A big part of the cruise was the fact that almost all of the food offerings were free and unlimited. It was mostly served buffet-style, so you could go up and plate your own food, or staff would give you a plate for you.
For example, my partner indulged heavily in an unlimited burger bar – you go to the counter, and you’re handed an open bun containing a smash burger with cheese, and a handful of fries. You then head over to a counter where you can load up your burger with as much salad, toppings, and sauces as you like. And once you’ve eaten it, you’re free (and not judged) for going back and getting another one straight away.
This setup led to my discovery of breakfast burritos. I only recently came across burritos, as they’ve previously been limited on what they offer for non-meat eaters. But since being introduced to them, I’m hooked. And the cruise offered them to me, for free. After I discovered that they provided burritos stuffed with scrambled eggs, cheese and salad on the first day, it made up my breakfast for the rest of the week. You simply asked for what you wanted, then you could turn around and top up at the salsa bar.
Usually, I’d balk at the idea of such an open plan, unhygienic buffet. However, everyone was very respectful – there were staff hovering around, ready to clean up messes and spills and replace serving spoons, and nobody messed around with the food that was available. Overall, I was able to get past the shared food thing and I enjoyed it for what it was.
There was also a restaurant on the ship, but we only attended once. It was also free, which was bizarre. If you, for instance, ate a starter and enjoyed it, you could simply ask for another one – and once you were done, you could just stand up and leave. However, we only went once since I wasn’t a fan of waiting for the food, and the actual taste and quality of the restaurant food didn’t seem to be any better than that served in the buffet. The only difference was that the food was brought to your table, but as my partner and I are still a little picky, being unable to choose how much of everything we had was a disadvantage to us.
Another of my favourite food options was the pizza bar. It was manned by a disconcertingly smiley man, who gleefully asked us what we wanted, and would present a freshly-baked pizza to us a few minutes later for free. And it was available 24/7, so should we get a craving at 4am, there someone would be, ready to make a pizza for us. As we were sharing, we even got a heart-shaped pizza made!
Overall, food was one of the best things about the trip, and it was great knowing that no matter what, I could get on board and eat to my heart’s content if I needed to – one of the perks of cruising, I suppose.