The buffet delivered some nice surprises on the food front, but we weren’t happy about the crush of people.
This venue, essentially the only full-service buffet on Disney Wonder, is inadequate to handle the mobs that swarm through every morning and at lunch on sea days. Although there are four lanes and we moved through them fairly well, there are kids bolting in all directions, indecisive eaters in line, and sticky floors (spilled soft drinks, we assume) were a regular occurrence. We never had a problem finding a table, especially when the weather cooperated and we could grab one on the outdoor aft deck—maybe everyone else was similarly looking to vacate tables as soon as they were finished.
That said, we always found tasty items at the buffet, along with a number of middling dishes that were easy to dodge. The spread is not big, but it is diverse, and most of the lunch and dinner selections change daily. And a word to the wise: a nearly identical buffet breakfast was available on some mornings in Parrot Cay, with fewer people and considerably more breathing room—check the daily Personal Navigator for hours.
At breakfast, most of the selection was predictable, but good. This included Kellogg’s brand boxed cereals and hot oatmeal, unflavored yogurt and cottage cheese with a nice selection of fruits and nuts for topping. There was fresh fruit, pancakes and Mickey-shaped waffles, fried eggs, scrambled eggs, an omelet station, hash browns, corned beef hash, sausage and bacon. The omelet station was not configured well for trays, so one had to take the tray to the table first, then order the omelet; a few pre-made omelets each day were more useful, usually Western, ham and cheese, and the Yankee egg white.
The lunch and dinner selection was pretty strong, and evolved over the cruise. Among the tasty dishes we found were pork chops with apricots, prunes and slivered almonds; an antipasti station with grilled veggies, meats, olives and cheeses; lightly steamed asparagus with feta; apple, walnut and gorgonzola turnovers; flank steak stir fry with asparagus and red bell pepper; sesame-crusted teriyaki glazed cod with bok choy; and a carving station. Other regular offerings included a cold pasta of the day, stir-fried noodles, a vat of macaroni and cheese, a salad bar. There was sometimes a hot pasta station, two of which were risotto; on another day this section was converted to a stir fry station. One day a seafood bar appeared, and the selection included green lip mussels, crawfish, shrimp, Jonas crab claws and snow crab clusters—a great spread for shellfish fans.
A small dessert section included amaretto cheesecake, tiramisu, apple crumble with vanilla sauce, strawberry tart and various cookies.
There were drink stations at the end of the serving lines that featured Minute Maid apple and orange juice dispensers, along with soda, coffee, tea, and milk (skim, low-fat, whole and chocolate). Soda, coffee, decaf, tea and hot chocolate were available at the beverage station outside the buffet 24 hours—sometimes the coffee here was not very hot.
The buffet is open daily for breakfast from 6:30 or 7:30 to about 10:30 a.m. Lunch is served from 12 noon to 2 p.m. and dinner from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
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