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Barb Nahoumi January 9th, 2007 11:29 AM

No Trays for the NCLA Buffets
Recently, I was aboard the NCLA Pride of Aloha.

Unfortunately, they discintinued the use of trays in the buffet area. This is soooo inconvenient for passengers who must now make multiple trips,
to pick up a complete meal. It is difficult to carry a plate. separate bowl for fruit or salad, silverware, and a glass of juice.

I needed to place my dish on the table, then return for my drink or coffee.
This new rule makes lines longer, if people need to return to them.

PLEEEEESE bring the trays back.


JeanS January 9th, 2007 01:08 PM

Discontinue trays?? Are they nuts?? What possible reason could they have for doing that?? Did you ask??? Hmmm.... :roll:

gerif January 10th, 2007 02:43 PM

For what it's worth, RCCL no longer has trays either - hasn't for a few years now. And, yes, it is VERY annoying especially when dining alone and having to go back and forth for drinks, etc., you run the risk of having an overzealous busboy take your food before you get your drink!

JeanS January 10th, 2007 03:58 PM

Hmm, this makes absolutely no sense to me! Has anyone thought of maybe asking WHY they have no trays on board??? That would be my first question to the staff! Did anyone think to ask someone on board or complain about that??

Mike M January 11th, 2007 12:41 AM

More lines are going "tray-less". Princess no longer has trays and they are gradually disappearing on other lines. It is a cost saving measure. Less cost for the trays and less cost for washing.

I personally don't mind it other than not being able to place the drink on the tray. On Celebrity they do have attendants who will assist you if you have a cane or are unable to handle the tray on your own. For me a single plate is far easier to handle, with one hand, than a tray.

A second trip for the dessert isn't a big deal but for those that have a serious mobility problem it could be problem.

Take care,

DougR. January 11th, 2007 07:29 AM


Originally Posted by gerif
For what it's worth, RCCL no longer has trays either - hasn't for a few years now. And, yes, it is VERY annoying especially when dining alone and having to go back and forth for drinks, etc., you run the risk of having an overzealous busboy take your food before you get your drink!

Nor does Princess.

nlb1050 January 11th, 2007 09:31 AM

Having only been on Princess I was not surprised that MSC does not have trays in the buffet. Personally it makes me not try to get too much at once. Therefore I end up not over eatting, helping with not gainning too much weight on the cruise.

Fieldmouse January 11th, 2007 04:23 PM

Oh brother...just another thing to pack...our personal trays!

(We like trays. As it the time we get through the buffet lines...we're thinking...we're NOT going through this again!)

JeanS January 11th, 2007 05:49 PM

Maybe they're thinking it's another thing they can charge for! Next thing you know, there will be a pirate at the buffet line to get a picture with him and your TRAY!!!

Still makes no sense to me....much easier to transport my salad, napkin, utensils & drink all on one carry-all! Maybe everyone should wear aprons with big old pockets in them??? Hmmm.... :roll:

beenie weenie January 11th, 2007 09:02 PM

I have a couple of theories on why cruise lines are eliminating trays and in many ways it makes a lot of sense. Though it may be inconvenient,

I know when our family eats at the buffet its a big pain regardless of whether they have trays or not because I am rounding up food and drinks for two kids and myself, then d/h sits with the kids until I'm done then once I sit down he goes and rounds up his own grub and it is quite a production. If it were just food for myself its no big deal, I certainly don't mind making a second trip to get a drink, big deal! and with the sheer volume of food most people consume on a cruise it wouldn't hurt us to take a little walk in between courses. Oinkers aweigh!

First reason of all, having to be deliberate about what we put on our plate and sizes of portions since we only have two hands to carry it all with, probably cuts back dramatically on food waste, which is expensive to produce, prepare and then to have to dispose of it when someone's eyes were bigger than their stomach. This all costs money.

Lastly and most importantly, it helps control onboard infections. These days when you enter the buffet on NCL's ships you will encounter hand sanitizer you are expected to apply to your hands and then a person who is wearing gloves standing by the plates and silverware handing you your table service so that anyone who is carrying a bug (norovirus etc...) does not contaminate the stack of clean plates and silverware/napkins. Generally speaking trays often just get hosed down with hot water or wiped down with a cloth (I have seen this on more than one cruise line), but are not typically subjected to the same type of sanitation as plates and silverware and are more likely to convey virus's and bacteria because they are not cleaned as throughly.

For folks who have limited mobility or other physical limitations they can ask a staff member to assist them.

Unless I just want to grab something quick like dessert and a cup of coffee, buffets really are not my bag. On our last few cruises, I have not eaten a meal in one and find myself being served in the dining room, where I can sit down, relax and have a lovely, smiling, wait staff bring hot, steaming, made to order food to my entire family, while I don't lift a finger. Now thats my idea of a good time!

jaggy January 12th, 2007 10:05 AM

I totally agree on the food waste aspect of no trays. HAL still has trays and I see people with huge tray loads of food, that I know darn well they are never going to eat. If you dont have a tray, you may think twice about getting that extra something that you may or may not even eat. When was the last time you seen a tray at an upscale land based buffet? And I'm not talking about Old Country Buffet or Golden Corral.

Its really quite simple to go back for what ever else you want to eat. I dont see it as much of a problem. But hey, this is the gripe forum, so gripe away. 8)


hombre January 13th, 2007 02:56 PM

the last time i was on a cruise with no trays, the busboys cleaned off my table three times while i went back for iced tea. it was comical, but annoying to say the least. and this was on HAL -- they had run out of clean trays on the lido.

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