"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."
– George Bernard Shaw
Ol' George really had my number, and it's a sentiment I fully explored on my latest sojourn aboard the Carnival Spirit.
Of course, I didn't go into this 48-hour stint from Brisbane to Sydney with the intention of eating all the foods, but somewhere between Carnival's famous melting chocolate cake and the final plate of a seven-course degustation, I had fully given in to temptation. But, when staring down approximately 20 different eating and drinking venues, who can blame me?
All that's left now is to learn from the experience, which is why I've put together a food strategy for those of you planning to cruise. So break out those stretchy pants and let's get started.
Leave The Diet At The Door
Once you board the ship you're going to be tempted by a full array of things to eat and drink. Ranging from burger bars and burritos to top wines and custom made cocktails, Carnival Spirit showcases casual and fine dining from around the globe.
That's not to say healthy food isn't an option while on board. Quite the opposite, in fact. It's all about quality fare prepared by expert chefs. It doesn't matter if you'd prefer fruit and yoghurt to start the day or a breakfast burrito from the BlueIguana Cantina, options to suit all diets are available. Just make sure you do indulge a little bit. After all, it wouldn't be a holiday without a little excess, would it?
Plan Your Meals Ahead Of Time
The sheer variety of food available on board can be overwhelming if you're not prepared. I mean, the Lido Deck Restaurant features 10 different food stations in itself – a daunting prospect for the indecisive eater. The good news is that you can try a little bit of all of it, but more on that coming up.
It's worth doing a once over to take it all in. Get to know the lay of the ship and the options available. Then, take a moment each day to think about what you're in the mood for. A little extra planning can help ensure you make the time to try everything (and you're going to want to try everything).
Can't decide if you'd rather go to Guy's Burger Joint or get a pizza with your favourite toppings? Food plan to the rescue! The pizza bar is open 24 hours, so grab a burger for lunch and save the pizza for a late night snack after dancing a few calories off at the nightclub.
Try A little Bit Of Everything
One of the biggest benefits of a cruise is that you don't need to worry about toting your wallet around to pay for meals. It's all inclusive. You can try it all without worrying about having enough cash on hand. So, if you really can't decide between that burger or that pizza, you could get one of each and then doze it off in one of the poolside loungers on the Sun Deck.
Graze on small meals all day, or fill up your plate at breakfast, lunch and dinner. Just make sure you try a little bit of everything. There's nothing standing in your way.
Don't Forget The Drinks
It's easy to focus on the food when you're deciding between the fine dining at Nourveau Restaurant or a VIP experience at the Chef's Table degustation, but don't overlook the different pubs, bars and clubs onboard. There are 14 different lounges and bars to choose from, all of which offer a distinctly different experience.
From relaxing over cocktails at the Piano Bar to grabbing a beer and singing along to your favourite songs at the Caribbean-themed RedFrog Pub, the watering holes are all part of the fun. My recommendation is to start at the Alchemy Bar, where you can put in your 'prescription' for a custom made cocktail that is certain to be just what the doctor ordered.
Just as appealing as eating and drinking to your heart's content, you'll definitely want to take full advantage of all the onboard amenities and activities. As an extra bonus, it's a great way to offset any extra calorie intake.
With no less than three pools, the Green Thunder Waterslide, mini golf, sports courts, children's clubs, jogging track, two-deck fitness centre, casino, shopping boulevard, disco, poolside cinema and 45 different activities planned each day, it couldn't be easier to keep active while you're onboard. Like the food, trying a little bit of everything is a sure fire way to ensure lasting holiday memories.