Forum Fire: Princess Cruises Cans 24-Hour Buffet, Stomachs Rumble

September 12, 2011 | By | 18 Comments

Is that the sound of rumbling bellies? Late-night snackers have one less dining option now that Princess Cruises has eliminated its 24-hour buffet option. The Horizon Court — which, until August, offered a “bistro” menu throughout the night — now closes fleetwide “anytime between 11 p.m. and 2 a.m., depending on the demand and passenger demographics.” Spokeswoman Karen Candy explained: “The line made the decision based on low demand for late-night dining.”
Cruise Critic readers with a penchant for predawn peanut butter cookies have expressed their sadness on the message boards.

“I just informed my 16-year-old son about the change in hours for HC,” wrote Iamcruisin. “His reply was, ‘That’s going to be a problem I need my roll at 3 a.m.'”
The news had Red Hat Cruise Cat‘s stomach all in knots. “I’m a night owl and room service isn’t practical when my cabin mate is sound asleep,” he wrote.
Others mourned what they expected to be the loss of the night-muncher community. “As a night an owl, I have often visited HC at odd hours, always amazed by how many folks were there, as well as ships officers, and staff,” posted a mournful Shogun.
Walttd shrugged off the change. “Really no loss as far as I’m concerned,” he wrote.”I’ve been up there after 11 and the food that is there is pretty bad looking.”
Shredie had some advice to keep from going hungry. “Pack a lunch when HC is open and take it to your cabin fridge for later?”
Whatever your take on the news, 24-hour room service is, of course, still available. Oh, and there are no plans to levy a late-night room service fee, added Candy.
Read other Lido Deck postings on kids running wild, saving tables at the buffet and bad balcony behavior.
Now that we have you thinking about mealtime, check out this collection of upcoming food and wine cruises.
Show off to your friends: Sign up for your own Lido Deck subscription.
    Please share this post!


    18 Responses to “Forum Fire: Princess Cruises Cans 24-Hour Buffet, Stomachs Rumble”

    1. Jan M
      September 13th, 2011 @ 10:46 am

      Just another reason why I’d never sail Princess again!

    2. david
      September 13th, 2011 @ 10:47 pm

      methinks people can go a few hours without food.
      Time to be grateful for what we have, not complain for silliness they don’t need.

    3. Joann
      September 14th, 2011 @ 1:18 pm

      We are cruising Princess Caribean in February 2012, want to know if they put out the bufett with out beautifull ice sculptures and desserts?

    4. Chris
      September 14th, 2011 @ 2:53 pm

      3 hours without food!?!??!?!?!? HOW WILL PEOPLE SURVIVE?

      Oh, right. The other 21 hours they’ve been gorging themselves.

    5. Marie
      September 14th, 2011 @ 3:06 pm

      I have never known anyone to go hungry on a cruise ship. It is like the fabulous midnight buffets that we used to see, it was a major waste of food for the few that wanted to take pictures. Princess listens when their passengers tell them what they value and what they are happy to do without.

    6. Palm Trees
      September 14th, 2011 @ 3:15 pm

      Aww, I always skip dessert(s) at dinner in order to have it on its own at the late-night buffet after dancing a few hours. The person who said to take something to the room had a good idea. Guess I’ll have dessert on the balcony–not that bad, now that I think about it. Sigh…

    7. David
      September 14th, 2011 @ 4:14 pm

      Dissappointed here since I do frequent the buffet after late nights in the casino and would not want to wait for room service.. will I die, no, but will I miss it, yes, since I find it to be a good relaxer to sit up there in HC, uncrowded, with a soup/sandwich/drink..etc Will it stop me from cruising with my favorite cruise line – Hell No. :)

    8. Mark
      September 14th, 2011 @ 4:26 pm

      WEll, I am one of the night owls. hate it that there are folk here that would say ‘just suck it up’ (thats how I read it). Like, PT I would skip dessert and go for a late night tea and something. And Like someone else said, on a recent panama cruise from LA to FL there were many crew and performers up at the buffet after midnite. Possibly the only time they could eat. Also, even if room service is free, there is the matter of the tip, making it not free for somethign i could have gotten myself. We’ll see how it goes as I sail on the Crown in november.

    9. Zooguy
      September 14th, 2011 @ 4:51 pm

      We love the Horizon Court – particularly at night when the HC offers both casual and semi formal sections. I especially love my big chocolate chip cookie!

    10. thunder
      September 15th, 2011 @ 12:36 pm

      my job requires that i work overnights, when most people are having supper/dinner, that is my “breakfast” time, i would go to the buffet about 1 a.m, which is my typical “lunch break” time so as not to disturb my spousal equivilant, and having room service or even eating in the room is out of the question.

      they dont have to get rid of the food altogether, they could still put out some sandwiches, pizza soup and a small salad bar.

      they are taking away peoples right to smoke outside on their balconies, and now taking away one of the reasons some people cruise is for the late night grindage.

      what’s next for princess/ child-free cruising?…hey now…that idea just might get me to stay with them, as for this latest “wild hair”, i’m done with princess, just cancelled my next cruise with them, which was to be in december.

    11. thunder
      September 15th, 2011 @ 12:40 pm

      marie, you obviously have necer cruised on a \costa\ ship, when we sailed on the atlantica 3 years ago, the food was so bad that i lost almost 10 pounds that week.
      we never got off the ship until we docked in nassau, ran to find food, we spent $100 for 2 burgers and 4 drinks, it was the best $100 we spent that week.

      so, yes, people do go hungry on cruise ships.

    12. Mike
      September 15th, 2011 @ 3:51 pm

      Like others, late in the evening after the shows etc. I like to go to the HC for a small snack to tide me over until the morning. I’ve been on 10 Princess cruises and booked on a 14 day cruise in Feb 12. I’m not sure if I’ll like the idea of ordering room service after midnight. I’ll decide more about how I feel after this cruise.

    13. Kathy
      September 15th, 2011 @ 9:18 pm

      I don’t think it is that a big of a deal, of course I’ve always taken some cheese or fruit or even a sandwich and put it in the fridge incase I get the munches. I’ve even bring a few small ziploc bags with me so I can help keep the item fresher.

    14. pamela Cardinale
      September 16th, 2011 @ 9:47 am

      very disengenious of Princess. No loss to me, however, I do think it would be kind of them to at least offer some fruit, lunchmeat, rolls, and maybe dessert for those who get the munchies…. I won’t miss it, because I don’t use it, other than a cookie once in a great while. However, having just completed my 107th cruise, I can tell you, the food on Princess is not worth getting upset about! The food was sub-par, the steaks had NO flavor, most food was virtually flavorless, and the quality ~ POOR!!! The many cutbacks they are instituting are certainly making cruising less attractive, just my humble opinion…

    15. Anthony
      September 16th, 2011 @ 10:05 am

      Princess announces it is stopping the midnight buffet as a cost savings measure. What wasnt announced, is that ticket prices will be also be reduced. Tongue in cheek.

    16. Jack Surber
      September 19th, 2011 @ 3:30 pm

      I just spoke to Princess regarding this issue, and was informed that yes, the HC will close for a few hours on “selected voyages” (depending on the demographics of the passengers), BUT the International Cafe which is on all ships now will still be open 24 hours on all itineraries.

    17. Jayne
      September 24th, 2011 @ 8:31 pm

      People are fickle when it comes to the least little change … I don’t hear the applause when new things are added to your cruise because the whiny crowd doesn’t bother to notice the good news stories! Poor you can’t have a cookie at midnight .. boo hoo!!! suck it up already!!

    18. TIM DEVLIN
      September 28th, 2011 @ 3:31 pm

      No matter how hard cruise ships try, passengers are at the mercy of out of control kids who’s parents don’t give a dam. I had kids screaming and yelling outside my door playing in the hall. I asked them where they were from and they said the other end of the hall and their mother had told them to go play at my end so she could rest. All trailor trash doesn’t live in trailors.

    Leave a Reply

  • Please follow & like us


  • About the Lido Deck

    The Lido Deck is written by Cruise Critic's editorial staff, reporting from ships and ports around the world. The daily blog covers cruise news, reviews, advice, and hot topics from the Cruise Critic message boards. Please note: When commenting, Cruise Critic's community guidelines apply.

  • Facebook

  • Recent Posts

  • Categories