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Old March 15th, 2006, 05:32 PM
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Default Sterling Steakhouse

When you eat at the Sterling Steakhouse, can you order 2 different cuts of steak? Or does the cover charge only allow for one?

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Old March 15th, 2006, 06:26 PM
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NanaShrek,

When you eat at the Sterling Steakhouse, can you order 2 different cuts of steak? Or does the cover charge only allow for one?

I'm not convinced that you would want to order two cuts of steak. The slabs of steak that I have seen in the Sterling Steakhouse (admittedly thrre or four years ago) were pretty large!

Norm.
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Old March 15th, 2006, 06:51 PM
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I had a beautiful HUGE steak at Sterling ... outstanding - and one would definitely be enough. Do recommend Sterling - it's worth the extra money.

Norm - surprised to see you even posting at Princess ... thought you gave them up forever after Carnival bought them. I still think it's the best line out there in their price range.
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Old March 15th, 2006, 08:45 PM
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I wondered because I often read of people ordering 2-3 entrees from the dining room, but never the same feedback about the Sterling.

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Old March 16th, 2006, 01:53 PM
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CruzNut,

Norm - surprised to see you even posting at Princess ... thought you gave them up forever after Carnival bought them.

Splitting hairs, Carnival Corporation (NYSE: CCL) actualy did not buy P&O Princess Cruises Plc. Rather, the two companies merged operations through a convoluted corporate structure that causes them to operate as one. The arrangement involves a "special voting share" in each corporation, held in a special depository trust, that mirrors the vote of the other corporation's real stockholders on matters that require combined approval and that act as absolute vetoes whenever the other corporation's shareholders reject a matter that requires separate approval of both companies. Also, the boards of both companies have the same members so they make the same decisions and there are provisions whereby corporate profits and losses get shared in proportion to the outstanding stock. Functionally, though, this was not a merger of equals. Rather, the management of Carnival Corporation became the overall management of the combined entity and the former P&O Princess Cruises Plc., now known as Carnival Plc. (LSE: CCL), effectively operates as a division equal to Carnival Corporation's other divisions.

That said, your basic premis is exactly right. The merger of operations was the proverbial "last straw" in moore ways than one! I not only stopped cruiseing with them, but also liquidated my stock in the parent company. Nonetheless, the investor in me monitors the whole industry because a significant development by one company -- or even a new upstart -- can have a profound impact on another.

I still think it's the best line out there in their price range.

That's hard to assess. Thanks to a "cost reduction programme" implemented starting in 2001, Princess clearly had slipped to the bottom of the "premium" segment, or aguably into the "mainstream" segment, at the time of the merger of operations in 2003. I noticed a significant step up when I moved to Celebrity Cruises. In fact, Princess seems to compete more directly with Royal Caribbean International, which is at the top of the "mainstream" segment, than with Celebrity Cruises, which is at the top of the "premium" segment, now.

Norm.
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Old March 16th, 2006, 01:57 PM
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NanaShrek,

I wondered because I often read of people ordering 2-3 entrees from the dining room, but never the same feedback about the Sterling.

There's probably another factor in this equation, too. The Sterling Steakhouse has the same menu every night, so one can simply go there two different nights to try two different entrees. The main dining room, OTOH, has a different menu each night so it's easiest to try a second entree on the evening when it's on the menu rather than requesting a special order in advance on another evening when it might preempt something else that you want to try.

Norm.
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Old March 16th, 2006, 04:13 PM
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And since Sterling's cost extra, Princess has every reason to want you to have to come back a second time to try a different entree rather than giving it to you all in one visit.
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Old March 16th, 2006, 11:36 PM
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I still think it's the best line out there in their price range.

That's hard to assess. Thanks to a "cost reduction programme" implemented starting in 2001, Princess clearly had slipped to the bottom of the "premium" segment, or aguably into the "mainstream" segment, at the time of the merger of operations in 2003. I noticed a significant step up when I moved to Celebrity Cruises. In fact, Princess seems to compete more directly with Royal Caribbean International, which is at the top of the "mainstream" segment, than with Celebrity Cruises, which is at the top of the "premium" segment, now.

I wasn't rating Princess as to "premium" or "mainstream" - just as their price range.

I've now sailed once with Celebrity and liked it (my second favorite line - 2nd sailing coming up soon) but from my experience with RCI, they are at the bottom of the barrel as to food, service, etc. And friends of mine who were very loyal to RCI are changing their mind(s) and switching to Princess. I don't think any of these 3 lines can be rated as "premium" ... that's for Crystal and the like.

My point being, Norm, that maybe you should really try Princess again - you might be pleasantly surprised that Carnival really didn't ruin them. For pete's sake, you have 13 cruises with them - 2 more and you get elite!
And you were one of their biggest promoters until Carnival came along.

Hey - Princess has fresh water pools open almost 24/7, real refrigerators, excellent food and service ... and free internet from your 6th cruise on (Celebrity gives you a grand total of 10 minutes at the same level)!

Give it a try. I think you'd like it.
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Old March 17th, 2006, 04:50 AM
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Could anyone recommend a dish at the steakhouse. My Grandma has paid for us to have a meal there for a wedding presant.


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Old March 17th, 2006, 05:31 AM
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It really all depends on the type of steak that you like, the filet in my opinion was quite good. I also thought that the New England Clam Chowder was very good as well.

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Old March 17th, 2006, 05:12 PM
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Thank You Peter I will be having the Clam chowder then I love it. My favorite steak is sirloin.
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Old March 17th, 2006, 07:53 PM
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Hi wishbone2006,

Will your Grandma adopt me????
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Old March 17th, 2006, 11:11 PM
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CruzNut,

I don't think any of these 3 lines can be rated as "premium" ... that's for Crystal and the like.

According to standard rankings in the cruise guides, "Crystal and the like" (Crystal, Cunard, Regent Seven Seas, Seaborne, Sea Dream, Silversea, etc.) are the "luxury" segment. Celebrity Cruises, Holland America Lines, Oceana Cruises, and Princess Cruises are in the "Premium" segment, and Norweian Cruise Line, Carnival Cruises, and Royal Caribbean International are in the "Mainstream" segment. Some would argue that Princess Cruises has moved "downscale" about half a tier and Royal Caribbean International has moved "upscale" about half a tier, so they now compete pretty much head to head.

My point being, Norm, that maybe you should really try Princess again - you might be pleasantly surprised that Carnival really didn't ruin them. For pete's sake, you have 13 cruises with them - 2 more and you get elite!
And you were one of their biggest promoters until Carnival came along.


Carnival Corporation has the good sense to make changes slowly, at least in areas that customers will notice. Nonetheless, I was really was growing frustrated with Princess before the merger of operations due to (1) noticeable cuts casued by the "cost reduction programme" implemented in 2001-2002 (less entertainment, menu changes, and other cut corners that were very obvious), (2) the extremely poor handling of the situation when "Traditional Dining" is not available for those who want it, and (3) very poor layout of the line's post-Panamax vessels, which now comprise over half of the fleet. On the whole, the decision to merge operations with Carnival Corporation was just hte lasst straw in provoking a change that was already overdue.

Overall, I'm much happier with Celebrity Cruises -- where I have Elite status now (three of my seven cruises with Celebrity count double in the Captain's Club because they were fourteen nights) and typically receive about $400 to $450 per cruise of shipboard credit ($200 for onboard booking and the balance for owning a hundred shares of the parent company).

Hey - Princess has fresh water pools open almost 24/7, real refrigerators, excellent food and service ... and free internet from your 6th cruise on (Celebrity gives you a grand total of 10 minutes at the same level)!

Yes, I prefer the fresh water pools -- but only marginally. The rest is pretty much a wash. Indeed, the next time that I access the Internet from a cruise ship will be the first.

Norm.
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Old March 18th, 2006, 05:22 AM
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Hi Fern


I'm sure she won't mind adopting you.


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Old March 18th, 2006, 08:22 PM
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Be sure and try the onion rings if they are offered. They are very good.
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Old March 25th, 2006, 10:17 AM
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the sterling was definetly worth the extra $30 a couple, the service was great and you can order as much as you like, the spinach artichoke app was delightful and the shrimp cocktail was jumbo opposed to the dinning room smaller version! the italian restaurant was ok, a treat but a lot of food, we skipped the last bunch of apps in order to save room for our main course!! the italian rest-sabatini's is $40 a couple extra!
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