Those who have cruised before know what a popular place the ship's buffet is on embarkation day. It's as though 3,000 cruisers arrive on board and haven't eaten in days. Eager, hungry vacationers line up at the door, squirt the required antibacterial lotion into the palms of their hands, fill their plates, and search for the grand prize: a seat at which to enjoy their lunch - all while carefully and steadily balancing plates and cups along the way. Depending on the ship and venue, it can be a very organized affair in a spacious area, or it can be a crowded and confusing place, overrun with fellow diners in search of food and table.
Instead of beginning your cruise flustered from the crowds bumping to and fro, why not head to the dining room for a leisurely lunch . Most ships have at least one dining room or other alternative dining area open for those who would like a more relaxed meal.
For instance, when cruising on the larger Princess ships, my husband and I like to grab a bite to eat at the International Cafe after boarding and eat in the nearby Piazza, while listening to the string quartet or jazz ensemble that might be performing. We're not really interested in filling ourselves with a lot of food at the moment we board. After all, there will be plenty more where that came from in the days ahead!