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Best buffet food!?


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who do you think does the best buffet food? I’ve been on msc and I wasn’t overly impressed ‘travelodge type food’ not warm and just not great quality. P and O I went on before id say was better but still not brilliant, the fish and chip thing was good, so how do RC and celebrity stack up? I’m not a MDR kinda guy just want good quality buffet snap! 


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On a lot of ships evening food in the buffet is the same, or almost the same, as in the MDR ie it's prepared the same way with the same ingredients and often comes from the same kitchens.

So whatever folk say about food in the MDR will tell you what the food is like in the buffet.

Only at breakfast do we notice a big difference in the food - cooked pretty-well to order in the MDRs, but mass re-heated congealed bacon, trays of cold fried eggs, always one or two trays of stock standard items empty, etc in the buffets.


The big differences are in the surroundings and service, which is why we prefer to dine in the MDR in the evening

The ambience & surroundings in the MDRs we find far superior to the buffets - folk tend to show far more decorum in both dress & behaviour, the atmosphere is far more relaxed, the decor & furnishings are far more up-market even on budget lines, whereas many buffets are canteen-like.

Service includes things like whether the food is too cold or dried-up from being sat for quite a while under heat-lamps, whether buffet serving trays are empty, whether the counters, tables, floor etc are clean or spattered with spills, whether tables are promptly cleared. And daytime, whether the buffet is over-crowded and folk are wanderingg around like lost sheep with trays or plates in their hands.


Buffets are fine if you want a quick meal (our choice for breakfast on port days, and lunch-time snacks on sea-days while hoping that our sunbeds by the pool aren't purloined during those 20 minutes), if you don't want or don't have the time to get changed into evening-wear, or want to see food rather than menu descriptions before choosing. Or if you want to mix-and-match meals eg curry or Chinese with chips, or overdose on the meats and skip the greens, or have three desserts - it takes a brave man to ask for those in the MDR 😃.


In answer to your question our overall buffet experiences are that Carnival is poor, MSC is poor but in excellent surroundings, P&O better but canteen-like, RCI gets in right in both respects,

On the ships we've sailed, Princess probably the best mass-market buffets (and the exceptional  fish-and-chips in their Wheehouse pub put P&O's bland counter-service F&C venue to shame) .


But none come close to Ocean Village - a now-defunct different-concept subsidiary of P&O which amongst other differences had no MDRs - everything except a premium-pay speciality restaurant was buffet-style plus a few deck barbies. Because there was no alternative the buffets had to be very good, and they were. If you want try Ocean Village, ask Marty McFly or Dr Emmett Brown to take you back about 15 years 😏


Of course it's all subjective - hence just MHO


JB 🙂

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Its a few years since we cruised, but the food court style buffet set up on Celebrity Eclipse was outstanding and streets ahead of similar sized P&O and Princess ships.

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