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6 years ago
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The great cruise tradition of afternoon tea

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pretaportea hero shot

You can eat pretty much 24/7 on a cruise ship. Cruise veterans know to wear their fitted clothes at the start of the holiday and keep the loose styles and elasticated waistbands for the last few days. I’ve often heard people remarking on a cruise holiday that you embark as a passenger and disembark as cargo!

The food on a cruise ship is indeed usually first class: great quality – a wide variety and plentiful and one of the traditions I enjoy partaking in onboard a cruise is afternoon tea. When you are dining later in the day, maybe after taking in a show, you probably won’t eat until 9pm. So it’s nice to break up your afternoon with a little something at around 4pm and this is where afternoon tea comes in!

This summer I’m going on Carnival’s newest ship Vista during its maiden season having ben chosen from hundreds of entries to become a Carnival Ambassador. You can read more about this announcement and find out who the other ambassadors are here. Vista is the cruise line’s 25th fun ship and the first Carnival launch since the Carnival Breeze in 2012. As part of their ambassador programme, my family and I are Carnival’s #SunseekingFamily which means we get to try out the ship on a Mediterranean cruise so we can show you what a family holiday onboard Vista will be like.

Last week the Carnival ambassadors and I got together for the great cruise tradition of afternoon tea, but as Vista is still currently in the shipyard being built, we had to make do with another 5 star hotel instead… The Berkeley in London for their famous Prêt-à-Portea!

Here, the Carnival marketing team, me and the other ambassadors pose for a photo before tea begins!

Photo credit: Sonia Constant

Photo credit: Sonia Constant

The Prêt-à-Portea is a three stage affair – first we enjoyed a glass of champagne, then the savoury treats followed by the very fashionable sweet stuff!


Over bite sized brioches with cream cheese and cucumber sandwiches, we talked about the shore excursions we were planning to do on the holiday. Whilst enjoying a carrot mousse we chatted about areas and facilities of the ship that we each wanted to blog about, and we also talked about booking our flights to get on this fabulous holiday.


Then, dessert came out and all the talking stopped whilst we whipped out our cameras to capture the beautiful cakes and show stopping treats that have made the Prêt-à-Portea famous!

fashion biscuits

Food is always well presented on cruise ships – we eat with our eyes long before we taste with our mouths after all. Cruise ships are also well known for creative food demonstrations – guests on board can often watch a melon being decoratively carved or a masterclass in sushi preparation. The kitchen wizards on ships can also be seen sculpting intricate ice centrepieces, so The Berkeley and their high end afternoon tea was the perfect setting to mirror the epicurean delights we can expect when Vista sets sail on May 1st 2016.

tower of fashion cakes

Just like on a cruise ship, the treats didn’t stop coming! Just as we were all declaring how stuffed we were, the waiter tempted us with another round. He brought out the scones for a cream tea and offered us various blends of loose leaf tea to choose from. We all had to take something home in a doggie bag – but you can hardly use that word to describe this super posh takeaway container!

PretaPortea takeaway bag

Appreciating the experience of afternoon tea with Carnival just made me more excited for our cruise adventure in 21 weeks. I’ll be sharing our Vista experience with you so do let me know in the comments if there is anything you’d particularly like to know about Carnival Cruise Lines or the Vista and I’ll make sure to feature it in a future blog post!

2015-2016 Blog Ambassador: JuggleMum is proud to be an official ambassador for Carnival Cruise Lines and to bring you exclusive news and information about their newest ship – Carnival Vista. Carnival is ‘The World’s Most Popular Cruise Line®’ operating 24 ships. Learn more at their website
Click here to read all my Carnival Ambassador posts

Article Categories:
Food · Luxury · Travel

Comments to The great cruise tradition of afternoon tea

  • It all looks and sounds absolutely delicious! What I want to know is whether they cater well for various dietary requirements… as someone who cannot eat wheat and has to limit dairy intake I find my options are always so limited (sometimes non-existent) so anyone who caters for dietary needs always gets a massive thumbs up from me 😉

    Amanda 21st March 2016 5:24 pm Reply
    • Thanks for your comment Amanda and cruises are great at catering to dietary needs onboard. There are usually a selection of gluten free foods readily available, and you handle any dietary requirements by having a word with the Head Waiter in the main dining room on the first night of your cruise so that they are aware and can provide options for you. I’m a slimmer myself, so even though I relax my diet when on holiday, I always want to have sweetener rather than sugar in drinks and low fat spreads and sauces where possible. If you have more complex diet needs, then I believe you can register this as a special need before you travel so that they can cater for you. Hope that reassures you!

      Nadine Hill 22nd March 2016 4:14 pm Reply
  • What an amazing afternoon tea, you look stunning Nadine as do you all ,I can’t wait to read about your sea adventures x

    Honest Mum 21st March 2016 7:51 pm Reply
    • Ah thanks Vicki! I will have plenty of sea adventures to share! x

      Nadine Hill 22nd March 2016 3:32 pm Reply
  • I have had a Prêt-à-Portea and it was ace, the biscuits certainly are a work of art. I really do not fancy a cruise down to the fact that I am a seasickness sufferer

    Jen Walshaw (@Mum_TheMadHouse) 22nd March 2016 9:51 am Reply
    • It is a work of art isn’t it?

      Nadine Hill 22nd March 2016 3:31 pm Reply
  • OMG that looks amazing. I have never had afternoon tea before so need to change that and sharpish. Sorry I couldn’t be with you

    Kara 22nd March 2016 4:25 pm Reply
    • You’ll be able to have afternoon tea on the ship, so you have a tick on the bucket list!!

      Nadine Hill 23rd March 2016 7:51 pm Reply
  • Wow that looks awesome – those cakes look too good to eat! Would love to try a cruise holiday though it sounds like my waistline wouldn’t! xx

    louise 22nd March 2016 4:47 pm Reply
  • Wow what an absolutely amazing afternoon tea! I’m not sure I’d know where to start with those cakes, and some of them look too pretty to eat.

    Liz Burton 22nd March 2016 5:10 pm Reply
    • They tasted just as pretty!!

      Nadine Hill 23rd March 2016 7:50 pm Reply
  • The food looks totally amazing, almost too good to eat! Congratulations on becoming an ambassador, I’ll look forward to hearing all about your cruise.

    Anne 22nd March 2016 11:18 pm Reply
    • Thank you – I will be sure to share all the details!

      Nadine Hill 23rd March 2016 7:50 pm Reply
  • Aw I am so excited for you all, so many happy memories of our time with Carnival and so nice to see Erin, Lucy and Charlotte!

    Penny A Residence 23rd March 2016 8:49 am Reply
    • Thanks Penny! I will be thinking of you when I’m sipping a cocktail listening to a piano. I seem to remember you sharing a video onboard whilst in a piano bar!!

      Nadine Hill 23rd March 2016 7:50 pm Reply
  • Oh it all looks so pretty! I do love afternoon tea and would love to be able to make my cakes look so refined!

    Sonya Cisco 23rd March 2016 10:24 am Reply
    • I know – if only I had the patience to make these treats!!

      Nadine Hill 23rd March 2016 7:49 pm Reply
  • Woah, this looks better than any food I’VE ever had in a meeting! Delicious. I’m looking forward to reading all about your trip. I’d be particularly interested to hear about childcare, and what’s on offer to keep the 4-6 year olds entertained. 23rd March 2016 11:00 am Reply
    • Ooh funny you should say that Nell, I have a post coming soon about childcare!

      Nadine Hill 23rd March 2016 7:48 pm Reply
  • WOW WOW WOW that looks so amazing!!!

    Sonia 23rd March 2016 12:18 pm Reply
    • haha it was, thanks Sonia! x

      Nadine Hill 23rd March 2016 7:48 pm Reply
  • Wow the afternoon looks and sounds gorgeous, the cakes are exquisite.

    Nayna Kanabar 24th March 2016 4:57 pm Reply
    • It really was. Thanks for commenting.

      Nadine Hill 24th March 2016 5:18 pm Reply
  • Wow look at that food. I think I’d need a gag to stop me eating 247 if I went on a cruiSE!

    Kizzy 25th March 2016 7:04 am Reply
    • That is the challenge – to not have a blow out!!

      Nadine Hill 29th March 2016 11:57 am Reply
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  • Oh my goodness, that looks amazing! What a wonderful experience.

    Globalmouse 28th March 2016 2:02 pm Reply
    • It really was – I love afternoon tea and I love cruising, so the best combination!!

      Nadine Hill 29th March 2016 11:58 am Reply
  • Oh wow – what a lush afternoon tea! It all looks absolutely amazing, and so beautifully presented too!

    Michelle 29th March 2016 11:34 am Reply
    • We eat with our eyes first don’t we?

      Nadine Hill 29th March 2016 11:59 am Reply
  • Congratulations, Nadine, that looks like an amazing experience and I am looking forward to reading your posts about your luxury cruising!xx

    oana79 30th March 2016 7:34 pm Reply
  • Who doesn’t love a posh afternoon tea

    Ninjacat 1st April 2016 11:43 am Reply
    • I know, right?!

      Nadine Hill 1st April 2016 3:31 pm Reply
  • Oh how fabulous Nadine! Must have been great to get together with everyone and enjoy this wonderful tea. So many treats and I love the crockery, just beautiful. I can’t wait to hear about your adventures. We have a mini cruise/ferry coming up in August, off to Spain – I hope we get afternoon tea too 🙂

    Charly Dove 3rd April 2016 11:40 pm Reply
    • Ooh enjoy your mini cruise!

      Nadine Hill 4th April 2016 11:21 am Reply

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