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Banquet Or Buffet Style???


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Cruise Critic members good morning. I read an article where another major Cruise company is contemplating changes to their food service structure. Would like to know everyone's outlook/insight/perspective on where Carnival might land? I know that we all have no "Crystal" ball and/or have not been invited to any Board Meetings. Just trying to see where you guys are with your mindsets?      

 

Let's pray that we get back to Cruising soon and whatever the Cruise Lines decide I am "Ready To Resume" 

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36 minutes ago, jetsfan58 said:

Cruise Critic members good morning. I read an article where another major Cruise company is contemplating changes to their food service structure. Would like to know everyone's outlook/insight/perspective on where Carnival might land? I know that we all have no "Crystal" ball and/or have not been invited to any Board Meetings. Just trying to see where you guys are with your mindsets?      

 

Let's pray that we get back to Cruising soon and whatever the Cruise Lines decide I am "Ready To Resume" 

Agree on the prayers.  My guess would at the very least no self service and possible waiter service to the food areas to tables.  It get complicated very quickly when you add Guys burgers and Blue Iguana.  There may very well be an interim solution followed but a permanent one after all this fun subsides.  What that will be?  Who knows.

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I hope Carnival keeps the buffet, but adds servers.  As far as condiments, they can be in those little disposable cups like the ones you can fill up near ketchup dispensers.  Same for salad dressing and butter.  I would really like these changes as I eat at the buffet every day on my cruises.

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Wherever possible, staff is serving guests at food stations, including the Lido buffet and ice cream machines. Where not possible due to layout restrictions or other locations such as condiment set-ups and salsa bars, dedicated personnel are posted to monitor these stations and service and ensure they are cleaned and sanitized in a timely manner. In any self-service areas that remain, serving utensils are replaced on a more frequent basis.

 

From Carnival's website....

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I am good either way. I just hope that the buffet doesn't disappear completely even if they have to serve you which I am good with. Mostly for breakfast because most of the time you have a small window to eat before you get off on port days. And if the ice cream machine disappears I will have a very unhappy son lol. 

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Just now, coevan said:

opening the MDR for lunch again would ease the Lido deck lines. We loved the sit down MDR lunch

I would LOVE to have a sit down lunch in the MDR. 

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Like Jimbo, I think they may have an interim solution. While we are awaiting a vaccine (hopefully), I think they'll sail with reduced capacity thus making the use of servers in the Lido viable. But once the vaccine is out and full capacity resumes, I don't think serving at the tables would be fast enough given the crowds.

 

At that point, the could conceivably go back to the old self serve buffet. But is suspect, at least initially, they will be serving you on the buffet.

 

Which brings up an interesting question: Assuming a vaccine becomes available, do you think Carnival might require proof of vaccination to permit you to board? It would make a lot of sense from their liability standpoint. But there are a lot of those anti-vax people around and no doubt some of them are cruisers. They would not be happy about such a development.

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On HAL, our only cruise with them out of San Diego on the Nieuw Amsterdam last year, the salad bar had a server. I was totally confused thinking the only thing you could order was a meal-sized salad. The salad bar had just about everything you could think  of and the server grabbed a large bowl and you'd just point out what you want in it. If I only wanted a side salad, I'd make sure the server knew to only put a little of each selection into the bowl. I learned to love the salad bar on HAL. 

 

None of the hot food stations were self-serve. I expected an impressive delay with service, but it went quick. Not only that, but you'd sit and a server would come by and get your drink order. It went well, but I have to say people tend to be a bit more patient and polite on HAL. I don't know if Carnival passengers would appreciate service like that.

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Well now that the CDC says surface transmission is unlikely I don't think it is something that needs change.  The person serving you the food could be a bigger danger than serving yourself.

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Earthworm Jim brings up an very interesting point about being required to show proof of vaccination? In my honest opinion and having cruised for many years I feel one of the most important aspects is that Carnival is a for Profit Organization; with a Board of Directors and Shareholders. If you look at the latest stats still less than 10% of the total population has cruised before. That number has risen significantly since I began cruising and Carnival would probably like to see it continue to climb. 

 

Carnival will have a very tough decision to make when it comes to increasing and keeping passenger loyalty. They really can't afford to make too many nuances as this would certainly "upset" the current loyal customer base and might deter the cruise neophytes. They will of course have to follow strict guidelines as well as US regulations regarding the pandemic. I think there is still "abundant conversation" regarding whether to allow Birth Certificates in place of Passports? That one may never be completely answered.      

 

Also will the vaccine be available to all US Citizens at no cost or low cost? What about the millions of Americans that unfortunately don't have insurance coverage? Are they to be denied the right to Cruise just because they can't afford the vaccine? I will continue to take my concerns to God who in the end , really has the final say!! 

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3 hours ago, coevan said:

opening the MDR for lunch again would ease the Lido deck lines. We loved the sit down MDR lunch

That would be awesome. We generally eat every breakfast in MDR to avoid the buffet, and this would be a nice addition.

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31 minutes ago, jetsfan58 said:

Also will the vaccine be available to all US Citizens at no cost or low cost? What about the millions of Americans that unfortunately don't have insurance coverage? Are they to be denied the right to Cruise just because they can't afford the vaccine? I will continue to take my concerns to God who in the end , really has the final say!! 

I'm thinking that it will be a vaccine like the ones available at the beginning of flu season at drug stores, grocery stores etc for a nominal charge. 

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2 minutes ago, Butterbean1000 said:

I don't mind if they move to cafeteria style.  I am a little concerned with the Guys stopping bar.  

Thought I saw a post that a Carnival employee would be monitoring stations like self-serve ice cream and Guys toppings.

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27 minutes ago, jetsfan58 said:

Earthworm Jim brings up an very interesting point about being required to show proof of vaccination? In my honest opinion and having cruised for many years I feel one of the most important aspects is that Carnival is a for Profit Organization; with a Board of Directors and Shareholders. If you look at the latest stats still less than 10% of the total population has cruised before. That number has risen significantly since I began cruising and Carnival would probably like to see it continue to climb. 

 

Carnival will have a very tough decision to make when it comes to increasing and keeping passenger loyalty. They really can't afford to make too many nuances as this would certainly "upset" the current loyal customer base and might deter the cruise neophytes. They will of course have to follow strict guidelines as well as US regulations regarding the pandemic. I think there is still "abundant conversation" regarding whether to allow Birth Certificates in place of Passports? That one may never be completely answered.      

 

Also will the vaccine be available to all US Citizens at no cost or low cost? What about the millions of Americans that unfortunately don't have insurance coverage? Are they to be denied the right to Cruise just because they can't afford the vaccine? I will continue to take my concerns to God who in the end , really has the final say!! 

I don’t get this question about Americans that don’t have health insurance. If you are low income, there is Medicaid. Not sure if Obamacare will still be around in the future, but in its current form, it is based on your income. When I retired at age 62, I had to purchase a policy on the Marketplace (Obamacare). Because my hubby and I worked our whole life, I was charged an unbelievable high rate, so that it paid for those whose income was lower and they recieved lower rates. So, I had a high rate for a crappy policy with a high deductible that had to be met before I could have the privilege of paying just a co pay, while someone with low income got a fabulous policy, with no deductible, at a low to no rate. So, if someone doesn’t have insurance, it’s because they CHOSE not to purchase it. So, if they don’t get an immunization due to no insurance, I have no sympathy there. I was screwed by Obamacare and are very bitter about it. I know I will get the immunization and will show proof if need be. Anything to make cruising safe again. But immunizations may not be available for a long time. They are still in the testing phase.

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6 hours ago, TNcruising02 said:

I hope Carnival keeps the buffet, but adds servers.  As far as condiments, they can be in those little disposable cups like the ones you can fill up near ketchup dispensers.  Same for salad dressing and butter.  I would really like these changes as I eat at the buffet every day on my cruises.

I kinda feel the carnival crowd would riot without a buffet. I think it will be like a served buffet. Maybe the food is not out but brought to the table like mini buffet style.  

Edited by seaman11
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25 minutes ago, ninjacat123 said:

I'm thinking that it will be a vaccine like the ones available at the beginning of flu season at drug stores, grocery stores etc for a nominal charge. 

 

We've been lucky so far that there are only a handful of mutations for SARS-CoV-2 so hopefully if and when a vaccine comes out it will surely be 100% effective just like we have them for the flu and cold, LOL.

 

I think the hope that all is saved by a vaccine is a wet dream, a nice fantasy, but the success rate for vaccines and blockbuster cure all medicines with minimal downside is very rare, and we got the anti vaccine which is as extreme a group as the no mask crowd.  

 

I suspect cruising will forever change like travel did after 9/11.  We have hope as after 9/11 we've traveled like more than ever, and crusing will be back as it will for all that like to get fat on the cruise at the all you can eat buffet, it'll just be different, longer lines, slower feeding and not self serve.

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2 minutes ago, seaman11 said:

I kinda feel the carnival crowd would riot without a buffet. I think it will be like a served buffet. Maybe the food is not out but brought to the table like mini buffet style.  

 

LOL dim sum style you say, push little carts.  Think there will still be a riot as they couldn't come fast enough or often enough with all the volume that they push thru the big eaters on the ship.

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