A world of culinary delights can be available on a luxury cruise - but a experienced crew member has given her list of do's and don'ts when approaching the buffet.  

Lucy Southerton, 28, from Birmingham, has been working on cruise ships for nine years, and regularly shares advice on how passengers and fellow crew members can get the most out of their experience. 

Lucy, who runs the Cruising as Crew social media accounts, uploaded a YouTube video in February, captioned: '9 Things NOT to Do at the Cruise Ship Buffet.'

In the video, the cruise ship worker unveils her top tips for buffet etiquette on board, ensuring guests enjoy their dining experiences while maintaining hygiene, respect and courtesy.  

1. Avoid the crowds 

It's tempting to head straight to the buffet upon boarding, but Lucy advises against it. 

Opt for alternative dining venues or wait for the initial rush to subside to avoid long lines and overcrowding.

Lucy said: 'You'll get served faster and will probably get better food - and a lot of restaurants do free food on embarcation day because they know everybody wants to come on board and eat.'

2. No takeaways

While the buffet may offer an array of delectable treats, it's essential to enjoy them within designated dining areas. 

Taking food outside the buffet not only violates ship policies but also poses hygiene and safety risks, according to Lucy.

3. Dress appropriately

Swimwear might be suitable for poolside lounging - but it has no place at the buffet table, Lucy warns.

Guests are urged to dress appropriately for meal times, showing consideration for fellow diners and maintaining a pleasant dining atmosphere.

Shorts and T-shirts are allowed, but wearing swimwear straight from the pool may also prove hazardous and guests could get hurt if water is still dripping onto the floor.

4. Prioritise hygiene

Before indulging in the buffet's offerings, it's crucial to wash and sanitise hands thoroughly. 

Cruise ships typically provide handwashing stations or crew members armed with sanitiser to ensure guests maintain proper hygiene standards.

Lucy said: 'The amount of people that just walk by and think they can get away with it. There's no excuse. What did we learn from 2020? It is that things spread like wildfire.'

5. Scout the entire spread

With a vast array of dishes on offer, it's easy to miss out on hidden culinary gems. 

Take a moment to explore the entire buffet area, as some ships may have multiple serving lines or specialty stations offering unique fare.

6. Minimise waste

While the buffet encourages guests to indulge, it's essential to avoid wastage. 

Lucy said: 'The amount that people consume because they want to get their money's worth, unfortunately, it does lead to a lot of food waste.' 

She advises to only what you can comfortably consume, resisting the temptation to overfill plates in pursuit of value for money.

7. Mind the tongs

Pay attention to the utensils, such as tongs, you use to serve yourself, Lucy says.

Mixing tongs or serving spoons can lead to cross-contamination and pose risks to those with food allergies or dietary restrictions.

8. Opt for a balanced diet

While it's tempting to indulge in decadent treats, such as pizza, burgers and pasta, Lucy recommends balancing indulgence with healthier options, especially for those who are conscious of gaining weight while at sea.

Cruise ship buffets often offer a variety of nutritious dishes, such as salads, chicken and fish options, ensuring guests can maintain a balanced diet during their voyage.

9. Plate protocol 

As Lucy stresses, hygiene while on board cruise ships is paramount, particularly when it comes to serving yourself at the buffet. 

Avoid reusing plates for second servings to minimize the risk of contamination and maintain a clean dining environment.

She says: 'You might be thinking it's going to make more washing up for the crew members - trust me, they would rather do the washing up than have an illness spread across the ship.'

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2024-04-14T15:52:29Z dg43tfdfdgfd