Many avid cruisers will tell you that dressing up for dinner is one of the key highlights of the cruising experience. Yet, there are many out there that prefer to take a more low-key approach to dining on holiday and are happy to enjoy a relaxed buffet style atmosphere when sailing the seven seas!
I recently had the opportunity to cruise onboard the Marella Dream, the lovely ship that has just been announced to be sailing from Limassol, Cyprus at the end of 2019! There are 2 buffet restaurants onboard this vessel, making way for plenty of casual dining.
The main casual restaurant, The Lido Buffet located on deck 9 is open for the following meals; breakfast: 6:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.; lunch: 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.; dinner: 6:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. and late-night: 11:30 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. This restaurant is frequented by most for breakfast as a quick option, especially if you are on a time frame for disembarking to join a tour ashore! There is everything you can imagine, available for breakfast, from the traditional English breakfast with sausage, bacon, baked beans, hash browns and many egg choices, through to the healthier cereals, yogurts, fruit and omelettes and even a pancake station.
Lunch is an array of salad choices, hot dishes catering for meat lovers with the daily carvery and other hot dishes that change daily, such as chicken curry, shepherds’ pie and even a delicious steak and kidney pie! There are also of course plenty of vegetarian dishes available such as quiches or spinach tarts alike and 2 soups for both lunch and dinner. This is also an ideal option when travelling with children, as they offer burgers, hotdogs and pizza, as well as sandwiches made to order and an ice cream corner!
Dinner brings three further appetisers, two soups and a couple of salad choices before mains, which are likely to include fish, pasta, poultry, beef and vegetarian options.
Desserts are abundant as well, including everything from crème caramel and warm apple crumble to sugar free mango mousse.
There’s plenty of seating in the Lido, as well as outside dining around the pool area, if you wish to soak up a bit of sun at the same time!
Also available with every meal, is gluten free bread. (see Linda’s blog on gluten free options onboard the Marella Dream for more detail!)
Two decks up on deck 11, is home to a similar buffet restaurant, Sirens. This is ideal if you prefer to be away from the crowds, especially if you’re still waking up at breakfast! The meals served are virtually identical to the Lido restaurant, but in a quieter atmosphere. Afternoon tea is also served here from 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m, with a sumptuous spread of sandwiches, cakes, muffins, biscuits, scones with cream and even cheese & biscuits for a lighter snack. Once again Marella offer outstanding afternoon tea options for Gluten free passengers, so don’t be deterred if you are one of these people.
If you are planning to spend the day onboard ship by the pool, there is also the Terrace Grill
which offers a lunch snack buffet with salads, pizza and burgers, whilst you bask on a sun lounger and listen to the 5-piece band!
There is literally something for everyone in the two Marella Dream buffet restaurants, both offering the most relaxed dining experience and no need to get dressed up for the occasion!
Written by Zoe Vasilaki