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  #1 (permalink)  
Old November 21st, 2002, 07:46 PM
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Default Summit v/s Princess

I must be honest. I just returned from a 10 day cruise with Summit and had a great time but was a little disappointed in the food. We never tried the Normandy Rest. but I think I was spoiled from the Princess cruise I took last year through the Panama Canal. Why should one have to pay additional $25. to get good food. The chefs on the Panama were really exceptional. I'm a small person but I do enjoy fine food. There were only 2 dinners I could rave about on the Summit. For the price of the cruise I actually expected more. The service was wonderful and have no complaints there. Has anyone else experienced this same situation?
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Old November 21st, 2002, 08:29 PM
Tom W
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Default Re: Summit v/s Princess

Sorry to hear about your dislike of the food. We just got off the Summit and we thought the food was GREAT. We have sailed on both Celebrity (Summit) and Princess (Sea and Dawn). Both my wife and I thought the food was close on each line with the edge going to Summit. The Normandy Restraunt needs to be experienced before being commented on. The money was well spent. The service is what you pay for and it was Exceptional. The food was excellent, but the key here is service, service service. Like I said it needs to be experienced and was well worth the extra money. In the overall, what is an additional $25.00 per person in the scheme of things. When we go back, we know for certain we will go to the Normandy.
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Old November 22nd, 2002, 08:07 AM
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Default Re: Summit v/s Princess

I also just got off the Summit (Oct 28 to Nov 8) and would say the food was the best I have experienced out of 11 cruises . It blew away our very disappointing experience in both food and service on Ocean Princess just a year ago.
We liked it so much that we have reserved a cabin for a 14 day cruise next year on Summit.
I am not questioning anyones opinion as one thing I've found about cruising is that two people can experience the very same thing and walk away with VERY different opinions.
Our travelling companions had no interest in trying Normandy, but, if we go next year
I will definately give it a try at least once.
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Old November 22nd, 2002, 04:01 PM
Frank
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Default Re: Re: Summit v/s Princess

PapaBill wrote:

> Our travelling companions had no interest in trying Normandy,
> but, if we go next year
> I will definately give it a try at least once.

We were on the sister ship, the Constellation and we felt that the food and service were a touch better than our many experiences on Princess. We tried their specialty restaurant which was called Ocean Liners. (On the Princess forum, these extra charge restaurants are referred to by some as sucker places because they are either saying our regular dining room food is not as good or you've paid twice for what you've already paid for.) I did not think it was worth the $25/pp. Yes, the service was top notch because they have so many people assigned to you but I found the food to be not as good because the selection was more limited and too exotic for my tastes.
Frank-in-CA
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Old November 22nd, 2002, 05:32 PM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Summit v/s Princess

I must agree with the original post. I thought the Summit was very mediocre and was very dissappointed with the Normandie. The service was good and a bit of a show but the food in our opinion was no better than the dinning room. We are a big fan of the Mercury and feel that is the best food in the mid range ships. We loved the food on our Alaska trip in August so much that we will be returning to her in February. The kitchen and the food is a direct reflection of the management. You just have to hit it right.
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Old November 22nd, 2002, 06:17 PM
AR
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Default Re: Summit v/s Princess

I'm thoroughly on the other side.

Chacun a son gout, of course, but after four trips to three specialty restaurants on Millie class ships, it's very difficult for me to imagine people truly believing that they're no better than the regular restaurant.

First of all, service is part of a fine dining experience, and in the Olympic, Normandie, et al, it is first class. You may or may not care for the food. Many of us think is is quite good, but one thing's for sure: it is individually prepared to order, usually delivered as ordered, with some imaginative touches in preparation and high quality ingredients.

Again, you may or may not like a particular dish, but it isn't mass-produced steam table banquet food like in the regular restaurant. Which is NOT to say that the regular restaurant isn't just fine. Most nights it is fine if you choose the right dish.

As far as the main restaurants on Princess vs. Celebrity, I think Celebrity overall has the edge, but only a slight one. The cost cutting that's been going on as cutthroat pricing reaches new frenzies every year will make mass dining afloat more of a hit-or-miss proposition. More and more, it will mostly depend on who's working a particular ship, how lucky they got with the provisioning, etc.

I really have a problem with those who say--in effect--that you shouldn't have to pay (more) for a "decent meal." The day-to-day dining room meals on a decent cruise ship are generally good food, and often very good food. Probably better than most of us eat most nights. So that's a false comparison. The simple fact is that some of us find value in eating in the specialty restaurants occasionally because we appreciate what they're doing there and we consider it good value for money.

Getting on a ship is not a blanket entitlement, especially at the bargain basement prices that are being charged these days. Despite the alluring advertising, it is folly to think you can pay in the neighborhood of $100 per person per day (and lately sometimes far less) and get transportation, sleeping accommodations, entertainment, AND six-star meals every night. It's just not realistic. If people want various upgrades (spas, casinos, art, liquor, shore excursions, specialty restaurants) and are willing to pay for them, so be it. But the existence of a specialty restaurant does not mean that the main dining room is serving pig slop.

We were just on RCI a couple weeks ago and encountered a couple who had booked the specialty restaurants (there were two) every night of a 10-day cruise. They weren't complaining a bit. In fact they were very happy. They considered it an excellent investment to enhance their cruise. To them it was a premium service for which they were willing to pay. I would never do specialty every night, but hey, whatever floats your particular boat.

AR
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Old November 24th, 2002, 01:05 PM
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Default Re: Re: Summit v/s Princess

Here, here AR ... couldn't have said it better! The only opinion you expressed which differs from ours is that we feel Celebrity is several notches above Princess in the food department. But, as has been stated, everyone has a slightly different perspective. That's why cruising is such a wonderful vacation choice ... there truly is a cruise line and/or ship for everyone. Our next is in May and it can't get here fast enough!!
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Old November 24th, 2002, 09:01 PM
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Default Re: Summit v/s Princess

I also agree with AR - was on the Summit and the Sea Princess this year and felt the food on the Summit (dining room and Normandie) was better than that on the Sea Princess - the only areas I would rate the Sea Princess is the buffet and the availablilty of food was better than on the Summit - but I never went hungry on the Summit for sure. I also felt the dining room service was far better on the Summit, but I attribute that to the fact that we chose to try Personal Choice on the Sea Princess, and while it had it's advantages, I did miss getting to know the wait staff (and they me) and consistent tablemates.

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Old November 25th, 2002, 12:02 PM
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Default Re: Summit v/s Princess

This is such a touchy subject. I have been on the Grand and Sea Princess as well as the Celebrity Zenith, Mercury, Galaxy, Millenium, and Summit and I have to totally disagree with you.

Princess food is not even in the same arena as Celebrity. Princess has great souffle's and high tea is to die for, but Princess pasta and dishes are overrated, very plain.

As for the good food, Princess has pay restuarants as well if you want the really, really good food too.

One other note. I found HAL food to be much better than Princess food as well.

JMHO

John
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Old November 25th, 2002, 04:22 PM
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Default Re: Re: Summit v/s Princess

Stargazerm31 wrote:

> One other note. I found HAL food to be much better than
> Princess food as well.
>
John:
Just pack your Pepto-bismal for any HAL trip you might take. (G) They haven't shaken the Norwalk virus yet and that, surprisingly, is what is working the best for those who caught it.
Frank-in-CA
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Old November 25th, 2002, 04:56 PM
AR
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Default Re: Re: Re: Summit v/s Princess

Haven't taken Pepto-Dismal in years.

My problem was always that I found it more disgusting than being sick!

AR
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Old November 27th, 2002, 03:40 PM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Re: Summit v/s Princess

Will take AR's side here.

Been on both lines.
Food on Princess was good.
Celeberity was better.
Normandie was out of sight.
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Old November 29th, 2002, 06:55 PM
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Default Re: Re: Summit v/s Princess

AR,

They weren't complaining a bit. In fact they were very happy. They considered it an excellent investment to enhance their cruise. To them it was a premium service for which they were willing to pay. I would never do specialty every night, but hey, whatever floats your particular boat.

An advertisement that appeared in several newspapers a few decades ago promising to send "The Secret to Success" to anybody who would send ten dollars to the address provided in the advertisement. Those who mailed ten dollars to the published address received an envelope containing a card with a fish hook attached to it, below which were printed the words, "Fish for Suckers."

As a stockholder of both P&O Princess Cruises Plc. and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., the parent of Celebrity Cruises, I'm thrilled to hear that both companies are landing so many of them as I look forward to future dividends. :-)

"It costs more -- it must be better!"

Yeah, right....

Norm.
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Old November 29th, 2002, 07:02 PM
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Default Re: Summit v/s Princess

Sharon,

Food is very much a matter of personal preference. I meet a lot of people on both sides of this one, split more or less evenly. Of course, this discussion board will produce a self-selecting sample of opinion from folks who tend to favor Celebrity over Princess for a variety of reasons.

The reality is that both lines are members of the Chaine des Rotisseurs, so I doubt that food on either is in any way substandard. There is, however, one important difference -- Celebrity's menus and recipes are much more centralized, whereas Princess leaves much more latitude to the executive chef aboard each vessel. Thus, there's a lot more variability in seasoning, etc., from ship to ship aboard Princess.

Go with your preference, by all means.

Norm.
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