Cruise Ship Buffet Dos and Don’ts You Should Know About

The world of traveling by boat has changed drastically over the past few decades. From a time when only the very rich could travel this way, to a future that sees cruise ships as a holiday that most people can afford. But what are the rules regarding the cruise ship buffet that only people who work on board will be aware of?

A City on the Sea

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Cruise ships are big business nowadays. There are a host of different companies and operators. And each one has a fleet of vessels to take you to the far corners of the earth in style. But what do you need to know about the buffets on board? Here are some of the things to do at a buffet, and some of those not to.

Do not Do this at the Cruise Ship Buffet 

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The buffet on a cruise ship can seem like a free-for-all. But there are some definite rules of thumb. Even if they are unspoken rules. Here are some tips on what not to do, from people who work on board.

Don’t Head Straight for the Buffet 

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Various staff members on board cruise ships have given this advice. Don’t rush to the buffet as soon as you board. Even though you may be hungry, it is wise not to run straight to the buffet. This is because everyone else will. So to avoid long lines and hour-long waits, pick your times so there are fewer people in the buffet hall. This will lead to a nicer experience.

Don’t Pile Your Plate Too High

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It might be tempting to put everything on your plate at once. This is another cruise ship buffet no-no. There is plenty to go around, so don’t worry about missing out on food. It will be replaced as soon as it runs out. You can always come back for more.

Don’t Pack Food for Your Cabin

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Taking food from the buffet back to your cabin is a common faux pas on cruise ships. There are many reasons for this. Chief among these reasons is hygiene. Cruise ships create designated eating areas so that they can control the cleanliness of the ship. So eat at the buffet and not in your room.

Don’t Wear the Wrong Clothes

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You might be taking an afternoon dip in the pool when your stomach tells you to eat. But don’t be tempted to head down to the buffet while still in your swimwear. Swimsuits might be perfect for the pool, but they are frowned upon in the buffet hall.

Don’t Forget to Wash Up

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Worrying about doing the dishes is a job for the cruise ship staff. But don’t forget to wash up before eating. A simple matter of good hygiene, it is advisable that you wash your hands before heading to the buffet. This lowers your chances of catching any onboard bacteria that could be going around.

Don’t Waste Food or Drink

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While there is enough food on board to go around, this doesn’t mean that you can waste it. Waste is never a good idea, no matter the area. But on a cruise ship, it becomes a matter of amounts. So try and take only what you will eat, this will minimize waste, and leave more for others.

Don’t Miss out on Menu Items

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The spread of food available on most cruise ships can be massive. It can be tempting to grab everything that you see as you move down the buffet line. But before you start picking up items, be sure to have a look at all that’s on offer first. This will mean you won’t miss out on menu items displayed later on.

Don’t Use the Wrong Utensils 

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Each type of food will usually come with its own utensils. There is a very good reason for this being the case. It is to stop cross-contamination. An example of what not to do is to use the tongs provided for meat slices to grab a salad. Vegetarians would not be happy with this, even if you don’t mind.

Make Sure to Do This at the Cruise Ship Buffet

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Now you know what not to do at the buffet on a cruise ship. But what are some of the things that you should do? Here are some top tips from staff who work on cruise ships. Doing these things will make your eating experience easier and more enjoyable.

Do Take Your Time

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Be sure not to rush, either when getting to the buffet or when enjoying your meal. The whole point of a holiday on a cruise ship is to relax. The same can be said for the buffet experience. So take your time and be sure to enjoy choosing your food as well as eating it.

Do Find Your Favorite Foods 

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Don’t just make up a plate based on the first food items that you come across. Be sure to find all those wonderful foods that you eat at home. There will also be several items that you love but don’t usually eat. Be sure to get the best selection for your tastes and fill up on your favorite foods.

Do Make Sure You Eat Enough

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While wasting food is a no-no on board a cruise ship. It is a smart idea to make sure you eat enough food to take you through till your next meal. You might be disembarking for some excursion or another. Or perhaps heading to the pool or some other onboard entertainment. Be sure to eat enough so you don’t get hungry soon after.

Do Have Manners in the Buffet Hall

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This particular rule goes for the whole ship and not just for the buffet hall. It is a good idea to approach the buffet with the same manners that you would use in life. This is because one rude person in this type of situation can ruin it for everyone else in the room. So keep your voice and phone volume down while enjoying your food.

Do Wait for Your Turn

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There are few things worse in a cruise ship buffet than someone cutting the line. Lines are there for a reason, they let us know who is next to get their food. So be patient and wait your turn. The food will not run out anytime soon. 

Do Eat Healthy Food Too

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There will be all kinds of foods available at the buffet on a cruise ship. It can be a good heaven filled with all the luxurious treats that you don’t eat at home. But make sure to eat healthy foods too. Yes, grab the pizza and all the desserts you want. Just be sure to couple that with some salad and a healthy breakfast.

Do Change Plates for Seconds 

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Many people when going up for a second portion will try to use the same plate. This is because they imagine the person washing these plates and want to give them less work to do. This is less of a worry than cross-contamination though. Use a new plate each time as one of the biggest worries on board a cruise ship is the spreading of sickness.

Eat and Be Merry

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If you follow these dos and don’ts for eating at a cruise ship buffet, your holiday will be a more enjoyable experience. Don’t fall down those rabbit holes that most people aren’t aware of. Use these tips to eat and be merry while on board.

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Thomas James

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