Saturday, May 26, 2012

Lido Buffet

The Lido deck buffet .... was a major disappointment.  I found myself constantly comparing the buffet aboard the Carnival Victory to the one on the tiny Royal Caribbean Majesty of the Seas (the last ship we were on).  Now you know it's really bad when the buffet on a ship that big doesn't come close to measuring up to a relatively smaller ship. 

The decor was dated but pleasant since it all matched, didn't look worn out, and had ample seating. I enjoyed that room with its ocean view.

The buffet on the Victory consisted of two food stations and one dessert "island".  Now the dessert "island" made sense that patrons could walk around and decide what they wanted.  Whereby the food stations were lined up against the wall, forming two lines, on the sea day the lines were about 10 minutes long so not too bad. I really don't have any complaints about the waiting in line believe it or not because we were always in some sort of conversation with each other or with someone else in the line. 
Ok back to the food.... The start of the buffet, you select your tray, plate, bowl, utensils wrapped in a napkin, nice set up.  They had hand sanitizer stations just before collecting the try but nobody to "enforce" the "sanitize your hands" business (as they did aboard the Majesty) so you pretty much had to hope everyone exercised good personal hygiene.  Once you collect your your tray and plate, slide along the counter and first stop is a bowl of lettuce, then a tray of tomatoes, another one of cucumbers, another one of red beans, another one of onions, another one of sliced radishes and one of sliced carrots and then a salad that contained walnuts (on one day it wasn't labeled until I ate it and noticed the nuts and thank heavens I don't have a nut allergy!!!).  Seemed like the salad section was twice the size of the hot food section..... seriously! 
The hot section had baked potatoes every day, steamed white rice (that stuck to the spoon) on a couple of days, one day it had pasta that contained shrimp but the pasta wasn't labeled so you just seen a tray of pasta and figured it was pasta in tomato sauce... WRONG! 

The meat section where the chef cut you a fresh piece of meat was, on most days, pork roast!  Really annoying for someone who doesn't eat pork.  One night it was turkey, very moist, no complaints there!  The variety just wasn't happening.  There were steaks one night and boy did it feel like we were chewing our leather belts!  We wasted food that night. 
One day the dessert island had what they labelled "key lime cake", that tasted like regular Betty Crocker packaged cake with vanilla icing that had a squirt of lime juice in it and for an added touch a slither of lime was placed atop the cake.  The following day it was "lemon cake" that tasted exactly like yesterday's key lime cake only it had a slither of lemon on top instead of lime.  Seriously!  I can't make this stuff up!!!
The jello, canned peaches and the apple pie that only showed up on the last night of the cruise, were the best!  The rest were more along the lines of "beggars-can't-be-choosers".
The Mississippi Grill that was pool side served fresh hamburgers, shoestring fries, crispy chicken nuggets, nachos (which looked more like Lays potato chips), cole slaw and potato salad.  All which I enjoyed even when I got sick of burgers and fries because the buffet selection was awful.  The Yantze Wok, serving Chinese food closed daily at 3:30pm so folks returning from shore excursions hoping for Chinese food for lunch were out of luck.  That thing never re-opened once it closed, until the next day... this too annoyed me because aboard the Majesty, the Wok was always opened!
The 24hr pizza grill had a nice menu list of pizza but when we asked for the chicken one the chef there said they didn't make chicken one (even though it was listed on the menu) so we had plain cheese.  It was warm at best but not close to being hot.

Lemonade was sweet and I loved it, occasionally had to water it down but it was still a delight.  The iced tea wasn't sweet enough so we added sugar but that's not a complaint either, it was actually a good idea to have it that way.  Tea (regular, green & herbal), coffee (reg & decaff) were always available.  Milk, chocolate milk and juices were available at breakfast but the orange juice was in a jug that the server poured for you BUT NO MATTER HOW MANY TIMES WE BEGGED HER TO STIR THE JUICE SHE NEVER DID so the juice was always separated from the water and you got served the water part unless she was at the bottom of the jug and you got a too juicy orange juice.  sigh.  We wasted that juice on a daily basis sad to say, eventually we just stopped having orange juice.

There was a specialty coffee shop and bakery aboard, we found it once then for the likes of us, searched high and low and were never ever able to stumble on it again the remainder of the cruise!  Sad, so sad...

Ok, so enough with the food complaints, we obviously didn't starve, but I am surprised to have gained 2 whole pounds that week.  Secretly I was hoping for 5.

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