In all the reviews I've read about Princess, the Sea Princess in particular, the reviewers only mention dinner in the dining room. I'm interested in learning more about other dining choices. My husband and I are cruising on the Sea Princess in March. While this will be my third cruise (first on Princess), it will be his first. I don't forsee that we will want to go to the dining room every evening. What are the other options? What kind of food and atmosphere to they offer? Thanks in advance for your comments!
I haven't sailed Sea Princess but I have sailed Ocean which is a sister and the two ships have the same amenities. First, they have an excellent pizzeria. It's the best I've had at sea, plus they have really good calzone too. The second alternative is the Bistro, one of my favorite things about Princess ships. The Bistro is located where the Horizon Court buffet is. The buffet is from 4:00AM until 7:30PM. From 7:30PM until the following 4:00AM the Bistro is a sit down, full menu restaurant with excellent food and wonderful service. There is no service charge in the Bistro but I always bring some cash since the service is excellent. The menu is always the same but they always have different specials. You can wear shorts into dinner if you like and there is always music for dancing. Have a wonderful cruise. I love Princess.
The main dining rooms aboard MV Sea Princess have a different menu each evening, excellent food, phenomenal service, and a waitstaff with a phenomenal sense of humor. Unlike you, I can't envision going on a cruise and missing dinner in the dining room! Also, I can assure you that several people -- including your waiter, your assistant, and your tablemates -- will be very disappointed if you do skip dinner in the main dining room!
That said, Carole does have the alternatives for dinner down pretty well. Personally, I perfer to take advantage of the alternatives for lunch. There's the pizzeria (at the top of the atrium on the Dolphin Deck, open 12:00-5:00), the outdoor grill (on the Lido Deck just forward of the main pool area, open 12:00-6:00), the buffet on the horizon court, and the main dining room.
If you enjoy wines, be sure to go to the wine tasting (usually held on the first afternoon at sea). They sample two white wines, two red wines, and a sparkling wine on a rotating basis. There's a charge of $5 per person, but you receive a credit in that amount if you order a bottle of wine at the tasting for dinner on the evening of your choice.
I can tell you from personal experience that MV Sea Princess is a magnificent ship, and she has a fantastic itinerary. I do hope that you enjoy her!
BTW, we should mention that Princess's room service actually has two components. There's a somewhat limited menu that's available at any time, but room service also will serve anything that's on the menu in the main dining rooms during the respective meal hours.
Norm---I did not know about the different menu during meal times. They didn't tell us there was anything different than the menu in our cabin. But that would have been great on a couple of occassions. We only used room service to have coffee brought every morning to have on our balcony and, of course, for the breakfast in bed and hor d'ourves that were part of our pkg.
Princess serves dinner in their Lido restuarant as an alternative dining option. Unlike the other cruise lines, this is very good food and service. On those nights when I didn't want to get dolled up for dinner, but have a casual meal, it was a delightful alternative.
Yes, the Horizon Court ("lido") is a alternative if you don't want to dress up on formal night. Of course, passengers who choose this alternative to avoid dressing should be aware that the evening dress code also applies to the evening's entertainment venues....
Hey Ruth! Sorry I don't get back to the Cruisemates board as often as I should and I just saw your message under Alternative Dining! YIPEE a fellow cruiser. Please feel free to contact me by email if you'd like (click on the Blue name for email address). Yes, we are seasoned cruisers and we can't wait to leave for the Sea Princess in 1 month, 29 days, 2 hours, 41 minutes, and 29, 28, 27 seconds!!
Norm, thanks for all of your previous comments on everyones questions. You've provided me with a wealth of information I couldn't find anywhere else. Does the dress code apply to all of the evenings shows or just the ones in the 2 main showrooms?