Eating in the Lido of most cruise lines is less than ideal. I try to grab a table first before getting my food because who wants to walk around the whole dining area while your food gets cold. There used to be trays in the buffets but no longer. It is hard to balance your food while carrying beverages. There has got to be a better way. Having different stations is a good idea but waiting on several lines is not good. I prefer to eat in the MDR whenever I can or eat early.
I second "glomarrone's" comment and "trimphsurvivor's" review concerning the Lido Marketplace on Carnival Magic. The hours when there was no service were unpleasant during our Jan 2015 cruise and a complaint voiced by many other passengers. Embarkation at Galveston is primitive and long and then when the Lido closed from 3:30 PM to 6:00 PM, we were on a modern cruise ship and hungry - that is not supposed to happen!
Our party of 6 got up at 03:30 had breakfast before our 06:50 flight and after the long on-boarding process, our next meal was almost 13 hours after breakfast. We can plan for this, but I don't believe we should have to plan and spend on airport food on the way to a cruise ship.
The Lido hours were also annoyingly short on port days but forewarned, we could plan around that, but again, we don't think we should have to plan that way.
In my Carnival survey I let them know the same things I mention here and in my Cruiseline review. I suggested they at least keep half of the Lido buffets open during the day at all times. I respect the hard work and time the crew puts in and I know staff is an issue for all the Caribbean cruise lines but one buffet line can serve people much faster than the Grill and Sandwich lines that are open when the Lido buffet is closed and give passengers reasonable feeding, if not fine dining, options.
I have found food on Carnival is still better then on NCL. The Lido hours are limited, but the Deli and Pizza are all day. May not be what you want to eat but when hungry enough even Carnival Pizza is good
When my wife and I cruise we use the buffet early for fresh fruit and we make sure that we meet and speak to the guys at the egg station. The time that we ate in the MDR for breakfast were disappointing, but we do enjoy the dinners. We do not eat heavy on a cruise anyway, as our eating habits have changed.
To each his own i guess.
I think that this is a commo0n complaint that we are hearing more & more about lately on many of the cruise lines, not just Carnival. I hate having to navigate the buffet trying to balance a couple of different plates and then getting my beverage. I surely miss the trays the ships used to have. It seems like the ship's buffet keeps serving the same things every day.
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