Choices to Make Your Mouth Water
By P.J. Thomas
Norwegian Cruise Line revolutionized the dining experience with its concept of Freestyle Cruising that allows diners to eat anytime they want in relaxed attire.
Norwegian also expanded its restaurant choices on all ships and now includes everything from tapas to teppanyaki, and selections range from as many as nine dining options that are included in your cruise fare. Several other food options are available for an additional fee.
The concept of Freestyle Dining offers passengers on Norwegian ships:
More than 20 dining options.
- Open seating and extended hours in the main restaurants that allow guests to dine when they want, where they want and with whom they want.
- The choice to dine in any of the main restaurants any time from 5:30 p.m. to midnight with seating until 10 p.m
- The option to choose their dinner companions, and request tables of any size from two to 10 each evening rather than being assigned to a specific table for the length of the cruise.
- Meals cooked to order.
- The ability to linger over dinner or dessert without feeling rushed.
- A Restaurant Reservation and Table Management system featured on the newest ships, as well as flat-screen televisions placed in key, high-traffic areas around the ship, that show each restaurant’s current availability. Indicator bars reflect when each restaurant is “full,” “short wait,” “filling up,” or “empty.”
Screens also show an estimated wait time in each restaurant. If a restaurant is full and guests would like to wait for an opening, the hostess will quote a wait time and issue a pager that works all over the ship. This allows passengers to sit down in a bar, enjoy a pre-dinner cocktail, and listen to one of the ship’s many entertainers until their table is ready.
Meanwhile, children three-years old and younger always eat for free. In the specialty restaurants, children 4-to-12 can choose from a complimentary Kids’ Menu or the restaurant’s Specialty Kids’ Menu which has a reduced cover charge.
Dinner prices are varied, but range from $15 at Sushi restaurants to $25 at the Cagney Steakhouse.