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Royal Caribbean Shares Update on Cruising Start Date and the Future of the Buffet

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Royal Caribbean is hoping to beat its competitors to the open seas.

Assuming it will be safe to cruise again in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, which has shut down cruising since March, Royal Caribbean on Thursday said it will start sailing again on Sept. 16, a few days ahead of Carnival and Norwegian.

Carnival and Norwegian had previously announced a Sept. 30 start date.

But whether it’s Sept. 16 or Sept. 30, it all depends on the course of the virus – which has spiked again in record numbers in Florida, the launching pad for many cruise lines – as well as a skeptical public that has read about numerous instances of virus outbreaks on cruise ships.

In the meantime, a Royal Caribbean executive seemingly settled the argument over whether buffets will return.

“Rest assured,” Linken D’Souza, the company’s vice president of food and beverage operations, said according to CruiseRadio.net, “the buffet will exist.”

Previously, there had been much speculation about the return of the buffet due to concerns over the virus.

Buffets, however, will not look like they have in the past.

“We’ve worked through a variety of different scenarios,” D’Souza said, “from employee service to individual portions to individual tons for self-service to finger [gloves] that you can [use to] pick up hot dishes. … There may be some small modifications that allow us to ensure that we have a really great, healthy return to service, but your favorites and what you’re used to at the (buffet) will still be there.”

 

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