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


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.

That's the way I recall it all. Always thought it was such a shame for the kitchen crew to go to so much work making all this just to have it polished off in less than an hour or so. Here is the last one I remember attending, on the Amsterdam.





THATS what I remember...tables and tables o goodies.....bake chefs in their tall hats...(((sniff))) those were the days. Amazing how many greyheads (who were all probably on diets per their cardiologists) attended and had a blast....I'd just pick...some o this, and this and this and this and that...then go back for more....and I wasn't alone, and didn't feel guilty either....and yes...the ice sculptures!!!

I remember the midnight buffet, they were usually themed and looked amazing. I believed that they discontinued them because even tho people attended they mostly just took photos, not actually eat leaving lots of food being wasted. I love cheese and fresh fruit so I would take a plate of each back to the room.

Disney would do a midnight Chocolate Buffet/Art. But think the dinners are over. When we sailed Equinox in March they had the Pizza station in the Oceanview Cafe open at midnight.

Too bad, because the Midnight Buffet and the Grand Buffet were the two things I liked about cruising when I was a kid. I've been cruising since I was 5 years old, so staying up late at night was a big deal to me! Then seeing all the artwork that went into preparing the food was astonishing.

When we first started cruising back in 1996 on Royal Caribbean they had the midnight buffet. It was good and I really enjoyed the presentation of the foods. We ate like kings. I miss the late night retreat. I also remember the horse races that were held on the pool deck that has gone by the wayside as well.

Yeah, about that...


As for 24-hour food, at least on Norwegian, O'Sheehan's is always open. I prefer their wings to buffet food, anytime.

I was kidding when I posted that...but apparently all it takes for me to be accurate is a cynical attitude when it comes to cruise lines and their income stream. Come to think of it, its not just cruising. But it seems worse on board, because there ARE people who have cruised long enough to remember the things that made it a luxury vacation, even tho once you did it you realized what a bang for the buck it was. Now, it seems like everybody cruises, and are willing to pay more to get less, without even knowing it. The cruise lines know it, and if you surf around and read some of the cruising emags, and get the statistics, its clear reading between the lines, todays cruisers just don't care.

Princess doesn't have a midnight buffet, but their International Cafe is open 24 hours with deserts, salads, sandwiches, and other things.

Was just on the Carnival Fascination in June and they had what they called "late night snacks" in the buffet area that started at 11:45pm. I don't eat that late so I can't tell you what they served.

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