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My sweetie and I just came back from our first cruise on the Carnival Paradise. We had a great time, but...
Maybe we're weird or something, but we could NEVER seem to get ourselves synchronized with the ship's open buffet times. It was frustrating to always be missing opportunities to eat decently. Moreover, it's somewhat of a let-down to go on a cruise and end up eating cruise-ship pizza for the majority of meals!
We are planning another cruise for next year for all of our friends and family. If anyone has recommendations for cruise buffets that have better accessibility than what we experienced on the Carnival Paradise, we'd love to know so that we can only look at booking only those options in particular.
First I have only cruised them once and will never again but that trip was a gift from a relative. Although the majority of the cruise was not to my personal liking I did find the buffet onboard to be the best laid out of any line I was on.
Very interested in this too. I am a 9 timer and thinking about number 10 but the absolute worst thing is the feeling that I am participating in the running of the bulls at lunch time. This past time, we got room service for breakfast every day, but that really cuts down on selection and I enjoy eating out on deck. I have had 7 Carnival Cruises on multiple ships and 2 on RC's Enchantment and this has been a problem on all of them for breakfast or lunch. RC did have an on deck buffet set out to relieve some of the pressure, but it was still miserable in the Windjammer Cafe for lunch.
I just wanted to add that I've been looking at the NCL cruises that offer freestyle dining and am wondering if this may be the solution to our inability to find suitable food at off hours. Anyone who has experience with both options (i.e. standard food opptys a la the likes of what's featured on Carnival Paradise vs. what may be found on NCL), I'd love to hear your thoughts!