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wilsonsmw

The "Buffet" and the Future of Cruising

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In my opinion the buffet is a fun aspect of cruising, the variety, and options provided have always kept me happy.  I don't want to go away... With that, I flash back remembering guests pushing over each other, coughing the grabbing the serving spoons, taking food for 5.. etc.etc...... Oh and what really pisses me off is the arrogant guest who fills their personal water bottle up at the drink station, clearly when looking at the big sign "Don't use personal water bottles".  Thanks...  I hope the cruise lines truly reconsider how they keep guest safe in the future with these minor details, and I know they are working a lot of options, and I believe they will.  

 

Does the cruise lines limit how many guest at one time for the buffet, for example deck 5 at this time, deck 6 after?

 

Should crew be the only ones with the serving spoons in their hands/

 

I am sure, there are many more examples, but this was on my mind.  Hope everyone is staying safe, and being smart not leaving the house....

 

 

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Just now, wilsonsmw said:

Should crew be the only ones with the serving spoons in their hands/

Yes, probably the easiest change to make immediately without the need to reconfigure any of the buffet setup.  Roaming drink servers / removal of self-service machines also 

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36 minutes ago, wilsonsmw said:

In my opinion the buffet is a fun aspect of cruising, the variety, and options provided have always kept me happy.  I don't want to go away... With that, I flash back remembering guests pushing over each other, coughing the grabbing the serving spoons, taking food for 5.. etc.etc...... Oh and what really pisses me off is the arrogant guest who fills their personal water bottle up at the drink station, clearly when looking at the big sign "Don't use personal water bottles".  Thanks...  I hope the cruise lines truly reconsider how they keep guest safe in the future with these minor details, and I know they are working a lot of options, and I believe they will.  

 

Does the cruise lines limit how many guest at one time for the buffet, for example deck 5 at this time, deck 6 after?

 

Should crew be the only ones with the serving spoons in their hands/

 

I am sure, there are many more examples, but this was on my mind.  Hope everyone is staying safe, and being smart not leaving the house....

 

 

Excellent !!! It seems as if we have been on the same cruises.  

Most people are very courteous , others are " Entitled " and could care less how they act.

I also hope the staff serves the food at the buffet in the future .

The most common phrase will be " More "---  " Please '' is optional depending on who YOU  think YOU are.

I always told our staff to " Treat people the way THEY want to be treated , rather than the way YOU want to be treated "

 

 

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The buffet has no appeal for us at all but when our children were younger, they loved it!  Mostly for the variety, as you described and the self-serve ice cream machines.  My opinion is that they will have to have crew serving the passengers at the very least.  But that can also pose a problem.  Things like cross contamination can occur even when crew are wearing gloves.  For example, a crew member could touch his/her face, scratch their nose, whatever, and then use their gloved hand to resume serving.  Retraining of sanitary food service protocols will need to be implemented before the ships start running again.  

 

The other thing to consider, and this is what has often bothered me about dining in the buffet, is that walking around with a plate of food from station to station exposes the food to airborne contaminants.  I would like to see the buffet stocked with plate covers as well.  Enter the line, pick up a clean plate and plate cover.  Have food served to you, cover with a plate cover, walk to the next station...etc. 

 

For us, I think we will just stick with the dining rooms but do hope they come up with some good practices so that those who enjoy the buffet can continue to do so when this passes.

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We have avoided the buffet on our last 10 cruises on Celebrity for the reasons you list above. We book either AQ or a suite (when we can find a great price). Having breakfast in Blu, Luminae or room service, lunch in the Aqua Spa Cafe works for us.

We would consider the buffet only when the tongs, spoons and other serving utensils are in the hands of the crew, not the passengers.

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The buffet has always been a risk for transmission of gastrointestinal illness particularly norovirus.  And cruise lines have been fighting norovirus for as long as I remember.  But  there have been few improvements on the health safety of the buffet area except Wash Your Hands videos and disinfectant stations on entry.  The current coronavirus situation will go away, ships will sail again, careless unclean people will still use the buffet.  There will continue to be noro outbreaks on ships.  The buffet in land-based restaurants also has the same issues.

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I'd like to see Celebrity position as the cleanest modern luxury line (or one of them). At a minimum, institute the same protocols followed during an active norovirus situation. Not the end, but maybe a beginning. Just saying.

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1 hour ago, Pinboy said:

 ... Most people are very courteous , others are " Entitled " and could care less how they act. ....

 

Kinda like the rest of life ...

 

- Joel

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2 hours ago, wilsonsmw said:

In my opinion the buffet is a fun aspect of cruising, the variety, and options provided have always kept me happy.  I don't want to go away... With that, I flash back remembering guests pushing over each other, coughing the grabbing the serving spoons, taking food for 5.. etc.etc...... Oh and what really pisses me off is the arrogant guest who fills their personal water bottle up at the drink station, clearly when looking at the big sign "Don't use personal water bottles".  Thanks...  I hope the cruise lines truly reconsider how they keep guest safe in the future with these minor details, and I know they are working a lot of options, and I believe they will.  

 

Does the cruise lines limit how many guest at one time for the buffet, for example deck 5 at this time, deck 6 after?

 

Should crew be the only ones with the serving spoons in their hands/

 

I am sure, there are many more examples, but this was on my mind.  Hope everyone is staying safe, and being smart not leaving the house....

 

 

I bring water bottles to the machines but always transfer from a cup first. Very unsanitary to put a thermos or bottle to the spout.

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I think things will be back to normal sooner than later...

 

 

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5 minutes ago, PTC DAWG said:

I think things will be back to normal sooner than later...

 

 

If and when cruising starts back up, there will be a new normal, things will not be like it was before the shutdown.

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3 minutes ago, PTC DAWG said:

I think things will be back to normal sooner than later...

 

 

With our ages now at 72 and 76 and after almost 50 cruises (with 30+ on Celebrity), I'm hoping we will even want to board another cruise ship no matter what sanitary changes the cruise lines implement or modify.

 

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15 minutes ago, PTC DAWG said:

I think things will be back to normal sooner than later...

 

 

If your sooner is around a year, I would agree.  Less than that?  Not a chance, especially with the disclaimer "normal."

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Yes, I think all cruise ship buffets should change to no self service. It would help with all viral spread especially noro which is a constant problem.

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Oh and what really pisses me off is the arrogant guest who fills their personal water bottle up at the drink station, clearly when looking at the big sign "Don't use personal water bottles".

 

I think it would be helpful if the sign said "Dont use personal water bottles as if the mouth touches the spout you could transfer germs to it"  or something similar. People may not realise the effect it has

 

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I would love to see a change to the buffet, it’s been a long time coming. I’ve had Norovirus on a cruise ship 10 years ago and it was horrible. I put that down to the buffet with the terrible cross contamination and nothing has changed. Many people still  chose to totally ignore the had gel on offer for some baffling reason then go on to handle everything on offer. 

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We do all kinds of travel and for some reason, cruise pax hygiene is the absolute worst.  

 

Lick their fingers in the buffet.  Refuse to sanitize.  Sweat and slobber all over the gym equipment and then refuse to sanitize it.  Hack all over you in the theater without covering their mouths.  

 

Have no idea why cruises attract more of these people than other forms of travel.  

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Posted (edited)
15 minutes ago, Tarrian said:

Oh and what really pisses me off is the arrogant guest who fills their personal water bottle up at the drink station, clearly when looking at the big sign "Don't use personal water bottles".

 

I think it would be helpful if the sign said "Dont use personal water bottles as if the mouth touches the spout you could transfer germs to it"  or something similar. People may not realise the effect it has

 

I recently sailed on the new Seven Seas Splendor; they give everybody a specially designed bottle and the water dispensers are set up to refill those in a sanitary manner.  Maybe that's one way to go. They also have numerous hand washing basins around the buffet area.  I was one of the few who used them, unfortunately.

 

The new Celebrity ships have large handwashing stations at the entrance to the buffet.  Again I was one of the few who used them.  I expect that will change.  Also, it's time to jettison those nice young ladies at the buffet entrance who are too meek to enforce the use of the hand sanitizer, and replace them with Brunhildas who don't let anyone in until their hands are clean.  If there's one lesson that should have been learned it's that the nonsense of being nice to jerks who flout the rules will no longer be acceptable.   

Edited by jan-n-john

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Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, Tarrian said:

I think it would be helpful if the sign said "Dont use personal water bottles as if the mouth touches the spout you could transfer germs to it"  or something similar. People may not realise the effect it has

Oh you mean common sense! :classic_rolleyes: Obviously those that are doing it either can't read or believe it doesn't pertain to them. Just like the signs posted in all the public restrooms. You can add all the verbiage, warnings you want and but you can't fix stupid.

Edited by davekathy

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On HAL ships for the last couple of years and on Oceania (my only cruise with them was in February), no passengers served themselves at the buffet. Celebrity can easily do the same. Yes, it entails more crew, but the health of passengers is worth the cost. I would be reluctant to go on a Celebrity cruise unless they changed the buffet system.

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2 minutes ago, Maya_C said:

On HAL ships for the last couple of years and on Oceania (my only cruise with them was in February), no passengers served themselves at the buffet. Celebrity can easily do the same. Yes, it entails more crew, but the health of passengers is worth the cost. I would be reluctant to go on a Celebrity cruise unless they changed the buffet system.

 

I'd be surprised if this did not happen on Celebrity too now.

 

- Joel

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3 minutes ago, Maya_C said:

On HAL ships for the last couple of years and on Oceania (my only cruise with them was in February), no passengers served themselves at the buffet. Celebrity can easily do the same. Yes, it entails more crew, but the health of passengers is worth the cost. I would be reluctant to go on a Celebrity cruise unless they changed the buffet system.

Yes.  But they MUST increase the crew.  On Oceania Insignia in November/December, interminable waits for nearly everything in the buffet since they had slashed staff but still insisted on serving you. Sometimes even a cup of coffee took more than 10 minutes.

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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, Maya_C said:

On HAL ships for the last couple of years and on Oceania (my only cruise with them was in February), no passengers served themselves at the buffet. Celebrity can easily do the same. Yes, it entails more crew, but the health of passengers is worth the cost. I would be reluctant to go on a Celebrity cruise unless they changed the buffet system.

We cruise Celebrity but have always avoided the Oceanview Cafe long before this. Not our thing. Agree with others, self serve needs to go way and staff up the OVC with servers. 

Edited by davekathy

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4 minutes ago, ECCruise said:

Yes.  But they MUST increase the crew.  On Oceania Insignia in November/December, interminable waits for nearly everything in the buffet since they had slashed staff but still insisted on serving you. Sometimes even a cup of coffee took more than 10 minutes.

Might make a show of it when they resume sailing but expect lots of cutbacks as they struggle to regain profitability.  

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