Cruises have become a popular vacation choice for many travellers, offering a unique blend of relaxation, adventure, and entertainment. However, one common question that often arises when planning a cruise is, "Is food included in the price of a cruise?" In this blog post, we'll explore this question and shed light on what you can expect when it comes to dining on a cruise ship.

The Cruise Fare: What's Included?

When you book a cruise, the cruise fare typically covers several essential components of your vacation experience. These often include:


Your cruise fare includes a comfortable stateroom or cabin, depending on the type of cabin you choose. The quality and size of your accommodation will vary based on the cruise line and cabin category, with suites usually offering more luxurious amenities and space.

Onboard Entertainment

Most cruise lines offer a variety of onboard entertainment options, such as live shows, movies, fitness facilities, pools, and recreational activities. These are generally included in the cruise fare, so you can enjoy them without any additional charges.

Port Visits

Your cruise itinerary will include stops at various ports of call, allowing you to explore different destinations. These port visits are part of the cruise package, although any excursions you choose to participate in at each port may incur extra charges.

Some Dining

Most cruises include access to a range of dining options. These typically consist of a main dining room, buffet-style restaurant, and casual eateries like pizzerias or burger joints. These dining venues are often included in your cruise fare, and you can enjoy a variety of cuisines throughout your journey.

The Dining Experience: What's Not Included?

While your cruise fare covers basic dining, there are additional dining experiences and services that may come with extra charges. These can include:

Specialty Restaurants

Many cruise ships feature specialty restaurants that offer a more intimate and upscale dining experience. These venues typically serve gourmet cuisine and require reservations. While some cruise lines include a limited number of visits to specialty restaurants in your cruise fare, others charge a per-person fee for each meal at these venues.

Room Service

While many cruise lines offer complimentary room service for basic meals, some may charge a fee for certain menu items or for ordering at specific times. At the very least you can expect to tip for room service, roughly $1 per plate.


Cruise lines often charge separately for alcoholic beverages, soft drinks, and specialty coffees. Some cruise lines offer beverage packages that allow you to prepay for unlimited drinks during your cruise, which can be cost-effective if you plan to indulge in these offerings.

Gratuities and tips

It's customary to tip your dining and housekeeping staff at the end of your cruise. While some cruise lines automatically add gratuities to your onboard account, others may leave it to your discretion. Make sure to budget for gratuities as they are not typically included in the cruise fare.

Conclusion: The Value of a Cruise

In summary, the answer to the question, "Is food included in the price of a cruise?" is both yes and no. Basic dining options are usually included in your cruise fare, offering a variety of choices to suit your tastes. However, if you desire a more exclusive dining experience or plan to indulge in specialty beverages, you may incur additional charges.

Understanding what's included and what's not will help you budget for your cruise and make the most of your vacation experience. Ultimately, a cruise offers excellent value for money, as it combines accommodation, entertainment, and dining in one convenient package, allowing you to explore multiple destinations while enjoying a variety of culinary delights along the way. So, bon voyage and bon app├ętit!

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