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Buffet restaurants

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    Buffet restaurants

    Is it just me or do people seem a little obsessed with the buffet restaurants?

    When reading reviews 9 times out of 10 there will be a complaint that the buffet was too busy, food luke warm etc.

    For me one of the joys of cruising is the proper restaurant, the service and the food, perhaps I'm being funny but I really don't see the attraction of the buffet other than perhaps an afternoon or late night snack? I certainly wouldn't choose to have a main meal in the buffet

    Tim

    #2
    I'm with you Tim, I hardly ever use the 'canteens' I serve myself most days at home, the dining room is a joy I like to be served no looking for tables , queuing , seeing people handle the food , it's great to be able to be seated with like minded people and have the food brought to you, do it yourself is for home not holidays.CG
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      #3
      Originally posted by 1fifthavenue, birmingham View Post
      Is it just me or do people seem a little obsessed with the buffet restaurants?

      When reading reviews 9 times out of 10 there will be a complaint that the buffet was too busy, food luke warm etc.

      For me one of the joys of cruising is the proper restaurant, the service and the food, perhaps I'm being funny but I really don't see the attraction of the buffet other than perhaps an afternoon or late night snack? I certainly wouldn't choose to have a main meal in the buffet

      Tim
      It really depends on our schedule as to where we eat. We like to spend a lot of time ashore and also to make the most of the shows and activities onboard. Sometimes eating in the restaurant just takes too long. Whereas I prefer to eat in a restaurant I would much rather be out and about on the ship doing something than having a long meal. Therefore we mix it up and sometimes eat in the buffet and sometimes in the restaurant. We prefer freedom dining for this reason so we don't inconvenience the rest of our table. On our recent 5 night cruise we ate in the restaurant twice and in the buffet for 3 nights. On some trips we are in the restaurant every night.

      I don't have an issue with eating in buffet but it really annoys me when they are congested and tables not cleared quickly. Fred Olsen does this very well as their restaurants double up as buffet and restaurant for breakfast and lunch. You are seated on entry so all tables are filled and the cutlery and water is provided on the table. You then have a choice as to whether to order a meal or to use the buffet.
      Cruising my way through life!

      Sue

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        #4
        We prefer a light lunch in the buffet where we can choose what we want. Three sit down meals are too much in my opinion, and lunch in the dining room takes too long. On our recent Transatlantic cruise we also ate dinner in the buffet a couple of times. It was quiet, easy o find a seat, and we really enjoyed the cook to order steaks, salmon and shrimp that Celebrity offers there.

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          #5
          Originally posted by smtcan, Scarborough View Post
          We prefer a light lunch in the buffet where we can choose what we want. Three sit down meals are too much in my opinion, and lunch in the dining room takes too long. On our recent Transatlantic cruise we also ate dinner in the buffet a couple of times. It was quiet, easy o find a seat, and we really enjoyed the cook to order steaks, salmon and shrimp that Celebrity offers there.
          I agree Sheila.

          I often skip lunch - OK I may grab a bowl of soup

          On some ships, I have found the noise level in the buffet to be lower than in the MDR. I tend to decide dinner location by noise level??

          This often means breakfast in the cabin or very early breakfast in the buffet.

          Annie

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            #6
            As mentioned earlier we like to make the most of the activities, and a lot of the kids activities overlap fixed dining times, so we use Freedom or the buffet, I'd rather have a large breakfast and late lunch than a large evening meal, so I guess it is just whatever suits each person better.. Never understand all the comments about it being crowded and too busy, why is it so difficult? If its busy just come back later.
            It is much easier with kids to select a small bit of everything and see what they like rather than wasting a whole meal in the MDR.

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              #7
              All down to personal choice, and for us which ship we are on ,much prefer to be served ,but sometimes the buffet is a good choice .
              I found the food in the Buffet better Cafe Jardin when we sailed on Oceana ,and if you picked your time it was not crowded and the food was fresh.Quite happy to pay the small charge to eat in the Bistro on 5 if the MDR is closed...Taffy
              ​Taffy

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                #8
                I have just returned from a cruise on CMV Astor which has the best dining options of any cruise ship that I've ever been on.

                The MDR was available for breakfast and lunch on a buffet style basis, BUT you walked in and SAT WHEREVER YOU WANTED.

                Why can't this the norm on other ships.

                I am by no means unsociable, but first thing in the morning I prefer to sit with my wife and family and no one else...........Wilba
                Wilba

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by Taffy, Wales View Post
                  All down to personal choice, and for us which ship we are on ,much prefer to be served ,but sometimes the buffet is a good choice .
                  I found the food in the Buffet better Cafe Jardin when we sailed on Oceana ,and if you picked your time it was not crowded and the food was fresh.Quite happy to pay the small charge to eat in the Bistro on 5 if the MDR is closed...Taffy
                  Is the Bistro an option? I thought it had changed to Sushi on 5 or am I wrong again?

                  Annie

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                    #10
                    Originally posted by Wilba View Post
                    I have just returned from a cruise on CMV Astor which has the best dining options of any cruise ship that I've ever been on.

                    The MDR was available for breakfast and lunch on a buffet style basis, BUT you walked in and SAT WHEREVER YOU WANTED.

                    Why can't this the norm on other ships.

                    I am by no means unsociable, but first thing in the morning I prefer to sit with my wife and family and no one else...........Wilba
                    FO was the same, we always had a table for 4 at breakfast and lunch, and you could use the buffet or order off the menu.

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                      #11
                      Only having a royal Caribbean as a example. We tend to breakfast in the buffet every day and dine in the MDR every night.
                      lunch is either buffet or MDR we don't mind. MDR is nice for lunch if the weather outside isn't great. But equally popping into the buffet and taking food back out into the fresh air is pleasant too.
                      The only times we have ever dined in the buffet at night has been if we've had a really long day and just want to grab something to eat and then retire to our cabin.
                      I'm as happy in the MDR as in the buffet, it just depends on the mood and circumstance.
                      Past cruises:
                      Carnival Conquest October 2002
                      Independence of the Seas October 2012
                      Independence of the Seas May 2014
                      Explorer of the Seas June 2015
                      Norwegian Escape October 2015

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                        #12
                        Always the buffet for breakfast, on deck if possible. The only time we use the buffet at lunch time is on embarkation day, but sometimes we'll use the deck grill, if we are with friends with a nice table in the shade. Our preference is for MDR, where lunches are light and portions controlled. I don't like a buffet for dinner, I prefer a nicely served meal in the restaurant.

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                          #13
                          Hi Judith
                          How can you get lighter lunches and better portion control in the MDR....in the buffet you pick the lightness or otherwise of your meal,and decide the size of your portion!!!
                          I hear constantly people who try the MDR for lunch,come out saying 'that's 90 min of my life i won't get back again'.
                          JC
                          C P Scott,,,,,"Comment is Free,,but Facts are Sacred"
                          "You are entitled to your opinion. But you are not entitled to your own facts.

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                            #14
                            I've had some excellent buffets, but never on a cruise ship. Windows at the Hilton on Park Lane used to do a superb one. So did the Four Seasons (Lanesborough).

                            Nothing wrong with buffets per se

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by jc, liverpool View Post
                              Hi Judith
                              How can you get lighter lunches and better portion control in the MDR....in the buffet you pick the lightness or otherwise of your meal,and decide the size of your portion!!!
                              I hear constantly people who try the MDR for lunch,come out saying 'that's 90 min of my life i won't get back again'.
                              JC
                              Hi JC

                              I know that I am lacking in the self control department. I enter the buffet with every intention of selecting a salad, but there is always something else that needs to be sampled. In the MDR I can have a salad, fish or occasionally pasta, plus a sugar free desert, wine and coffee. I'm on holiday and I don't need to rush, but it rarely takes more than an hour. On port days we would choose room service lunch instead of the buffet. When the in laws came with us (never again!) they ate lunch in the buffet every day. Each to their own. Judith

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