODUCTION ||



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