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If as appears likely the self service buffet will be replaced by a cafeteria style staff served "buffet" I welcome this. There were too many horror stories and experiences of inappropriate and unhealthy handling of serving utensils, and even the food itself etc, and not hand sanitising, (and dare I say it often by the older and disabled passengers).

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We have nearly always found the buffet system perfectly acceptable, and as we generally have breakfast after 9:30 it's not normally overcrowded.  I have only rarely seen poor hygiene behaviour, it's mainly the queuing on the poorly designed Grand Princess class of ships that annoys me, Celebrity's Solstice class buffet design is the best we have experienced.

I hope whatever replaces it post covid provides the same choice and ease of service that we enjoyed previously.

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54 minutes ago, towny44 said:

We have nearly always found the buffet system perfectly acceptable, and as we generally have breakfast after 9:30 it's not normally overcrowded.  I have only rarely seen poor hygiene behaviour, it's mainly the queuing on the poorly designed Grand Princess class of ships that annoys me, Celebrity's Solstice class buffet design is the best we have experienced.

I hope whatever replaces it post covid provides the same choice and ease of service that we enjoyed previously.

I agree Towny, the buffet is my main eatery for breakfast and lunch only using the MDR for dinner in the evening.

Obviously going forward there will be some initial changes as has already been said such as staff serving as they do during norovirus outbreaks but I wouldn't like to see that continue long term, I prefer to serve myself.

As for queuing it'll happen whatever they do whether that be at the buffet or MDR.

Here's hoping we get back to normality sooner rather than later.

HLM.

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We always have breakfast and dinner in MDR and occasionally buffet is used for lunch. Like getting up in the morning and guaranteed a table without the mither of hunting for a seat as we normally eat about 8am and is usually very chaotic in buffet and then to be served a cooked breakfast and served to your table starts the day off for me.

Edited by sinbad10
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I certainly wouldn't say the buffet is a favourite part of a ship but I do use and value it. In general, I eat more breakfasts in the MDR but will use the buffet if I am on an excursion or sometimes on a sea day if in warmer climes to eat out on deck. I do use it for lunch, especially on P&O ships as their MDR lunch menu seldom entices me. Almost never use it in the evening though.

We all hear the horror stories about pax handling things and I am sure they are true but fortunately I have not so far experienced any gastric problems whilst on a cruise.

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fortunateley i am usually up around 6 am so am usually one of very few in for breakfast at that time.

not a fan of the buffet at lunch due to some of the less than hygenic habits of some passengers, if i have any of them in front of me i bypass anything theyve gone near.

some of the ships have grab and go sandwiches by the pool all prepacked so they are a favourite at lunch.

and i have to say i have never had a health issue on 20 odd cruises.

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On 6/11/2020 at 3:57 PM, mitch said:

fortunateley i am usually up around 6 am so am usually one of very few in for breakfast at that time.

not a fan of the buffet at lunch due to some of the less than hygenic habits of some passengers, if i have any of them in front of me i bypass anything theyve gone near.

some of the ships have grab and go sandwiches by the pool all prepacked so they are a favourite at lunch.

and i have to say i have never had a health issue on 20 odd cruises.

I must say that if I was asked to name something I would get rid of on P&O ships, the 'Grab & Go' counters would be a contender for the top spot!

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1 hour ago, afcandrew said:

I must say that if I was asked to name something I would get rid of on P&O ships, the 'Grab & Go' counters would be a contender for the top spot!

They were a good idea if they were used as they were intended for but unfortunately many just abused it by emptying first thing in the morning on port days as free food to take off the ship save them buying anything

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1 hour ago, sinbad10 said:

They were a good idea if they were used as they were intended for but unfortunately many just abused it by emptying first thing in the morning on port days as free food to take off the ship save them buying anything

Since the morning grab & go is breakfast fare, and lunchtime food is not put out until about noon then I doubt that's an accurate assessment.

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21 minutes ago, towny44 said:

Since the morning grab & go is breakfast fare, and lunchtime food is not put out until about noon then I doubt that's an accurate assessment.

They havent always been when it was first installed it was changed afterwards for the reason I gave. They changed it because within minutes of stocking it up it was empty so only stocked it with breakfast items and then left it until later to fill it with sandwiches/wraps and salads later in the morning when those on full day excursions had departed. So I am afraid it is accurate because we were told by Food & Beverage Manager who was a friend of ours.

Edited by sinbad10
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1 hour ago, sinbad10 said:

They havent always been when it was first installed it was changed afterwards for the reason I gave. They changed it because within minutes of stocking it up it was empty so only stocked it with breakfast items and then left it until later to fill it with sandwiches/wraps and salads later in the morning when those on full day excursions had departed. So I am afraid it is accurate because we were told by Food & Beverage Manager who was a friend of ours.

But I assume you agree its not accurate now?

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I saw that happen extensively on P&O and have also seen it on RCI ships - mainly  Brits. I know people who do this as a matter of course on whatever ships they can as well as in hotels - even if as simple as taking fruit. I must say that bananas in their skins have been rarer as time has passed.  When we cruised last on Holland America the "buffet" was served by staff even to the extent of drinks at the counter / stations due to a virus on board the previous week. I preferred it that way. That said I usually try to use the MDR for breakfast , lunch and dinner when onboard as it is a way of controlling how much  I eat!

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 6/12/2020 at 8:09 PM, sinbad10 said:

They were a good idea if they were used as they were intended for but unfortunately many just abused it by emptying first thing in the morning on port days as free food to take off the ship save them buying anything

Sorry, but for me it is just like going into Boots or WH Smith for a cheap and nasty pre-packed sandwich. Just not something I want to do whilst on a ship thanks.

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2 hours ago, afcandrew said:

Sorry, but for me it is just like going into Boots or WH Smith for a cheap and nasty pre-packed sandwich. Just not something I want to do whilst on a ship thanks.

Whilst I can see where you are coming from whenever I have used it they have always been better quality and higher standard that what you would get at Boots or W H Smiths. You could also say burger bar and pizza bar is no different than Mc Donald's or Domino's pizza but is just another choice available which is not a bad thing because many dont want full meal in buffet or MDR especially at lunch.

Edited by sinbad10
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1 hour ago, sinbad10 said:

Whilst I can see where you are coming from whenever I have used it they have always been better quality and higher standard that what you would get at Boots or W H Smiths. You could also say burger bar and pizza bar is no different than Mc Donald's or Domino's pizza but is just another choice available which is not a bad thing because many dont want full meal in buffet or MDR especially at lunch.

Sinbad, unfortunately I have to say that I also find the grab&go cardboard sandwiches underwhelming, as well as being under filled. I do however avail myself of the occasional dessert to go with my pizza slice or burger, but I much prefer the old sadly lamented chicken burgers.  On our last cruise on Aurora, even the fried chicken breast pieces had been replaced with chicken thighs, which tend to be a bit crunchy if you use  them to fill a bap.😄

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On 7/1/2020 at 2:30 PM, sinbad10 said:

Whilst I can see where you are coming from whenever I have used it they have always been better quality and higher standard that what you would get at Boots or W H Smiths. You could also say burger bar and pizza bar is no different than Mc Donald's or Domino's pizza but is just another choice available which is not a bad thing because many dont want full meal in buffet or MDR especially at lunch.

As you've mentioned the burgers, I must say I think that are pretty awful now too. The move to pre-cook and wrap them was a retrograde step imho. The freshly cooked burgers and hot-dog sausages on Coral Princess last year were in a different league!

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3 hours ago, afcandrew said:

As you've mentioned the burgers, I must say I think that are pretty awful now too. The move to pre-cook and wrap them was a retrograde step imho. The freshly cooked burgers and hot-dog sausages on Coral Princess last year were in a different league!

I agree the burgers on Britannia are awful.

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