You Don't Have To Pay For Food On A Cruise, But There Are Exceptions

There's practically no way to go hungry on a cruise. From buffets to fancy dinners and late-night snacks, the biggest problem you'll have is choosing what to eat. 

Although most of the meals come included with the ticket price, premium experiences and alcoholic beverages will have you shelling out extra cash. You definitely won't be starving if you stick to the freebies, because they include three meals a day in both buffet and dining room formats. However, some cruise ship eateries are world-renowned, so you might think twice about missing out.

Carnival cruises provide a reliable example of the type of restaurants that cost extra. Depending on the ship, you can opt to pay more for seafood shacks, steakhouses, and even a Guy Fieri-owned establishment called Guy's Pig and Anchor Smokehouse. When it comes to sit-down restaurants that aren't included in the ticket price, some require you to pay per item while others charge an overall rate. 

Other ocean liners also come with celebrity-owned restaurants — Guy's Burger Joint and Shaq's Big Chicken are available for free.  Every ship in the Carnival line includes a free pizza parlor, which stays open 24 hours for late-night munchies. 

Not surprisingly, with so many free offerings and thousands of passengers, cruise ships are required to carry a lot of food. Read on if you'd like to get a glimpse into the sheer size of this undertaking.

The largest cruise ship spends a million weekly on food

To make sure every passenger is properly accommodated, cruise ships are loaded with plenty of food. Part of the Royal Caribbean line, Symphony of the Seas has been crowned the largest cruise ship in the world, with 14 restaurants and 350 potential food combinations on cruise ship buffets (via Cruise Fever). Notably, the haul includes 9,700 pounds of chicken, 20,000 pounds of potatoes, 5,000 pounds of french fries, and 12,000 pounds of flour tortillas.

In order to stock this massive ship with food, Royal Caribbean must rake out around a million dollars every week. If each cabin is fully booked, this amounts to about $122 per person. 

Alcohol is a completely different beast; per, a weeklong cruise sees on average 62,000 drinks served. It's a known statistic that consumers throw back more alcohol while on a cruise than in daily life. To be exact, vacationers drink eight times more, as each passenger downs almost five drinks per day and 33 per week. Unfortunately, this is one of the things that's not included in the price.