Buffet – this is a magic word when you imagine the cruise. Lately is this topic going to a big discussion, but I am going to write about something else. Why the buffet become very popular and sometimes is the best magnet to sell the cruise?
In the past, cruising was a sign of wealth and money. As the time was passing by, cruises become more available to public, cruise lines started to offer a different things to be on the lead of sale. More luxury cruises were always related to table service and elegant long dining times. Guests were mostly cruising for a days on the open sea, had time to enjoy and relax. Dining hour become a celebration, where all cruise guests were meeting and enjoying time together after day of silence sunbathing, swimming or reading in their cabins.
Popularity of the buffet started to boom in millennium, when so many new ships were build and full day program started to be offer. While capacity of the guests increased, space on the ship got more crowded. Buffets started to be available to cater a lots of guests in the smaller amount of the time.
Today a modern cruise ship can provide the lunch for 3000 guests in 2 hours. Sounds impossible? No, is only very well organized. Buffet is a most easiest way to satisfy the food needs of the masses.
Selection become very wide, everyone can eat there. Some of the cruises providing also the food for specific allergies, intolerance. Well trained crew is able to help and explain, guests feels safe all the time.
Buffet now is not only about to feed a lots of guess at the same time. Buffet is also a mirror of cruise line to show creativity, variety and difference. Time when pre – cooked frozen food was offered is over, now chefs are preparing the dishes individually. Fresh plate of pasta, salad or pizza makes a difference. Quality of proteins and carvings are offered, crew assisting everywhere possible.
Fruits and desserts section has a charm also. Colors and flavors are mixed in synchronization and theme so can make a big visual effect. Chocolates towers, fresh cakes making or hot crepes are served. Buffet became a big marketing tool. Colorful pictures are the best sellers. Guest already imagine all the family there enjoying this amazing time together.
Mothers can easily find a food for their children, older couple enjoying their sandwich in the corner, active man getting quick hot – dog bite before the pool volleyball match. Cruise become more about eating than other activities. Lately the promo movies are more made in the kitchen and restaurant than on the beach.
20 years ago cruise was more about the traveling and destinations, sport and swimming. Now is all bout the eating – when and where. Buffets are open almost nonstop and always find the guests there. Every day is offering a new theme, amazing food from around the world. Chefs are competing for better and more creative dishes. Recipes are more sophisticated and presentable.
Buffets having a high hygienic standards, serving tools are changed very often and all food is discharged after ruled time of opening. Ready to go hot dishes are having controlled temperature and all dishes are prepared to order according to guest flow. This is the most organized restaurant operation. Sneeze guards are common, cleaning is a must. Logistic and organization is amazing.
Crew and managers working there are the most skilled from all. This huge operation is working in synchronization. All departments are there together. Bartenders, waiters and sommeliers are offering a drinks all the time, drinking fountains and coffee stations are open 24 hours. Sometimes you might find something not up to your expectation – just ask. Crew around is there to help and assist with any requirements you have.
Buffets are the way they are. Is up to you to chose the best for you. Crew are well trained and having a strong guests oriented skills, which allow them to assist any time is needed. Crew are there to work,provide the service and make that unforgettable atmosphere for guests. This is what makes a difference in buffet. Food is all over, but people who work there are different. This is also a big impact on guest satisfaction survey. When you have around nice smiling waiters, managers and cleaners, you want to be back.
When you feel pampered, you remember that. Hospitality is about the human touch. Right now all those smiling faces are waiting at home to return back to service and give those smiles and pleasant experience to you. Buffet is a heart of restaurant operation on the ship. When heart is healthy, all body is healthy.
There is also a buffet for the crew. There was a joke about this, that crew are having the same buffet as guests, only different day…well is only a joke. Crew are having also their daily buffet, where can easily choose the food of their preference and eat as much time as they have. Crew has also a wide variety of healthy dishes, fruits. Of course because of nationality mix, food is having a different recipes and different origin. Some of the themes are always popular – chinese, italian, indian with all more than 70 nationalities which usually work together onboard.
That is also a reason why crew working on the ship, or ones who worked there, has knowledge about the different dishes. They not only knows the theory, but practically tasted all this differences. Some crew are having a private restaurants and take away services, where all family is working back home. Ideas about the buffet are going around the world and are popular in any destination ship might go.
Lets think about the buffet like about dining experience, help to keep it safe and enjoyable. Buffets are the middle of the ships on the top roof, having a main location always popular and beautiful view of the ocean. Name also Top view, Horizon view, Ocean view, Sea view,Sky view – just any view you imagine. While dining there, have a great experience of casual dining and tell about that to your friends. Where you feel good, you will return.
And cruise ship buffet is always a good place to return!
Note from author : Writing about the cruise buffet today is nostalgic memory. Hope soon will go back to enjoy cruising and amazing experience.
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