The constant growth of the cruise industry requires shifting the focus from customer acquisition to customer retention. Therefore, it is necessary to define factors that are crucial for customer retention. As food consumption is a precondition and a principal component of our daily life, the study intends to examine whether catering aboard of cruise ships is a factor that determines the level of satisfaction and as a result influences the loyalty behavior of cruise passengers. For this purpose, the role of catering during holidays is defined and online consumer reviews as a form of electronic word-of-mouth are analyzed regarding onboard catering assessment and the recommendation intention of German cruise passengers. As a result, the study reveals that catering is a critical success factor for a cruise as being a necessary precondition for activities that form the holiday experience. Thus the absence of appropriate catering leads to a general dissatisfied attitude of the cruise passenger while excellent catering has only little influence on the positive evaluation of the journey.