The Voice of the Cruise Industry

Fred Olsen head of sales Geoff Ridgeon: ‘Why cuisine is key in the selling process’

Fred Olsen Cruise Lines head of sales Geoff Ridgeon


Fred Olsen Cruise Lines head of sales Geoff Ridgeon explains why cuisine is a key part of the selling process.

Food is such an important element of the holiday experience, whether it’s the comfort in knowing that guests can still get their home favourites while sailing around the world, or the ability to try new things and be a little more extravagant than they may ordinarily be.

A cruise holiday is fabulous simply because of the variety of dining and menu options. The buffet might appear to be the least obvious of venues to appeal but let’s not overlook the opportunity it brings to try new things.

Yes, there is often a burger or a pizza, but many offer a wide variety of foods from around the world. Also, by the time guests get into the second week of a cruise, they are not always looking for a four-course dinner.

Local delicacies relevant to the destination accompany home favourites in an environment that can often be more relaxed than main dining alternatives. And, let’s face it, sometimes people do just want a burger.

Fred Olsen speciality restaurants
Fred Olsen’s speciality restaurants are popular with guests

Speciality restaurants with Fred Olsen

The main dining rooms bring that panache, especially when compared to an average Wednesday evening dinner at home.

The key here is to identify if a customer is good with open dining or would prefer set dining times.

Some prefer early as it mirrors home life a little more and provides time to enjoy the evening entertainment options to their fullest.

Others may want later dining as it gives more time to soak up the sun or removes any pressure to return back to the ship having been ashore.

Bizarrely, in some ways, the dining times that a guest has will have impact their enjoyment, so it’s worth spending time to listen to their preferences.

In addition, there are the speciality restaurants that feature on most cruise ships. The options often include steak houses, Asian, Italian, French cuisines or, in our case, also Goan food.

It’s worth highlighting these options to guests as it can be a treat during the voyage.

There is nearly always a cover charge and these can range anywhere from £10 to £50pp. However, for that special night on a holiday, it can often be worth every penny.

Whether a customer loves home comfort food or wants to push the boat out (sorry), dining on a cruise ship gives them all the choice they need.

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