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You are sitting in the beautiful dining hall, tasting the authentic Chinese dishes, while appreciating the golden sunset glow through the glass window and viewing the magnificent scenes of the great mother river of China – the Yangtze River, will be really a quite enjoyable tour experience. The food and beverage services on board the cruise ship sailing in the Yangtze River try best to cater every requirement of international culture and religion.
Passengers are generally to have their meals in pre-designated seats but they will be put together in according to their eating customs or religious differences and waiters are specially chosen to serve them, because they know better their eating habits. Dining tables are generally for ten people and some for only 3 or 5.
Due to the variety of scheduled tour activities and entertainments, either on board the ship or land, are quite many during the itinerary; therefore, the dining time for every meal in the day is fixed. This is different from the free meal time, which is, providing food round the clock, on an ocean cruise liner. However, in ship of three-star or above, catering can still be available on request in one-day advance for room delivery services, which provide variety of food.
If travelers fall ill during the cruise tour, or you have Islamic or Buddhist faith, the restaurant can serve foods according to your requirement. You are advised to notice the restaurant some time in advance.
Duration for a meal is generally ranging from 30 minutes to an hour, if a buffet, it lasts two hours. With the exception of formal banquets and welcoming party, most of the meals are in buffet style, which serves Western foods as well as Chinese. Ships operated by the Orient Royal Cruises Ltd., for example, will provide formal banquets with Western cuisines made of imported ingredients (such as butter, cheese and caviar), notably French foods and using posh silver tableware. Banquet and party reservation service is available.
Daily menus are displayed in full details on notice board in front of the restaurants in many Yangtze cruise ships. Non set dinner items can be available, most of which are Chinese foods.
Limited amount of beer, wine, soft drink and tea are served free in any ship graded three-star or above. Usually, 3 to 5 bottles of beverage are not charged providing every dining table. If travelers would like to have extra drinks, would be charged according to items stated on the beverage menu. Only tea is free of charge provided in cruise ships below three-star. Bars in cruises are 24-hour opening.
Special characteristic dinner services might be varied in different cruises, for example, some of them will have authentic Sichuan spicy cuisine, while others provide the neighboring Hubei style foods. This depends on which the chief chefs on board are mastered.
Formal dress is required for the welcoming party and the farewell banquet. The captain will deliver a brief speech and have a toast. To his hospitality, he will toast to every passenger. You might be according to Chinese toast style that you have to finish your glass, which means to display your cheer and gratitude.