10 Disappointing Foods To Avoid On A Cruise & 10 To Indulge In

10 Disappointing Foods To Avoid On A Cruise & 10 To Indulge In

Ah, a cruise. Just you and open waters…surrounded by a bunch of food calling your name daily. Being confronted with dozens of options can get overwhelming, but here are some choices to keep far away from—and some that are safest to indulge in. 

1. Scrambled Eggs

This number-one breakfast food only appears like a safe option. On cruises, they may not be the best quality and if they’re sitting at the breakfast buffet, it's probably even worse.

Breakfast Buffet In Hotel Alif Lisbon (3780456464)Yusuke Kawasaki on Wikimedia Commons

2. Buffet Sushi

Sushi is one of those foods you need to be careful with. One wrong temperature or ill-prepared dish can send you to the toilet for days. So, it’s a good idea to avoid buffet sushi on cruises for this exact reason.

Jem-Sahagun-Chpay6Ws71A-UnsplashPhoto by Jem Sahagun on Unsplash

3. Pizza

When it comes to pizza quality on a cruise ship, it really depends on where you get it from. Grabbing it off a menu is far safer for your stomach than picking at whatever congealed cheese awaits you at the buffet.

Diego-Marin-Pedmdpvvuik-UnsplashPhoto by Diego Marín on Unsplash

4. Wilted Greens

It’s typically hit or miss with a cruise salad bar. Some are stuffed with fresh greens and veggies while others are of a more questionable variety. If it looks like your salad has seen better days, it’s best to leave it.

Pia-Kamp-Iacrf-Fhr08-UnsplashPhoto by Pia Kamp on Unsplash


5. Too Much Alcohol

A cruise means vacation, and that means alcohol! Indulging in a glass here or there isn’t a problem, just mind how much you consume. Too much alcohol can make the rest of your trip seem like a nightmare. 

Kobby-Mendez-Xbftjrmic0C-UnsplashPhoto by Kobby Mendez on Unsplash

6. Soft Serve Ice Cream

We rarely win the battle against ice cream’s temptation, though you may want to think twice on a cruise ship. Think of the soft serve machines like the water fountain in elementary school—partaking won’t kill you but it’s a cesspool for germs. 

Mai-Emoto-3B0Zhvmqvu8-UnsplashPhoto by Mai Emoto on Unsplash

7. Saucy Foods

Foods doused in sauce can put you on the fast track to stomach upset. It’s one thing if you order off a menu, but if saucy foods have been sat under a heat lamp at the buffet, you should probably move on.

Abhishek-Hajare- 3Dtlrmwiw8-UnsplashPhoto by ABHISHEK HAJARE on Unsplash

8. Sliced Meat

If you see meat hanging around the buffet, be wary of how much you take. The reality is that sliced meat is best when it’s freshly cut—if it’s been sitting under a heat lamp for a while, you risk getting to it when it’s already dry or slimy. 

Grace-Kelly-Eigtotnguna-UnsplashPhoto by Grace Kelly on Unsplash

9. Shared Condiments

If your cruise line offers condiment packets, grab on and don’t let go. What you should let go of are the communal condiment bottles that pass from hand to hand and can easily get you sick. 

Erik-Mclean-L9X4U45Venw-UnsplashPhoto by Erik Mclean on Unsplash

10. Communal Bread Basket

The bread basket raises two major red flags. One: it’s easy to fill up and miss out on all the menu’s other good stuff. Two: if people use their hands instead of tongs, that bread roll suddenly isn’t too appealing. 

Elmer-Canas-Qim1Tlndnho-UnsplashPhoto by Elmer Cañas on Unsplash

Now, the good news is that there are cruise items you can still indulge in without worry.


1. Fresh Fruit

Cruises will generally have fruit for snacks or during tea time, so it’s best to indulge then! It’s good for you, won’t upset your stomach, and more often than not is one of the safest food options. 

Grooveland-Designs-72Ls08Izqzi-UnsplashPhoto by Grooveland Designs on Unsplash

2. Chicken Dishes

If the buffet looks a little iffy, grab a chicken dish off the menu for something fresher. You’ll be able to dig into a freshly prepared meal with sides that are just as yummy.

Sam-Moghadam-Khamseh-Vpopy6Qrdrs-UnsplashPhoto by Sam Moghadam Khamseh on Unsplash

3. Pasta

It makes sense to skip over trays of buffet pasta, but ordering a fresh plate is a hearty choice. Just be mindful of when you order because pasta leans on the heavier side, so it might be a better dinner choice than lunch.

Emanuel-Ekstrom-Fleuttwgljq-UnsplashPhoto by Emanuel Ekström on Unsplash

4. Fresh Fish

You’re on the water so why not reach for some fresh fish? (From the chefs, of course.) Ordering a nice dish off the menu gives you a way better chance of scoring something fresh, allowing you to avoid the dice roll of buffet seafood.  

Davide-Cantelli-Jpkfc5 D-Di-UnsplashPhoto by Davide Cantelli on Unsplash

5. Steak

If you have the funds to splurge on a lavish dinner, or if your cruise ship allows it, spring for a steak on the water. It’ll be far better than whatever’s sweating in the buffet.

Tim-Toomey-Pe9Dvm1Rqkm-UnsplashPhoto by Tim Toomey on Unsplash

6. Classic BBQ Dishes

For those with a bit of a sensitive stomach, BBQ favorites like burgers or hot dogs are often a safe bet. Sometimes the burgers can be hit or miss on a cruise, but with any luck you’ll be able to nab one that leaves your mouth watering, not recoiling.  

Mike-Pxj9Zkm2Wda-UnsplashPhoto by Mike on Unsplash


7. Desserts

Chances are you won’t see anything too extravagant on a cruise dessert menu, which is why there’s no shame in having a peek at the menu. After all, you’re on vacation!

Frank-Zhang-O2Exgqiyvow-UnsplashPhoto by Frank Zhang on Unsplash

8. Classic Cocktails

The last thing your stomach needs on a cruise is excessive alcohol…but turning a blind eye to all those colorful drinks is a borderline crime. If you’re up for it, sip on some refreshing cocktails to get the most out of your time at sea.

Garett-Mizunaka-Vgaqgeghl 0-UnsplashPhoto by Garett Mizunaka on Unsplash

9. Your Own Snacks

Cruises are packed with food so it can seem a bit redundant to bring your own. However, snacks from home ensure you eat what you like, and there’s nothing wrong with sticking to what you know.

Ryan-Quintal-Gepzcru5Qga-UnsplashPhoto by Ryan Quintal on Unsplash

10. Afternoon Tea

Even if you don’t want to munch on the snacks at tea time, there’s still plenty to drink. Tea is a great way to calm the stomach, so if you’re looking to keep it low-key (or prevent any unwanted bathroom breaks), it’s the way to go. 

Jelleke-Vanooteghem-Qfrsevotqxe-UnsplashPhoto by Jelleke Vanooteghem on Unsplash