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Old September 1st, 2005, 07:04 PM
Lisa S.
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Default Sapphire-Personal Choice Dining-Sounds Like it's All The Sam

I understand the menus in the 4 Personal Choice restaurants on the Sapphire all have the same menu! What is the point of having 4 different themed restaurants if the same food is served at each??? That sounds so boring! When we dined in traditional dining on RCI, we at least had different menus each day. Someone tell me I'm wrong...please!
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Old September 1st, 2005, 07:48 PM
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Default Re: Sapphire-Personal Choice Dining-Sounds Like it's All The

The menu changes daily.. but they no longer have the 4 different themed restaurants. The menus are the same in fixed dining and any time dining.

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Old September 1st, 2005, 08:01 PM
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Default Re: Re: Sapphire-Personal Choice Dining-Sounds Like it's All

We just called Princess and they say nothing has changed with the 4 themed restaurants. According to them the menu changes daily in the traditional setting and the four themed restaurants each have a different theme (Mexician, Italian, etc.) and THAT menu remains the same throughout the cruise. But it is a different menu in each themed restaurant. I believe you can still order off the traditional menu in any of the themed restaurants -- in addition or instead of the theme. Mix it up, if you like. Anyone heard anything different?
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Old September 2nd, 2005, 07:32 AM
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Default Re: Sapphire-Personal Choice Dining-Sounds Like it's All The

Just off the Diamond and I'm assuming personal choice is the same. The 4 restaurants offer the same menu as the traditional dining room each night (so it changes every day), in addition each restaurant has one speciality item. So, the Vivaldi offered Osso Bucco, the Santa Fe Fajitas, the Pacific Moon shrimp/scallop Lo Mein and our favorite, the Savoy a pork chop. We loved personal choice dining and never had a problem getting a table for 2 or 4.
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Old September 2nd, 2005, 01:28 PM
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Default Re: Sapphire-Personal Choice Dining-Sounds Like it's All The

BMK, waah if this is right ... so there is no longer the separate menu for the Santa Fe room, Vivaldi room, etc. Major disappointing.

Harry

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Old September 2nd, 2005, 01:52 PM
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Default Re: Sapphire-Personal Choice Dining-Sounds Like it's All The

I am getting a bit confused here. Are we talking about the alternative (pay) restaurants like Sterling Steak House? or are you refering to the Personal Choice dining rooms?
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Old September 2nd, 2005, 03:22 PM
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Default Re: Re: Sapphire-Personal Choice Dining-Sounds Like it's All

Harry, I think there is confusion here. The way I understand it (and have experienced it and the way Princess explained to me) is there are 5 menus. One is traditional and changes everyday. You can experience traditional in both the main-traditional dining room or any of the 4 alternatives. The 4 alternatives EACH have a spearate menu -- BUT those menus remain the same throughout the cruise. Thus FIVE menus -- one at each alternative = 4, plus the traditional = 5. I think because the 4 alternative dining rooms don't change their menus, people get confused as it gets explained as 'the same'. That's how I see it, anyway.
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Old September 2nd, 2005, 03:26 PM
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Default Re: Sapphire-Personal Choice Dining-Sounds Like it's All The

Beno.. that's the way it WAS. Unfortunately Princess changed that (as long as a couple of months ago I believe).

Not surprising that head office staff don't know about the changes though <G>

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Old September 2nd, 2005, 03:58 PM
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Default Re: Sapphire-Personal Choice Dining-Sounds Like it's All The

Harry,
That is the way it was last month. The only restaurants with a totally different menu were the Sterling and Sabatino's (the surcharge ones). By the way, we loved the mini-suite on the Dolphin deck.

I hate to throw more confusion into the pot but on our trip the PC dining rooms only accepted reservations from 5:30 -6:20 and then again after 8:00pm. As I said though never a problem getting a table.
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Old September 7th, 2005, 03:37 PM
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Default Re: Sapphire-Personal Choice Dining-Sounds Like it's All The

Who's on first? ()=( ;>)
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Old April 9th, 2006, 07:43 PM
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Default surcharge for nicer restaurants

What is the extra charge to eat in the specialty restaurants like Sterlings?

Is is worth it? I had the most amazing dinner (4+ stars) on the Norwegian Sea for $15 extra -- lobster, steak, etc. The food was fantastic!
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Old April 10th, 2006, 12:03 PM
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cheezz,

What is the extra charge to eat in the specialty restaurants like Sterlings?

Is is worth it? I had the most amazing dinner (4+ stars) on the Norwegian Sea for $15 extra -- lobster, steak, etc. The food was fantastic!


IIRC, the surcharge is $15 for either Sabatini's Trattoria or the Sterling Steakhouse at dinner. I don't think that it's worth it, but your mileage may vary.

BTW, unless Princess has changed drastically, you probably would get any entree on the Sterling Steakhouse menu in the main dining room -- without the surcharge -- if you ask nicely a day in advance. Of course, you probably would not get to choose your piece of meat from a selection presented to you, but don't worry -- the chefs are not about to serve a bad piece of meat to a passenger anyway.

Norm.
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Old April 11th, 2006, 12:00 AM
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Thanks for the heads-up Norm!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rev22:17
cheezz,

What is the extra charge to eat in the specialty restaurants like Sterlings?

Is is worth it? I had the most amazing dinner (4+ stars) on the Norwegian Sea for $15 extra -- lobster, steak, etc. The food was fantastic!


IIRC, the surcharge is $15 for either Sabatini's Trattoria or the Sterling Steakhouse at dinner. I don't think that it's worth it, but your mileage may vary.

BTW, unless Princess has changed drastically, you probably would get any entree on the Sterling Steakhouse menu in the main dining room -- without the surcharge -- if you ask nicely a day in advance. Of course, you probably would not get to choose your piece of meat from a selection presented to you, but don't worry -- the chefs are not about to serve a bad piece of meat to a passenger anyway.

Norm.
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Old April 14th, 2006, 03:07 PM
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Ok so let me get this straight... is everyone saying the 4 PC restaurants are only for the purpose of eating at whatever time you want instead of the early vs late seating? although you need to make a reservation and not on a walk in basis (kind of defeats the purpose in a way??) August will be our first Princess cruise going to Alaska. We have always traveled RCCI in the past and are very much looking forward to trying Princess.

Thanks for any replies
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Old May 7th, 2006, 12:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bring2521
Ok so let me get this straight... is everyone saying the 4 PC restaurants are only for the purpose of eating at whatever time you want instead of the early vs late seating? although you need to make a reservation and not on a walk in basis (kind of defeats the purpose in a way??) August will be our first Princess cruise going to Alaska. We have always traveled RCCI in the past and are very much looking forward to trying Princess.

Thanks for any replies
I believe you have it right, based on our experience. However, I do not believe you HAVE to make a reservation in the anytime dining rooms but you can if you wish.

My family of 14 had traditional late seating on the Grand Princess last November but due to a mixup with the TA, we were at three different tables spread out all over the dining room. We talked to our server and she suggested we switch to anytime dining and since we had such a large party, we should make a reservation. My mother did just that -- same time as late seating, in fact -- and we just met in the same dining room at the same time every night. The menu was the same; the difference was that we didn't necessarily have the same tables and staff every night, though we did on a couple of occasions. I think you can even ask for the same table and staff but we were novices and it took us awhile to figure that out.

But from what I've read here, it isn't difficult to get a table for two or even four without a reservation, kind of like when you eat in the dining room for breakfast or lunch.

I've only been on one cruise so can only speak to my own experience. Have a great cruise! We're going to Alaska in August on the Dawn Princess and can't wait!
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Old May 7th, 2006, 06:48 PM
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We just returned from The Sapphire Princess and on our first night when we went to the main dining room we found that we were at a table for 8 instead of 2. SO, we went to the maitre'd and he called The Savoy and we had the same table & the same wonderful waiter every night at the same time. In fact, we liked Ivo so much we never went anywhere else for dinner!!! He would go to a different restaurant to get me a dinner that I just happened to mention that sounded good to me!!! It did not seem like anyone was having a problem getting in there to dine. All the restaurants (the personal choice ones ) have the same menu except for one signature dish that is their specialty. Except for that 1 item the menu is different every night.
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Old May 7th, 2006, 07:04 PM
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bring2521,

Ok so let me get this straight... is everyone saying the 4 PC restaurants are only for the purpose of eating at whatever time you want instead of the early vs late seating? although you need to make a reservation and not on a walk in basis (kind of defeats the purpose in a way??) August will be our first Princess cruise going to Alaska. We have always traveled RCCI in the past and are very much looking forward to trying Princess.

First, to clarify terminology, "Personal Choice Dining" means that a ship offers both "Traditional Dining" (with assigned tables at first and second seatings) and "Anytime Dining" (which operates like a restaurant ashore, with seating on either reservation or walk-in basis).

MV Diamond Princess and MV Sapphire Princess offer five "Personal Choice Dining" restaurants -- one large restaurant for "Traditional Dining" and four smaller restaurants for "Anytime Dining." Each "Anytime Dining" restaurant serves the regular dining room menu, which changes daily, plus a distinct theme menu that remains fixed for the entire cruise. I understand that the restaurant for "Traditional Dining" also serves the four theme menus on a rotating basis so passengers who opt for "Traditional Dining" also have the opportunity to order from those menus.

Norm.
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Old May 7th, 2006, 07:10 PM
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It seemed like most people just walked into the PC dining rooms without a reservation, at least when we were there last week. We had a reservation at the same time every night because they messed our reservations up in the main dining room so sent us to The Savoy instead.
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Old May 9th, 2006, 04:33 PM
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Default another clarification

We sailed on 3/25 on the Sapphire, which was a crowded spring break trip. One of the anytime dining rooms had to be designated traditional for an early seating, but then became open to the rest of us.

Oftentimes, we would choose a restaurant only to find that we could not be seated at that time. They would give us a beeper (like at Olive Garden) and we would then drop by the other restaurants. If they could seat us immediately, we would give the beeper to the maitre d' and he would cancel it out.

The menu changed each night, and matched the menu in the traditional dining room, with one exception. Each restaurant offered one entree that was specially created for that themed restaurant (i.e. Italian, asian, southwestern, etc). That may have been the same for the entire week. I can't say for sure.

One thing you will miss when dining in the anytime resaurants is the parade of the flaming baked alaskas. They only do that in the main dining room. Also, if you are accustomed to the singing entertainment by the waiters on RCL, you won't find that on Princess. FWIW, there were no midnight buffets or chocolate extravaganzas.
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Old May 10th, 2006, 12:44 PM
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Mary,

FWIW, there were no midnight buffets or chocolate extravaganzas.

On cruises to tropical destinations, Princess stages a midnight buffet poolside as part of the tropical deck party. Apart from that, you're right -- but the Horizon Court operates as a bistro, with full table service and a very good menu, from 10:00 PM until 4:00 AM.

Norm.
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Old May 10th, 2006, 02:49 PM
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While not tropical, per se, the deck party on our Mexican Riviera cruise was held at one of the small outside pools and the "buffet" was held at about 10 pm and there was practically noone there. (Including me, fast asleep - This report comes to you from my hubby and daughter)

And of course there is food always available in the food court.

My point was that it was not as festive as what I (and the original poster) may have experienced on RCL. Personally, I prefer Princess as I do not enjoy late night dining in any form.
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Old May 10th, 2006, 08:11 PM
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Mary,

While not tropical, per se, the deck party on our Mexican Riviera cruise was held at one of the small outside pools and the "buffet" was held at about 10 pm and there was practically noone there. (Including me, fast asleep - This report comes to you from my hubby and daughter)

That time (10:00) is a bit on the early side because most of the night owls are still eating dinner. The party usually does not really crank up unti between 10:30 and 11:00. The buffet comes later, usually opening at 11:30.

On "Mexican Riviera" cruises, the party usually has a "Mexican Fiesta" theme. On other itineraires in the tropics, the standard theme is "Island Night."

Norm.
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