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Buffet in light of the coronavirus


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We are currently considering cancelling our upcoming cruise.    We enjoy eating at the Horizon Court, but are hesitant now in light of the coronavirus.   Does anyone know if Princess has changed their process in regards to having people take their own food, or are the waiters/staff serving the food now.   I have seen things on other cruises where people grab a roll and then change their mind and put it pack.  One option we are thinking about is taking advantage more of the sit-down restaurants and room service.....

 

 

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If you're worried someone took a roll (or whatever) and put it back...don't choose that item.

Wear gloves to serve yourself, if the staff aren't doing the serving.

Use room service and MDR (IMHO better than most of the buffets anyway).

 

Don't cancel if your cruise isn't to an affected area or if you're at risk of  losing your deposit (or all the money you paid).

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We have a short cruise in early  May and have decided to avoid the buffet and eat at the IC for breakfast (or room service) and the on deck burger and pizza places for lunch

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The major risk, if one considers that is not from COVID-19, but from Influenza (many people do not take an Influenza Vaccine, and Norovirus.

When we cruise, we try to eat in the dining room.  

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IF we go on our scheduled May cruise on the Royal, I intend to take thin vinyl gloves to use in the buffet - remove them after using serving pieces, pulling my chair in, and using any condiments on the table, just before handling any food or utensils.   I'll also be more selective choosing my food (picking items farther back in the display, taking advantage of any stations that prepare and serve the food individually, and use the dining room and burger and pizza stations more.    And, of course, washing hands as often as possible - maybe even excusing myself from the main dining room table to wash after handling menus.   

We are in the highest risk group (both age and medical factors) so are possibly more concerned than some others.     

Actually my biggest fear is being trapped in an elevator with someone coughing and/or sneezing.    We'll avoid them when we can, but can't do more than about 2 flights of stairs.    

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We just did 29 days on the Emerald Princess and ate mainly in the buffet with no problems. I think there are still risks with eating in the dining room, or on room service. The staff are still touching lots of food and plates. Plus you will still move around the ship and be in contact with lift buttons, and stair rails (I try never to touch either)
One good thing to do if you use the buffet, is dish up your food and put it on your table, then go and wash your hands again before eating (especially if you are eating food like grapes, or bread rolls with your hands) 
 

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We'll still be using the buffets but since we always eat very early (usually first in line), at all our meals it'll mean less people have went though before us & that much less chance of contamination. 

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1 hour ago, tert333 said:

We are currently considering cancelling our upcoming cruise.    We enjoy eating at the Horizon Court, but are hesitant now in light of the coronavirus.   Does anyone know if Princess has changed their process in regards to having people take their own food, or are the waiters/staff serving the food now.   I have seen things on other cruises where people grab a roll and then change their mind and put it pack.  One option we are thinking about is taking advantage more of the sit-down restaurants and room service.....

 

 

Would you cancel if a person had the flu was on the ship? Over 135 people on the average die from the flu EVERY DAY in the US alone. On the average 300-500 THOUSAND world wide die from the flu every year. That averages ONE THOUSAND every day, yet people do not get a flu shot. No one cares about the flu. The only reason there is panic. Panic sets in when there is an unknown.

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5 minutes ago, ALWAYS CRUZIN said:

Would you cancel if a person had the flu was on the ship? Over 135 people on the average die from the flu EVERY DAY in the US alone. On the average 300-500 THOUSAND world wide die from the flu every year. That averages ONE THOUSAND every day, yet people do not get a flu shot. No one cares about the flu. The only reason there is panic. Panic sets in when there is an unknown.

I get the flu shot every year and understand that while it does not cover all strains, it reduces the risk.   With the coronavirus, there is still a lot of unknowns, which cause the panic.  The reality is that I dont think anyone wants to get in a situation like the diamond princess.   If there is an outbreak on another ship, maybe they will handle it differently.  In a few months, hopefully it will be a lot more clear.   In the meantime, we will look at ways of minimizing the risk.  We will probably take the cruise and be a lot more cognizant of the risks and ways to minimize them,  than in the past.

 

The one thing my wife and I always do is to walk up the stairs, so get some exercise after eating so much.  Its one way to avoid getting caught in the elevator.   🙂

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44 minutes ago, ALWAYS CRUZIN said:

Would you cancel if a person had the flu was on the ship? Over 135 people on the average die from the flu EVERY DAY in the US alone. On the average 300-500 THOUSAND world wide die from the flu every year. That averages ONE THOUSAND every day, yet people do not get a flu shot. No one cares about the flu. The only reason there is panic. Panic sets in when there is an unknown.

👍

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1 hour ago, ALWAYS CRUZIN said:

Would you cancel if a person had the flu was on the ship? Over 135 people on the average die from the flu EVERY DAY in the US alone. On the average 300-500 THOUSAND world wide die from the flu every year. That averages ONE THOUSAND every day, yet people do not get a flu shot. No one cares about the flu. The only reason there is panic. Panic sets in when there is an unknown.

So very well said! Great to read some common sense & to put it in perspective! Thank you!!!! 

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36 minutes ago, MissP22 said:

The DH & myself just deal with it at home but it sounds like the majority run to the doctor at the first signs of a sniffle. 🤧

This whole ordeal has been blown out of proportion by the media so we've decided to just live our lives just taking the usual precautions. 

We're still looking for all those cruise discounts I thought would appear. 😄


We are currently on the Regal, and I think most feel the same on the ship. No one creating panic wearing mask. The good news is everyone appears to be taking those extra precautions more than normal, only saw a few at Princess Cays leave the restroom without washing hands. Typically have to wait more than normal for a sink in the restroom now. No changes at the Horizon Court. Ship still feels full, although someone told us that lots of empty cabins? Same wait time for us everywhere, so I don’t see it. *Shurgs*
 

Great time thus far! Bar service continues to be crazy slow on Regal. Was hoping this would be fixed since our last sailing. 

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32 minutes ago, jtjosh02 said:


We are currently on the Regal, and I think most feel the same on the ship. No one creating panic wearing mask. The good news is everyone appears to be taking those extra precautions more than normal, only saw a few at Princess Cays leave the restroom without washing hands. Typically have to wait more than normal for a sink in the restroom now. No changes at the Horizon Court. Ship still feels full, although someone told us that lots of empty cabins? Same wait time for us everywhere, so I don’t see it. *Shurgs*
 

Great time thus far! Bar service continues to be crazy slow on Regal. Was hoping this would be fixed since our last sailing. 

 

It's still a great ship even with the latest poor health report. 

Enjoy.

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31 minutes ago, jtjosh02 said:


We are currently on the Regal, and I think most feel the same on the ship. No one creating panic wearing mask. The good news is everyone appears to be taking those extra precautions more than normal, only saw a few at Princess Cays leave the restroom without washing hands. Typically have to wait more than normal for a sink in the restroom now. No changes at the Horizon Court. Ship still feels full, although someone told us that lots of empty cabins? Same wait time for us everywhere, so I don’t see it. *Shurgs*
 

Great time thus far! Bar service continues to be crazy slow on Regal. Was hoping this would be fixed since our last sailing. 

 

 

Just curious, are they still pre-setting the tables in the Horizon Court with coffee mugs and juice glasses?  If so, sit for a bit and see if they remove all of the unused drinkware after somebody sits down at a table or if they leave it there for that person(s) to sneeze on, cough on, or handle a bit so as to contaminate it for the next unsuspecting passenger.

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1 minute ago, SargassoPirate said:

 

 

Just curious, are they still pre-setting the tables in the Horizon Court with coffee mugs and juice glasses?  If so, sit for a bit and see if they remove all of the unused drinkware after somebody sits down at a table or if they leave it there for that person(s) to sneeze on, cough on, or handle a bit so as to contaminate it for the next unsuspecting passenger.

Last Feb 2-9th the tables were set in the evening but would remove the glasses after you arrived.....especially if you brought your own drinks. If you didn't want water they would remove that glass but I didn't pay attention to what they did with the glass.

Wash it or just reuse it on another table setup??

I'm assuming it would be washed.

The silverware was always wrapped in the napkin holder for all meals and not just laying on the tables. 

 

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We use the sanitizer when entering the buffet/dining room and then again at the table after using condiments or handling the menu/just before eating.  We take small bottles of it with us which makes it easy.  On returning to our room, first thing I do is wash my hands.

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Let's face it, any buffet involves some risk.  The more people feeding at it, the more the risk.  I think anyone using a buffet knows they must assume some risk the servig utensils and even the food will become contaminated by others.  The only way to mitigate it would be a cafeteria style set up where the food is served to you like they have on some of the newer Holland America ships.

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I have been doing the "no buffet" and no elevators for years now.  I can use the exercise.  I don't need to eat at the buffet, I tend to take too much food.  I have breakfast and lunch at the IC.  I've never been big on buffets, although when I first started cruising I would go to the buffet area.  As ships have gotten bigger, buffet areas more crowded, I started avoiding them.  It really started as a way to see if I could come home from a longer cruise (20+ days) gaining no weight! 🙂 

 

 

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Buffets even at the best of times are germ ridden...I would avoid them at all cost but each person has their own level of risk they are willing to take...frankly just don't like buffets anyway.

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18 hours ago, Kartgv said:

IF we go on our scheduled May cruise on the Royal, I intend to take thin vinyl gloves to use in the buffet - remove them after using serving pieces, pulling my chair in, and using any condiments on the table, just before handling any food or utensils.   I'll also be more selective choosing my food (picking items farther back in the display, taking advantage of any stations that prepare and serve the food individually, and use the dining room and burger and pizza stations more.    And, of course, washing hands as often as possible - maybe even excusing myself from the main dining room table to wash after handling menus.   

We are in the highest risk group (both age and medical factors) so are possibly more concerned than some others.     

Actually my biggest fear is being trapped in an elevator with someone coughing and/or sneezing.    We'll avoid them when we can, but can't do more than about 2 flights of stairs.    


Why would you need to do any of this?

Just keep your fingers out of your mouth and you can touch whatever you like. Viruses dont seep in through your skin.
 

 

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We were on the Norovirus shortened Feb 2 Caribbean Cruise. Once the virus outbreak became known, we didn't make any changes to our cruise routine. Cruising in mid winter during the peak of the cold and flu season and with an older cruise passenger group, cruise passengers are always subjected to a higher chance of catching a virus, 

 

We take every precaution we can, including taking our own alcohol based hand de sanitizer with us to use after we get our food in the buffet. But it is what it is. We take every precaution and hope we don't get sick.

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1 hour ago, FiftyOnePlus said:


Why would you need to do any of this?

Just keep your fingers out of your mouth and you can touch whatever you like. Viruses dont seep in through your skin.
 

 

 

Most of us don't routinely put our fingers in our mouths, though I have seen it happen!   However, we do use our hands to hold a sandwich, roll, cookie or piece of pizza or fruit.        

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1 minute ago, Kartgv said:

 

Most of us don't routinely put our fingers in our mouths, though I have seen it happen!   However, we do use our hands to hold a sandwich, roll, cookie or piece of pizza or fruit.        

 With out realizing it we take our hands to our faces  to many times each day to be safe 

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20 hours ago, ChattTenn said:

We will be going but are planning to buy several travel size hand sanitizer liquid bottles to carry around (in the pocket) and use it if necessary. 

 

Why, when there are hand sanitizer stations all over the ships?

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