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It really doesn't matter to us, as long as we start cruising.  We will follow the rules.  Hopefully we will be cruising in June, 2021 as we have Norway/Iceland cruise booked.  We were fortunate to cruise to New Zealand in March, 2020 just before the shutdown.

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17 minutes ago, heddyjan said:

The buffet should be turned into an “Anytime Dining” venue. 

With single-use menus and table service.

 

The buffet areas are not properly configured for social distancing ... unless the serving area is limited to a half dozen pax at a time

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At the risk of being flamed....here goes.  We have been unable to find any "science" that supports COVID being spread via buffets.  Yes, the FDA has issues cautions and suggested that there should be no sharing of serving utensils (we think this is a great idea for many reasons).  But we are still looking for some "scientific" evidence that a single case of COVID has been traced to a buffet!   That being said, it is convenient for various health authorities to point a finger at buffets (with no real evidence) and it will likely result in some major changes.  We recently did go to a decent churrasco restaurant (in South Carolina) that still have their extensive salad bar buffet.  What they did was issue each customer disposable gloves as they entered the buffet line.  Once folks returned to their own tables, staff would quickly come to the table and retrieve the disposable gloves (which went directly into a trash bag).  

 

The other more common model is to use staff servers to handle all the individually served items on the buffet.  Many other items are pre-plated and can be self serve since folks do not touch the same dishes.  They simply take the entire dish with the item they desire.  On HAL the salad bar is actually done by staff who prepare salads to the specifications of the customer.  Pre-mail sandwiches are displayed in a serving area with each sandwich in its own sealed paper bag.   

 

Hank

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3 hours ago, heddyjan said:

The buffet should be turned into an “Anytime Dining” venue. 

It is already anytime dining, you go when you want... we usually go when it first opens, no body there early.  Very peaceful, sometimes can enjoy a sunset.  I enjoy the buffet and Crown Grill. 

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5 hours ago, Hlitner said:

At the risk of being flamed....here goes.  We have been unable to find any "science" that supports COVID being spread via buffets.  Yes, the FDA has issues cautions and suggested that there should be no sharing of serving utensils (we think this is a great idea for many reasons).  But we are still looking for some "scientific" evidence that a single case of COVID has been traced to a buffet!  

 

May I ask where have you been searching for this information?

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I agree with Hiltner in many ways. 

 

People wait in line longer and talk more, to each other and staff, while they’re waiting to be served. They yell their order over glass (and probably added plexiglass). This virus is airborne and more talking and yelling just increases exposure. Everyone kept saying it was all about unwashed hands. Don’t get me wrong, I believe in hand washing and sanitizer, but the fact is that’s it unlikely that this is passed on from hard surfaces. Not impossible, but unlikely. There is no proof that this is passed in food.  The best way is to speed up lines and not slow them down by having staff serve a long slow line of people who are spreading the virus. People do sit far too close and far too long. (Hogging tables for hours.) Having people be served in the buffet doesn’t solve anything. The only thing I see working is to have pre-plated ‘grab and go’ food. In my opinion, which doesn’t mean anything, the regular buffet is faster if they could regulate the amount of people allowed in at one time.  You’re more likely to catch the virus in elevators. 

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Has anyone visited a buffet in their hometown lately?  Curious to see how they are handling the new rules?  We have a Golden Corral in my town; but it has closed down due to the Pandemic.  

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1 hour ago, skynight said:

Server during the pandemic. Believe this will carry over even when the pandemic is no longer an issue. Buffet lines will have to turn into cafeteria lines. 

Why does everyone insist on calling this a cafeteria? We were on the HAL Maasdam in 2018 and they had servers. In their dailies giving the time various food venues were open, it was called a buffet. Everyone referred to it as a buffet, not a cafeteria.

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21 minutes ago, ontheweb said:

Why does everyone insist on calling this a cafeteria? We were on the HAL Maasdam in 2018 and they had servers. In their dailies giving the time various food venues were open, it was called a buffet. Everyone referred to it as a buffet, not a cafeteria.

You really like debating this don’t you?  Recall the ‘Get rid of the buffet already...’ thread that began in February? You posted many a screed on there too on the essential need to retain the word buffet rather than cafeteria.

 

BTW, this is a Princess thread, not HAL so your experience on Maasdam doesn’t apply.

 

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I suspect that no matter what they decide to do I'll be throwing away much more food as the end result. When serving myself I take only as much as I want & need. If a server is dishing out the food I'm sure it'll be slower with people giving specific instructions as to which piece they want & how much sauce to put on it. It'll be much slower than ever before. 

It sounds like the DR will be a better choice in the end.

I hope they don't enforce any dress code. 😄

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6 minutes ago, cruzsnooze said:

The buffet is the only open food venue for lunch on port days. They would have to open the dining room if they were to close the buffet. 

I'd like to see that happen, but I'm not holding my breath.

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Norovirus is transmitted by surfaces.  It's been a perennial risk on cruise ships,  but norovirus didn't kill self-serve buffets.  They just used servers during outbreaks.   Apparently many people like serving themselves. 

 

Unlike norovirus, coronavirus is mostly (almost exclusively?) transmitted through the air.  The risk of buffets lies in the crowding, which is much like the risk posed by the theater, tenders, and many other things.  Once they "solve" the virus problem in a way that allows a restart of cruising, buffets will still be around.   I'd expect to see servers, etc., during a transition period, but even those steps could fade away over time as normality returns.  

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5 hours ago, d9704011 said:

You really like debating this don’t you?  Recall the ‘Get rid of the buffet already...’ thread that began in February? You posted many a screed on there too on the essential need to retain the word buffet rather than cafeteria.

 

BTW, this is a Princess thread, not HAL so your experience on Maasdam doesn’t apply.

 

Lighten up! Any cruise discussion is fine on any thread. 

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5 hours ago, ontheweb said:

Why does everyone insist on calling this a cafeteria? We were on the HAL Maasdam in 2018 and they had servers. In their dailies giving the time various food venues were open, it was called a buffet. Everyone referred to it as a buffet, not a cafeteria.

If you go through a line and the staff serves you it is a cafeteria by definition. Self serve is a buffet.

If they do away with the buffet it will be a real issue for us. We intensely dislike the MDR and almost always use the buffet.

It can be made safer by STRICT enforcement of hand washing at the entrances and allowing only a few people in the line at a time. Also less tables for the 6 foot rule. It will make meal time a slower affair but as most evenings the buffet room is half empty that should not be a problem. Lunch will be more difficult on sea days for sure.

 

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