10 Best Cruise Ship Buffets

by Donna Heiderstadt

10 Best Cruise Ship Buffets

by Donna Heiderstadt

Quality, quantity, variety — that’s why passengers love cruise ship buffets, where they can have their cake (and their pasta, burgers, stir fry and pizza) and eat as much of it as they want, too. Here are 10 impressive options to try.

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Oceania's Terrace Cafe / Oceania Cruises
Crystal Serenity's Lido Cafe
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Crystal’s Lido Café

This restaurant on Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony excels at both breakfast and lunch, offering made-to-order omelets and pastas, as well as counters of fresh fruits and salads, cheeses, hot entrees, and desserts. Plus there's a globally themed lunch special — sushi, Thai, French, Mexican, and more — daily.

This restaurant on Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony excels at both breakfast and lunch, offering made-to-order omelets and pastas, as well as counters of fresh fruits and salads, cheeses, hot entrees, and desserts. Plus there's a globally themed lunch special — sushi, Thai, French, Mexican, and more — daily.

Seabourn Encore's Colonnade (rendering)
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Seabourn’s Colonnade 

One of cruising’s most sophisticated gourmet buffet experiences, this eatery on Seabourn Odyssey, Seabourn Sojourn, and Seabourn Quest has stations serving grilled fish and carved meats, as well as salads, soups, charcuterie, and antipasto — and outdoor dining on a shaded deck with waiters who swoop in to carry your plate and promptly pour wine.

One of cruising’s most sophisticated gourmet buffet experiences, this eatery on Seabourn Odyssey, Seabourn Sojourn, and Seabourn Quest has stations serving grilled fish and carved meats, as well as salads, soups, charcuterie, and antipasto — and outdoor dining on a shaded deck with waiters who swoop in to carry your plate and promptly pour wine.

Oceania's Terrace Cafe Grill
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Oceania’s Terrace Café 

Grill aficionados will approve of this indoor/outdoor venue on Oceania Marina and Oceania Riviera, where chefs dish out limitless lobster tails, steak, lamb, and shrimp at dinnertime. It’s also open for breakfast and lunch with hot and cold buffets, wood-fired pizzas, a themed offering (such as Seafood Festival), and to-die-for desserts — and the entire menu changes daily.

Grill aficionados will approve of this indoor/outdoor venue on Oceania Marina and Oceania Riviera, where chefs dish out limitless lobster tails, steak, lamb, and shrimp at dinnertime. It’s also open for breakfast and lunch with hot and cold buffets, wood-fired pizzas, a themed offering (such as Seafood Festival), and to-die-for desserts — and the entire menu changes daily.

Royal Princess's Horizon Court
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Princess’s Horizon Court

This expansive eatery onboard Royal Princess and Regal Princess can satisfy almost any craving as action stations offer made-to-order waffles, omelets, salads, pasta, tacos, carved rotisserie meats, and Japanese Hibachi.

This expansive eatery onboard Royal Princess and Regal Princess can satisfy almost any craving as action stations offer made-to-order waffles, omelets, salads, pasta, tacos, carved rotisserie meats, and Japanese Hibachi.

Azamara's Windows Cafe
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Azamara’s Windows Café 

Sushi is offered daily and themed selections — from Indian and Mexican to Spanish and Italian — give lunchtime an international flair at this indoor/outdoor restaurant on Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest. Carving stations, grilled fish, and pizza appeal to those with an appetite for the more traditional.

Sushi is offered daily and themed selections — from Indian and Mexican to Spanish and Italian — give lunchtime an international flair at this indoor/outdoor restaurant on Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest. Carving stations, grilled fish, and pizza appeal to those with an appetite for the more traditional.

Anthem of the Seas's Windjammer
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Royal Caribbean’s Windjammer Marketplace

Royal Caribbean rejiggered the buffet experience on its two newest ships, Quantum of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas, by creating marketplace-inspired food islands for the indecisive to ponder: fresh-pressed panini or Philly cheesesteak? There’s a juice station for the health-conscious and decadent desserts for everyone else.

Royal Caribbean rejiggered the buffet experience on its two newest ships, Quantum of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas, by creating marketplace-inspired food islands for the indecisive to ponder: fresh-pressed panini or Philly cheesesteak? There’s a juice station for the health-conscious and decadent desserts for everyone else.

Silversea's La Terraza
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Silversea’s La Terrazza 

Offering a buffet at breakfast and lunch, La Terrazza on Silversea Silver Spirit maintains the ship’s culinary pedigree as one of the finest gourmet experiences at sea. Whether you want a vegetarian wrap, sushi, or spicy stir-fry — or a little taste of everything — the chefs deliver it in an impeccable fashion while wine-toting waiters dote on you.

Offering a buffet at breakfast and lunch, La Terrazza on Silversea Silver Spirit maintains the ship’s culinary pedigree as one of the finest gourmet experiences at sea. Whether you want a vegetarian wrap, sushi, or spicy stir-fry — or a little taste of everything — the chefs deliver it in an impeccable fashion while wine-toting waiters dote on you.

Viking's World Café
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Viking's World Café

In the World Café on Viking Star, you’ll find continental fare, such as roasted meats and soups and plated salads. But keep an eye out for special local dishes: In some ports, such as in Rouen, the chef goes to the market and brings back unexpected finds. Look for local delicacies to share, such as ripe cheeses and peppery dried sausages.

In the World Café on Viking Star, you’ll find continental fare, such as roasted meats and soups and plated salads. But keep an eye out for special local dishes: In some ports, such as in Rouen, the chef goes to the market and brings back unexpected finds. Look for local delicacies to share, such as ripe cheeses and peppery dried sausages.

Carnival Breeze's Lido Marketplace
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Carnival’s Lido Marketplace

For sheer options, it’s hard to beat this massive emporium onboard Carnival Breeze, where the design channels European markets (brick walls, awnings that resemble those on market carts) and the food is a mix of all-American favorites and international temptations — Mongolian wok anyone?

For sheer options, it’s hard to beat this massive emporium onboard Carnival Breeze, where the design channels European markets (brick walls, awnings that resemble those on market carts) and the food is a mix of all-American favorites and international temptations — Mongolian wok anyone?

Celebrity Eclipse's Oceanview Cafe
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Celebrity’s Oceanview Café 

This airy restaurant on Celebrity's Solstice, Eclipse, Equinox, Silhouette, and Reflection is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and tries to balance the caloric (pasta and desserts galore) with the healthful (plentiful salads and fish), while the multi-island format and smaller serving trays mean food doesn't sit for long.

This airy restaurant on Celebrity's Solstice, Eclipse, Equinox, Silhouette, and Reflection is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and tries to balance the caloric (pasta and desserts galore) with the healthful (plentiful salads and fish), while the multi-island format and smaller serving trays mean food doesn't sit for long.

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