What to Eat and What to Avoid at the Cruise Ship Buffet

Cruising is an opportunity to relax, socialize, be entertained, and indulge in wonderful food and drink. Regardless of the cruise you choose, there will be no shortage of options for dining and drinking. From specialty dining establishments to late-night bites to complimentary cafes and buffets, you won’t go hungry on a cruise ship. That being said, there are foods to enjoy and foods to avoid when partaking in the complimentary dining establishments.

The buffets and quick bite cafes will feature all of the favorites for you and your family, but be aware of the time of day and what you’re eating before taking the first bite.

You’ll find great sushi dining on several of the major cruise lines, but we would recommend avoiding the sushi from the buffet. Even though cruise lines absolutely take food handling and sanitation very seriously, preparations of fish lose quality quickly when sitting out for any length of time. If you have a craving for sushi on your cruise, try one of the specialty restaurants and get your favorite roll made fresh to order.

Breakfast foods are some of the most delectable and delicious of any meal throughout the day. Bacon, sausage, eggs, biscuits, pancakes, waffles, and even some fresh fruit for good measure are all a wonderful way to start your morning. However, when you’re making your plate at the breakfast buffet, avoid the pre-made scrambled eggs as they are most likely powdered, often watery, and just not very tasty. Instead, make a trip over to the made-to-order eggs and omelette station where you can get hot, fresh, and delicious eggs made to your liking.

We all love pizza and kids REALLY love pizza. When you and the family are approaching the buffet, try to keep the kids from running immediately to grab a slice of pizza. Go and take a look and try to assess just how fresh the pizza might be. If the cheese seems a bit congealed and rubbery, it’s most likely been sitting there for a while. Encourage the kids to start with some fresh fruit and vegetables and wait for a fresh pizza pie to be brought out before indulging.

When surveying the buffet, be wary of people grabbing food and putting it back, or using a utensil intended for a meat dish to pick up some asparagus, or maybe even grabbing a utensil that has fallen and been submerged in the dish entirely. Food dishes can be contaminated by others being reckless and you don’t want to take any risks.

These tips certainly aren’t meant to discourage you from eating at the buffets on a cruise ship, but it’s always best to take a discerning approach. The last thing you want is to get food poisoning on your cruise vacation and spend the majority of time in your cabin bathroom. When dining at a complimentary option, watch for fresh pans of hot food being brought out, eat lots of fruit and vegetables, avoid the sushi, and you’ll be just fine.