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CruiseCompete Currents
Cruise News and Information
November 12, 2017

Onboard Dining & The Best in Children's Dining Programs

All About Holland America Line

CruiseCompete Agent’s Picks: Super Specials

 

 

Super Specials   image

Our agents have an ocean of Super Specials exclusively for our members. See today's hottest Super Cruise Specials.

The Caribbean is Open for Business!   image

The Caribbean is open for business, and your tourism dollars are helping rebuild the region. Visit CaribbeanIsOpen.com and CaribbeanTravelUpdate.com for the latest updates from the Caribbean islands.
 

Onboard Dining   image

A foodie's guide to cruise ship dining. Cruise lines offer many dining options included in your cruise fare. From casual to formal and many options in between cruisers are sure to find the perfect spot to eat on their cruise.
 

More about Children's Dining Options   image


The Top 4 Lines for Children’s Dining- My Family Time Dining, Tea Parties, and the Magic of Disney’s Themed Restaurants

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, CruiseCompete’s picks for the Top 4 lines for Children’s Dining:

Royal Caribbean International

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 the main dining room, for children ages three to 11. The program starts the second evening you’re onboard. After that, you can use it each evening or whenever you wish.

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 kids 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.

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.

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 - Chefs Galley 4:45pm to 5:30pm 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 5:00pm to 5:45pm 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.

Further details and menus are available on board.
 

Holiday Cruises   image

It's not too late to book a cruise for the holidays! There are many very interesting holiday cruises still available. Christmas Market cruises, in particular, are lovely during the holiday season. 
 

About Holland America Line   image


All About Holland America Line

Holland America Line (HAL) Cruise Specials
Holland America Line (HAL) Shore Excursions
Holland America Line (HAL) Reviews
Holland America Line (HAL) Deck Plans

Ships:
 

Best for:

Adults and families and multigenerational groups who want a classic cruise vacation with modern amenities on mid-size ships. For those who want a deluxe experience, the high-end HAL suites provide concierge service and other luxuries associated with more expensive cruise lines. HAL has a broad appeal and offers programs and activities for all ages, from high-tech computer sessions to conventional Vegas-style entertainment.

Atmosphere and experience onboard:

For many years, HAL has been named "Best Overall Cruise Value" by the World Ocean & Cruise Line. The award recognizes the line's ongoing Signature of Excellence ships – the ms Maasdam, ms Statendam, ms Ryndam, ms Veendam and ms Rotterdam.

The fleet's Signature Class vessels have cabins on the upper decks, spa staterooms with special amenities and healthy room-service menus and adults-only sundeck areas called The Retreat, which feature tented (for rent) cabanas equipped with fruit trays, bottled water, iPods and other goodies.

Though some ships– notably the ms Rotterdam and the ms Amsterdam -- are "fancier" than others, with high-end artwork and ornate decor, all ships now feature the Mariner Dream Bed and high-end linens, flat screen TVs and bathroom enhancements. The new bar concept, Mix, encompasses three specialty lounges serving champagne, martinis and spirits and ales. The new Showroom at Sea features Broadway entertainers and the new resort pool, the Retreat, has an upscale pizzeria and a giant LED screen for evening movies.

An increasingly popular feature on all HAL ships is the Culinary Arts Center, presented by Food & Wine Magazine, which has been described as a "world class show kitchen at sea." In 2014, the center's enrichment program included a roster of celebrity chefs, epicures and authors, including New York Times columnist Mark Bittman and Food Network "Next Iron Chef" competitor, Jehangir Mehta.

The atmosphere on a HAL cruise is livelier and somewhat more relaxed than in the past. Though still wedded to fixed meal times, lunch hours have been extended when the ships are in port and alternative dining venues now offer more choices.

 

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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 at: https://www.cruisecompete.com/land_tours.php

Traveling via cruise ship? Visit CruiseCompete’s Shore Excursions offers at: https://www.cruisecompete.com/shore_excursions/

  • 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

 



 
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