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If you are new to cruising, you are probably not aware that every night, in the dining room, you will be treated to a four (or more) course meal. Generally, you select from an appetizer, a selection of soup and salads, an entree, and a desert. Factor in the basket of rolls on the table and the periodic appearance of a palate-cleansing sorbet and you are looking at a whole lotta calories.

Using popular calorie-counting sites like Fat Secret and Calorie King, I put together calorie content of a typical dining room meal using counts from restaurants. A typical dining room meal of a dinner roll with butter, escargot, side Caesar salad, prime rib, a baked potato, and cheesecake will set you back about 2300 calories.

Yikes. What can you do to stop the caloric insanity? In part three of our series “Avoid Gaining Weight on Your Cruise: The Dining Room” we give you our best advice for keeping those extra pounds away.

The Dining Room – You Don’t Have To Eat It All

  • Avoid the bread basket. It’s so hard to avoid noshing on a good dinner roll when you are hungry, especially when they are warm and there is butter. But, avoid the roll and butter and you’ll save yourself about 200 calories.
  • Don’t order every course. When being presented with four courses, you want to order four courses, right? No one says you have to order one of each. You may get a puzzled look from the waitstaff if you opt out of a course, but don’t let them pressure you.
  • Look for healthier options. Most cruise lines now offer selections that are considered healthier. Both Princess and Celebrity denote which of their menu options are lower in sodium, fat, and cholesterol.
  • Don’t eat it all. This is a no-brainer, right? However, what most people don’t expect is to be questioned by the waitstaff if you leave half of your entree uneaten. The cruise staff is on a mission to please and if they believe you aren’t eating your entire entree because you don’t like it, be prepared for questions. Was something wrong? Did you not like your food? Can I bring you something else? Let’s face it, the staff is probably not used to seeing partially full plates so you can hardly blame them. Just assure them you enjoyed every bite and are saving room. They want to see happy cruisers!

Need more advice on eating smart while on board? Check out “Avoid Gaining Weight on Your Cruise: The Buffet” to learn how the buffet can actually be a great option to maintain your weight! Also, see our general tips for cruising and diet “Avoid Gaining Weight on Your Cruise: Tips“.

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