5 Things You Must Not Do at the Cruise Ship Buffet

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The buffet area on a cruise ship is one of the most popular areas onboard. Each day of the voyage cruisers will head on up to the buffet for breakfast, lunch and at times even dinner. Due to the importance of the open time buffet area on a cruise we look at what passengers must not do when there.


We know the food onboard is just to die for but please don’t overload. No matter what cruise ship, guests can always be seen walking around the buffet with plates full of food.

Don’t put too much on the plate as it will be a waste if you can’t eat it all. The food lines won’t go anywhere so if you feel the need for more food then simply head on over and get a little bit more.

We know you wouldn’t do this anyway, right? Isn’t it embarrassing walking around with full plates of food and fellow passengers peaking!

Using Hands

One of the worse things a cruise ship passenger can do is using their hands on the buffet line. It’s something which should never be done no matter how clean the hands are. If crew members do it they will have gloves on.

There will always be utensils offered to put the food on the plate, if not there will always be a member of staff on hand to assist. If there is no staff around then use the spoons on offer to eat the food with. If using hands it will also put other cruisers off and the food line could be completely contaminated.

Food hygiene is extremely important during a cruise and the companies take it seriously. The passengers should do the same.


Never walk around the ship’s buffet with no shoes or flip-flops, It can be so dangerous. Plates, glasses and more can be dropped so it’s a good idea to wear something on your feet at all times.

The last thing you want is to have a bleeding foot and then having to go to the ships medical center. Another reason for not being barefoot is to not get stepped on by anyone else or hit by one of those trolleys which transport food.

Pushing Into The Line

Probably one of the most popular problems in the buffet is when someone jumps the line or pushes in. The problem with this is if one person is putting food on their plate should the person next in line just go ahead in front?

Also Read: How to Deal With Long Lines on a Cruise Ship

There have been instances where guests have gotten into fights after pushing in line, just search on YouTube and you’ll find a ton of videos. Not everyone wants to eat the same things so pushing in line could be questioned, we’ll leave that up to you readers.

Order Change

In the buffet, cruisers don’t just help themselves but can also ask for something specific like an omelet. Whatever happens, never change your mind, it really annoys the crew member and can also hold up the line. Decide what you want before and stick to your decision.

If the vessel features a deli counter just don’t change your mind. It can take several minutes to put together a deli order and is really not good if you decide to change your mind. That smile from the staff will be fake, we assure you!

Also Read: Carnival Cruise Dining Options Worth Paying For

If you have any other things which cruise passengers must not do at the ship’s buffet then feel free to post them in the comments below. These “must not” cruise buffet tips also apply when at restaurants on land. We hope everyone can learn from this and keep our cruise ship dining buffets harmonic and sick free.

Emrys Thakkar
Emrys Thakkar
The founder of Cruise Hive which was established in 2008 as one of the earliest cruise blogs in the industry. Emrys has been reporting on the latest cruise industry news since the site first launched. Expert insights and tips featured on a number of publications including The Express, Business Insider, and more. Worked for Carnival Cruise Line for 8 years and is well and truly dedicated to cruising! Has also been on a number of cruises so can offer an insight into the industry that many will not be able to do. What's even more impressive is that Emrys has traveled the world by visiting more than 34 countries, lived in China for 8 years, and cruised the Caribbean, Baltic, Mediterranean, Asia, and Europe. Find out more about us here.


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