A cruise ship might seem like the last place on earth where you’d need to bring your own food. I always swore I’d never be the type of unadventurous person who’d take sackloads of home comforts on holiday, but sure enough I found myself stashing a pack of Scottish oatcakes and a box of tea in my suitcase for my last voyage. Cruise Critic’s U.K. editor, Adam Coulter, confesses to bringing his own Marmite onboard, too (Editor’s note: and PG Tips, a brand of tea).
So I wondered, who else brings their own nibbles on a cruise? Turns out, I’m not alone.
Cruise Critic member MrsCruise2007 says on the forums: “I always pack some small snacks…granola bars, trail mix, crackers. I am a continual snacker at home and sometimes just want something small to tide me over.”
KCruiser2014, meanwhile, confesses, “My husband has to bring his little gummy bears, cheese and peanut butter crackers and sweet tarts. Makes no sense to me, but he just likes to have his normal ‘munchies’ in his nightstand drawer.”
Kymbakitty says her husband can’t live without See’s Candy (posh American chocolate to our readers outside the U.S.): “He always takes two pounds (hand selected, of course) and shares it with housekeeping. I don’t think they care, but he lets them pick their own piece every day.”
Speaking of chocolate, member Heyabbott packs peanut and almond M&Ms, commenting, “Goes great with the Veuve Clicqout we bring.”
Others bring their own food for more practical reasons – special diets or diabetes, for example, or to save money buying lunch in port. Member Luvscruising2007 writes, “Usually peanut butter crackers or cashews or Nutrigrain bars… If the excursion is a long one, the snack tides us over until we return to the ship.”
And some like to bring a little something to pep up the cruise ship food. Member Anzula declares: “On my one and only cruise four years ago, I was so disappointed with the bland food I was dreaming of my hot sauce. I plan on bringing a bottle of Cholula this time in my suitcase.” (Again, for those not yet converted, this is a hot Mexican chili sauce.)
Meanwhile, member Moomoocow, an MSC fan, stashes the HP, a brown sauce that’s popular in the U.K.: “Because husband needs HP on bacon we pack HP sachets that you can start collecting in cafes before you go. You only need to pack 10 or so and it’s lighter and less risky than a bottle as it won’t smash. Wrap in plastic bag and put them in a shoe.”
Then there’s the tea question; Lipton’s Yellow Label, common to many cruise lines, often doesn’t cut it with Cruise Critic members. Carolin says: “I always bring my own [tea]. I drink PG tips which in my humble opinion is much better then Lipton.”
And going back to that Marmite, or for Australians, Vegemite, it seems editor Adam isn’t alone, as whole threads on the Cruise Critic forum are dedicated to it. Even cruisers paying for the very finest food and wine at sea can’t live without it. Member Hubbards says, in response to a question about whether the luxurious Crystal Symphony stocks either spread: “I was on the Symphony in Australia earlier this year and my Aussie friends brought their own stash onboard.”
What’s your secret cruising snack? Let us know.
*Hungry for more food ideas? Check out these insider secrets.