Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
Firepath

Why eat at buffet?

Recommended Posts

3 hours ago, XBGuy said:

Over the last couple years, we have developed a tradition on the last evening of the cruise.  We like to have our bags packed and out in the hallway before we go to dinner.  The clothes we wear to dinner are the clothes we will wear off the ship the next day,  We like to make sure that the room steward can get into the room that night--he has a few extra things he would like to get to before turnaround day and I like to leave an envelope for him at this time.  We will then take what is left of one or two bottles of wine with us to the buffet.  I am the first to admit that dinner in the buffet is not dining.  The food is, generally, more miss than hit.  For some reason or another, though, we get a kick out of this new tradition of ours.

Our last night tradition is sharing a bottle of wine on the balcony with some cheeses and crusty breads from the buffet.  Works for us.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, RocketMan275 said:

Our last night tradition is sharing a bottle of wine on the balcony with some cheeses and crusty breads from the buffet.  Works for us.

 

Agree.  That's a good one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have done mostly MDR for years, but have gotten a little tired of it.  We will still do it if we are sailing with family but if it just the two of us we prefer the buffet.
 

We like to go when we decide we’re ready to eat and be able to go in our casual clothes.  And believe it or not I tend to eat much less in the buffet because I can control my portions instead of being tempted to sit there and eat a three course meal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, GTO-Girl said:

We have done mostly MDR for years, but have gotten a little tired of it.  We will still do it if we are sailing with family but if it just the two of us we prefer the buffet.
 

We like to go when we decide we’re ready to eat and be able to go in our casual clothes.  And believe it or not I tend to eat much less in the buffet because I can control my portions instead of being tempted to sit there and eat a three course meal.

You can dress casual in most ship MDR’s

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, lenquixote66 said:

You can dress casual in most ship MDR’s


This is true, but I would never be someone who wears their shorts and flip flops to the dining room so.....buffet it is....😁😁

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My husband and I eat mainly at the buffet.  We don't like to spend a long time having a meal, so the buffet works because it's quick, easy, and casual.  We have more time to see comedy shows and do other things around the ship without feeling rushed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Neither of us likes the long, drawn-out meals in the crowded dining room and I particularly do not care to be served in the fawning manner often found in the MDR.

 

I am a very particular eater so the buffet is a more diverse option for me. Plus, we can almost always find a quiet table by a window for just us. 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sometimes the food in the buffet suits me better, (but food is so subjective) sometimes I just want to keep it quick, if I have fixed seating that Cruise I may want a different time slot, if I have flexible the time I want that night may be busy, so there are tons of reasons.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Bookish Angel said:

Neither of us likes the long, drawn-out meals in the crowded dining room

I see this mentioned and would like to follow up.  Let's say I order two apps as my dinner and say that they can be served in no particular order.  And maybe I'll order then a dessert.  Is there order to such things?  I ask sincerely.

 

1 hour ago, Bookish Angel said:

I particularly do not care to be served in the fawning manner often found in the MDR.

Now that kinda blows my mind. I actually had to look it up to make sure  was right.  "

"displaying exaggerated flattery or affection; obsequious."
We're only just returning to cruising and I sure don't want and won't accept that.  Shiver.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, GTO-Girl said:


This is true, but I would never be someone who wears their shorts and flip flops to the dining room so.....buffet it is....😁😁

Neither of us wear shorts or flip flops ever so it is not an issue for us.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We eat breakfast and lunch from the buffets because it's quick and we can choose the bits and bites we want - just a simple cereal and fruit breakfast, and usually salads or other basic lunch. I'd much rather spend the time outside enjoying the sun than sitting in the diningroom or other restaurant. At dinner, we might eat in the buffet one evening per cruise , depending on the evening plans, but generally we enjoy being served in the MDR. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The #1 reason is that it is not a one size fits all world and not everyone likes what the OP likes.  It is literally (in the literal sense) that simple.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't want to spend the time it takes to eat in the MDR. Personally, I don't like much of the food on any ship, so I eat a lot of salads and fruit. I like being able grab a quick bite and get back to the fun.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It depends.

 

We eat most meals in the buffet.  Choice, the ability to eat a small bit of many things.  And going back for more of things you like.

 

We will eat one or two dinners in the MDR, and maybe specialty restaurants.

 

It is about choice.  You don't like the buffet, then don't eat there.  Don't like the MDR, then don't eat there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We prefer the MDR.  But it really depends on the level of service and the quality of food on the ship that we happen to be on.  

 

We have been on ships where the MDR was fabulous in all respects.  We have also had cruises where either the meals were mediocre and not worth bothering about, the service poor, or the food inconsistently prepared or served cold.   We then retreat the buffet and to the alternative dining venues.  Not to mention our schedules for the day if it is a port day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, clo said:

It's been a long time since we've been on a big ship.  Don't most of them have an option or two other than MDR, buffet and specialty?

I believe most have buffets and specialty restaurants- but recently we have been off large ships (with the exception of Cunard) given the deterioration of the over-all experience.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

20 hours ago, XBGuy said:

 

Over the last couple years, we have developed a tradition on the last evening of the cruise.  We like to have our bags packed and out in the hallway before we go to dinner.  The clothes we wear to dinner are the clothes we will wear off the ship the next day,  We like to make sure that the room steward can get into the room that night--he has a few extra things he would like to get to before turnaround day and I like to leave an envelope for him at this time.  We will then take what is left of one or two bottles of wine with us to the buffet.  I am the first to admit that dinner in the buffet is not dining.  The food is, generally, more miss than hit.  For some reason or another, though, we get a kick out of this new tradition of ours.

 

As I indicated, the dining preferences of people are as varied as the people.  I, personally, am grateful that others have preferences that differ from mine.  The cruise industry does a good job of accommodating as many of those preferences as possible.

 

I think that is part of the key - dining versus eating.  I love your new tradition - that sounds like fun 🙂 I also agree that the industry does a good job of accommodating all our different tastes.

 

We generally prefer al fresco breakfast and lunch, and MDR or specialty dining in the evening.  We often have MDR breakfast on debarkation morning to avoid the lido crowds.  The evening meal is more about the dining experience for us: being served, leisurely pace, ideally sharing discussion with others.  We also like the flexibility of anytime dining but there seems to be a push there for private tables vs. shared seating and a more rushed experience (which we realize more prefer).  Some nights we just aren't that hungry either, so I think we might start doing more buffet and room service on those nights (or just a meal of apps).

 

12 hours ago, clo said:

I see this mentioned and would like to follow up.  Let's say I order two apps as my dinner and say that they can be served in no particular order.  And maybe I'll order then a dessert.  Is there order to such things?  I ask sincerely.

 

Now that kinda blows my mind. I actually had to look it up to make sure  was right.  "

"displaying exaggerated flattery or affection; obsequious."
We're only just returning to cruising and I sure don't want and won't accept that.  Shiver.

I was able to order an app for my entree one evening when I wasn't very hungry but DH was.  The server wanted to make sure I realized it was an app and still brought me two "since they were small," so you might have trouble convincing the staff you don't want much food.  My experience was Carnival, yours may be different on a premium line.

 

I don't think I have every encountered fawning service and haven't witnessed it, but I'm sure others might perceive some of the service that way (chair pulled out, napkin laid in lap) if they aren't used to being served (and they might even be fawned over).  I know my perception doesn't always match the other person's intent and I also don't take compliments well so it could be easy to view some of the service that way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Having only been on one cruise and it was on NCL Jewel, I can say my DH and I preferred the buffet.  The MDR was nice and we were able to site at a table for 2, versus a table with folks we don't know.  We preferred being able to get a little of this and a little of that for our meals.  Breakfast was always at the little outside cafe buffet.  DH always had the fresh omelettes with the veggies of his choice.  I was able to eat like a 5 year old on the days I wanted (pancakes, sugary cereal, chocolate milk) and not feel judged by a server.  🤣

 

We are going on a trip in May with my best friend and her husband and my mother in law and my best friends mom.  I have a feeling we'll be visiting the MDR more on this trip, but I might be surprised.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We prefer eating in the MDR for breakfast and dinner. We usually don't eat lunch. We set our own pace (table for two) in the MDR, we like our selections and the portion sizes. Our MDR meals are always five courses. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It depends on what's on the menu in the MDR and the day's activities.  The quality of the food varies ship to ship and at dinner, the buffet can be rather quiet.  Sometimes, it's quieter than the MDR.  If we are tired from the day's activities, we may not want to sit through a long meal in the MDR.  In the buffet, we can take bite size portions of several items and try foods we might not normally eat without the worry of needing to order something else if we don't like it.  Sometimes, the MDR can be busy so we prefer not to wait.  We don't like to make advance reservations for dinner.  We are on vacation and want to eat when we are hungry.  We aren't always hungry at the same time.  For us, being served or not is not important.  Being waited on doesn't make us feel special.   It's the food, timing and company.  We don't have to cook or clean up either way.  We've had very enjoyable meals in the MDR, but we've had very enjoyable meals in the buffet as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, plaz70 said:

It depends on what's on the menu in the MDR and the day's activities.  The quality of the food varies ship to ship and at dinner, the buffet can be rather quiet.  Sometimes, it's quieter than the MDR.  If we are tired from the day's activities, we may not want to sit through a long meal in the MDR.  In the buffet, we can take bite size portions of several items and try foods we might not normally eat without the worry of needing to order something else if we don't like it.  Sometimes, the MDR can be busy so we prefer not to wait.  We don't like to make advance reservations for dinner.  We are on vacation and want to eat when we are hungry.  We aren't always hungry at the same time.  For us, being served or not is not important.  Being waited on doesn't make us feel special.   It's the food, timing and company.  We don't have to cook or clean up either way.  We've had very enjoyable meals in the MDR, but we've had very enjoyable meals in the buffet as well.

 

I totally get where you are coming from.   For our family group cruises we eat dinner in the MDR just about 100% of the time.  It just seems to work well for our group.  But, when it is just Mrs Ldubs and me, we check the MDR menu.  If it is "eh" then we often enjoy kicking back in the buffet.   Like others have said, some are pretty decent. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Agree with @ldubs-- when we travelled to Alaska with 8 total and then 9 total, dinner was when we all got together and shared our days. When it's just dr'spin and me, or us and my mom, we'll play it by ear.

 

My mom is a light eater, and she'll often get more calories cafeteria-style. A little of this and a little of that. At home, she will even comment -- "I just want to go to the Lido" -- when she doesn't want to make or eat a full dinner.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not wishing to sound like a pedant here, but, if the buffet is so bad then maybe everyone should eat in the MDR right?

 

Gonne be bloody crowded though right?

 

I prefer a buffet breakfast and a meal in the MDR. Or I did on my one proper cruise to date.

 

Some of you need to be careful what you wish for.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Darren,:classic_smile: I get what you are saying but it will never happen LOL...the folks in the food and beverage depts. always know that the dining rooms are no longer going to be full anymore.

 Too many other choices for people---not just the buffet.

There are Specialty Restaurants----out door grills----room service----just to name a few.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was on a cruise that had only one dining option and lunch and dinner were both three course meals. It was a two week cruise and about half way in I was over it. There was one dinner that was a buffet and I felt so relieved😅. I like serviced restaurants and do eat at them at home but they are places I visit maybe twice a month so it is a special treat to be served but when it happens twice a day everyday the specialness wears off and it becames another pedantic routine. It mainly was how long it took that started to annoy me. Sometimes you do just want a quick bite to eat rather than a drawn-out meal with all the rigmarole. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Holiday Exchange - Jingle and Mingle 2019
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...