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Adm1Tom

Is There a Reluctance to Eat/Drink in Port?

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We're going on our first cruise next year and have been thinking, "my food and drinks are already paid for on the ship, should I pay more to eat/drink in port".  Obviously, if you're on a full day excursion, there may not be a choice. Any thoughts?

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1 minute ago, Adm1Tom said:

We're going on our first cruise next year and have been thinking, "my food and drinks are already paid for on the ship, should I pay more to eat/drink in port".  Obviously, if you're on a full day excursion, there may not be a choice. Any thoughts?

The only thing we drink in ports is bottled water unless we are on a shore excursion that offers food.

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It is going to depend on the port and country involved. Frequently we wish to try foods that a given city might be known for. We tend to only consume bottled or canned drinks in port.

 

Ship's excursions and private tour vendors are not going to put their rep at risk by poisoning their customers.

 

 

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If you are doing something interesting on shore, why traipse all the way back to the ship and kill an hour or so of your limited shore time just to save a few bucks for lunch somewhere perhaps in an interesting local establishment.  Seems a bit silly or worse to me but as they say, different strokes etc.    

 

DON

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I dont eat much during the day, so I dont usually buy food ashore, but I love going ashore, and finding a nice cafe/bar in the sun and having a few drinks watching life go by. 

Edited by davemorton

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It very much depends on the port and what we're doing that day. Full day excursions either include a meal, or at least a break when you can buy your own. We enjoy trying out new (to us) dishes that an area may be known for. However, if we are on a morning excursion that brings us back to the ship at lunchtime, we'll grab a bite on board and freshen up before heading out again in the afternoon.

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47 minutes ago, CruiserBruce said:

It is going to depend on the port and country involved. Frequently we wish to try foods that a given city might be known for. We tend to only consume bottled or canned drinks in port.

 

Ship's excursions and private tour vendors are not going to put their rep at risk by poisoning their customers.

 

 

 

37 minutes ago, davemorton said:

I dont eat much during the day, so I dont usually buy food ashore, but I love going ashore, and finding a nice cafe/bar in the sun and having a few drinks watching life go by. 

 

These two Posters reflect what I do as well.  On a ship sponsored shore excursion that includes food, I will consume whatever is offered with no qualms.  Like davemorton, I have come to really enjoy getting off the ship and finding a nice cafe/bar that may include local music and having a beverage or two that reflects where I am located.  A Rum Punch in a Caribbean port is a must; a Mai Tai in Hawaii is a must.

 

I had lunch in Juneau this July at a restaurant that overlooked the harbor and enjoyed the best halibut that I have ever eaten. 

 

For me, sightseeing is becoming less of a priority than it used to be and seeking enjoyable food/drink "adventures" ashore seems to be something that I prefer.

 

Shore excursion offerings often include interesting sounding culinary/beverage tours that might be of interest to the OP.

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We have eaten in over 40 different countries in the world!   All but a couple have been in local homes or small restaurants (Mom and Pop).  We used to try all kinds of food....yup, sometimes didn’t agree with us, but mostly it was exciting and fun!   We used to take a lot of land as well as cruises, before tourism got so bad in some places, so was easy to get away from the Port or Place we stayed at or drove through.  Now, as DH is not healthy, we have to watch where we eat, but still have fond memories and pictures of the unique people and places we met and ate at.   I always say, go for it, ..make memories and never say “ wish I would have, or could have...”   .   

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One of the reasons we travel - anywhere - is for the food.  I can't imagine a situation where we would go back to the ship for lunch.  And we get as far away from the tourists as we can.  We want their food 🙂  And we drink the local water.  The only time we were ever sick was when American made peanut butter that was salmonella-tainted hadn't been removed from the grocery shelf. (Ate some rat in Thailand.)

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Of course I eat and drink when I travel.

I want the experience of the local foods and beverages. Otherwise I could spend a week in my backyard pool and call in to Grubhub for my meals.

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We quite enjoy eating while in port - particularly wandering and finding a little place a bit off the tourist trail.  Also will look up eatery’s on Trip Advisor to enjoy something different than what we have at home.

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54 minutes ago, SbbquilterUT said:

We quite enjoy eating while in port - particularly wandering and finding a little place a bit off the tourist trail.  Also will look up eatery’s on Trip Advisor to enjoy something different than what we have at home.

I also use TripAdvisor when traveling internationally.  But honestly I google and get all manner of info.  'Course, sometimes you have to read between the lines 🙂  And NEVER follow yelp!

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8 hours ago, clo said:

And we drink the local water.  The only time we were ever sick was when American made peanut butter that was salmonella-tainted hadn't been removed from the grocery shelf. (Ate some rat in Thailand.)

 

You have been VERY lucky.  MANY nasty things you can get from local water.

 

I eat local food, but only drink bottled water (which is some locations can be suspect also), soda, beer or wine.  Never ice in a county where I will not drink the water.  

 

Sodas are highly acidic, so safe.  Beer is boiled to make it, then the yeast out compete most anything else that might get in.  Wine process eliminates virtually all pathogens.

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We have a tradition of a beer in every port (and hubby doesn't even really like beer), so we enjoy some time wandering around or take part in a shore excursion, then find a bar/cafe where we can have a lunch and a beer.  We've found some interesting places and met some wonderful people in our travels!

 

Smooth Sailing!  🙂🙂🙂

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7 hours ago, SRF said:

You have been VERY lucky.  MANY nasty things you can get from local water.

 

Well, I've made it to the tender age of 72 🙂  Actually I didn't drink the water in Cusco about 25 years ago.  It had particulate in it 🙂 

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We have no issues eating ashore....I mean, the little you might save by ONLY eating on the ship is off-set by the hassle.  And, sometimes you might want a change from ship's food.

 

As far as food safety ashore...most places are quite safe and sanitary....they don't want to kill the people who provide their livelihood!

 

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We don't go back to the ship just to eat.  We find some little place to eat, often one that is located in or connected to whatever site we're at.  

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On 9/21/2019 at 4:18 PM, clo said:

I can't imagine a situation where we would go back to the ship for lunch.

Our sentiments exactly! In fact, on a recent Danube cruise, in Vienna we opted out of the dinner aboard ship as we have a favorite restaurant in the historic center that serves fantastic schnitzel. 

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1 hour ago, dogs4fun said:

Our sentiments exactly! In fact, on a recent Danube cruise, in Vienna we opted out of the dinner aboard ship as we have a favorite restaurant in the historic center that serves fantastic schnitzel. 

I can certainly see doing that.  There are a number of restaurants around the world that would take precedence over the ship's good food.  When we embark in Rio we'll have our fave Saturday lunch of feijoada and then board the ship.  

 

feijoada 2014.JPG

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When we were much younger, we had no fear....we always ate and drank at most ports or during shore excursions.

Fast forward to our Golden Years and we are now very careful on what or where we eat or drink.  Getting sick from food or drinks outside of the ship is now something we consider and think about...it can ruin our vacation specially if we are on a lengthy cruise. 

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5 hours ago, bonsai3s said:

When we were much younger, we had no fear....we always ate and drank at most ports or during shore excursions.

Fast forward to our Golden Years and we are now very careful on what or where we eat or drink.  Getting sick from food or drinks outside of the ship is now something we consider and think about...it can ruin our vacation specially if we are on a lengthy cruise. 

So did you get sick back in the day?  We're in our 70s and having never been sick - well, except for that US peanut butter that was salmonella tainted - so we're good to go.  When you say "careful on what or where we eat or drink" please give me an example of what type of things/places where you won't eat.  I swear I'm not being judgmental but sincerely curious about what's okay and what's not.  And where.  Are there parts of the world where you're more concerned?   TIA.

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with more all inclusive cruises trips to ports are usually bottled water and local beer.  After a huge breakfast we are not hungry until evening meal. Our day trips have provided drinks fruit or some kind of packed lunch/lunch depending. The lobster tail on a catamaran was a let down though.

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Agree with many of the others with eating on shore and it is actually something we often look forward to.  We never do ship sponsored tours and often enjoy the local cuisine on the islands and places we visit as part of our time in port.  We have several favorites that we return to as well as seeking out new places to try on a number of the ports of call.

 

I realize this will be the OP's first cruise and certainly not criticizing their thinking.  We, too, in our early days of cruising looked that the cruising experience differently than now.  But our cruising style has evolved over the years and following and participating in most of the day to day ship sponsored activities and (as mentioned) shore excursions is something we avoid, preferring to just do our own thing at our own pace.  To us it's irrelevant that we paid for the meals in our cruse fare, etc., and missing a ship sponsored meal means little. 

 

Taking that a step further, we rarely eat in the MDR on board preferring the specialty restaurants for most of our dinners and as indicated often eat lunch off the ship in port. We frequently cruise with friends (many of which we have met on earlier cruises) and measure the value of our cruise fare paid in terms of who we are with, the places we visit, and the good time we have with them.  The fact that is is on board a ship visiting different ports of call just makes that experience that much better.

 

But enjoy your first cruise - I'm sure it will be a wonderful experience which you will repeat often.

Edited by leaveitallbehind

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On 9/22/2019 at 10:45 AM, clo said:

Well, I've made it to the tender age of 72 🙂  Actually I didn't drink the water in Cusco about 25 years ago.  It had particulate in it 🙂 

 

One person I know, stationed over seas, put a sealed bottle of water on his window sill, then left on leave for several weeks.

 

When he came home, he had a new aquarium, with plants, and swimming things.

 

If that is the bottled water, imagine what the tap water can be like. 🙂

 

In many countries, I don't even use the tap water to brush my teeth.

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