Yes, buffets are crowded.  Everyone wants to eat at the same time.  I wish that this issue could be resolved.  We usually go to the station farthest removed from the main entrance where lines are usually shorted.  Many times my food is cold by the time I find a table to sit.  Cooked to order food is always better but you do have more choices at the buffet.  Your daily activity sheet will tell you where to find activities that you like.  I always carry it with me around the ship.  I wish that pools were larger on ships.  Sometimes you can barely move around in them.