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Old June 21st, 2011, 12:14 PM
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Default Cruise buffets?

Newbie question. Just want to make clear of this. The buffet on a ship is no extra charge and an alternative you can go to for all three meals? Is that right? What's the food like (at least what's it like on a Carnival)? Is there an actual dining area at the buffet? When is it open, etc, etc?
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Old June 21st, 2011, 12:19 PM
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Buffets are no extra charge and available most of the 24 hour day .When I was on Carnival there was a seating area.
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Old June 21st, 2011, 12:25 PM
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The buffet is there for your 3 meals, at no charge, no special seating at dinner. During the am, all your standard breakfast items, as well as an omelette station. I actually had a fried, hard boiled egg one morning!

For lunch there are many mayonnaissy type sides..We had a Mogolian wok station, on the Magic!...menus for the entree dishes will change daily for lunch..not sure about dinner,as we didn't dine there.
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Old June 21st, 2011, 12:32 PM
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I recall being on a Carnival ship that had 10PM to 1AM buffets as well.
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Old June 21st, 2011, 12:37 PM
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The buffet is included in your cruise fare..... many food options will be offered on the buffet for 3 meals a day and dont forget the 24 hr. Pizza area as well ! There is a dining areaq within the buffet areas and is very casual. Many folks choose to eat at the buffet as they just do not want to go into the traditional dining rooms for their meals. For the most part, most passengers will use the buffet mostly for breakfast and lunch, but the dining room is a nice change for those meal times to avoid the crowds and to enjoy a more "country club" style lunch.

I would suggest that you also check out carnivals website as there is a wealth of information and photos (including ones specific to your ship) that will probably answer alot of your curiosities, so as to be better prepared for your upcoming cruise plans.

Of course you can get personal opinions/experiences here too !
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Old June 21st, 2011, 12:43 PM
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The only time my wife and I ever spend at the buffer is early morning and late at night . On my last cruise I went to the late night chocolate buffet but please do not tell anyone as I am not supposed to eat chocolate.
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Old June 21st, 2011, 02:19 PM
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While not the same as ordering from the menu in the main dining room, the buffets on Carnival are actually pretty good. There's a pizza station, a New York style deli (on most ships) that has really good sandwiches, lots of fresh fruit, a hot buffet that has typical breakfast items (as Trip mentioned), for lunch and dinner there's usually cheeseburgers, fries, sometimes chicken, fish, veggies, and a salad bar. And plenty of desert items. After you've arrived at the port and gone through the embarkation process, head up to the Lido deck and check it out. Even if you're not real hungry, you can get coffee, iced tea, fruit punch, juice, or ice water. And there's always room for a little dish of soft-serve ice cream. If one of the tables out near the pool area are available, it's a great place to sit and people-watch. By the way, if you take your own travel mug with you, you can save trips to the beverage station.

Last edited by RTALLEN; June 21st, 2011 at 02:22 PM. Reason: punctuation
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Old June 21st, 2011, 02:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RTALLEN View Post
While not the same as ordering from the menu in the main dining room, the buffets on Carnival are actually pretty good. There's a pizza station, a New York style deli (on most ships) that has really good sandwiches, lots of fresh fruit, a hot buffet that has typical breakfast items (as Trip mentioned), for lunch and dinner there's usually cheeseburgers, fries, sometimes chicken, fish, veggies, and a salad bar. And plenty of desert items. After you've arrived at the port and gone through the embarkation process, head up to the Lido deck and check it out. Even if you're not real hungry, you can get coffee, iced tea, fruit punch, juice, or ice water. And there's always room for a little dish of soft-serve ice cream. If one of the tables out near the pool area are available, it's a great place to sit and people-watch. By the way, if you take your own travel mug with you, you can save trips to the beverage station.
If you travel with your own mug you have to carry it around continuously .
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Old June 21st, 2011, 02:57 PM
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You will find a variety of foods for lunch at the buffet. Each day there will be one area that is a theme. i.e. Mexican, French, Italian, etc. There will be a variety of foods from entrées to salads.

There will also be a dessert station with cakes, pastries and other sweets.

On many Carnival ships there is a Mongolian BBQ. The lines for this on my Liberty cruise were always long and I never tried it but it was popular.

There is also a Deli and Pizza station. On Liberty there was a fish and chips station on the upper level. The deli was one of my favorites. On Liberty it was much better than on Pride or Legend. The sandwiches on Liberty had much more "inside" than on my previous cruises.

There will also an area, usually just outside by the pool, that serves burgers, hot dogs and some have brats. I found on Liberty that the burger was pretty good and my grandson consumed them every day for lunch. He is a very picky eater.

For breakfast there will be the usual variety of scrambled eggs, ham, bacon, cereal, oatmeal and "other" stuff. I tried one of the Panko coated "fried" hard boiled eggs and it was one of the worst things I've ever put in my mouth. If I had been at home I would have spit it out. Perhaps if it had just come out of the fryer it would have been palatable but this wasn't. The best thing I found for breakfast (on just about every ship) is the omelette station. You can get a cooked to order omelette with your choice of fillings.

I have never eaten dinner in a Carnival buffet but I have walked through and the choices are fewer but looked good and there "seemed" to be a number of items that were on the dining room menu. The buffet closes around 9:30 p.m. but the Deli was open until midnight and the pizza (which isn't bad) was open almost 24 hours. The days of the midnight buffet are long gone on just about all ships and cruise lines.

BTW: There is no area of the buffet, including Pizza, Mongolian Wok, Fish and Chips, Deli or Grill area that will charge you. The only charge would be if you ordered soda or an adult beverage.

There will almost always be something to eat in the buffet area and many things are VERY GOOD and I do appreciate the variety that Carnival has. I think you will also find this to be true.

Take care and enjoy,
Mike
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Old June 21st, 2011, 03:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Henry43 View Post
If you travel with your own mug you have to carry it around continuously .
Not if you take a minute or so out to drop it off at your cabin. Since we're coffee drinkers, I prefer to have a travel mug rather than one of the little coffee cups that are near the coffee maker. Saves me trips back and forth for refills. But, to each his own.
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Old June 21st, 2011, 03:39 PM
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I can't recall seeing little cups .Its always been regular size coffee cups .
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Old June 21st, 2011, 03:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Henry43 View Post
I can't recall seeing little cups .Its always been regular size coffee cups .
Henry,

To many coffee drinkers the cups you think of as "regular" are considered "little" to them.

Take care,
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Old June 21st, 2011, 03:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Henry43 View Post
I can't recall seeing little cups .Its always been regular size coffee cups .
To me, anything under 8 oz. is little. The ceramic mugs we use at home are 10 oz. But then, I know that for many people, a 6 oz. coffee cup is big enough. And besides, a travel mug doesn't have to be used just for coffee. On the ship, you can fill it with water, iced tea, or fruit punch if you like, and carry it around while you're drinking it, and the lid helps to prevent spilling it.

Besides soft-serve ice cream, I wish the ships had machines for thick milk shakes.
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Old June 21st, 2011, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by RTALLEN View Post
To me, anything under 8 oz. is little. The ceramic mugs we use at home are 10 oz. But then, I know that for many people, a 6 oz. coffee cup is big enough. And besides, a travel mug doesn't have to be used just for coffee. On the ship, you can fill it with water, iced tea, or fruit punch if you like, and carry it around while you're drinking it, and the lid helps to prevent spilling it.

Besides soft-serve ice cream, I wish the ships had machines for thick milk shakes.
I was referring to 8 oz .porcelain cups
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Old June 21st, 2011, 04:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Henry43 View Post
I was referring to 8 oz .porcelain cups
Unless Peachy is a coffee drinker, this debate over coffee cups is immaterial.

Peachy, I hope you have a great cruise. Give the buffet a try at least once. Some people prefer the more casual atmosphere of the buffet over the main dining room. With all of the dining choices available, you definitely won't go hungry.
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Old June 21st, 2011, 04:32 PM
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In all my cruises, we only went up to the buffet area once for dinner, on the Century. We had service issues and several of us went up there to dine...One couple never came back to the dining room due to these issues.

For us, with so many places to dine with great ambiance, dinner in the place we ate breakfast and lunch, would not be something we normally would do.
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Old June 21st, 2011, 04:39 PM
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Can I point out that the food in the Main Dining rooms is included as well...some think it is extra in the MDR.
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Old June 21st, 2011, 04:52 PM
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As has been stated, Buffet is included, and open for all meals. Be sure to check your ship for other dining options. The Royal and Princess ships we've been on of late all had a small deli / pastry type shops and we'd hit them regularly for sandwiches, cookies, salads, breakfast pastries, beverages, and general light meal fare. Also free, except for non-included drinks... Nice change of pace.
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Old June 21st, 2011, 06:35 PM
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We especially enjoyed the lunch buffet on our recent Carnival sailing. The burrito bar and tandoori were standouts, and the pasta bar was a nice change of pace. Breakfast was usually mobbed, but you could get the same stuff outside where the hamburgers were the rest of the day, and that was less busy.
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Old June 21st, 2011, 07:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RTALLEN View Post
Unless Peachy is a coffee drinker, this debate over coffee cups is immaterial.

Peachy, I hope you have a great cruise. Give the buffet a try at least once. Some people prefer the more casual atmosphere of the buffet over the main dining room. With all of the dining choices available, you definitely won't go hungry.
LOL I've just been laughing reading all this b/c yes, I don't drink a drop of coffee :) But I hope you coffee drinkers have helped each other.
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Old June 23rd, 2011, 03:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Henry43 View Post
I was referring to 8 oz .porcelain cups
10oz? Light weight. :-p

This thing holds 20oz with room to spare. I have to use 2 K Cups to fill it when I am in the mood for a lot of hot coffee (Tho I drink iced more often of late)

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Old June 23rd, 2011, 02:44 PM
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I should state that I am not a coffee drinker .
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Old March 20th, 2012, 08:51 PM
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The Mongolian BBQ and the burrito bar and tandoori sound like great buffet meals. Are there any other unique buffets that people have found on their cruises? Is there any seafood or sushi or ceviche or tappas type buffets?
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Old February 5th, 2013, 08:53 PM
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Mongolian?

Would luv to try if ever have a chance!
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Old February 22nd, 2013, 09:31 AM
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I was reading a US Government study recently on the causes of so much obesity in America.
They were looking at other cultures, attempting to determine why those other people are not so fat.

It turns out that the average American is 40% heavier than the average Frenchman.

It also turns out that the average American portions of food and beverage are 40% larger than the French portions.

Anybody see a possible connection here?

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Old February 24th, 2013, 10:41 PM
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I do agree that American food are large portions.

I tend to share a main course with my wife when we travel to the US!
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