(11:20 a.m. EDT) -- Norwegian Cruise Line is overhauling the menu offerings in their main dining rooms fleetwide, as part of its Norwegian NEXT onboard enhancement program. Beginning this month, regionally-focused menus (varying by ship itinerary) will roll out, offering increased selection and contemporary variations on popular dishes.
Chef recommendations, wine pairings and culinary history will also be included on the new menus, which will offer up to 12 starters and 15 entrees per evening. Go-to items like chateaubriand and escargot will accompany contemporary dishes such as mojito shrimp ceviche, seared Atlantic scallops with fennel puree, and braised beef short ribs with Cajun shrimp. Seafood options will be increased to include menu items such as grouper, barramundi, sushi and crab dishes.
Lunch menus in the main dining rooms will also be receiving a makeover.
To sweeten the deal, one evening per cruise the ship will host a "Chocoholic Night" featuring a choice of up to seven signature chocolate desserts in each restaurant, ranging from a warm chocolate volcano to chocolate Nutella pot de creme or white chocolate strawberry mousse.
O'Sheehan's Neighborhood Bar & Grill onboard Getaway, Breakaway, Epic and Jewel will be introducing exclusive specialty dish nights for another free, alternative dinner venue. Offerings will include prime rib, all-you-can-eat baby back ribs, and chicken and waffles.
Norwegian is also offering more dining time flexibility. Freestyle diners now have the ability to make main dining reservations up to 90 days in advance. Reservation times are available at 5:30, 6:30, 7:30 and 8:30, and can be made for parties up to 12 people.
The new main dining menus and concepts will be available on most of the fleet by July 31, and onboard Norwegian Jade, Norwegian Spirit, Norwegian Sky and Pride of America by early 2015.
--By Brittany Chrusciel, Editorial Assistant