Royal Caribbean Makes Additional Comment on Future of Buffets

The buffet—as much a staple on cruise ships as anything—will live on in a different form, at least on Royal Caribbean vessels.

A week after Michael Bayley, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises, intimated that buffets would likely not exist when Royal Caribbean returns to the sea, CruiseRadio.net reports something of an evolution on that stance.

Richard Fain, chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises Limited, appeared on Coffee Chat, a weekly talk with travel advisors with host and Senior Vice President of Sales and Trade Support and Service Vicki Freed, and said buffets will change but not go away entirely.

“(Where) everybody reaches in and everybody touches the same tongs, you’re not going to see (that) on land or sea,” Fain said. “(But) it doesn’t mean that you don’t have a buffet. You might have it where all of that is served to you by other people. And there (are) other possibilities. But the point is that it will evolve.”

By way of example, Fain said to consider the Midnight Buffet.

“I don’t think anyone says, ‘Where’s the midnight buffet?’” he said. “You haven’t seen the midnight buffet for years and that was long before we had COVID-19. Tastes change and people change, and cruise lines change to accommodate.”

Fain told TravelWeekly, sister publication to TravelPulse.com, that cruisers will adapt, much as air travelers did in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

“If you remember after (that), all of a sudden you had to do a strip search at the airport. You couldn’t take a bottle of water on the plane,” he said. “A lot of people said, ‘Nobody’s ever going to fly. Who’s going to want to go on an airplane?’ Airplane travel didn’t end. In fact, it grew. But it evolved. So it isn’t the same when you go today. You do go through security checks, and you do go through identity checks and frankly, we’ve become accustomed to it and the technology has helped make it easier.”

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Royal Caribbean Group Extends 'Cruise With Confidence' Policy Through April 2022

Royal Caribbean Group is extending its “Cruise with Confidence” cancellation policy to sailings through April 2022.

For new and existing bookings created by Aug. 1, 2020, guests can cancel their cruise up to 48 hours before sailing and receive a credit for a future cruise through April 2022. The cruise company has also added new rebooking options.

Under the new “Best Price Guarantee,” guests can choose to change the price and promotional offer on their reservation up to 48 hours before their cruise.

The new “Lift and Shift” option, travelers can simply “lift and shift” their cruise to the same itinerary departing on a future date. It can be done as close as 48 hours prior to sailing. The original price and promotional offer on the reservation will be protected, along with the length of the cruise and stateroom category.

“Guests are reacting positively to our ‘Cruise with Confidence’ policy because it enables them to make informed decisions and to better manage complicated travel plans during this unprecedented time of uncertainty,” said Richard Fain, chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.

The policy applies to all cruises with sailing dates on or before April 2022 for Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara. For information on Silversea Cruises’ policy, click here.

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