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sabrefan

Buffet Procedures

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Planning on a cruise out of Copenhagen on Viking Sky the end of May. Given the issues of coronavirus I wonder if the crew is serving food to passengers in their buffet? Since using the same serving utensils by passengers is a great way to spread a potential virus. Having sailed with Oceania several times the crew serving passengers in the buffet is their procedure.

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Most of the cold items are pre plated and hot food Is always served by staff. I don’t recall any shared serving utensils. I won’t say with certainty that there weren’t any but I sure don’t remember there being any there. 

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44 minutes ago, mhb1757 said:

Most of the cold items are pre plated and hot food Is always served by staff. I don’t recall any shared serving utensils. I won’t say with certainty that there weren’t any but I sure don’t remember there being any there. 

 

I'm confused.. in the World Cafe (the buffet) almost everything is serve yourself. Your want pizza, you walk up and grab it yourself. Some exceptions for a main course or maybe a scoop of gelato, but if you want some mashed potatoes or another side dish, you pick up a spoon full and add it to your plate. Same thing for a muffin or bagel in the morning. So yes, the serving utensils are shared. But it shouldn't be too hard for Viking to change their procedure and have staff wield the serving utensils.

 

That said, I have mixed feeling about how far to take precautions due to the coronavirus. 30,000 people die of the flu in the US every year, but I don't insist on no shared utensils on Viking ships full of Americans. If things are so dire that we can't touch what our fellow travelers have touched, we probably shouldn't be on a cruise ship

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6 hours ago, mhb1757 said:

Most of the cold items are pre plated and hot food Is always served by staff. I don’t recall any shared serving utensils. I won’t say with certainty that there weren’t any but I sure don’t remember there being any there. 

 

When did you sail because this is not Viking's normal procedure. Normally it is self-service.

 

I believe that I have read in one of the recent threads** that staff is now serving in the buffet and that hand washing or sanitizing is now mandatory when entering the dining areas.

 

**Maybe here?: https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2735795-additional-procedures-to-prevent-the-spread-of-flu-etc-on-board/

 

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2 hours ago, johnandlinda said:

Hand sanitizing when entering any dining area should be mandatory all the time.

 

It is but on our trip in January, they were lax about manning the door at all times and making sure that we did sanitize one way or another.

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My husband recently had 'to have words' with a gentleman ahead of us going into the buffet who was trying to ignore the sanitising measures in place.

His reasoning being he had just washed his hands five minutes earlier on leaving his cabin.

His wife had the decency to look ashamed of him.

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1 hour ago, sugarside said:

five minutes earlier on leaving his cabin

 

Sweet and in the meantime did he grab the handrail in the stairway or push a button in the elevator??

 

My DH is dense this way as well. Drives me nuts but nagging doesn't help.

 

 

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6 hours ago, sugarside said:

My husband recently had 'to have words' with a gentleman ahead of us going into the buffet who was trying to ignore the sanitising measures in place.

His reasoning being he had just washed his hands five minutes earlier on leaving his cabin.

His wife had the decency to look ashamed of him.

I understand the need for sanitizing and agree with it 100%.  What I don't agree with is the "big man on campus" attitude of some (that that I have been reading on CC) that feel the need to approach others and shame them.  Maybe approach the staff and tattle on the offending person.  They can take the offender aside privately.

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4 hours ago, jiminyC_fan said:

I understand the need for sanitizing and agree with it 100%.  What I don't agree with is the "big man on campus" attitude of some (that that I have been reading on CC) that feel the need to approach others and shame them.  Maybe approach the staff and tattle on the offending person.  They can take the offender aside privately.

If somebody is not following the directions of the crew to clean and sanitize IMO they are possibly jeopardizing my health and I have the right and responsibility to make this apparent to them.

And if they take offense so be it. Not ruining my cruise and health because someone does not want to be inconvenienced. Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures.

Edited by NordicPrince
add

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I understand the need for sanitizing and agree with it 100%.  What I don't agree with is the "big man on campus" attitude of some (that that I have been reading on CC) that feel the need to approach others and shame them.  Maybe approach the staff and tattle on the offending person.  They can take the offender aside privately.
Shaming implies publicizing someone's lapse. While I'd never publicly call someone out, having a private word with someone to help improve my chances - and everyone else's - of avoiding a really unpleasant episode of Norovirus (or worse) should not be considered "shaming" by anyone.

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17 minutes ago, just_dont said:

Shaming implies publicizing someone's lapse. While I'd never publicly call someone out, having a private word with someone to help improve my chances - and everyone else's - of avoiding a really unpleasant episode of Norovirus (or worse) should not be considered "shaming" by anyone.

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I'm pretty sure that he has no intention of pulling the offender to the side to have a talk with him.  So yes, it's public, not private.  I feel it's shaming. Feel free to call it what you want.  I've suffered with Norovirus so I understand the severity of it but I still wouldn't call someone out at the entrance of a restaurant with people coming and going.  All I'm asking is to use discretion when approaching someone.  It's not that difficult.   Like the judge on People's Court likes to point out , "quien es mas macho".

 

Edited by jiminyC_fan

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As the person who made the original comment can I just add that this was a private conservation not overheard by anyone other than those immediately involved.

Using the phase 'had words with' is perhaps a way that us Brits make light of a more serious issue and that my husband is a very mild mannered guy,very polite but will speak up if he feels the need but do it in an appropriate manner.No offence was taken here and the matter ended without tension.

I hope now in the current climate that everyone will be following hand hygiene measures.

Edited by sugarside

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2 hours ago, sugarside said:

As the person who made the original comment can I just add that this was a private conservation not overheard by anyone other than those immediately involved.

Using the phase 'had words with' is perhaps a way that us Brits make light of a more serious issue... 

Thanks for clarifying that! It is interesting to me that different English speaking countries (And sometimes even regions) do actually have distinct differences in the nuances of what words and phrases mean. A good reminder for us all to listen with a gentle ear and an open heart and to inquire if the meaning seems off or out of character to what we expect. Good communication solves so many issues!

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Very true what you say Liz.

I spent a great deal of my time on Viking Sky chatty away merrily to lots of lovely fellow passengers and I cannot tell you how many funny looks I got and being answered by "I don't think I quite get what you're saying".

But then again I have had the same reaction when I have travelled down to London.

😂😂😂😂

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Aboard Sky now and other than the all but mandatory hand wash/sterilization I have not seen any change to serving procedures in the buffet. Hopefully we won’t have any illness aboard that changes that.   

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On 3/10/2020 at 8:54 PM, Clay Clayton said:

Aboard Sky now and other than the all but mandatory hand wash/sterilization I have not seen any change to serving procedures in the buffet. Hopefully we won’t have any illness aboard that changes that.   

Clay - same onboard the SUN. We get the Captain's daily, "Wash, Wash Wash" discussion and we have a crew member stationed at the sink to ensure compliance. No changes in the serving policy in we departed L/A.

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We just disembarked Viking Sea, the hand washing at the entrance to World Cafe was all but mandatory, which we very much appreciated.

 

We were told that the serving tongs etc. were changed out every fifteen minutes.  This was our first Viking cruise and the first in the long time where we didn't get a ships cold.

 

John

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Posted (edited)

Similar all but mandatory hand washing and/or sanitizing at entrance to all food venues aboard Sky. 

Edited by Clay Clayton

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Had a small shock on Viking Sun yesterday at lunch in the World Cafe. Waiters were stationed in the galley and no serving utensils were pointing outboard. OMG! we are being served by the crew in the World Cafe.

 

Turned around to check the tables, noting the salt & pepper were still on the table. As somebody recently mentioned, this is only our first Viking cruise, so I am not aware of their policies, but this picture isn't normal. When the crew serve in the buffet, salt/pepper and other communal things on the table normally disappear. This is usually an indication of an uptick in GI instances.

 

Chatting with the officers, this was to keep the crew busy with meaningful work, hence the serving, with salt/pepper still on the tables. With 361 pax & 464 crew this is understandable.

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I don't know how well you are able to monitor the state of affairs in Europe and North America during this pandemic, and quite honestly, I'm surprised your cruise is still ongoing and they haven't just disembarked you at the nearest port (that will allow a cruise ship to dock) and flown you home.

Whole major cities (eg. San Francisco) are on lockdown with most businesses closed. Schools are shut. All cruise lines are shut down, including Viking (strangely with the exception of the Sun). Resorts closed. Airlines canceled more than 50% of flights.

I'm sure they don't want anyone on that ship to come down with ANYTHING, or your ship won't be allowed to dock anywhere.

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14 hours ago, just_dont said:

I don't know how well you are able to monitor the state of affairs in Europe and North America during this pandemic, and quite honestly, I'm surprised your cruise is still ongoing and they haven't just disembarked you at the nearest port (that will allow a cruise ship to dock) and flown you home.

Whole major cities (eg. San Francisco) are on lockdown with most businesses closed. Schools are shut. All cruise lines are shut down, including Viking (strangely with the exception of the Sun). Resorts closed. Airlines canceled more than 50% of flights.

I'm sure they don't want anyone on that ship to come down with ANYTHING, or your ship won't be allowed to dock anywhere.

Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
 

The situation is changing hourly, with Viking really thinking outside the box in their endeavours to keep us both safe and healthy, and to also get us home safely before potentially all International travel is curtailed.

 

Although Dubai is supposedly closed to cruise ships, they have arranged an overnight stop and are currently organising flights. It is mandatory disembarkation for all non-Canadian & US citizens, and optional for Canadians & US. They are arranging all the flights, with many already having received their flight details.

 

On departure Dubai, the ship is steaming across the Atlantic to an un-named, as yet, port on the US Eastern seaboard, where the remaining pax will disembark.

 

Viking are keeping us very well informed and acting in a professional manner, while negotiating solutions.

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The situation is changing hourly, with Viking really thinking outside the box in their endeavours to keep us both safe and healthy, and to also get us home safely before potentially all International travel is curtailed.
 
Although Dubai is supposedly closed to cruise ships, they have arranged an overnight stop and are currently organising flights. It is mandatory disembarkation for all non-Canadian & US citizens, and optional for Canadians & US. They are arranging all the flights, with many already having received their flight details.
 
On departure Dubai, the ship is steaming across the Atlantic to an un-named, as yet, port on the US Eastern seaboard, where the remaining pax will disembark.
 
Viking are keeping us very well informed and acting in a professional manner, while negotiating solutions.
I am very glad that Viking is keeping you informed and taking care of you all. It is certainly as we've come to expect from Viking.
At the same time I'm terribly sorry for the way your WC has turned out. I'm sure you and the others are gutted.
I know the situation with the coronavirus is not (yet) nearly as dire in Canada as it is getting here in the US and many other parts of the world. It is truly changing hourly. Now all of California has been ordered to shelter in place. Store shelves are empty of cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer, toilet paper and other paper products, meats, vegetables, breads, canned goods.... It's a crazy situation.
I do sincerely hope Viking is able to get you safely home and that when you get there, you remain safe and healthy.
I know the cruise industry is hoping the current hiatus will be like turning off, then back on, a faucet. But honestly, right now, I think it will be a lot more difficult to restart the cruise industry, and likely the greater tourism industry, than those industries are hoping.
Best wishes to you all.

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The US State Department is now urging all overseas US citizens to return home now, or there's the possibility you won't be able to for an indeterminate amount of time.

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