Cruise holiday drama erupts over buffet – ‘tacky!’

Italy: Cruise ship breaks moorings in Ravenna

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Cruise ship buffets are normally the busiest of the ship’s restaurants. Most passengers will have the buffet included in the price of their holiday.

On Reddit, a row erupted over whether passengers should be able to take food from the buffet on day excursions.

One guest asked: “Are we allowed to fill our personal plastic containers with buffet food?

“We will be leaving the ship and exploring but want to take food from the ship and pack it for later during the day while we are out exploring.”

While cruise ships might not stop passengers doing this, other guests were horrified at the suggestion.

A passenger said: “Wow, I can’t think of anything more tacky honestly.

“Take a box of granola bars with you if you must, for when hunger strikes and food is nowhere to be seen but practices like this are exactly why Venice stopped allowing cruise ships to dock in their ports.

“Passengers would come off the ship, bring a picnic, tour the sights, leave their garbage in the city, spend as little money as they could get away with, and sail off leaving the city more worn than it was before without really doing much to contribute.

“Please consider partaking of local food, drink and delicacies while you are ashore in various places.

“The people who graciously welcome tourists into their ports also depend on them for their livelihood.”

Another guest added: “I would slightly judge someone filling up a container in line but you paid for the food.”

However, not all cruise ports will allow passengers to take food and drink off the ship.

A passenger said: “Many cruise destinations do not allow food from the ship to go to shore, particularly fruits, seeds, nuts etc.

“So be careful and make sure it is allowed. The shore talks typically address this.”

If passengers are visiting a number of different countries on their cruise, they will need to familiarise themselves with the different rules and regulations.

Apart from the ethics and laws of taking food from the buffet for later, some passengers were worried about the health risks.

One warned: “Keeping food in your backpack at room temperature until you want to eat it sounds like a good way to get food poisoning.”

Cruise lines are normally very cautious about sickness bugs and may not allow passengers to remove food from the buffet restaurant.

A guest offered their own solution to the hungry passenger. They said: “Eat a hearty meal before departing the ship.

“Partake in some local cuisine instead of dealing with the hassles of taking food into foreign countries.”

Many cruise lines will be able to recommend restaurants for their passengers and may have deals with certain outlets.

Cruise passengers will normally be allowed to take non-alcoholic drinks out of the buffet restaurant to enjoy in other areas of the ship.

Guests could also visit the ship’s shop to stock up on wrapped snacks before disembarking for the day.

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