Re: $3000/mo cruising budget
Yes, a restaurant costs more. I'm certain more people understand that than they understand the systems they have aboard.
I'm a pretty good cook, but not everything is going to be possible, at least not practical, to replicate aboard. I had a lamb shank with a red wine veal demi glace the other night. Are you going to make a demi aboard? It's just a different experience.
I'm also a big fan of the concept of a Public House (ie pub). Its more than a place to nourish, its a place for social interaction. Our favorite spot is an American Bistro, whose long bar is along the entire side of the restaurant and the dining tables are essentially in the same room. It's energetic, top notch food, we always know someone there. The entire staff knows us as well. Its an American public house with 5 star food. That can't be replicated aboard.
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In the harsh marine environment, something is always in need of repair. Margaritas fix everything.