We just got off the Liberty (sister ship to the Freedom of the Seas) and the activities staff told us that they are going to one midnight buffet combined with the deck party mid cruise or so (in other words not in the dining room) and while they didn't specifically say ALL RCCL ships are going to this I guess I came away with the idea that this is what I should expect for this season, at least, on RCCL.
RCCL Nordic Empress 1993
RCCL Nordic Prince 1994
RCCL Explorer 2003, 2005
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I think that as the ships get larger and carry more passengers, its becoming increasingly difficult for the galley crew to do a midnight buffet that is large enough AND to have enough time to get everyone through the buffet lines in a reasonable time.
Maybe they are cutting back because of the efforts involved?
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It's was about time the cruise lines cancelled the "midnight buffets". They were a total waste of money just there for the people to gawk at with most of the food being thrown out. Having a buffet which offers food most of the evening is the bet & logical solution.
Most cruise lines stopped doing their midnight buffets several years ago, around the time the food courts came into fashion, some with 24 hour pizza or other food. As was mentioned, many lines do a "gala buffet" once a week now, and/or a buffet under the stars, but on a 7-night cruise, I haven't seen more than that being offered in years.
HI returned from Legend this morning. We had a midnight buffet on the deck mid week and this was combined with pool party. We were told that RCI have stopped having the midnight buffet in the dining rooms and replacing this with the pool buffet. It still includes all of the ice sculptures etc but more of a party feel to it. It was very good and everyone seemed to enjoy it