Your food is included in your cruise fare, other then some of the alternative dining venues.The dining options that you pay for should be on the website for your cruise. Your liqour and sft drinks are not included, and your tab will include an automatic gratuity.
What ship are you sailing?
Trip, with her book & tea!
Chat Hostess & Board Moderator
There are some cruise lines (luxury brand) where all food and beverage and even gratuities are included in the cost of your cruise ticket.
On all of the the contemporary mass market cruise lines it is possible to eat in only the food outlets that are included in the cost of your cruise. But most also OFFER the choice of at least a couple options where there is an extra charge if you choose to dine there.
It's also "possible" to drink only free drinks onboard, such as tap water, iced tea, their regular coffee, some juices, etc. BUT.. again, if you choose there are other beverages available at an extra cost.
If you choose to consume those beverages, there is also a gratuity added to the cost of those drinks.
The cruise lines do their best to get you to spend extra on board; they offer several "packages" that cost extra, including soda packages, drink packages, and even alternate dining packages. But, those are all optional.
You better contact your travel agent for the complete information. But in most cases, everyday meals like breakfast, lunch and dinner are free. But additional cost will apply for special beverage and alcohols. I heard some ships offer unlimited sodas. So contact them for more reliable information.
On a typical cruise you can certainly pig-out without spending any extra money.
Carnival Liberty New Year's Eve 2007
Liberty of the Seas 5/2008+11/2009
Allure 1/16/ 2011
As Shannon said, contact your agent and they can provide all the specific information concerning your specific cruise because it's possible your cruise is different than others.
As was pointed out, mass market cruise lines are pretty much all the same, but they are variances when it comes to luxury cruise lines, river cruises, and specialty cruises.
__________________ 46 Cruises & Counting! Favorites: Paul Gauguin to Tahiti: Uniworld River Cruises in Europe; any of the Celebrity Solstice-class ships; Holland America for 12-nights in the Baltics & Russia; RCCL for 14-night Greek Isles, Turkey, & Croatia; Holland America for 14-day Alaska cruisetour; 10-night Canada/New England cruise; 21 days in Hawaii including a 7-night NCL cruise; Oceania for 25 days in Asia; & 3 months touring Europe by train. And many days spent in all-inclusive resorts!