Midnight buffet?

Do any cruise lines still regularly offer a midnight buffet on most itineraries? I believe Carnival does on their longer Carnival Journeys cruises but I'm curious as to whether anyone else does. I know Royal also has late-night pool parties that sometimes include an outdoor buffet but I'm generally referring to something in the ship's actual buffet. I never cruised back when this was popular and I wish it was still a common thing!

Tags: dining buffet midnight dinner

24 Answers

I don't know, but we only made it to one when they were a regular thing... and we didn't manage to see it when on the Journeys cruise in February. They would open it up to photos at 11:30 PM and then open it for eating. Mostly extreme night owls and drunks were around for the eating part. All that work often went to waste (waist as well).

Yeh, but further back on NCL than I care to admit. No longer...and there used to be midnite choc-o-holic thangs too...interestingly it was most greyheads that went. including us. then they stopped that too. I don't think there is anything going on that late. we usually stop at the buffet after the late show(s) and there are always folks there, including some crew and entertainers. theres food too...dunno how much of it is leftovers...not that it matters...whole different atmosphere in Jurassic park that late. starting with its QUIET,,,we tend to linger, regroup, feed ourselves yet again, stop off for a nitecap, head for the cabin, bed turned down, fresh ice, and a towel critter...order our breakfast for early the following morning and turn in...and prepare to do it all again and again and again...we just came off BREAKAWAY 2 months or so ago...feels like 2 years....

Yes there are late nite pool parties, and sometimes we attend..but they open the cages for the late nite feedings, and so we don't stay long..watching folks who shouldn't drink drink, well.....its entertaining for about 15 minutes...

Those late night buffets must have been the sight but the waste of food and the expense associated with it must have caused it demise.

Theres an "expense" associated with EVERYTHING on board...including the pens. If you've never experienced it, you probably wouldn't notice something isn't done anymore or its missing. mebbe they'll ban stewards from making towel critters...takes too long..

I have not been on a cruise with nightly Midnight buffets in over a decade I think. When I was in my 30's I'd eat every night at the Midnight Buffet, Those were the days I could eat everything in sight and not gain an ounce.

Ships not have all night Pizza or a small cafe open all night.

on 5-7 day Itineraries, RCI Ships(Excluding Empress) have Pizza available until 2-3am. Some have a cafe with salads and sandwiches until about 1am.

Cannot really remember what we did for late night food on Empress...perhaps the Windjammer was open later? I'll have to check with my Operations officer and see if she can remember.

The midnight buffet that you see many of us long time cruisers lament about were Gala Events done on true Formal Evenings (when the dress code had to be observed at the theater, lounges, and casino as well) on types of cruises that are long past. Every platter was a work of art to be more appreciated than eaten. Usually held in the MDR there would be ice and large fruit sculptures galore, trays of deli meats arranged to form scenes to be expected on the sailing, carved roasted meats to resemble important ship's officer or famous people, cut fruits in beautiful mosaics, and dessert cakes that would put those guys & gals on Food TV to shame. The normal flow of things would be a 1 hour free champagne reception to look over the gallery of food, take pictures, and meet the senior staff. Then the next 2 hours were open to anyone who wanted a bite to eat, with staff serving the portions as you went from station to station.

In those days a mega ship held just under 2,000 passengers with a crew of 800, and the age scales seemed to be at the 2 adult extremes, young newlyweds on their honeymoon and retirement aged on their trip of a lifetime. Families with young children on board were a rarity, and kid's camp and teen clubs did not exist. Sadly as ships have gotten bigger and started to appeal with all their bells and whistle doing shorter cruises, this Gala Buffet has become very impractical, though sometimes special sailings like Carnival's Journey cruises do this as a throwback celebration but not ot the full extent it was once done.

On the other hand if you're looking for some late night eats that are included in your fare, almost all cruise lines have something open if not 24 hours a day then at least till 30 minutes after the last lounge entertainer finishes . The 4 cruise lines I've sailed ...

Carnival - besides the 24 hour pizza counter and soft serve ice cream machine most ships do a late night snack buffet from 11:30pm till 1:30am. Usually available are things like burger and hot dogs, BBQ or Buffalo chicken sandwiches, nachos and cheese sauce, grilled cheese, cookies, and a few picnic style salads.

Celebrity - perhaps has the best "late" night buffet treatment, usually from 10:30pm till 12:30 am. Cold cuts and bread to make your own sandwiches, fixings for a simple salad, cubed cheese, fresh fruit, and olives, a small selection of already made pizza slices, a made to order pasta bar, a small variety international set-up, and some pastries and puddings.

Norwegian Cruise Line - No buffet selections but on ships with O'Sheehan Bar there is a late night complimentary menu plus an at fee pub food options available all night long.

Royal Caribbean - Has their Promenade Cafe, again not really a buffet but more of a deli and dessert counter but with a little something for everyone. If a ship does not have the Sorrento's pizza (open 11am-3am most days) slices of pizza can also be found there.

Well done MARYRED...O'SHEEHANS!...late late nite wings...aaah...you're making me crazy!!!! PS...they also serve a pretty good breakfast!!

So right. Many of the midnight buffets have been replaced by the 24 hour restaurant and other various late night eateries that are open. Add in the eating and dietary habits and changes over the past 30 years and it is easy to see why the demise of the midnight buffet.

I never was on a cruise with the midnight buffet but i very fondly remeber on my first 2 cruises in 2007 and 2012 the Chocolate Buffet that NCL would put on during one of the last sea days in the afternoon. Wow.

Stop with the chocolate buffet references yeh they have more chocolate stuff...more on some days than others...but thats a poor substitute for the choc-o-holic parties......between that and OSHEEHANS, I have this urge...calm down says me to meself...179 and counting....

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