PORT CANAVERAL, FL – Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas was caught unprepared when self-serve buffet dining returned on board, and the storied cruise liner ran out of food.
After cruising resumed in 2021 following the pandemic shutdown, cruise lines eliminated self-serve buffets in favor of crew-served food stations in order to reduce the risk of Covid-19 spread. Now that Covid cases onboard cruise ships are way down, Royal Caribbean and other cruise lines just announced that the buffets are returning to self-serve. Unfortunately, things haven’t been entirely smooth sailing since this change.
Bonnie Harris, a 52-year-old veteran cruiser on Harmony of the Seas, was shocked to discover there was no more bacon at the Windjammer breakfast buffet yesterday. “I always have a plate piled high with bacon at breakfast when I cruise, but now there is none to be found. The captain announced there will be no more bacon the rest of the week. I’m extremely disappointed. I paid good money for this cruise.”
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” said one crew member assigned to the Windjammer. “When the Windjammer buffet opened and cruisers saw they could serve themselves once again, it was like a scene from Braveheart.”
Similar reports filed in from other ships in the Royal Caribbean fleet. The situation is worse than anyone could have imagined. Cruisers are charging the line on Rascal scooters, layering entire plates full of bacon and chicken fried rice only to return minutes later for second and third helpings. Other guests piled on spaghetti with meatballs, waffles and seared salmon, all on the same plate.
“We’ve all heard the stories of the Wendy’s salad bar incident of ’92, and the Krispy Kreme buy-one-get-two promotion by the Weight Watchers convention in ’06, and literally every Chick-Fil-A drive-through every day at noon. But this is worse. Way worse,” another crew member reported.
Cruise Director Wendy Ballard said the cruise line will offer counseling services to traumatized crew members affected by the stampedes and angry guests. The company is currently reevaluating its food intake forecasts and expects to resolve the food shortages by the end of the month.