When it comes to the buffet on a cruise some passengers act like it’s a limited time offer. If you don’t get in there and get your food within the first 20 minutes you will have to go hungry until the next meal. Next thing you know, there’s line cutting, elbows are flying, and there’s some very creative usage of words. But the reality is there’s enough food to go around several times over so there is no need for this type of behavior but of course there is always that one. For those who are newbies to the cruising world seasoned cruisers take cruise etiquette very seriously so in order to avoid the scorn of the pros here are a few buffet etiquette guidelines (according to Cruise Critic):
1. Don’t cut in the line: Oh… this is bad, very bad. Nothing will set off passengers faster than someone cutting in front of them in the buffet line, just don’t do it.
2. Always Go with the Flow of Traffic: Starting at the wrong end and making your way through the line in the opposite direction then everyone else just messes with the flow of things and is plain ole irritating. So just go with the flow.
3. Keep an Eye on Your Kids: I’m not sure who needs to be smacked more the child or the parent, but when you have kids running around the buffet, cutting in front of you in line, putting their hands all over the food, bumping into you causing you to drop your food, grabbing handfuls of stuff, its seriously irritating. So parents please escort your young children to the buffet and make sure they are acting appropriately.
4. Don’t Handle the Food: Do not pickup food with your finger that is what tongs and other utensils are for. Nobody wants to eat something that you have just had your fingers all over.
5. Don’t Take the Tongs: Not only is it considered impolite to grab the the tongs from one platter so you can use them on another one but somebody may have food allergies and you may be cross contaminating the tongs which could make them seriously sick. So wait politely for the person in front of you to finish using the tongs for the food item you want, it’s not that big of a deal and seriously how long could they take to get their food.
6. Don’t Eat While in Line: Unless you are diabetic or hypoglycemic, it’s considered rude to start eating while in line. Personally I don’t care if you nibble on a little something but some people apparently are offended by it. Me, I think if this is what offends you, maybe you have bigger issues but to each his own.
7. Don’t Take More Than You Can Eat: Your cruising that big beautiful buffet line and everything looks so good so you just start piling it up on your plate. You start eat and about half way through you can’t eat another bite which means the rest of that food goes in the garbage. It’s better to take what you know you can eat and after finishing it if you are still hungry you can go back for more. Just because you don’t have to pay for it doesn’t make it ok to needlessly waste food.
8. Always Use a New Plate: In order to prevent the spreading of germs and cross-contamination of food, you should always get a new plate every time you go back to the buffet. Don’t take your used plate back with you and refill it.
9. Cleanliness is Next to Godliness: In other words wash your hands. At the entrance to the buffet you should find a hand sanitation station. The simple act of washing your hands goes a long way in preventing the spreading of germs and viruses.
10. Don’t Do the Doggie Bag: It’s not cool to take food from the buffet with you when you leave. If you want to grab an apple or piece of fruit to take with you it’s no big deal but loading up a napkin full of rolls, chicken wings and cookies is not cool. There is food available around the ship pretty much anytime or you can order room service so there is no need to feel like you need to hoard food.