Cruise lines are increasingly upping the ante when it comes to incorporating culinary trends into their onboard food and beverage offerings. In an industry that began primarily with structured, scheduled, formal meals, the players in the cruise industry are innovating the guest experience by offering such options as design-your-own cupcakes, dining with chefs (whether celebrity or ordinary flesh-and-blood), Indonesian tea time, sustainable cuisine, and of course, low-calorie healthy options, according to this Cruise Industry News article.
The operative words seem to be “creative” and “choices.” Oasis of the Seas, for example, offers 24 food and beverage outlets for their up to 5,400 passengers per sailing to eat. Cruise lines are also increasingly replacing assigned meals with open-seating dinner options.
What is interesting about the culinary trends in the cruise industry is that they are trends that have been blossoming on dry land for years and are now being taken to sea. With guests having a tremendous repertoire of possible restaurant experiences at home, they seek the same variety of options wherever else they venture. Similar to how hotel guests refuse to forego such lifestyle comforts as plush bedding, salon-quality amenities, and flat-screen TVs, cruises guests refuse to forego the same quality and variety of food that they are accustomed to at home.
So the savvy guest can have their cupcake…and eat it too, along with anything else they might want. The point being that they have a say in the experience they create onboard along with the cruise operator, further customizing the guest experience to suit the individual, not one-size-fits-all.