When the ship is docked, do you have a meal in the port of call? Or return to the ship and eat all meals exclusively on board?
It depends on the port - but we usually try to have lunch in whatever port we happen to be in, unless we just happen to be on the ship when we're hungry. We think it helps us get to know a port a little better when we eat there. Never dinner though.
Land Cruise, Britain and Belgium
Now posting as MichelleP.
When we're in St. Thomas and don't want to shop (yes that happens) we go to the Greenhouse. We get a couple nice chicken salads and a some Coronas, sit up high and watch the ships in the harbour and the people strolling by. Probably be there in three weeks.
Happily eat in port, especially if it's an interesting city. Had an outstanding lunch in Quebec City last fall, and of course Med cruises are a foodie's delight. Alaska can offer wonderful eating finds as well. In Hawaii, we found we were so far from the ship in our rental cars that going back made no sense.
In many Caribbean ports it makes sense to eat on board. The good restaurants in places like Grand Cayman are far from the port, so you'd need a car.
Eating off the ship makes for some welcome variety, especially on long runs.
Hubby's rule of thumb: Don't pay for a meal when you can get one that's already paid for. In Jan. we had 2 excursions that got us back too late for lunch in the dining room. Anticipating that, we brought cheese crackers and water along with us (brought to ship from home) to tide us over and snacked at the Windjammer afterward. At Margaritaville in Ocho Rios we splurged and bought margaritas. In Cozumel we had complimentary margaritas on our tour.
I ate all my meals aboard ship--except at Grand Cayman. The La Nina tour served fruit, vegetables, cheese, and bagels. That's the only food I had off ship. My wife, on the other hand, took a big chance in Cozumel. She and her sister took lunch in a little cantina, finishing off two bowls of local salsa. They came back to the ship full of trepidations about what they had eaten, after realizing the tomatoes, cilantro, onions, etc. were home grown and kitchen washed. Fortunately, they were okay.
I may dwell on the land, but I live at sea!
Sensation 2/03 I disembarked, but never really left the ship.
Sensation 04/05 The vessel made me do it!
Summit 03/06 to Hawaii, Where God left his fingerprints, in memory of Margaret.
Carnival Freedom (March 08)
\X\Mercury (January 09)
On our last cruise, we ALWAYS returned to the ship for lunch. They always kept restaurants open for late tours returning, too. Food was so good, we didn't want to eat ashore. Only thing eaten ashore was Key Lime pie in Key West.
99% of the time on the ship. I'm too paranoid to eat in port.
Mary Lou Scanlon
NCL Pride of America April 24, 2010
NCL Epic February 12, 2011
RCCL Allure of the Seas - September 18, 2011
Celebrity Eclipse - February 11, 2012:
RCCL Navigator OTS - February 9, 2013
We almost always eat ashore. We KNOW what's going to be in the buffet line (Ho-Hum) but we DON'T know what we're going to find in a local spot.
I don't blame anyone who doesn't want to fork out the extra bucks for an ashore fork (knife and spoon), but we're foodies. AND we're "porties" -- wanting to get every last ounce of time and experience in port.
Like most of you, we take as many meals on the ship as we can (already paid for, so why not?).
After I met my husband (working on a ship), but before he got off the ship and we got married (he was on for two years after we met) he would take me to a beach on Cozumel, San Fransisco Beach, and we would eat there. There was also a small restaurant close to Playa del Carmen (I think) that we would eat. They would go out at certain times and catch fish, and they would cook them for us. I am not a fan of fish, but this was so delicious! First time I ever had the whole thing served to me (head and all)!
Also at Playa they (my husband and his band members) would get the ingredients from the same restaurant owner and make fish head soup (Filipino dish, I guess). I never did try it.
My husband and I typically eat in port on Carribean cruises and try to eat on the ship when in Mexico. I've been to Acapulco with a girlfriend where she got sick and it was not a pretty sight. Last time we were on a cruise in Mazatlan we went horseback riding on the beach and ended up at a beach bar. The tour guide assured us the food was fine so we indulged in shrimp and Coronas with no problems.
since i have lost close to 60lbs anticipating being on my first cruise, i am looking forward to pretty much " GRAZZING" any time the feeling suites me. one of the best things about being on vacation is just relaxing, taking in the sites and "filling-up" with all the great food they have to offer in the ports. so lets go for the gusto and eat, eat, eat.