I'll admit, I'm not always a fan of the buffet on cruise ships. They are typically located on one of the higher decks of the ship, often close to the pool and other recreational activities. Alternatively, there are many people who won't go on a ship without dining daily at the buffet. Buffets offer a vast selection of international foods to choose from, the ability to dine whenever the mood strikes, you don't have to get dressed up, and you can fill your own plate when ready instead of having to wait for each table mate to finish their course.
Over the duration of a week-long cruise vacation, I definitely make sure to hit the buffet at certain times for my favorite things.
Sure, it's crowded and often hard to find a table, but to me this is always the traditional way to start a cruise. Nowadays there are multiple options of where to have your first lunch upon embarking the ship. But there are certain items that the buffet only features the first day and you won't see again the rest of the week. Also, when dining at the buffet right after boarding the ship, this is your first chance to meet new people so find a large table and you are certain to have company. Or catch up with longtime friends! On our last cruise, we had the opportunity to have lunch with our prior Celebrity Cruise vacation planner who now has a completely different role within the company. She happened to have a meeting on the Celebrity Reflection the day we were leaving for our family vacation. Being that it was embarkation day, of course we wanted to eat at the buffet. We both filled a plate with this terrific antipasto salad which I had previously enjoyed when last leaving on our Celebrity Constellation cruise. This is one of the items they make just for the first day. Take my word for it, it's delicious.
Outdoor seating at the Oceanview Café on Celebrity Reflection.
Best Foods On A Cruise Ship Buffet
Eggs Benedict is traditionally my favorite "vacation" breakfast! You can typically order it in the dining room or even room service, but imagine the excitement when I saw an Eggs Benedict station in the buffet on Celebrity Reflection. They prepare it to order and have a great selection of ingredients (spinach, ham, smoked salmon just to name a few) or any combination you may want. Watch it specially made for you, grab a seat by the window, and your vacation day is off to a great start.
One of the best features of any cruise buffet is that desserts are typically available all day long. Of course, great for vacation but not so much for the diet! Grab a decadent dessert as a finale to breakfast, lunch or dinner. Or stop by in the middle of the afternoon for a sweet treat. On Celebrity Reflection, they have added a New York Deli station in the buffet. My son quickly discovered the NYC traditional black-and-white cookies and made a daily trip up to grab one.
Gorgeous dessert selection on Crystal Symphony.
Even my "fancy" eating son needs some down time from formal dining meals at times. Most ships have a fantastic pasta bar at the buffet. With a large variety of pasta shapes and even more types of sauces, it's always easy, hot, and delicious. If you want a recommendation, he is still talking about the amazing bolognese sauce on Celebrity Reflection.
Celebrity Cruises waffles to be exact. This is something I read on Cruise Critic years ago and they are 100% correct. The waffles at the buffet are awesome and admittedly better than the ones in the dining room. Probably because they are hot, fluffy, and offer lots of toppings that you can pile on as much as you want. They are so awesome that my kids go up to the buffet first thing in the morning for waffles before we go to the dining room for breakfast as a family.
Pastries and treats available at the Oceanview Café on Celebrity Reflection.
My husband is not a huge fan of the buffet. He loves service dining and always likes to pre-purchase a drink package. So why does he so often frequent the buffet? He's grabbing a complimentary fruit punch from the drink machine! Absolutely his favorite drink on Celebrity Cruises, the buffet is the place he uses his beverage package for a free fruit punch.
What are your favorite buffet items? With the enormous cultural variety, selection of items and constant service the buffet is a staple when cruising, No matter what your favorite foods, you'll always be able to find something at the buffet.
My Virtual Vacations Blog
About the Author
Thanks for cruising by! Along with creating this website and blog, I work in an office full-time and as a mom to two energetic teenage boys. With our family's busy work and school schedule, we look forward to traveling during holidays. Although it seems that our family can never agree on anything, we do when it comes to vacations. We typically travel on cruises or stay at luxury hotels. We enjoy upscale dining, beautiful decor, excellent service, and spacious accommodations. However, we still need family friendly and comfortable. When we are not traveling, I enjoy dining out locally, as well as cooking and baking in my own kitchen.
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