I wonder why some cruise lines will have trays at the ready for us, to be able to carry our food, comfortably and why some lines don't.
Does it make sense to you as well, that being able to walk with ease, with plates, cutlery, a drink, all sitting nicely on a tray is a good thing? Or, rather than having an oval plate, in one hand, drink in the other, and maybe having to go back to get your salad, etc..
When I cruised the Gem last year, there were no trays...so I asked for one, making it so much easier to get what I need, and carry it to the table.
Such a simple thing, you would think all the lines would use them.
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Being rather clumsy myself, I've wondered that, plates only is not a good thing. I've had the situation traveling by myself, that I set something down go back to get a drink and cutlery, and wella, table is clear my food is gone! Now I usually ask people nearby to guard my table!
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NCL seemed to have done away with the trays when there was a big Noro outbreak. I believe it was part of their infection control efforts. I really wonder if they wipe trays down with a damp cloth or actually wash them in a more sanitized manner.
If it were just me I would not mind doing without a tray. But getting food for more than one person absolutely requires a tray or multiple trips to the buffet.
One thing I found is that if I needed assistance foraging food for the fam, all I had to do was to ask for help. One morning a couple of young ladies saw me gathering breakfast to bring back to the cabin for the family and they even offered to help me carry it back to our room. I did notice that our Coffee and tea set up in our room was on a tray and I would sometimes take that tray to gather goodies.
Tray or no tray... I have never gone hungry on a cruise lol
Trays were before my time aboard Royal Caribbean so I never got used to not having them. I do, however, have a guess (and it is only that) about possibly why they don't.
In addition to those reasons advanced by nlb1050 and Beenie Weenie, I'm thinking the size of the tray relative to the size of the tables may have something to do with the decision. At a normal sized circular table for four such as those found in most general dining venues (i.e. Lido's as found on most ships), it is very difficult if not sometimes impossible to put four trays on the table. Then comes the problem of where do you stack the trays. All of this takes space and from what I've seen (especially on vessels such as the Explorer of the Seas), space is at a premium, especially in the Windjammer Cafe.
I'm not a real advocate of trays. I prefer a single plate and make an additional trip or two, between courses, if I need to. I will get my salad first and then get my entrée and dessert.
I am not a fan of overloading my plate so I would rather do it a couple of times.
The biggest problem is the silverware. Luckily I usually am wearing something with a pocket so I just stick in the pocket and off I go. I do like it when silverware and napkin are right on the table.
I know it would be a problem if you were trying to get food for multiple people, or you are mobility impaired.
My wife did the same thing, on our last NCL cruise, as Beenie when she went to the buffet to get me something to eat when I was not felling well. She grabbed the tray from under the coffee service and used that.
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Methinks I will smuggle a tray onto my next cruise in my checked luggage. Nice and flat, takes very little space, and could be placed to provide puncture protection for other contraband in plastic bottles.
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I did not like no trays on the GEM, but do understand cost savings not using them water wise and also hygeine wise as well, I will say I was often helped when I was having trouble carrying things to the table. Many places seem to be going "trayless" for the two reasons cited.
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