I am a "dyed in the wool" Celebrity guy. However, no one ever accused me of being closed minded,( well maybe some have but they don't know anything) so I am now considering a cruise on the Grand Princess. How does this Personal Choice dining thing work and what impact does it have on traditional dining?
I too like Celebrity, just as I like H.A.L. I think Princess is a very close third to these two companies. I've been on only two Princess sailings, (Dawn & Ocean) both of which were very nice experiences. I did prefer the Ocean to the Dawn. I think you'll be quite happy with Princess. In general,Princess' food is tiny bit lesser in quality, but that can vary from meal to meal and dish to dish. Service is good in all of these cruiselines, as is the verall ship quality. each has subtle difference but not great differences by any means.
Having done Celebrity and Princess, I would say that I think you will enjoy the Princess experience. I like Celebrity best, but we've had 2 great experiences on Princess now. We did the Dawn and the Golden. I liked the Dawn better than the Golden. I also liked the small suite on the Dawn better than the sky suite on Millenium. Service on Millenium was just a notch above Princess.
I only did one night in personal choice dining. For me it seemed noisy and hectic. The waiters were constantly changing and rearranging tables for groups as they came in. I like the traditional dining room better. That is just my opinion. Others have different ones.
Location: Wisconsin....about 100 miles south of the Frozen Tundra and 70 miles east of Camp Randall
Re: Considering trying Princess
In personal choice dining, you won't have the Baked Alaska parade, the table side prep of some pasta or dessert dishes (this may have been done away with in traditional dining too, but I know they still have the Baked Alaska parade). Personal choice has it's plusses, like eating when you want; but unless you jump through hoops you will not get the same waitstaff every night, etc. It is also more like a restaurant where everyone is seated at different times as they arrive - the waiters do their best and they do bust butt, but sometimes it is not as smooth as the traditional dining room. On Princess ships, there is a dedicated traditional dining room and a dedicated PC dining room (or two if you are on the Grand class ships.)
Post Edited (03-02-03 20:57)
Crown Princess 1/18/14....the NEW Me, Myself and I cruise!
i think you will like Princess, close to Celebrity in terms of service. If you want traditional dinning you may choose that option or you may choose "Anytime Dining" which works just like any land restaurant, you call and make reservations, you can book a standing reservation for each night and you can very easily request the same server for each night if you find a team that you really like. We have sailed on the Royal, Sea and will be sailing on the Golden next year, have had great cruise experiences with Princess.
Try Princess, just for comparison! I like to try the different cruise lines and for me, I like the atmosphere on Princess better than Celebrity.
Yes, I thought the presentation, food quality was a tad better than Princess and the dining room experience very professional on Celebrity. After all that, I still prefer to be on Princess. I haven't tried the Personal Choice, I had traditional on the Golden in November and it worked very well. I had great table mates and the food was good.
The one thing about the Grand class ships, is that awkward dining room layout, once you get past having to go up a deck to go down???, it is o.k. Does cause a bit of a traffic flow problem around meal times but that was my only minor issue.
I was on the Summit for a longer cruise and barely connected with a single wait staff or any crew for that matter, even though we had 5 sea days. On the Golden at T-time, by the second day, several called me by name and were just friendly. I felt they were rather robotic on Celebrity. Just my preference, some people prefer reserved and quiet. I'm just not a Celebrity person, I wasn't "wowed" by the experience at all. I'd sail them again as long as I was with a group, I'd never sail them alone, I'd be horribly lonely and I never feel that way on Princess or RCI.
I'm very friendly, outgoing and the trouble with that is, I want the whole world to be wide awake, chipper morning people, sunshine all the time!!! (G)