Afternoon Tea At Sea

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Cruise Critic recently posted an article regarding the best afternoon tea on cruises. Contributor Andrea Rotondo said it best, "Afternoon tea is one of the few remaining traditions left over from the days of first-class service on the great ocean liners. Many modern cruise travelers still take enjoyment from the simple pleasures of sipping tea from delicate cups and savoring bite-size treats on a sea day afternoon."

Following are two out of the ten best afternoon teas on cruises not to be missed. Be on the look out for the others in future posts.

Crystal Cruises

The Setting

Passengers look forward to traditional and themed tea events like Mozart Tea with waiters dressed in period costumes of velvet, brocade and lace; English Colonial Tea, where waiters are decked out in white ties and tails; and Chocolate Tea aboard Crystal ships. Afternoon tea is offered daily on both Serenity and Symphony in the Palm Court as well as aboard Crystal's yacht, Esprit. Waiters pour tea at your table while you help yourself from extensive buffet selections.

The Spread

The list of available teas is long, so try something a bit out-of-the-ordinary like "leaves of Provence" black tea or a ginger twist herbal concoction. Sandwiches, scones and petit fours are served along with traditional pastries and specialties like warm Viennese apple strudel and chocolate tart.

Child Friendly?

Children are welcome to attend.

Free or Fee?

All tea events are complimentary.

Cunard Line

The Setting

Cunard's claim to fame rests squarely on its upper-crust British heritage, and teatime aboard its ships is legendary. Tea is held daily, with the exception of embarkation day, in various locations across its fleet -- including its crystal chandelier-clad ballrooms and intimate Grill lounges. The queue starts early for this event, so set your watch, or you might miss out.

The Spread

Teas on offer are from Twinings and Wedgewood, and the onboard tea sommelier will help you decipher the menu. Favorites include mint, ceylon, jasmine and orange pekoe. An enticing array of sandwiches is presented to take the edge off your hunger; offerings include salmon cream cheese, roast beef with horseradish and shrimp salad. They're followed by scones with clotted cream and jam, and then it's on to pastries like Black Forest cake, fruit tarts and eclairs.

Child Friendly?

There is no specific children's menu, but the kids are sure to enjoy some of the pastries.

Free or Fee?

It's complimentary.

Have you ever taken afternoon tea while cruising? Whether it be your first or fiftieth time, I would love to help you plan your next cruise. Explore your options by connecting with me.

Pam Smith