Second Helpings: Cruise Food Part 2

Did you get your fill with all our Cruise Food Talk last week, or are you ready for your Second Course?

I hope that based on last week’s blog you have a good understanding of just how many options there are for eating while you cruise, and that no-one need worry about going hungry on-board.

But wait, there’s more!

This Week: Enjoy Another Helping of Cruise Food:


bright tomatoes 

A Bit More About the Buffet:

  • The buffet is included (free) in your fare.
  • There are some variations in the Buffet set-up from ship to ship, but the main idea is the same: help yourself, casual eating.
  • No need to dress up for the buffet, but covering your bathing suit and wearing footwear is polite.
  • You walk along the buffet line and collect/dish up the food you want, then head off and find yourself a seat.
  • Feel free to leave the buffet area with your food; you are welcome to take a plate out to the decks with you.
  • You may not actually be helping yourself – some ships now have staff to dish up the food for you to minimize handling and possible contamination by dirty hands.  This is a great idea, and you just tell the server how much you want.  Easy and cleaner!
  • There are different food options for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner in the buffet. For breakfast think of your normal breakfast items – eggs, bacon, toast, cereal and the like.
  • Some Buffets (hello, P&O The Pantry) are now designed to be a more modern food-court eatery experience.  Just like a food court you can visit any (or all) of the various sections dedicated to a specific type of food (Fish & Chips, Mexican, Asian, Carvery and many more).
  • Unlike the shopping centre food court, you don’t need to clean up after yourself – wait staff are on hand to clear tables and also to take drinks orders too.

P&O PantryPrincess Buffet

More Food!

  • The Buffet often has a smaller/snack selection outside main dining times.    We often enjoy picking up some pre-dinner nibbles to take back to our balcony.
  • You can buy pre-packaged snacks from the shop on the ship (think chocolate, chippies) but you will pay through the nose! Consider bringing these items on-board with you if they are important to you.
  • Room Service is also available if you fancy a meal or snack in your room.  Depending on your ship this may or may not be free.
  • For a real Foodie Experience you can also join “The Chefs Table”.  This is a unique & intimate dinner party hosted by the executive Chef!  You will be treated to a behind the scenes tour, canapes and a special degustation dinner (for a fee).
  • Cruise Ship Chefs & Staff are fantastic with Special Dietary Needs.  Before you cruise, contact your cruise-company and find out how they can cater to your needs.  We spoke to a gentleman that had a very restricted diet due to medical issues and he was provided with his own special menu delivered to his state-room every night for him to choose his meals for the following day.  These were delivered where-ever he chose to eat, so that he could still dine with his group of friends.

  curry buffetfried eggs

Some Food Etiquette:

  • With all the options on offer, it would be very rare to find anyone that truly couldn’t be satisfied with what is available. If you really are super fussy, consider whether this type of holiday is right for you – you don’t have the option to leave the ship at Sea to seek alternatives!
  • You must remember that every single item available to eat has been loaded on-board before you sail.  If staff tells you there is no Avocado left, just accept it and move on to another choice.
  • Wastage of Cruise Food is a huge issue. We all need to be more aware of the impact of our waste on the world.  Yes, it is your holiday and you don’t need to miss out - just please be mindful when you serve yourself at the buffet or order more than you can eat….   Loading up plates & then only eating a little bit of it ‘because it’s free’ is un-necessary.  Just have seconds if you want more!   (Rant Over)
  • Remember not all dishes will be your favourite!  If you are eating out for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day you will invariably find a dish that you didn’t really like.  Put it down to experience and move on.  Even when I cook at home, there are times when a meal isn’t as good as I wanted it to be.  It’s not a reason to declare your holiday a disaster… Don’t forget, you CAN have something else if you want!
  • Please be kind to Wait Staff.  They work incredibly long hours and 99% of the time they do a brilliant job.  Forgive an occasional mistake or wrong order without a fuss, there are literally thousands of meals being produced at each service!

A cruise is the perfect time to take your taste-buds on a holiday! Step out of your comfort zone and try some new flavours!  Enjoy eating at a range of locations! Relish the food In the Clean Sea Air!

Appreciate being waited on! Forget about the Dishes afterwards!  And worry about the Scales when you get home!


Bon Appetit and Happy Cruising!