We hadn't intended to do it, but during a cruise aboard Holland America Line's Westerdam, we never ate in the dining room. To foodies—indeed to most cruise passengers—the thought is, well, unthinkable. For us, though, it made a lot of sense to have meals our way.
What we discovered was that between dinners in the Pinnacle Grill and the Lido Restaurant's evening table service, we were on our own schedule and more relaxed all week. We enjoyed our cruise even more than usual. Dinner in the Lido Restaurant is also a great alternative for families with small children—they can all dine together in the laid back atmosphere and still select some of the same dishes from the buffet that are being served in the main dining room.
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