I sailed on the Diamond nine months ago and now I am sailing on the Sapphire this upcoming weekend! Joy! Joy! When I sailed the Diamond there was no surcharge for dining in the Sterling Steakhouse. Is there now a charge for dining in the Sterling Steakhouse?
It was my understanding that only Sabbatini's had a charge of $20 aboard the Sapphire.
I was on the Diamond last December, and am scheduled on the Sapphire this August. As of last December (and I believe that it is still true), the Sterling on the Diamond and Sapphire were one of the Alternative/Personal Choice Dining venues. There was no charge for the Sterling (unlike all the other Princess ships where there is a charge for the Sterling). I'm not sure that the Sterling menu on the Diamond/Sapphire are the same as on the other Princess ships.
I've also seen some comments on these boards that indicate/imply that Princess is changing the way it handles the alternative dining venues on the Diamond/Sapphire--i.e. they will not each have their own specialty menus (in addition to the traditional menu). I hope not, I enjoyed the option of the speciality menus when I was on the Diamond.
The Sapphire and the Diamond both have a Sterling Dining Room, not to be confused with the optional ($) Sterling Steak House on some of the other Princess ships. Why they used the same name, I don't know...The Sterling Dining Room is one of the four dining rooms available to Anytime Diners on board both of these ships, no additional charge. The only optional charge dining room ($20) on the Diamond and Sapphire is Sabatini's, and it is well worth the surcharge. No Sterling Steak House is found on these two ships.
The Diamond is a lovely ship. Go to the bottom of the page and click on gallery. Then once you are in the gallery, there is a drop down button where you can choose Diamond Princess. I still can't get over the fact that they have tubs. This is the only ship that I know one that has tubs.
BJ, tubs are for mini suites and above ... they are pretty standard across the board in suite categories.
To confirm, no charge for Sterling on Sapphire. But please know it fills up fast on formal nights, so do make reservations if you have your heart s`et on it. Also, make them in advance -- at least a day.
The choices are great -- loved all the specialty restaurants.
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Just returned from the Sapphire on the inland passage to Alaska. The Sterling Steak House did not have a special fee.....only Sabattini's. I discovered that the menus are all the same in the different personal choice restaurants. The only difference is the decor. Personally I thought the service in the Santa Fe was best. We didn't try Sabattini's.
I can't believe Princess made the menus in all of the personal choice dining rooms the same! That was the purpose of having 4 different dining rooms. It is just the same as the traditional dining room menu of any particular day? Is this the same on all Princess ships that have personal choice dining rooms?
The concept of Personal Choice Dining is the alternative to traditional, two seating, dining. Personal choice passengers can eat when and with whom they like. The Personal Choice dining rooms do have the same menus as the traditional dining rooms. Both the traditional dining rooms and personal choice share the same galley. This is the same on all Princess ships and has been this way since the inception of Personal Choice dining.
Sabitinis, Sterling Steakhouse, Bayou Cafe, etc were designed as the alternative restaurants, available for all passengers, and not personal choice restaurants. Most of these restaurants are additional charge. These dining rooms have different menus and dishes.
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Mike..thanks for your explanation. That is how I understood (and experienced) the Personal Choice Dining. What I don't understand is what Penicol said .. "the menus are all the same in the Personal Choice Restaurants. The only difference is the decor." I took this to mean there was no Mexican Menu in the Santa Fe and no Asian Menu in the Pacific Moon, etc. Just one menu (either the same as traditional or one that combines Mexican, Asian, Italian, etc.) offered in each of the Personal Choice Dining Rooms. I feel so lame like I am missing what is being said. Is it like I experienced on The Diamond or have things changed?
Been on the Sapphire Princess a total of 49 days. Each alternative restaurant has its own menu. Santa Fe with Mexican flavor, Sterling with prime rib and steaks, etc. There is no extra charges for these restaurants (except Sabatinis) Each restaurant except sabatinis also has the traditional dining menu as well as its own, so you can order from either. Sabatinis is a classic Italian meal with every item on the menu being served, albeit in very small quantities. It is supposed to be a dining experience. I personally didnt care for it, but many others loved it. Worth the $20 to say you tried it.
So to repeat, Each alternative restaurant has its own menu, plus the traditional dining menu. The alternative restaurant menu never varies, from my experience. Each day it is the same for that particular restaurant. Also, you can order off of any restaurant's menu (except sabatinis) in traditional dining. Each night in the traditional dining, you will get that nights menu plus a menu from one of the alternative restaurants.
I have seen a number of postings on various boards that the alternative/PC dining rooms on the Sapphire and Diamond no longer each have their own alternative menu. I enjoyed the alternative menus on the Diamond last December, and was looking forward to it on the Sapphire in August--but it will only be a minor disapointment. We loved the ship.
See my above post. I was on the Osaka to Seattle cruise with Sapphire. Arrived in Seattle mid may. At that time, each alternative room had it OWN menu, different from any ot the other alternative rooms. Unless they stopped that practice in past month, the menus will be different.