3 Ways to Make the Most of Your Cruise’s Buffet (or Any Buffet)

published Sep 28, 2017
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(Image credit: Image: KYTan/Shutterstock; Design: Susanna Hopler)

Cruises are known for being really good deals. Unless, of course, you decide to upgrade your stateroom. Or go for that top-tier alcohol option. Or add on a cooking class in Tuscany. Yes, cruising can get very expensive indeed.

It is possible to avoid sticker shock if you take advantage of what’s included in your base package. This includes, of course, the cruise buffet — that smorgasbord of culinary delights, from bountiful baked goods to sliced-to-order filets. Of course, when faced with the question of molten chocolate cake or apple pie a la mode, you can’t really go wrong. But you can be smart about your choices.

Here are three ways to make the most of your cruise’s buffet (or any buffet, for that matter).

3 Ways to Make the Most of Your Cruise Buffet

1. First, survey the selections.

You’ll never (ever) see a buffet aficionado take a plate and immediately fill it to the brim. This is bad buffet form. First survey the selections. Then, once you’ve done a walk-around and mapped out your high-priority picks, commence with the plate-filling.

2. Go easy on the baked goods.

From the cruise line’s perspective, it’s better if passengers eat bread over beef (since carbs are cheaper proteins). This is why a buffet’s bakery section often appears first. But you are too smart for that trickery! Skip the baked goods (or limit yourself to just one item) and head straight for the proteins.

3. Choose surf and turf.

Whether you’re at a sit-down soirée or a casual lunch, a buffet’s farm and ocean fare are the big-ticket items. Even better, you don’t need to choose. In what other scenario can you pile your plate with butcher-sliced beef and just-boiled lobster at the same time? Say yes to the surf and the turf.