Cruise Lines Deep Six Midnight Buffets
Posted on May 13, 2015
Has the glamorous midnight buffet once served on majestic cruises sailing the high seas finally faded into nothing more than a decadent memory?
If you haven’t taken a cruise in a while, you’ll be surprised to learn that most ships no longer offer the traditional midnight buffet. In fact, they haven’t for quite a few years.
While this news might be a bit disconcerting for those first-time cruisers who want to feel like they’re getting the biggest bang for their buck by eating themselves silly at the witching hour, no need to fear. There are plenty of other options aboard to do just that … only not at midnight.
Rumor has it that the midnight buffet that once offered lavish dishes such as escargot, lobster, delectable desserts, and, of course, magnificently carved ice sculptures, became more of a staged background for guests to take photos and “selfies” among the extravagance instead of being a unique dining experience.
Officials noted that while many cruisers came to the buffet, most were more interested in seeing the spread than eating the spread.
In short, the cruise lines were spending a lot of time and money, not to mention wasting food, to provide guests with amateur photo ops.
In addition, health conscious adults, who shun late-night eating, did not show up at all. This healthy alternative lifestyle that’s been gaining popularity for quite a few years might be another reason why cruise line officials decided to deep six the traditional midnight buffet.
Have you booked your Port Canaveral Cruise yet? What about accommodations for before and after the cruise? You can’t be too careful, you never know when a flight may get delayed. We offer get packages on Port Canaveral hotels and transportation from Orlando to Port Canaveral.
Here at Go Port we can only speculate as to why bigwigs decided to have the midnight buffet walk the plank. The burning question is: What’s offered to those guests who want a snack or meal after they’ve indulged all day in sun, fun, and probably a lot of alcohol? A White Castle burger maybe?
Not likely, but here’s a smattering of what we found online about what is offered aboard ships that sail out of Port Canaveral, including Carnival’s Dream, Sensation, Liberty, Sunshine and Ecstasy; Disney’s Fantasy, Dream, Magic and Wonder; Royal Caribbean’s Freedom, Enchantment, Explorer and Monarch; and Norwegian’s Breakaway and Sun.
- Disney Cruise Line does not serve a midnight buffet, but they do offer a late-night buffet as part of their Pirate Night deck party on departures from Port Canaveral. Disney also has a plethora of restaurants and quick-serve stations on board, and 24-hour room service. See more about dining and buffet offerings on Disney Cruise Line’s website.
- Royal Caribbean International no longer offers the traditional midnight buffet where guests parade through the dining room, take pictures, then eat, on a regular fleet-wide basis. All RCI ships do offer 24-hour room service, with Sorrento’s pizza and more, that is complimentary except between midnight and 5 a.m. when a $3.95 late-night service charge is applied. See more about dining and buffet offerings on Royal Caribbean’s website.
- Norwegian Cruise Line no longer offers the traditional midnight buffet, but they do offer one “chocoholic night” per cruise, where guests have the choice of up to seven specialty chocolate desserts in every restaurant on board. They also offer 24-hour room service. See more about dining and buffet offerings on Norwegian Cruise Line’s website.
- Carnival Cruise Line does not offer the midnight buffet as old-school cruisers once experienced, but on some ships, they do serve a Mexican buffet on one night, starting around 11:30 p.m. It’s usually on a port day before a sea day. They also offer room service. See more about dining and buffet offerings on Carnival Cruise Line’s website.