We were on the Grand Princess this past Nov. and are going again in April. We stuck with the dining room each night for dinner, but drooled over the Sterling Steakhouse menu. The other people in our party didn't want to spend the extra money. It will be just my husband and myself this time. Is the surcharge worth it? Are the steaks tender and juicy as expected? (We are middle of the road steakhouse people who enjoy Outback but not Saltgrass...the best steaks we've ever had were at Ruth's Chris, but we only eat like that on special occasions. Can you also leave a sentence or two about your steak tastes with your responce so we know how to take it. If your only use to steaks from 5 star restaurants, you will have a different opinion than someone who likes their steaks from Denny's. Know what I mean?) Thanks a million!
We were on the Grand on Jan 29th. We ate in the steakhouse and it was wonderful. We ordered our steaks medium and it was cooked to perfection. The service was great. The surcharge was worth it. We usually eat at Outback or Steak and Ale while at home.
We went to the Sterling Steakhouse on our cruise last year. Pretty good steak but only on par with the food (including the steaks) you would get in the dining room. Certainly not up to the level of Ruth's Chris. If we have the opportunity again, we'd probably take a pass - not for the quality of the food but because we really didn't feel it was worth the extra fee.
We were on the Caribbean Princess the end of Feb- March, I did not see that it was worth it at all. We actually got the same food downstairs and it was so much better. They had clam chowder that was just horrible, the service was really slow. It was our first time for trying it and the last time.
We did Sterling on the Dawn last fall. Thought it was great - of course on the Dawn, it is not really a separate restaurant, but part of the Horizon Court sectioned off in the evening. However, the food was very, very good. Having eaten at Ruth's Chris, Morton's, Outback, etc. - I thought this ranked up there with the best of them as far as food quality. the service was also excellent. Just the ambiance left something to be desired - but on the newer ship I am assuming that part is much better.
On the Diamond the Sterling is not a surcharge restaurant, and the steaks were just OK. Probably on a par with chains like Outback, but certainly not up to the quality of the legitimate big-city steakhouse chains or independents. Getting the meat cooked as ordered was hit-and-miss; the quality of the cuts was mediocre.
But, you get what you pay for. For twenty bucks (or for no extra charge), you can't expect food like Ruth's Chris, or the Palm or the Capital Grille or Ben Benson's (where $80+pp tabs are routine).
And, will somebody please explain to me the magic of shrimp cocktails? Make no mistake, I like shrimp as well as the next person, but what kind of challenge to the kitchen do shrimp cocktails represent? A low-grade moron can boil and peel shrimp and throw cocktail sauce on them. Isn't the fun of a good restaurant to explore and see what the kitchen can do with challenging and/or innovative ideas? (Or in the case of a steakhouse, how perfectly can they cook top-quality cuts?). The only thing I can figure is that people have it in their minds that shrimp are expensive and "by God, I'm going to get my money's worth on this cruise!" How boring.