Cruise Buffet Etiquette: What Not to Do When Dining at Sea


No one doubts the brilliance of the buffet hall. With an endless array of international fodder at your fingertips, all available at no extra cost, it’s small wonder the main dining room is the most popular eating venue on most, if not all, ocean liners. But sadly, exposure to copious amounts of grub can have a strange affect on people, and the buffet hall is often the scene of gluttony, queue jumping and a range of other at sea dining offences.

To help you avoid a dining hall faux pas, here are some top tips for good cruise buffet etiquette.

Don’t Jump the Queue

Nothing riles like a queue jumper, so unless you’ve a penchant for death glares, we’d avoid doing it in the buffet hall. Things can get hectic at the buffet, and the temptation to jump the queue can overwhelm some passengers. If you need to cut in line because the person in front is showing gross indecision, ask permission first out of good old courtesy.

Follow the Right Direction

Making a beeline for your favourite dessert might seem a good idea, but buffets have a strict system when it comes to which direction to approach the goodies. Break ranks and steer your own course, and you’ll be met with disapproving tut-tuts from your peers. Always follow the proper direction of the buffet, or face the wrath of your equally hungry fellow guests.

Don’t Stick Your Fingers in the Food

One of the biggest don’ts of the buffet hall: never touch the food with your fingers. While it may seem nonsensical to go after a pizza slice with a pair of tongs, the person behind will be horrified to see your hand going anywhere near the good stuff.

Keep a Close Eye on Your Kids

If adults get a little over excited at the buffet, kids are even worse. That’s why it’s important to keep an eye on your brood when dining at the buffet. Kids tend to dip into dishes with their bare hands, and youngsters can knock over trays and cause accidents. Keep them close ‘til you’re safely seated at your table to make the buffet experience that bit less stressful.

Don’t Move the Utensils

Whatever the implement, it’s on that platter for a reason — so don’t go moving it to tuck into something else. Tongs, spatulas and spoons shouldn’t be moved from one receptacle to another, as this can contaminate other dishes — a nightmare for vegetarians. Even if you’re keen to move along, don’t take the tongs with you.

Don’t Overfill Your Plate

When you first hit up the buffet hall, it can be tempting to pile your plate high with every dish you see. Gluttony of this kind is common at the buffet, but try to avoid it if you can. The buffet will be there every night, so there’s no need to take more than you can eat — that’s a recipe for piling on the cruise pounds. Plus, you end up wasting more than you eat, which can really ramp up the waste.

Ready to hit the buffet in style? Then visit the Cruise1st Australia website and book your dream cruise break today. We’ve hundreds of cheap cruises in Australia and beyond, so there’s sure to be an itinerary that’s right for you. For more help and information, talk to us on 1300 857 345.

Image sourced via Flickr Creative Commons. Credit: VIK

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