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View Poll Results: which would you most compare princess' food to?
hometown buffet 1 16.67%
denny's 3 50.00%
black angus 2 33.33%
you call that food??? 0 0%
Voters: 6. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old February 13th, 2007, 08:39 PM
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Default sterling steakhouse? and other dining questions...

so i'm a first time cruiser (going to alaska on the diamond princess) and am confused about the whole anytime dining thing...

in my research of the dining reviews on this site i have seen sterling steakhouse listed as one of four restaurants that are part of the "anytime dining" (meaning no cover) but have also seen it listed as a specialty restaurant with cover charge... which is it? and if sterling does have a cover charge, are there actually "four" cover free restaurants that i have to choose from as an anytime diner? i was thinking maybe there's another steak place that has been confused with the sterling???

also, i have seen many reviews bashing princess' quality of food but less reviews that give specific comparisons to give me an idea of what to expect... is it that the food isn't as good as other cruise lines or is it really just undigestible overall? some honest comparisons with national chain restaurants or specific observations (bland? monotonous? cold?) would be terribly appreciated. personally i'm not expecting gourmet but some flavor and variety are very important to me... i am also quite health conscious so any input on how many healthy options there are would be good too (fresh veggies, whole grains, low fat options).

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Old February 13th, 2007, 09:37 PM
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Hi megs,

Welcome to Cruisemates!

This is from the Princess web site:

"Sterling Steakhouse -- The perfect choice for meat lovers, the Sterling Steakhouse features special cuts of beef from the famous "Sterling Silver" brand, cooked to order, and other steakhouse favorites. Passengers even enjoy the unique option of choosing their own cut of beef from a presentation tray, and watching as the chef cooks their selection. $15 cover charge. (Featured on Sun Princess, Dawn Princess, Sea Princess, Pacific Princess, Tahitian Princess, Star Princess, Golden Princess, Grand Princess, Caribbean Princess, Diamond Princess, Sapphire Princess)."

You only have "lower end" restaurants on your poll. I'd compare the main dining rooms to a "higher end" restaurant.

Princess offers at least one vegetarian menu selection every night. You can order a steak in the main dining room any night from the "Always Available" menu.
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Old February 14th, 2007, 12:49 PM
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the food on princess is great, normally. much depends on your mood, expectations and palate. it sounds that you are cruising with a predisposed idea. if you are having a bad day, the littlest thing will make your view of the meal tainted. the rest of the people will probably enjoy the meal. princess does go above and beyond to help you if there is a problem. you don't like the taste of what you ordered? simply tell the waiter and he will get you something else. there is always the main menu to pick from as well as an always available complete menu from appetizers to deserts. the twin filets on the always menu are fantastic. you may order as many of each class of foods as you wish, just as on other cruise lines. from experience i can tell you that the extra $ for sabatini's is well worth it. you get to sample all the different appetizers, salads, and the main course that i chose was, from taste to presentation, a true dining experience. the meal did take almost two hours and was paced as we asked, giving us time to enjoy it all.
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Old February 14th, 2007, 01:51 PM
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I agree with Fern that you list is one-sided. Why not add Jack In The Box to the list?

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Old February 14th, 2007, 06:39 PM
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Hi Megs: I believe there are 3 restaurants for personal choice dining on the Diamond - the Pacific Moon, the Santa Fe and the Vivaldi. The International Dining Room is reserved for traditional dining. We did try Sterling's on our last cruise. Cover charge is $15 per person. Your server brings a selection of steaks to your table and you choose your cut, i.e., t-bone, porterhouse, NY strip, etc. Portions are large - so if you choose to try Sterlings....bring your appetite.
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Old February 14th, 2007, 07:00 PM
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Having sailed on 9 Princess cruises - IMHO the quality of the food has gone down within the last 2 years. Previously I would have said the food on Princess was very good and on certain occasions excellent. However, the last 2 cruises we have been disappointed and in fact, the last cruise on the Island Princess we were extremely disappointed in the quality of the food. We also happened to have a very poor waiter, who insisted on rushing us every night, brought the wrong items, blamed everything on the kitchen staff and was always in a bad mood. At first I thought this might have been the reason we did not enjoy our dinners - but, in retrospect I can say the actual quality of the food was not good. One night I ordered the salmon. Another lady at the table ordered the same thing and neither one of us could eat it - it was unlike any salmon I have eery had anywhere. Those at the table that ordered steaks (we were a table of 9) complained that the meat was overcooked and tough - and they all tried ordering it at least twice. There were items on our plates on occasion that we could not recognize either by appearance or taste - very, very bland "something" and our group is fairly well traveled with somewhat sophisticated palates - so it was not a matter of not liking what you don't recognize.

I will say that the food in the alternative restaurants, we have always found to be excellent - including the the Bayou and Sterling Steak House. We have never tried Sabatini's simply because from everything we here it is just SO MUCH food, we probably couldn't do it justice.

We will still sail Princess if the itinerary and price is right- but I am starting to look at other cruise lines, which I didn't think I would do.
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Old February 15th, 2007, 01:08 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: IE
Posts: 82

You only have "lower end" restaurants on your poll. I'd compare the main dining rooms to a "higher end" restaurant.
i was just going by all all the bashing i read...
i suppose if someone is used to going to higher end restaurants they would have a different view than someone who generally sticks with cheaper places anyway... like me... when i hear the food is "no good" i picture cafeteria food... or worse!

everyone's responses are very helpful! looks like i'll just have to wait and see since each cruise seems to turn up a different level of quality... but i am now happy to know i at least won't find myself whimpering in foodie sadness over a plate of re-hydrated mashed potatoes and canned green beans!
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charge, cover, diamond, menu, princess, silver, steakhouse, sterling

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