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charlielou

Buffet Nightmare

35 posts in this topic

Has anyone experienced problems with finding a table in the buffet for breakfast on Azura?  We have recently returned from a 14 night sailing and had the task of searching for an empty table after we had visited the buffet.  We spent ages walking around in search of a table whilst watching our hot breakfast go cold.  What made this situation slightly more irritating was that there were empty tables being reserved with bags and drinks.  Is this normal buffet etiquette on most cruise ships? I am sure many places on land have a 'no reserving tables' policy.

 

Appreciate any comments :)

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Yes I know what you mean! Sometimes I think people should be more considerate and when they have fnished leave the table for others to use!

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I am not sure I've not sailed on Ventura.  They do have the main restaurants for breakfast but we didn't try that so not sure how its works.  It seems that most people tend go and grab a table in the buffet then go and get their breakfast.

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Has anyone experienced problems with finding a table in the buffet for breakfast on Azura?  We have recently returned from a 14 night sailing and had the task of searching for an empty table after we had visited the buffet.  We spent ages walking around in search of a table whilst watching our hot breakfast go cold.  What made this situation slightly more irritating was that there were empty tables being reserved with bags and drinks.  Is this normal buffet etiquette on most cruise ships? I am sure many places on land have a 'no reserving tables' policy.

 

Appreciate any comments :)

As I have said before our last cruise with P&O was in 2001 but I have never been a fan of buffets for any meal. We used to eat almost exclusively in the MDR on P&O - the only exception being the Indian Buffet Dinner! I would suggest sticking to the MDR.

However when we recently cruised on HAL's Ryndam I found the buffet to be by far the most civilised I have yet to encounter and we did tend to use it a few times at lunch and occasionally for an early breakfast. I don't know whether the larger HAL ships would be the same.

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Princess is  far better service and more civilised in their self service restaurants the vacancies on tables are set out with knives and forks and a small table mat so you can see where they are and if you are struggling to find a table the waiters ask you and find places for you. They also serve you with drinks so avoiding the queue at the drinks station for tea and coffee.

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Sympathise with you - we try and avoid the buffets at "peak" times for this reason.

 

We always have continental breakfast delivered to the cabin and start the day quietly!

vamp23 likes this

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My wife calls the cafeteria the Free For All, which pretty much sums it up.

 

Why not try the MDR for breakfast, much more civilised.

 

We only occasionally use the cafeteria and usually not through choice.

 

RayO

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Hello,We seem to be bucking the trend.When we first started cruising we used to breakfast in the MDR,but now we feel it seems to go on too long and,wait for it,eats into the day,sorry.

In the buffet,we find two seats,never ever been a problem,one of us sits the other fetches the cereals and tea and coffee,not exactly rocket science.On our recent Celebrity cruise we were very impressed by the staff in the buffet.There were allways staff directing you to spare seats and to serveries that were either available or had smaller queues.

They also have people constantly coming round with tea coffee and water.

Rodger.

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we have often found it difficult to find seats there are the people who leave items on a table to 'reserve' it. There are also the people who have their breakfast and then stay at the table to read, chat and drink tea/coffee until lunch, there have been several groups doing this on recent cruises especially when the weather is less than perfect . Coming up for a late breakfast one day half the buffet area had been closed off and the other half was full and not one person was eating .We usually take our breakfast outside where there is usually space.

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Exactly Jaguar01 it isnt rocket science is it?! It is a buffet after all so if you dont want to serve yourself or find your own seat go to the restaurant

ron likes this

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We have just returned from a cruise on the new Regal Princess and the way they have designed the Horizon Court buffet is superb and very much eliminates the queues, even on sea days when everyone is on board. The tables and breakfast bars are set with cutlery wrapped in a napkin and the waiters get your drinks, thus avoiding that messy visit to the drink stations which you get on other cruise lines.  The Horizon Court is divided into a Bistro for lighter meals and areas for full hot meals which my wife and I found a great improvement when we had occasion to use the self-service facility.  Well done Princess.

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We also avoid the busy times in the buffet and very often have a brunch on sea days.

On port days we have room service for breakfast.

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Unfortunately the buffet areas on many ships at peak times involves playing 'Hunt the Table'. For some reason I have found it not so bad on Celebrity, Azamara, Princess, Fred Olsen and Cunard. When travelling on P&O, MSC and others I find breakfast and luncheon in the MDR to be the answer.

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we didnt find the buffet queues too bad on ventura or many other cruises we have been on. NCL Spirit is the worst buffet we have used by far. We just take it in turns and it seems to work. If it is busy, one of us sits at the table while the other gets the food.

ron likes this

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I dislike the practice of people hogging tables when finished, the staff should move them on because there are not enough seats for all passengers.  The hoggers care nothing for their fellow passengers who are wanting to sit down.  I see it in coffee shops where people come in, there is a long queue but one person grabs a table probably before some people who are already there before them, but what if you are on your own?  Effectively people are pushing in, but most people do it.  Waiting staff should direct you to spare seats and put a reserved sign on it.  One thing that no-one has mentioned is the fact that the bags on tables have also been on the floor, outside on pavements etc. so what about the hygiene aspect?

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I dislike the practice of people hogging tables when finished, the staff should move them on because there are not enough seats for all passengers.  The hoggers care nothing for their fellow passengers who are wanting to sit down.  I see it in coffee shops where people come in, there is a long queue but one person grabs a table probably before some people who are already there before them, but what if you are on your own?  Effectively people are pushing in, but most people do it.  Waiting staff should direct you to spare seats and put a reserved sign on it.  One thing that no-one has mentioned is the fact that the bags on tables have also been on the floor, outside on pavements etc. so what about the hygiene aspect?

With regard to bags which have been on the floor here, there and everywhere and then put on the tables and chairs too, I thought I was the only person who found this unacceptable. Some people have no concept of hygiene.

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Hi  To answer your question is this common on most cruise ships, the simple answer is yes,  Most cruise ships are high density and these problems are common if you don't wish to experience this again chose a low density ship but they are becoming more uncommon as many people wish to have low boarding fares and then somehow seem to be surprised that they haven't purchased a luxury product

Oldworldtraveller likes this

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I do not see what the problem is especially if you are a couple one finds seats the other gets his or her meal then the other one does the same.

 

Some couples seem only to want to sit on there own on Ventura there are plenty of bigger tables that sometimes you see empty seats that some do not want to share a table with.

 

We have had good conversations with people we may only have met at the table.

 

And I have also seen waiters carrying trays for people with disabilities.

 

If people don't like the so called scrum go to the MDR simple ;)

Oldworldtraveller likes this

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I have to say I too have has similar experiences of busy buffet dining areas and try to avoid them if possible. Sometimes if I have a balcony we will order cabin service and have say a toasted sandwich or cheese platter with a glass of wine and enjoy it in peace. However I have recently been on the Black Watch and found the Braemar Garden Cafe to be very well organised and never too busy , there are staff attending to help with seating etc , a lovely light area as well.

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We have never found the buffet a problem. As Ron says one half of a couple sits at a table and the other gets their food, if you find a table with just one or two on it it's nice to ask may we share, we have yet to be refused , some are happy to converse others just want to eat, we have met some very nice people by sharing a table in the buffet.

I have tried the MDR but was disappointed with my breakfast it was only luke warm I don't know how far it had travelled from the galley. At least in the buffet it's a quick turn over so the food doesn't sit around and always looks fresh.

Terminator and ron like this

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