Buffet Not Going Anywhere at Royal Caribbean


“We will continue to have a buffet at Royal Caribbean,” commented Linken D’Souza, vice president of food and beverage operations, on a recent webinar aimed at travel agents.

The company’s iconic Windjammer venue, however, could look a bit different across the 26-ship Royal Caribbean International fleet.

Scenarios, said D’Souza, range from employee service to individual portions to individual (i.e.disposable) tongs, among many options.

“We’re continuing to work through a lot of the deals. Rest assured the buffet will exist,” he said.

“There will be (modifications) that ensure we have a healthy return to service,” continued D’Souza. “Your favourites and what you’re used to at the Windjammer will be there.”

The Windjammer has also gone through dramatic changes, even before COVID-19.

The big adjustments come in the breakfast lineup, now featuring an avocado toast bar, a carving station and improved bakery and pastry options.

Redesigned Buffets Will Need to Convey Sense of Safety

Oceanview Cafe on Celebrity Cruises

The cruise ship buffet may never look the same again, according to an industry supplier.

“It will not just be about serving food in a safe way; it will also be about conveying a sensation of safety to the customers,” said Erik Schobesberger, vice president sales modernization at ALMACO, a key supplier of interior, galley and buffet design and installation to the cruise industry.

The company said that buffets will either change drastically or cease to exist, and cruise ship operators will need to figure out easy and cost-efficient temporary solutions in order to be ready for sailing in August.

“The temporary solutions, however, will most likely not be 100 per cent efficient and visually acceptable as long-term solutions,” said Schobesberger.

“The new concept must be ‘wow,” while meeting the new standards and regulations,” he added.

Schobesberger said he expects some cruise lines will choose to keep the buffet concept but implement design improvements and equipment innovations that make it safe.

“Others will transform their restaurants into a la carte with open kitchens or cooking shows. Whatever the choice maybe, we can assure you that ALMACO is here to help our customers on every step of the way, from quick-fix solutions to get the restaurants up and running to redesign and revitalization of new innovative future- and germ-proof restaurant concepts,” he added.