I've said that sea days are my favorite aboard ship. No excursions to catch, no arriving at ports. Leisurely breakfast, good lectures, art classes, formal nights. And once each cruise, the Grand Gala Buffet.
This is when the galley gets to show off. And they do a splendid job.
Lots of food.
Cute and clever food.
One of the more humorous aspects of the grand gala buffet is watching the guests. They hover taking photos (ok, I participate in that) and then, after the presentation of the chefs and galley staff, the guests descend upon the stations as if they have never had a meal in their lives. Rail-thin women who up until now have barely eaten more than a lettuce leaf walk by with plates piled precariously with lobster and shrimp. Middle-aged men defy their cardiologists by heaping slab after slab of prime rib onto plates. Ladies of a certain age who NEVER touch dessert hand over plates loaded with 6 or 9 mini sweets to waiting staff so they aren't publicly responsible for their actions.
And they go back. And back. And back.
It's a feeding frenzy. In our family lingo, the gala buffet is nicknamed the Chum Fest.
I've learned a secret, though. The same food that is at the gala buffet is also available upstairs, without the crowds. Which is where we retreat after having a good laugh at the run for the lobster.
He's happy with his nightly pillow chocolates.