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Old September 18th, 2006, 03:01 PM
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Default Is the Pinnacle worth the extra cost?

We are leaving on our cruise on October 7th on the Zaandam for Hawaii. As part of our package we have received a free dinner for two at the Pinnacle Grill. I had read somewhere that effective October 1st HAL was raising the price from $20.00 p/p to $30.00 p/p but if you booked a reservation in the grill before that date they would honor the old price. I was thinking of eating there one of the four day's at sea going and one of the four days sailing back to San Diego. Is the Pinnacle Grill worth the extra cost and what would you recommend on the menu?
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Old September 18th, 2006, 10:29 PM
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The Pinnacle grill is very good, but not fabulous, nor is it particularly gourmet. It is worth it to go once or twice on a cruise. $30 is getting a bit steep I must agree. We liked the Porterhouse steak, all be it was too big to finish. The hot chocolate lava cake is excellent for dessert.
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Old September 19th, 2006, 09:12 AM
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I understand the beef there is very good, but my husband wasn't terribly impressed. I'm a vegetarian and they only have one non-meat item on the menu, which they were out of. We also found it a bit stuffy and pretentious, and the service was not as good as in the main dining room. We have thoroughly enjoyed our experiences in the main dining room on all of our HAL cruises and decided, even before the price increase, that we would not be going to the Pinnacle in the future.
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Old September 19th, 2006, 11:01 AM
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I've gone to the Pinnacle on every cruise, but decided not to go on my next one.
I don't eat red meat, and I don't like the fish they serve, so there is little on the menu that I can choose. I would have a much better selection in the main dining room.

I agree with Desdemona about the service -- it has not been stellar in the Pinnacle.

For the cost $30 plus tip ... well, I can think of more fun ways to spend the money, and skipping a night in the Pinnacle is not going to bother me!
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Old September 19th, 2006, 11:16 AM
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My understanding is: if you make reservations before Oct 1st regardless of the sailing date you will get the $20 rate. I just received a price list as I am giving dinner for 2 as a gift to a cliant who is sailing in November. It came across as $20 per person. Now, is it worth more? Well we will find out when we cruise HAL, but to me, $30 is pushing it a bit. We paid $30 on Celebrity a few years ago, plus tip: no I wouldn't do it again. The service yes, is outstanding, the food very good, but not enough better to justify the cost. There is a big difference between $20 and $30 per person. NMnita
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Old September 19th, 2006, 07:24 PM
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Default Pinnacle Grill

If you get a free meal for two in the Pinnacle Grill, by all means take advantage of the opportunity. If you have to pay $20 or $30 pp, pass. (I've heard that the price increase will bring a new menu -- hopefully expanded and more gourmet and with better presentation. But that remains to be seen.) The current menu really isn't worth the extra charge, given the choice, variety and presentation in the dinning room.

We've been the to Pinnacle Grill on each of our last two Holland America cruises. While the food is well prepared, the presentation of the food is very poorly done. The menu is very limited -- beef, lamb shops, fish, and a single veg. entree. Essentially the entree is thrown on a plain white plate with some parsley for an accent. The portion sizes are flat out too large, which can detract from the evening as you feel stuffed when you leave. The wine is list very good and slightly better priced than the wine list in the dinning room. If you know what you want, you can get wine from the Pinnacle Grill list in the dinning room.

My general feeling is that the Pinnacle Grill is not worth the added expense. If your TA provides it as part of your overall cruise experience, it is worth a try.
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Old September 19th, 2006, 07:59 PM
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The seared tuna is excellent but the beef is probably the best bet for most people's taste. The fillet was quite good.

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Mike
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Old September 19th, 2006, 10:07 PM
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We enjoyed the Pinnacle Grill, it was nice and if you have not cruised with HAL before...it's a nice experience.

We aren't highly motivated to do it again, because we enjoyed good food and excellent service throughout the ship.
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Old September 20th, 2006, 01:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike M
The seared tuna is excellent but the beef is probably the best bet for most people's taste. The fillet was quite good.

Take care,
Mike
Seared tuna? In the Pinnacle?
I've eaten in the Pinnacle on the Zuiderdam [twice] Oosterdam and Westerdam, and seared tuna is not on the menu at any of those ships.

I know -- b/c I do eat seared tuna, it is one of the few fish dishes I do eat.
They did have halibut -- that is the only fish I can remember.
But they did not have tuna, and they do not have daily specials. It was my understanding that all the Pinnacle Grills have the same menu.
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Old September 20th, 2006, 01:59 PM
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Fruitcake; it was on the menu twice on the Statendam. The fresh fish may vary on each sailing.

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Mike
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Old September 20th, 2006, 04:32 PM
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Here the the Pinnacle menu I have always seen.

I did not know it varied on any of the other ships -- in fact, I have read complaints from very well-traveled HAL cruisers that the menu is getting boring because it is always the same! I took their word for it.

There is a special "Food and Wine Tasting Menu" sometimes -- it's a special event and costs $49 or so. It has different items.

Starters:
Fragrant Chicken Thai Soup
Ultimate Northwest Clam Chowder
Vine Ripe Beef Stake Tomato Salad
Seasonal Greens
Dungeness Crab Cakes
Seared Duck Breast
Smoked Pleasures of the Sea

Entrees:
Filet Mignon
Bone-in Ribeye Steak
Porterhouse Steak
Lamb Rack Chops
King Salmon
Chicken Marsala
Cedar Planked Halibut with Alaskan King Crab
Cedar Planked Scampi
Grande Wild Mushroom Ravioli

Side Dishes:
Scalloped Potatoes
Creamed Spinach
Oversized Baked Potato
Lemon-Wheat Berry Basmati Rice
Sauteed Button Mushrooms
Grilled Asparagus with Bearnaise Sauce

Sweet Endings:
Not-so-classic Baked Alaska
Chocolate Volcano Cake
Lemon-Berry Angel Shortcake
Pinnacle Creme Brulee
Ice Creams
Sorbets
Fresh Fruit Plate
Assorment of Cheeses
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Old September 20th, 2006, 09:39 PM
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I know what you mean about getting boring: NCL has a couple of outstanding specialty restaurants but haven't changed the menu in 5 years or more. Rumors are, with the increase in price for PG they will change the menu: I hope so. NMnita
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Old September 22nd, 2006, 01:23 PM
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I just purchased another dinner for two at the old price. The HAL agent did confirm there is a price increase effective October 1st. If they do have a new menu, I hope they don't have a menu for those that paid $20.00 and another that is paying $30.00.
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Old September 22nd, 2006, 01:41 PM
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Yes Fruitcake, I recognize that menu from when we were on the Oosterdam.
We ate in the Pinnacle twice...once, just my husband and I, then with our group from the main dining room...

Had a wonderful time both meals (good company!)...but most likely will not repeat the experience....
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Old September 22nd, 2006, 03:35 PM
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Someone on CC just published the new additions to the PG menu. Seems pretty yummy to me. Now let's wait and see from someone who comes back with a report after Oct 1st. NMnita 8)
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Old September 22nd, 2006, 06:32 PM
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i could not agree more with these folks. pinnacle has been relatively light on customers on the last five hal cruises, and they push it like crazy, especially on their galley tours. i suspect that most who dine in the pinnacle have perks. personally, i would never pay thirty dollars plus tip to dine at the pinnacle. i just can't understand the reasoning behind the raise in price; it is not like the pinnacle is so popular. there are always empty tables. the service is only slightly above average, the atmosphere is somber, and the food is not the be-all, end-all of anything. to me this makes no sense.
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