BAN THE BUFFET? has no doubt food is a major attraction for passengers on cruise ships. There is so much choice on board from the white linen service in the main dining room to the high-end restaurants overseen by  famous international chefs such as Jamie Oliver and Marco Pierre White.

Quite a change from the all-you-can-eat buffet that used to be the main attraction, and guaranteed cruise passengers arrived home from a holiday-at-sea with an increased waistline.

Today’s focus is on healthy eating and some cruise lines have even looked at closing down the traditional buffet. One of the first off the rank is P&O Cruises which has forsaken the buffet for The Pantry on its Sydney based Pacific Jewel, with a similar set-up planned for its two new ships Pacific Eden and Pacific Aura which arrive in Australian waters later this year.

As seen on the video above, The Pantry is all about choices, and in many ways is akin to a food court where each section has its own flavour, with quirky names such as Hook’s Fish and Chips to the Fat Cow, and the Sugar Bar,

Internationally, Royal Caribbean has introduced a similar option with its Windjammer bistro-style Marketplace with stations from a 24-hour grill to a bakery, and passengers also have made-to-order options,

A highlight of past cruises used to be the Midnight Buffet which showed off the unique skills of the culinary staff from delicate pastries to giant ice carvings. There was even a viewing so that passengers could take pictures of the fantastic creations before they were demolished at the midnight feast. But even that event is now a dying art as cruise ships usually opt for an earlier in the evening, less formal outdoor buffet, that is more of a party with a lively band and dancing on deck.



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