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Win a cruise aboard the MSC Magnifica

This month we're giving you the chance to win a Cruise Nation Smart Package for two aboard the spectacular MSC Magnifica in a balcony cabin. Simply enter your details below for a chance to win!

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WE HOPE YOU’VE GOT A GOOD APPETITE, BECAUSE YOU’RE IN FOR A TREAT OR TWO ON A CRUISE HOLIDAY!

One of the best things about going on a cruise is the wide selection of food and drinks you’ll have to choose from. Whether you’re interested in a stupendous five course meal or you have a hankering for good old fashioned burger and fries, there are several dining venues on every ship that you can choose from to satisfy your hunger cravings.

Below we’ve compiled a few frequently asked questions when it comes to drinks and dining on cruise holiday which you may find useful...

Is food included on a cruise holiday?

Typically, the majority of onboard dining options on a cruise ship are included in the price of your holiday. There are a few exceptions; normally there is a cover charge for smaller, speciality restaurants onboard. This can range from $15pp to $75pp. However, it’s important to know that dining at these restaurants is optional. You can quite happily go your entire cruise dining at the complimentary venues.

Is tea and coffee included on the cruise ships?

Each cruise ship is different. Some cruise ships like Cunard have self-serve tea and coffee stations where you can help yourself. However as a general rule, you’ll find that most cafes and coffee bars onboard are extra.

Do I need to book a table in the restaurants?

For most cruise lines, you need only book tables if you want to dine in one of the speciality restaurants that you need to pay a cover charge for.

Are soft drinks included in my cruise?

This is completely dependent on the cruise line that you book with. Speaking for the majority, soft drinks are not included so we’d advise opting for a basic drinks package. Carnival cruises for example offers a Bottomless Bubbles package which includes all soda and juices throughout your cruise for $6 per adult per day and $4.50 per child per day.

How much can I expect to pay for a drinks package?

Cruise lines often have different tiers of drinks packages, some have a soft drinks package which is around $10 per person per day, the next tier up would include alchoholic drinks which is around $25 per person per day and then a tier up again would include premium drinks labels such as Absolut Vodka at approx $55 per person per day.

What are the typical food and drink types I’ll find on a cruise?

When it comes to dining cruise ships tend to have at least one formal option and one casual option. The casual options tend to include popular favourites such as pasta, pizza, soups, salads and grilled options. The more formal options include signature dishes that you could find in any fine dining restaurant. Many cruises also offer a 24hour room service option. In terms of drinks, you’ll find everything from soft drinks to cocktails, beer, wine and premium label spirits.

Can I bring food and drink onboard?

Some cruise lines will not allow you to bring any liquids onboard whilst others have an allowance per person. When it comes to food you are not able to bring homemade items onboard, however you may be able to bring unopened, pre-packaged goods. Many of the reasons behind this are due to customs legislation and to prevent contamination.