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ISO opinions on how you like the buffets.

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(If there's a thread on this I couldn't find it.  Can one search within a particular board?)

 

I saw a thread on a general board about cutting in line at buffets and commented that I was looking forward to O's buffets not being self-serve.  Someone commented that they experienced it on another line and didn't like it.  It slowed down the line and it was hard to get just which 'piece of fish' or just a small serving of something.  Would you please talk to me about this?  I don't anticipate any/many buffets but would be curious what you think of them.  TIA.

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We do like the food at the Terrace cafe. Generally we have found fellow cruisers on O to be polite and well behaved. 

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23 minutes ago, Noxequifans said:

We do like the food at the Terrace cafe. Generally we have found fellow cruisers on O to be polite and well behaved. 

Sorry I wasn't clear.  I'm not talking about cutting in line rather the non-self-serve buffet and how/if it works well.

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It works perfectly.  You indicate what you would like and that's what you get on your plate.   Don't forget the Oceania Line carries a small number of passengers so the Terrace never has a crush of people.   No problem   J 

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The problem with posting on the “general” forums, vs Oceania, Azamara or Luxury line forums, is that you are comparing apples and oranges.   Oceania and Azamara are premium plus lines, and as such are not part of the general mass mkt comparisons.   Terrace Cafe is  NOT your normal mass market buffet.   Normal buffets do not have a grill with made to order lobster tails, lamb chops and fish (yea it’s unlimited every night).   The stations on the Oceania ships, are just that...stations.  They serve you whatever you want, small, medium or large portion.   It’s fine, just don’t try to compare Buffet stories with the mass mkt general cruise lines...not the same.   In fact, most folks don’t get it. 

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you go to the section  & ask the  server for the items you want

ask for as much or as little as you like

there are several stations serving different types of food

usually the hot items are along one side  in the meddle section are cold items  eg: salads, cheeses, cold meats  & desserts  then you have the grill  to order section

you sit at a table the waiter will take your drink order

 

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Posted (edited)

In general we found that going directly to a serving station for particular items was generally not a problem.  If there are lines they tend to form at the individual stations rather than a long long marching along the offerings normally associate with buffets.  Folks don't seen to mind if you look over their shoulders to see what the offerings are before getting in to the station line, if there is one.

 

It's a much better (and more sanitary) approach than self service buffets, which some premium/luxury lines still use.

Edited by 1985rz1

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For me it's a superior experience all the way around compared to the self serve buffets. 

 

There will always be some people that don't like it. 

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Thanks, all!  I just hadn't had any real info so that's why I asked.

 

In the last year and a half we've sailed twice with Hurtigruten.  One ship carried about 400 pax and the other about 100.  Breakfast and lunch were buffet and dinners were a mix of seated, multi-course dinners and buffet.  On the larger ship there weren't stations but rather four "lines" of food.  Salad-y things were one, desserts were another and the two center ones were mains, with some differences between the two.  Also an area for bread - really great bread.  And it worked well.

 

I had to chuckle about the different mindset.  Someone mentioned about having had their lunch but then going back for some "runny pasta," back again for a "little Chinese," and a final time for a slice of pizza.  Okey dokey 🙂

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I'm sure I'm in the minority (no flames, please...this is JMHO),  but I think it takes much longer to get your food since you have to wait your turn to be served. There's no "line", everyone just crowds up together in a group so no one really knows who's next...it's not organized at all and I've seen people get pretty testy! I agree that it's probably more sanitary, but the reality is that it does take more time than self-service.

 

Also, since people have to tell the servers what they want,  they often use a finger to point to the food and I've seen them touch the items sitting there! Gross! 

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19 minutes ago, Go-Bucks! said:

Also, since people have to tell the servers what they want,  they often use a finger to point to the food and I've seen them touch the items sitting there! Gross! 

One of my Pet Peeves. 

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59 minutes ago, Go-Bucks! said:

 

Also, since people have to tell the servers what they want,  they often use a finger to point to the food and I've seen them touch the items sitting there! Gross! 

GROSS is right

That is why I keep saying in my comment cards they should put the glass to the counter

On Marina in April they had plastic wrap from the sneeze guard down to the counter

 

no fingers or hairy arms over the food  😉

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As I once politely explained to a fellow cruiser, all of the wait staff speaks English. Just tell them what you wish for. No need to point.

 

There is zero need to put one’s hands under the serving glass. Some feel it necessary to reach up underneath and stick their fingers in or near the food. I’ve always found a smile and simple verbal explanation always yields exactly what I wish for.

 

While on vacation on Oceania, I’ve never felt rushed. Therefore I’ve never experienced the need to be served or to eat quickly. If so, it only means I didn’t come in early enough to facilitate a relaxing experience, my fault no O’s.

 

The Primary problem I have with the Terrace is sporadic, at best, adult beverage service. One may have finished their meal before they get a wine server to take your order then actually get it delivered. Then getting a second glass, Good Luck! Service one day can be adequate while the next day non existent. I therefore avoid the Terrace at dinner except when they have something exceptional that interests me. The GDR is just to good, in our opinion, to put up with the iffy beverage service in the Terrace. 

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It was explained to me the reason the glass is not to the counter is two fold.

 

1. The vertically challenged and some of the elderly have a difficult time reaching up , over the glass, to receive food passed over the top.

 

2. #1 is particularly the case for those numerous wheel chair and scooter mobile passengers. Moving the glass to the counter means the wait staff would have to walk out and around the serving line to pass the food directly.

 

Unfortunately , this gives the uncouth an opening for their arms.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Go-Bucks! said:

I'm sure I'm in the minority (no flames, please...this is JMHO),  but I think it takes much longer to get your food since you have to wait your turn to be served. There's no "line", everyone just crowds up together in a group so no one really knows who's next...it's not organized at all and I've seen people get pretty testy! I agree that it's probably more sanitary, but the reality is that it does take more time than self-service.

 

Also, since people have to tell the servers what they want,  they often use a finger to point to the food and I've seen them touch the items sitting there! Gross! 

 

Our experience similar.

 

Also detailed (in separate thread) how the servers rather refused to give us more than two pieces of sushi roll at once. F&B Mgr. asked us how things were going one day and that was mostly sorted thereafter.

 

And Pinotlover is correct--place can be like the Sahara Desert.

 

Given that O's clientele is sufficiently midbrow, I think self serve would be fine.

Agreed, the mass-market lines are buffets to avoid.

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1 hour ago, Shawnino said:

Given that O's clientele is sufficiently midbrow, I think self serve would be fine.

 

Yes, one would think so, but unfortunately seeing that a large percentage of fellow passengers don't use the the ant-bacterial containers  before entering dining venues (or when boarding or re-boarding), it doesn't seem so.  The self serving utensils can be a bacterial transfer route.

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1 hour ago, 1985rz1 said:

Yes, one would think so, but unfortunately seeing that a large percentage of fellow passengers don't use the the ant-bacterial containers  before entering dining venues (or when boarding or re-boarding), it doesn't seem so.  The self serving utensils can be a bacterial transfer route.

I'm the last thing of a germophobe but here are the facts:

 

Salmonella and campylobacter survive for short periods of around 1 to 4 hours on hard surfaces or fabrics. Norovirus and C. difficile, however, can survive for much longer. In one study, C. difficile was shown to survive for 5 months. Norovirus can survive for days or weeks on hard surfaces.

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I agree that the way Oceania serves in the Terrace appears more sanitary, however not sure there is any evidence that Oceania ships are more "healthy" to travel on than other ships. With the self service and shared serving utensils in Baristas and the Executive and Concierge lounges all users touching the coffee machines, and the ability of guests to take pre made deserts off of the shelves in Terrace, Oceania ships indeed are not immune from the shared serving item concern.   Indeed, our only experience with a norovirus outbreak in over 40 cruises was on an Oceania cruise. 

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1 hour ago, 1985rz1 said:

Yes, one would think so, but unfortunately seeing that a large percentage of fellow passengers don't use the the ant-bacterial containers  before entering dining venues (or when boarding or re-boarding), it doesn't seem so.  The self serving utensils can be a bacterial transfer route.

I agree

then there was the Noro cruise where they were taking room cards away from those supposed to be confined to their cabin as they were out & about

spreading the joy

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Just now, LHT28 said:

I agree

then there was the Noro cruise where they were taking room cards away from those supposed to be confined to their cabin as they were out & about

spreading the joy

Is one allowed to say "holy *****" here?????  And I guess f-bombs aren't allowed.  That's simply amazing.  Wonders never cease.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, edgee said:

I agree that the way Oceania serves in the Terrace appears more sanitary, however not sure there is any evidence that Oceania ships are more "healthy" to travel on than other ships. With the self service and shared serving utensils in Baristas and the Executive and Concierge lounges all users touching the coffee machines, and the ability of guests to take pre made deserts off of the shelves in Terrace, Oceania ships indeed are not immune from the shared serving item concern.   Indeed, our only experience with a norovirus outbreak in over 40 cruises was on an Oceania cruise. 

Like most things, one cannot stop them entirely, just minimize them wherever possible...and educate the folks to be more thoughtful about the health risks to others as a result of inattention.

Edited by 1985rz1

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5 hours ago, pinotlover said:

There is zero need to put one’s hands under the serving glass.

That is what you would think (and it is true on Oceania).

Currently on Silversea and last year cruised on Crystal - both considered luxury cruise lines. Both have self service buffets. In addition to the unsanitary practice of everyone handling the same serving utensils, on both lines some item were so far back (third row of items on display) that even reaching deep into the serving area (under the glass) I could not reach an item I wanted (fruit) and there was nobody to do it for me.

The buffet on Oceania works fine for me as is - better than any other line I cruised on - mass market or luxury.

JMO.

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, 1985rz1 said:

Like most things, one cannot stop them entirely, just minimize them wherever possible...and educate the folks to be more thoughtful about the health risks to others as a result of inattention.

 

That would be nice but no amount of courteous comments relative to health risks are going to change those "adults" who don't wash their hands after using the restroom, refuse to use the sanitizers and touch food at the buffet. They should have been taught proper hygiene as a child. Chances are they would respond to your thoughtful suggestions in a negative manner. 

 

Back to the original question. The buffet is run in an orderly fashion compared to other cruise lines or hotels. The food is very good. It's rare to have fellow passengers behave as if the ship is going to run out of food. Having given a positive response, we still avoid the buffet if at all possible. Try Waves Grill instead.

Edited by Rob the Cruiser

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