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Buffets are gone at Royal (temporarily?)


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8 hours ago, luckyinpa said:

this seems like false safety to me. are they gonna limit how many people are in an elevator or touch buttons or door handles in and out of bathrooms. monitor you on shore? its all or nothing on a ship. i cannot even imagine how they are gonna wipe down seats after every spaced out theater show or restaurant meal. things take long enough now with most meals.

 

plus all this is meaningless and no one will go on a cruise unless they are guaranteed no 14 day sitting on the ship after the trip. 

 

Sounds good to me, the prices will be lower.  See you onboard.

 

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16 hours ago, cgolf1 said:

Flame if you want but this could be a deal breaker for me. I like the buffets because you can try small amounts of new foods and not waste a lot if you don't like it. Why not just have staff serve like when they have a Noro outbreak?

 

I guess I will just order more food and eat a bit of each and I guess have a lot of waste:( For me trying new foods is a fun part of cruising.

I agree and will add that when we board and we make our way into the Lido for lunch the atmosphere is kind of special—like a kid in a candy store.  I like walking around and looking at all the selections, making a mental list of what I want to try.  I take really small portions to start with for tasting and  most of the time I'm disappointed. If I really like something I'll go back for more.

 

I see this as a negative.  Not a deal breaker, but definitely a negative.  We'll have to wait and see what other changes are made.  If the Casino closes, I'm done with cruising.  No way I'll ever cruise without a casino.

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We were on the Solstice in early March when Covid-19 was just beginning to escalate. We were surprised that they were allowing self service at the buffet. We took our own precautions and used paper towels to handle the utensils, but didn’t see anyone else doing this.

Don’t think we will ever go back to the buffet. We will be so conscious of germs and contamination after this is over.

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During a norovirus outbreak when the staff serve the passengers at the buffet, this is extra work for the crew and often people who are off are recalled.  Making the crew work more won't work long term and hiring extra crew is too expensive.  Also, during these times often there are long lines and crowding.  How I'm interrupting this, the buffet is now a sit down restaurant which will help with crowd control.  You walk in, get seated, wait for waitstaff, order from them, either they or the food runners deliver the buffet food to you.

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3 minutes ago, NutsAboutGolf said:

During a norovirus outbreak when the staff serve the passengers at the buffet, this is extra work for the crew and often people who are off are recalled.  Making the crew work more won't work long term and hiring extra crew is too expensive.  Also, during these times often there are long lines and crowding.  How I'm interrupting this, the buffet is now a sit down restaurant which will help with crowd control.  You walk in, get seated, wait for waitstaff, order from them, either they or the food runners deliver the buffet food to you.

What you are suggesting will also require additional staff or extra hours on the part of existing crew. And as a sit down meal being waited on takes more time than buffet service, you are going to have even longer lines and crowding.

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13 hours ago, ipeeinthepool said:

 

 

Sounds good to me, the prices will be lower.  See you onboard.

 

Lower prices and less people cruising sounds like a plan for success.oh well it was good while it lasted.

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I suspect they are going to have to use the buffet as a sit down restaurant to help spread people out for meals as well have all the venues (maybe not specialty) open for all 3 meals.  This will be the only way  to get maximum passengers onboard and even then it may only be 50% capacity (just a guess).   If they are spread out existing waiters can still cover the number of guests they have historically handled.

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2 hours ago, Fouremco said:

What you are suggesting will also require additional staff or extra hours on the part of existing crew. And as a sit down meal being waited on takes more time than buffet service, you are going to have even longer lines and crowding.

 

Correct, yet far less staff is required to perform sit down service compared to a staff serve buffet, especially on a carnival cruise.

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Would going to a buffet in which staff serves you really help all that much?  Maybe I'm not thinking it all the way through, but here's what I'm imagining:  Bill manages to get onboard after being infected, but before he knows it and is exhibiting any symptoms. He goes to buffet station 1 and request a helping of the beef stroganoff. The server hands him a plate with stroganoff and he carries his plate to buffet station 2 and hands it over to get a helping of green beans.  The server at station 2 has now touched a plate that sick Bill has touched.  It really doesn't matter whether the server is wearing gloves or had clean hands before this... he will now touch the serving utensils at that station and with touch other people's plates.... or am I misinterpreting how a "served" buffet works?  The only way I can see breaking the chain is if the server can put food on the plates without touching the plates.  Is that they way they do it on HAL and other cruise lines that do "served" buffets?   Of course, things can be done differently in the future, I suppose.

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Ideally, the server never touches anything Bill has touched. The side dishes are on their own plate/dish and only touched “clean”. Etc.
 

Remember this is a respiratory virus. The biggest risk is probably talking/coughing/sneezing, and somewhat bizarrely, singing. The loud talker is not your friend...

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9 minutes ago, SunsetPoint said:

Would going to a buffet in which staff serves you really help all that much?  Maybe I'm not thinking it all the way through, but here's what I'm imagining:  Bill manages to get onboard after being infected, but before he knows it and is exhibiting any symptoms. He goes to buffet station 1 and request a helping of the beef stroganoff. The server hands him a plate with stroganoff and he carries his plate to buffet station 2 and hands it over to get a helping of green beans.  The server at station 2 has now touched a plate that sick Bill has touched.  It really doesn't matter whether the server is wearing gloves or had clean hands before this... he will now touch the serving utensils at that station and with touch other people's plates.... or am I misinterpreting how a "served" buffet works?  The only way I can see breaking the chain is if the server can put food on the plates without touching the plates.  Is that they way they do it on HAL and other cruise lines that do "served" buffets?   Of course, things can be done differently in the future, I suppose.

There is no effective way to prevent the spread of Covid in a confined area. Going from self serve to served has no effect. The disease is primarily transmitted by inhaling aerosols (airborne particles not bonded to water droplets like in a cough).

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On NCL in February out of Hong Kong you had to ask for a plate and cutlery then you asked for whatever food you required to be placed on it by the crew behind each station.  The plate never left your hands. If you required salt they put it on for you. In the lifts the buttons were covered with a perspex cover which was cleaned regularly.  Our temperatures were taken every time we left or returned to the ship. 

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5 hours ago, HaveWeMetYet said:

There is no effective way to prevent the spread of Covid in a confined area. Going from self serve to served has no effect. The disease is primarily transmitted by inhaling aerosols (airborne particles not bonded to water droplets like in a cough).

 

You're correct and that's why having the staff serve you in the buffet doesn't help unless everyone is wearing a mask and keeping their distance. As long as people crowd around the stations breathing on each other, there will be a significant chance for infection.  That's why going to all table service is likely a better solution.

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13 hours ago, hcat said:

Maybe it will eliminate use of the tables for long term card games esp during meal hours!

or tying up tables, their feet with shoes off UP on chairs, sunning on the back of OV during lunch hours...always been bothersome to me that we have to look at people's feet while eating...and some walking around with food in hand trying to find a table and these people make sure they don't see them.

Edited by oceangoer2
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6 hours ago, Edinburghgirl1 said:

On NCL in February out of Hong Kong you had to ask for a plate and cutlery then you asked for whatever food you required to be placed on it by the crew behind each station.  The plate never left your hands. If you required salt they put it on for you. In the lifts the buttons were covered with a perspex cover which was cleaned regularly.  Our temperatures were taken every time we left or returned to the ship. 

At least there was some semblance of health protection...maybe they'll do more to encourage some to be a little more comfortable cruising.  Covering the elevator buttons is fine if cleaned often, but cramming them with more than they should carry - nose to nose often - will have to be addressed.

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On 5/16/2020 at 1:06 PM, Schlepporello said:

Does Royal not do that already? I know that Holland America does, or at least used to. I'm assuming all cruise lines do this.

 

HAL has the MDR only open for lunch on sea days.

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8 hours ago, SunsetPoint said:

Would going to a buffet in which staff serves you really help all that much?

 

8 hours ago, markeb said:

Remember this is a respiratory virus. The biggest risk is probably talking/coughing/sneezing, and somewhat bizarrely, singing. The loud talker is not your friend...

 

8 hours ago, HaveWeMetYet said:

Going from self serve to served has no effect. The disease is primarily transmitted by inhaling aerosols (airborne particles not bonded to water droplets like in a cough).

 

We have to remember one of the biggest issues with the spreading of germs, many people subconsciously cough or sneeze into their hands.  Furthermore, another scenario, if someone coughs or sneezes into their hands on the way to the buffet, touches their phone, washes their hands at the buffet hand washing station, checks their phone again, then touches the buffet tongs; they just contaminated the tongs.  Eliminating major passenger touch points is helpful yet won't completely eliminate the threat.  Many predict like most major hotels your room key card will contain a RFID chip where you simply wave it over a reader without touching anything compared to giving it to a staff member to swipe.

 

6 hours ago, Edinburghgirl1 said:

On NCL in February out of Hong Kong you had to ask for a plate and cutlery then you asked for whatever food you required to be placed on it by the crew behind each station.  The plate never left your hands. If you required salt they put it on for you. In the lifts the buttons were covered with a perspex cover which was cleaned regularly.  Our temperatures were taken every time we left or returned to the ship. 

 

Thanks for sharing.  On all my past NCL cruises the cutlery are were wrapped in a napkin and were in a dispenser on the table.  Interesting that changed.

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i think they made this announcement just to stir up the pot , as it's doing here. it's a total waste of a discussion. even if you eat your meal in a bubble, the instant you touch an elevator button, get in the elevator, go to muster, walk down the steps, sit on the pool deck, sit in a theater, go in the casino, wait in line to get on the ship. wait in line to get off the ship, go on an excursion in a crowded bus, go on an excursion with more than one person, eat any place on land that has no distancing, walk any place that has no distancing, and i could go on and on...you get the idea. soon as you do anything i mentioned, you are totally at risk and when you go back on board no amount of closing buffets will ever mitigate that risk. you need to get rid of everything i mentioned and other things i didnt mention, otherwise what's the point of getting rid of even one choke point. 

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On 5/17/2020 at 12:11 AM, Lady Arwen said:

Hopefully, Celebrity will also implement the same procedures.  Buffets are not necessary and can be the source of numerous infectious diseases.  Kudos, to RCL.

 

Who decides what's necessary? You?

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Interssting read all those discusions about Buffets or no Buffets...! What about the elevators- they are usualy packed to capacity- they might go back to the days when elevators were run by liftboys. LOL.

When cruises are back - and I am sure cruise lines will not open up before they can be sure they don´t get in danger of repeating the Diamond Princess debacle to name just one.

Someday Buffets will be back- and why not- just do it the HAL - no selfservice.

If the virus keeps with us for a longer time- cruise lines will have to adjust or die- there is no other option without a vacine!

Edited by Germancruiser
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Luckyinpa - While you are correct that multiple points of possible contamination exist, one might suggest that this is also a game of reducing the points of exposure to possible contamination.   One point is not equal to a dozen points, after all.  Similarly, one possible exposure is not equivalent to unlimited exposures.  Therefore, the best that we can do on ships (or any other environment that we don't control) is to make our best effort to minimize the points of exposure.   If I am misunderstanding the math here, I welcome your kind elucidation.

Edited by freddie
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