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CruiseCompete Currents
Cruise News and Information
January 21, 2018

Children’s Restaurants at Sea and the Cruise Lines
That Created the Magical Themes

The Ritz-Carlton is Taking its Legendary Service
and Unmatched Luxury to Sea

Get On The List! Virgin Voyages is Offering
A Pre-Booking Opportunity

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All Restaurants at Sea      image 

Children’s Restaurants at Sea and the Cruise Lines That Created the Magical Themes  

One of the perks of being on vacation is dining out, so when planning a family cruise, it’s important to do some research on which lines cater best to the family dining experience. Whether you want to dine with underwater décor, attend a formal tea party, or simply finish a meal quietly as the children are entertained, these cruise lines each have something unique to offer.

Below, are CruiseCompete’s picks for the top 4 cruise lines for children’s dining:

1. Cunard Line
Cunard Line offers children’s tea parties (parental supervision required) that take place at the following locations and approximate times:
Queen Mary 2 – Chef’s Galley 4:45 to 5:30 p.m. daily

Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth – If there is a considerable number of under 10-year-olds, a children's tea buffet is held in the Lido from 5:00 to 5:45 p.m. daily. If there are only a few children on board, a formal set-up is not offered. However, the food is always available in the Lido.

2. Disney Cruise Line
With the all the main dining rooms featuring a different theme based on Disney’s favorite characters and movies, the dining experience is just as important as the food for kids onboard a Disney Cruise. Disney offers children’s menus in their main dining rooms, and you’ll find Mickey-shaped waffles for breakfast, and kid’s favorites like pizza, chicken, burgers and fun dessert options in the casual dining areas. With Disney’s Rotational Dining, you can experience each of the three themed restaurants on board, rotating to a new venue each night.
Some of the dining themes onboard include:

  • The Royal Court Dining Room aboard the Disney Fantasy and The Royal Palace aboard the Disney Dream are modeled after Disney Princess favorites like Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty and Beauty and the Beast. All around the space you’ll find touches that incorporate these movies.
  • Enchanted Garden Dining Room aboard the Disney Fantasy and Disney Dream offers a magical French Conservatory theme with glass flower lights and a fountain featuring a stone cherub Mickey. The ceiling changes from daytime to sun set, and finally a nighttime complete with stars. The flower lights bloom, wall sconces turn into folding fans and more magical touches provide entertainment.
  • Tritons’s aboard the Disney Wonder is based on The Little Mermaid with Ariel statues and underwater décor.
  • Carioca aboard the Disney Magic is named after Disney's classic film The Three Caballeros. Carioca’s boasts a Brazilian theme of hanging festival lanterns and marketplace baskets, wavy floor patterns that recall the breezy beach sidewalks of Copacabana, and colorful facades reminiscent of South American architecture.
  • Lumiere’s aboard the Disney Magic is based on Beauty and the Beast.

3. Norwegian Cruise Line
With Norwegian’s Freestyle Dining, families can eat where they want, when they want. Plus, kids age 3 and under always eat for free, and kids 4-12 can order from the complimentary kids’ menu at most specialty restaurants.

4. Royal Caribbean International
What makes Royal Caribbean stand out for families is My Family Time Dining. When you opt for My Family Time Dining, within 40 minutes of seating in the dining room your children will have their meal. They can then join the Adventure Ocean children’s program to have fun in numerous activities, leaving you to enjoy finishing your meal.
My Family Time Dining is offered for the first seating time in our main dining room, for children ages three to 11. Kids enjoy their meal within 40 minutes of seating, before heading to the evening's Adventure Ocean activities. The program starts the second evening you're onboard.

For a list of all the cruise line restaurants, and what they offer, click here.  

It’s important to know what is included on your cruise vacation. This chart details everything from bottled waters, to specialty coffees, to Wi-Fi and shore excursions included in your cruise fare. See the all-inclusive amenities chart here. 



About Ritz-Carlton Yachts     


The Ritz-Carlton is taking its legendary service and unmatched luxury to sea. Beginning in 2019, The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection will offer bespoke cruises on the first of three lavishly built yachts.

Each custom-built yacht offers an intimate journey with space for only 298 guests. Accommodations feature 149 suites, each with its own terrace, including two luxurious penthouse suites. As with The Ritz-Carlton on land, cruises feature:

Thoughtfully designed, modern interiors
Destination-based activities with local chefs, artists and musicians
Luxury amenities including The Ritz-Carlton Spa
Elevated dining including a restaurant from Sven Elverfeld of Aqua, the three Michelin-starred restaurant at The Ritz-Carlton, Wolfsburg, and Panorama Lounge
Most voyages range from 7 to 12 nights and include intimate and signature destinations alike with many overnight calls. The first yacht sets sail in 2019; reservations open May 2018.

If you would like to be alerted as soon as reservations open for the new ships, please email

Get on the list!  


The first Virgin Voyages cruise will accommodate 2,700 passengers when it finally sets sail in 2020- and the company has announced that the ship’s first “experience” will have an “Adult by Design” theme. No one under the age of 18 will be allowed on board.

A $500 deposit puts you on the list for Virgin's pre-sale. That means when pre-sale begins, you’ll be among the first to secure a cabin. 

Please email to be put on the list.


Sea Tales 2018 Family Cruise Travel Planner   image

The Sea Tales 2018 Family Cruise Travel Planner is Here! Our comprehensive guide to family cruising details every aspect of the family cruise vacation experience. Readers will find the 2018 edition has updated information and new sections that cover family suites and children’s dining, as well as details about the popular onboard cruise line characters from children’s books and movies.


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Shore Excursions           image 

The Top 4 Reasons to Book Your Excursions Before You Sail

CruiseCompete has made dreaming about and planning travel experiences easier, offering online tools to book land tour activities or shore excursions at substantially discounted rates prior to arriving at a selected destination. Experiences such as yacht racing in Antigua, a 4x4 Jeep Safari ride, ocean treasure hunting in Aruba, or private scuba lessons in the Bahamas are bookable online. These are just a few of the many exciting adventures to choose from, whether vacationing on land or at sea.

In addition to the excitement of dreaming and planning, there are also some very practical reasons to plan land tour activities and shore excursions before arrival at a destination:

1. Time is valuable. Booking ahead allows avoidance of standing in long lines at ship or hotel’s concierge to book land activities or shore excursions.

2. Land tours and shore excursions sell out, thus travelers miss out.

3. Looking at all possible options in advance allows you to weigh your options more fully. Cruise Compete links you to tour providers on every continent, in almost every county, and in many cities and destinations.

4. CruiseCompete’s excursion provider gives access to higher quality excursions at substantially lower prices.

How to: 

Staying on land?  Visit CruiseCompete’s Land Tour Activity Offers.

Traveling via cruise ship? Visit CruiseCompete’s Shore Excursions Offers

  • Click on the name of the ship and destination to find available shore excursions, or call 1-866-578-7508 or +1-954-449-6309 for expert advice to help select the best excursions for you.)

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Photos by ©Dennis Cox/WorldViews, iStock, R. Levinstein, Jackie Sheckler Finch


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