EATING is mandatory on a cruise, and the choices become more ambitious by the month.
Many ships are replacing the traditional buffet with more genteel presentations such as The Market, The Larder, The Lido, where the food is just as plentiful but you are served by crew at various stations such as a carvery, salad bar, deli...that sort of thing.
Then there are the celebrity chefs lining up to partner with cruise lines.
Curtis Stone has given his name to Princess Cruises on several of its fleet including Golden Princess, presenting gourmet salads, handmade pastas, premium quality meat, and seafood fresh off the grill, and an array of decadent desserts.
Golden Princess will base itself in Australia (Melbourne) until March and feature 15 roundtrip cruises to New Zealand, the South Pacific and Tasmania.