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Old April 14th, 2010, 06:36 PM
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Default How is the food on Princess?

Should I expect to have to more to go to the specialty restaurants to get a good meal on Princess?

Are the alternative dining restaurants worth the extra money, or is the dining room good enough.
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Old April 14th, 2010, 08:09 PM
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Hi Kat,
My last cruise on Star Princess I would say, the food was very good, both in the dinning room and the buffet. I was suprised at the selection for both lunch and dinner. We even ended up there twice for dinner and had great food and service. We had the anytime dining and most evenings dinner ran so long we could not get a seat for the show after dinner, so we tried the buffet and didn't have a problem with dinner lasting too long, about an hour, beautiful.
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Old April 14th, 2010, 08:44 PM
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It has been three years since I last sailed on Princess but at that time they had the most varied menu I had seen. There were many dishes such as: Venison, rabbit and even ostrich. All of these were in the main dining room.

I prefer the steakhouse over Sabatinis. Make sure you are hungry when you go to Sabatinis. The amount of food is even more than my 6'2" 230 lbs. could handle.

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Old April 14th, 2010, 08:50 PM
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The food on Princess rocks!!!! Great apps....fettucini is fab!!! Awesome soup too. I also had lamb that was really good. I like the food on Princess better than Carnival or NCL.
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Old April 14th, 2010, 09:02 PM
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Where do I start? If possible, try the Balcony Breakfast at least once. Sabatini's is something I will always book on any future cruises with Princess. The pizza and cheeseburger delivered by room service is to die for. Anytime dining was also great. I called ahead on each day for a specific time and never waited. Anytime Dining can be very helpful if you have an itinerary with different times in port. I have done fixed seating in the past, but found my excursions limit me to having dinner the same time each night when in port. The up side to fixed seating is you have the same servers each night, they will know your special requirements.

The buffet always has enough of a selection to suit everyone. Quick, easy, and very tasty.

I'm hungry already...........



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Old April 15th, 2010, 12:25 PM
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in my opinion Princess food is very good. We have sailed Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Princess and Princess tops them all when it comes to food and dining service. The individual dessert souflees are to die for
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Old April 15th, 2010, 01:04 PM
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Wow - high praise from everyone. What. do you all work for Princess

Seriously - I like Princess food, but sometimes the dining room food is pretty bland. And Sabatinis is an exercise in glutonny, not really gourmet.

I do like the steakhouse, though.
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Old April 17th, 2010, 08:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mfnetworx View Post
Wow - high praise from everyone. What. do you all work for Princess

Seriously - I like Princess food, but sometimes the dining room food is pretty bland. And Sabatinis is an exercise in glutonny, not really gourmet.

I do like the steakhouse, though.
I have enjoyed the food on my two Princess cruises. While I have not noticed it, the bland you perceive may be due to the whining from a certain group of passengers about any food that has a discernable flavor:

"This food is too spicy!"
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Old April 17th, 2010, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by mfnetworx View Post
Wow - high praise from everyone. What. do you all work for Princess

Seriously - I like Princess food, but sometimes the dining room food is pretty bland. And Sabatinis is an exercise in glutonny, not really gourmet.

I do like the steakhouse, though.
In all seriousness, Princess has a very loyal following and brooks no negative comments from others..so, let me give my opinion as a Celebrity and recently NCL cruiser..

On the one cruise last April (Pacific Princess) the MDR food and service were excellent in the evening. At breakfast and this was not always the case.. there was never a guarantee that y ou would get exactly what you ordered..and let me make it clear, it became a joke in the MDR for breakfast..not that it wasn't good, but service was very spotty and a few times while I was there guests did not receive what they had ordered.

Sabattinis was the only $$ charge we visited and found that they fill you up on appetizers.. I understand the steak house was much better. The buffet was hit or miss.. and my main concern there was the service or lack of it and clean tables which my husband addressed to the Maitre d one lunch time..

Our last cruise we were on NCL Gem and if you read my review on this site..the food was so-so...service in MDR indifferent..but if you went to Le Bistro or Cagneys the food was superb...and I can't say enough for the cleanlines (mentioned in my review) at all times. Whereas I absolutely found the PP dirty, nobody offering hand sanitizers, an employee cleaning up cigarette butts on the deck bare handed..

There is no doubt with four of us getting off the ship...(we didn't dine together) we made the decision that Celebrity outshines Princess in every way.. service, food and atmosphere..

Would I cruise Princess again..right now I have two Celebrity cruises booked and believe it or not another NCL one within the next year or two..

Yes, I know there are many people who swear by Princess and disagree with me..but in my opinion as a cruiser with more than 24 cruises under my ample belt..the cruise would have to be really special, because at my age I want the TLC, food, entertainment and atmosphere... and my one cruise on Princess which had compared to Celebrity as equal didn't prove it.. It was an older crowd (some acting very entitled) doing back to back..one woman was overheard bragging how they had a handicapped cabin because her husband had a bad knee... he did not walk with a cane, walker or rollator and was walking around the ship by himself..Others showed their ignorance when they complained of a Brazilian folkloric dance show our night in Manaus.. by complaining the elderly woman who ran the show "didn't speak english".. now how ignorant is that.. I've been accused of working for Celebrity...wish I did..no, they don't know me and I'm only an Elite Member..Parrot Mom is honest.. I will tell the good and the bad about a cruise, a cruise line (read what I say about NCL). I've been on vacations and cruises where the reviewer has had a different outlook on their vacation the same exact week.. Yes, there are two fan clubs .. one for Princess and one for Celebrity and we don't seem to agree.. One of the reasons maybe that Princess tosses in all sorts of perks even for first timers..Maybe, just maybe.. I'm a bit more discriminating.. being retired I can't afford to make a mistake twice, i.e. book the line that I had a bad experience on.

Last edited by Parrot Mom; April 17th, 2010 at 10:13 AM.
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Old April 18th, 2010, 05:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Parrot Mom View Post
In all seriousness, Princess has a very loyal following and brooks no negative comments from others..so, let me give my opinion as a Celebrity and recently NCL cruiser..

On the one cruise last April (Pacific Princess) the MDR food and service were excellent in the evening. At breakfast and this was not always the case.. there was never a guarantee that y ou would get exactly what you ordered..and let me make it clear, it became a joke in the MDR for breakfast..not that it wasn't good, but service was very spotty and a few times while I was there guests did not receive what they had ordered.

Sabattinis was the only $$ charge we visited and found that they fill you up on appetizers.. I understand the steak house was much better. The buffet was hit or miss.. and my main concern there was the service or lack of it and clean tables which my husband addressed to the Maitre d one lunch time..

Our last cruise we were on NCL Gem and if you read my review on this site..the food was so-so...service in MDR indifferent..but if you went to Le Bistro or Cagneys the food was superb...and I can't say enough for the cleanlines (mentioned in my review) at all times. Whereas I absolutely found the PP dirty, nobody offering hand sanitizers, an employee cleaning up cigarette butts on the deck bare handed..

There is no doubt with four of us getting off the ship...(we didn't dine together) we made the decision that Celebrity outshines Princess in every way.. service, food and atmosphere..

Would I cruise Princess again..right now I have two Celebrity cruises booked and believe it or not another NCL one within the next year or two..

Yes, I know there are many people who swear by Princess and disagree with me..but in my opinion as a cruiser with more than 24 cruises under my ample belt..the cruise would have to be really special, because at my age I want the TLC, food, entertainment and atmosphere... and my one cruise on Princess which had compared to Celebrity as equal didn't prove it.. It was an older crowd (some acting very entitled) doing back to back..one woman was overheard bragging how they had a handicapped cabin because her husband had a bad knee... he did not walk with a cane, walker or rollator and was walking around the ship by himself..Others showed their ignorance when they complained of a Brazilian folkloric dance show our night in Manaus.. by complaining the elderly woman who ran the show "didn't speak english".. now how ignorant is that.. I've been accused of working for Celebrity...wish I did..no, they don't know me and I'm only an Elite Member..Parrot Mom is honest.. I will tell the good and the bad about a cruise, a cruise line (read what I say about NCL). I've been on vacations and cruises where the reviewer has had a different outlook on their vacation the same exact week.. Yes, there are two fan clubs .. one for Princess and one for Celebrity and we don't seem to agree.. One of the reasons maybe that Princess tosses in all sorts of perks even for first timers..Maybe, just maybe.. I'm a bit more discriminating.. being retired I can't afford to make a mistake twice, i.e. book the line that I had a bad experience on.
I AM NOT AN ELITE MEMBER BUT SELECT..until October which doesn't even put me in the category of Diamond for RCI
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Old April 18th, 2010, 12:51 PM
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The food in the Specialty restaurants is pretty good but still not worth the extra money for us since the quality in the main dining room is more than sufficient. If you've got the extra cash to spend then give it a try but it does take quite a while to complete the whole meal. They tend to drag out the process for almost 3 hours.
I'd like to know what ship had the ostrich on the menu? That's a new one for me. How was it prepared?
I'll guess at an ostrich burger.
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Old April 18th, 2010, 07:53 PM
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Cool Food in MDR on NCL Gem

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Originally Posted by RichC View Post
The food in the Specialty restaurants is pretty good but still not worth the extra money for us since the quality in the main dining room is more than sufficient. If you've got the extra cash to spend then give it a try but it does take quite a while to complete the whole meal. They tend to drag out the process for almost 3 hours.
I'd like to know what ship had the ostrich on the menu? That's a new one for me. How was it prepared?
I'll guess at an ostrich burger.
Sorry, have to disagree with you...on our cruise on the NCL Gem the food left much to be desired in the MDR. concerning taste and presentation. The specialty restaurants give you a chance, or at least us to dine at the upper end of a menu and to celebrate a special event.. or just do it. Our first specialty was on a Celebrity ship celebrating our anniversary and it was special with the "butterfly service and the cheese trolley" to say the least. Depending on where you live.. at least on the East Coast upper end steak houses are ridiculous and that doesnt include side orders, salads etc.. and I considered Cagneys a steal..Le Bistro also on the Gem...delightful..

Now as for our upcoming cruise Ive reserved reservations at Muranos and one night the Tuscan Grille. We enjoy fine dining.. actually anything that I don't have to cook anymore and enjoy the extra service and what the heck... we are going this way only once and why not..lol.. (Im subscribed btw to three cooking magazines and have made many recipes) We dont drink excessivey or gamble, but enjoy fine dining...lol Oh yes.. after looking at the menus for the specialty restaurants...I cant wait to try them...
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Old April 19th, 2010, 12:04 AM
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Hi,
I just got off of my first ever Princess Cruise last Sunday. 14 days on the Golden Princess. I loved the food. Never ate in the specialty steak house or Sabastiani's. We loved the dining room at night and had awesome table mates. For breakfast we either ordered room service, went to the International Cafe or to the Dining Room. Awesome. Lunch we usually grabbed something at the international cafe. Or we had Afternoon Tea at 3. OMG... at 11 they put out warm chocolate chip cookies...yum-o. I found the service wonderful in the buffet. They were very attentive. Pizza on the Lido was 2die4. (For thin crust lovers) Oh and in the morning the International Cafe had fresh donuts and pastries. That is also the coffee bar. I enjoyed the hot coffee lattes wasn't crazy about the fraps. (too thin for me) Oh if you go and like lattes and fraps get a coffee card. 15 for the price of 12 and it doesn't expire. Also don't buy it until you check for coupons in your cabin. We bought it right as we got on the ship and found a buy one get one free coupon in a book of coupons from our TA. We did visit the pursers desk and they helped us get credit for one.
Overall I loved the food. My other cruise experiences are with Carnival and Royal Carribean. Honestly... IMHO.... food was just as good on Carnival as Princess... Princess vs Royal ... Princess comes out the winner. Deposited for another Princess while on board. Must have enjoyed it.
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Old April 19th, 2010, 12:48 AM
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FIRST, how is your eye? Second.. I truly believe that although the recipies are the same that the quality CAN vary ship by ship within a line... the same as in home kitchens and service to can vary ship by ship.
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Old April 19th, 2010, 12:59 AM
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Hi Hi,
Eyes are doing great. How about yours? I'm sure your right. And I've heard from a bunch of people that Celebrity is awesome in the food arena. Comparing this last cruise which was my first Princess cruise. The food was wonderful. We really enjoyed it. Only went to the buffet 2 times for the whole cruise. And went to Weight Watchers yesterday. Told Sonya the person at the scale that I expected to have a 10lb gain. To my surprise I lost 3 lbs. OMG. :-) Write me. HUG
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Old April 21st, 2010, 09:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katzenjammer View Post
Should I expect to have to more to go to the specialty restaurants to get a good meal on Princess?

Are the alternative dining restaurants worth the extra money, or is the dining room good enough.
We have sailed many cruise lines and have found that Princess offers the most consistent good food, good service and well maintained ships, in the premium cruise ship class.

We have found the food to be so good in the main dining room that in 15 Princess cruises we have never tried the specialty restaurants. The buffet is also very good with a wide variety of choices and is open all day, which is not true on some cruise lines.

We have dined in the specialty restaurant on Holland America and it was very good, but it turned into a 3 hour dinner, which is just not for me. Just too much to see and do.

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Old April 22nd, 2010, 01:03 AM
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If you have no issues with Hotel Convention food then you will find Princess Dining / Buffet food similar, a large variety though aimed at American market.
Plenty of choices and seconds or even thirds allowed.

Speciality restaurants: If you want to experience individual attention and less people than give it a try. The Steak House reviews seem to be 50.50 as you can get the same steak in the dining room but it all depends on your personal preferences.
Try it at least once though you should book early once onboard.
A new feature is dining on your balcony served personally thru the courses, costs but great way to impress and relax.:eek:

Yes, we have sailed twice on Princess and are booked for a third one this year.
The only thing I could not fathom was having 'Jello' on the desert menu and folks who insist on ICE Tea.

Cheers
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Old April 22nd, 2010, 04:42 AM
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it's ok...nothing to write home about. Had a steak in a specialty restaurant on the Island Princess and sent it back it was so bad and ordered something else.
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Old April 22nd, 2010, 09:13 AM
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Cool Iced tea/iced coffee

...We drink "iced tea" everyday..and often find that "iced coffee" in some areas of the country is unknown..The little State of Rhode Island has "coffee milk"..Down South here "iced tea" comes pre-sweetened. Up North here you can order iced coffee in many favorites at a well known doughnut chain. BTW we order these drinks as an alternative to wine or liquor and as a way to quench our thirst after a hot and steamy day. AND I not enjoy "convention food" on a cruise ship, I have higher expectations.
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Old April 22nd, 2010, 02:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Parrot Mom View Post
...We drink "iced tea" everyday..and often find that "iced coffee" in some areas of the country is unknown..The little State of Rhode Island has "coffee milk"..Down South here "iced tea" comes pre-sweetened. Up North here you can order iced coffee in many favorites at a well known doughnut chain. BTW we order these drinks as an alternative to wine or liquor and as a way to quench our thirst after a hot and steamy day. AND I not enjoy "convention food" on a cruise ship, I have higher expectations.
Thank you for the history on these drinks, I guess for us a hot tea is better to quench the thirst or cool cool water.
Our first cruise was Celebrity and the food was fine though on a cruise ship unless you go on a smaller 5 star like Regent Seven Seas, you are getting cooking for 2,400 + folks.
On our first cruise when I experienced the Ice tea request around our table, one person even pulled out a small flask of flavour for their tea.

Cheers
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Old April 22nd, 2010, 02:41 PM
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Default Flavored Teas

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Originally Posted by robh View Post
Thank you for the history on these drinks, I guess for us a hot tea is better to quench the thirst or cool cool water.
Our first cruise was Celebrity and the food was fine though on a cruise ship unless you go on a smaller 5 star like Regent Seven Seas, you are getting cooking for 2,400 + folks.
On our first cruise when I experienced the Ice tea request around our table, one person even pulled out a small flask of flavour for their tea.

Cheers
Have never heard of emptying a flask for tea..lol. I do drink flavored hot herbal tea.. does that count? A tall glass of iced tea with lemon is quite a quench thirster.. it may take some getting used to for you.. but plain water unless it has lemon in it leaves me cold or should I say unsatisfied
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Old April 22nd, 2010, 03:10 PM
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Hot Herbal is great.. Lemon in cold tea, sure , we do that sometimes for a patio summer relax time but I'd imagine you stay away from pre-mixed store stuff.

Cheers
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Old May 14th, 2010, 08:30 PM
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I just spent 14 days on the Golden Princess to Hawaii. We never went to the specialty dining room once. We loved the dining room. And we had room service in the morning. Lunch we liked the international cafe. Wonderful panini, salads and quiche at lunch. we also enjoyed the afternoon tea. It was great if we wanted a late lunch. Enjoy
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Old May 14th, 2010, 09:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by huffca View Post
I just spent 14 days on the Golden Princess to Hawaii. We never went to the specialty dining room once. We loved the dining room. And we had room service in the morning. Lunch we liked the international cafe. Wonderful panini, salads and quiche at lunch. we also enjoyed the afternoon tea. It was great if we wanted a late lunch. Enjoy
Huffca,
Glad you enjoyed your roundtrip to Hawaii on the Golden Princess.
It is now on its postioned trips to Alaska and was docked in Victoria , so I took some pictures.
Yes, we have enjoyed the dining room and enjoy the same eating choices you do. Course I'm the one who has to be clothed to open the door for room service.
The only thing I do not enjoy at times is lunch in the dinning room as most times people talk only to their group , better the buffet for relaxation.

Cheers
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Last edited by robh; May 14th, 2010 at 09:49 PM. Reason: add pic
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Old May 14th, 2010, 11:06 PM
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I visited only buffet on Golden Prinzess,
It was OK , really only OK.
It was open 24 hours a day !!!
That was very nice !


And apples were very gut.
I could order 2-3 Kilo without any problem to my cabin.

Sparkling water was a small problem I need to ask every time to bring
me some sparkling water from Bar.

Coffee was terrible .

waitress were very nice from Ukranian and Chehoslovakei.

So I like to visit buffet on Golden Prinzess,
but I can imagine that meal in dinning rooms was better.
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Old May 17th, 2010, 03:18 AM
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We just returned from our cruise on the Diamond, and the food was excellent as usual on all the Princess Ships. We don't always try the special resturants, but when you do the food and the service is great.
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Old May 18th, 2010, 02:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by huffca View Post
Hi,
I just got off of my first ever Princess Cruise last Sunday. 14 days on the Golden Princess. I loved the food. Never ate in the specialty steak house or Sabastiani's. We loved the dining room at night and had awesome table mates. For breakfast we either ordered room service, went to the International Cafe or to the Dining Room. Awesome. Lunch we usually grabbed something at the international cafe. Or we had Afternoon Tea at 3. OMG... at 11 they put out warm chocolate chip cookies...yum-o. I found the service wonderful in the buffet. They were very attentive. Pizza on the Lido was 2die4. (For thin crust lovers) Oh and in the morning the International Cafe had fresh donuts and pastries. That is also the coffee bar. I enjoyed the hot coffee lattes wasn't crazy about the fraps. (too thin for me) Oh if you go and like lattes and fraps get a coffee card. 15 for the price of 12 and it doesn't expire. Also don't buy it until you check for coupons in your cabin. We bought it right as we got on the ship and found a buy one get one free coupon in a book of coupons from our TA. We did visit the pursers desk and they helped us get credit for one.
Overall I loved the food. My other cruise experiences are with Carnival and Royal Carribean. Honestly... IMHO.... food was just as good on Carnival as Princess... Princess vs Royal ... Princess comes out the winner. Deposited for another Princess while on board. Must have enjoyed it.
Just off Sapphire Princess (5/1 to 5/8 Mexican Riviera sailing). It was wonderful! One thing you will probably miss is the International Cafe. This ship does not have it yet, nor does it have MUTS. But it will at the end of 2011. She is a beautiful ship and this itinerary was a lot of fun! Now, I am booked on the Golden - November 24 to Hawaii!!!
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  #28 (permalink)  
Old May 20th, 2010, 11:55 AM
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Default Just back from the Emerald

To me, food should be judged ship to ship and not representative of the entire cruise line. I say that because our food seemed lack luster on the Emerald. Don't get me wrong...it was not bad, but it simply was not great either. The different meats served in the main dining room lacked a lot of flavor and most of their cold soups were actually icy which means they were chilled too much.

We ate at the buffet for lunch and breakfast and tried their burgers and pizza as well out by the pool and nothing jumped out at us as a wow experience.

The most disappointing thing related to the food however was the Crown Grill. It just was not that good. My fillet was one of the worst I have ever had in any ship's specialty restaurants. It had the grain more often found in a roast and I had to salt and pepper it several times just to get some flavor out of it. There were others that I met on board that complained of the same thing. The only saving grace was the dessert.

So there ya have it...take this with a "grain of salt" and again I would not judge the whole cruise line on the experience of a cruiser on one particular ship...good or bad.
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  #29 (permalink)  
Old May 28th, 2010, 04:24 PM
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Food on Princess ranks second (next to HAL) on the five lines we've been on.
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  #30 (permalink)  
Old June 3rd, 2010, 04:10 PM
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Food is a very important part of the cruise. I love the reviews that are given. Thanks for posting.

Cheers.

Jordan.
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