Cruise ship dining has changed considerably in the last 10 years. Passengers have so many wonderful options when it comes to the dining venues and gastronomy available onboard: French, Italian, Asian, Brazilian, steakhouses, sushi bars and seafood restaurants are all represented. Conversely, with the addition of all these great choices which by the way, require a dining surcharge, many guests have returned from their cruise saying that the food served in the main dining rooms at no additional charge is not what it should be!
Whether or not this was a “hot topic” on Norwegian Cruise Line’s post cruise guest satisfaction surveys, guests sailing with NCL this summer and beyond can look forward to more choices in their ship’s complimentary dining venues. New regionally focused dinner menus will debut, meaning choices will vary by ship itinerary and will change each evening of the sailing. Popular traditional dishes (think prime rib or rack of lamb) will share the menu with current dining trends and exciting new dishes ( care to try mojito shrimp ceviche?). There will also be more seafood options available such as grouper, barramundi, sushi and crab dishes. In addition, the menus will include a wine pairing recommendation and anecdotal culinary history.
For cruising foodies there’s even more to get excited over! Norwegian Cruise Line will host a “Chocoholic Night” one evening per cruise, featuring specialty chocolate-based desserts in each restaurant! Just reading about some of the new offerings has my mouth watering and stomach growling! Guests can indulge on warm chocolate lava cake, rich chocolate Nutella pot de crème or scrumptious white chocolate strawberry mousse…how divine!
Another enhancement sure to be well received is the ability Norwegian Cruise Line guests will have to make reservations for complimentary dining rooms up to 90 days prior to the cruise date. Long wait times at these dining venues are a complaint that we as travel agents have been hearing quite a bit of lately. In keeping with the Freestyle philosophy, guests now have a choice. They can make a reservation a 5:30 pm, 6:30 pm, 7:30 pm or 8:30 pm or just show up whenever.
These changes will be available on most of Norwegian’s fleet by July 31, and onboard the Jade, Spirit, Sky and Pride of America by early 2015.