Cruise Buffet

12 Things You Should Never Do at a Cruise Buffet

Cruise buffets are a popular dining option for many passengers especially during casual sea days. However, with the communal nature of buffet dining, it’s important to be mindful of buffet etiquette to make sure everyone has a great experience. Here are 10 things you should never do at a cruise buffet.

Things You Should Never Do at a Cruise Buffet

1. Use the Same Plate

When you go back for seconds at a buffet, it’s important to use a new plate. This is for sanitary reasons, so you don’t inadvertently spread your germs to the buffet. It’s also good buffet etiquette to get a new plate when you go back for seconds.

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2. Use the Same Serving Utensil on Several Dishes

When serving yourself at a cruise buffet, it’s important to avoid cross-contamination of food. If you are scooping food out from one dish using a serving utensil, don’t reuse the same utensil to scoop out food from another dish. This can lead to cross-contamination of the food between dishes, which can be harmful to people with food allergies.

As a mom whose son has food allergies, I understand the importance of being mindful of cross-contamination of food. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Things You Should Never Do at a Cruise Buffet

3. Not Wash Your Hands

When serving yourself at a buffet, it’s important to wash your hands before eating. Cruise lines have made it easy for passengers to keep the buffet clean by installing handwashing stations and hand sanitizing stations at the entrance of buffets. As a reminder, they usually have a cruise staff member at the entrance whose sole job is to remind passengers to wash their hands at the sink. However, despite that, some cruise passengers completely ignore the handwashing station, hand sanitizing stations and walk right past the cruise staff!

Remember, washing your hands before eating is a simple yet effective way to prevent the spread of germs and keep yourself and others healthy.

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4. Not Sanitizing Your Hands Before Eating

After serving yourself at a buffet, it’s important to clean your hands with hand sanitizer. Since you have gone around touching the serving utensils, it’s smart to sanitize your hands to get the viruses and bacteria off your hands when you’re eating.

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5. Getting too Much Food

When serving yourself at a cruise buffet, it’s important to avoid over-scooping. The buffet is usually vast and offers a wide variety of food. Instead of filling your plate with too much food, try getting a little sample of everything. This way, you can try different dishes and know what you like. You can always go back for seconds if you want more.

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6. Not Making One Round at the Buffet 

Cruise buffets are usually vast and offer a wide variety of food. They can span an entire deck and have different types of food on both sides. It’s common for cruise lines to have themed dishes on one side and then have another type of food on the other side. So, don’t assume that the food at the buffet on one side is the same as the other side.

To make the most of your cruise buffet experience, it’s a good idea to check out the entire buffet so you can try everything. Don’t miss out by settling and eating from only one section of the buffet.

Things You Should Never Do at a Cruise Buffet

7. Not Dressing Appropriately

When serving yourself at a cruise buffet, it’s important to dress appropriately. Just because the buffet is next to the pool, you might think it’s okay to come in a wet bathing suit, towel, and flip flops. However, it’s poor buffet etiquette. You should at least have the courtesy of a swim cover-up to put over your bathing suit when you are at the buffet.

8. Don’t Hog the Table

The buffet is usually a busy and popular spot, especially during peak dining times. It can get so crowded that it’s hard to find a table. So, don’t be that table hog who is playing cards or hanging out at a buffet table long after you’re done eating. If you’re done eating, go somewhere else and let other passengers use the table.

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9. Don’t Cut the Line

When you’re at the cruise buffet, be mindful of the line. Don’t just swoop in and cut the line. Be mindful of where the line is and make sure you are lining up at the buffet. Don’t be that rude passenger who cuts the line!

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10. Don’t Let Your Kids Run Wild

It’s important to supervise your kids at a cruise buffet. Don’t let your kids get food unsupervised. They may not be taught proper buffet etiquette and may scoop food messily or even use their hands to reach for the food. They might also cut the line, which can be frustrating for other passengers.

To ensure that your kids are behaving appropriately at the buffet, it’s important to teach them proper buffet etiquette and supervise them so they are not cross-contaminating food and spreading germs at the buffet.

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11. Don’t Miss the Made to Order Food Stations

One of the best parts of a cruise buffet are the made-to-order stations such as the omelet station, waffle station, wok station, or the pasta station. Because it’s made to order, the food is fresher than the food that’s been sitting out at the buffet table. If you want fresh food, order from the made-to-order station. Make sure you don’t miss out on Made to Order food!

12. Not Letting the Staff Know About Food Allergies

If you have food allergies, make sure to let the cruise staff know. They are usually very accommodating and can tell you what food is safe and what is not safe for you to eat. However,  there is always the risk of cross contamination at the buffet. For a safer option, go to one of the made to order stations and get your food especially cooked just for you without the allergens. 

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