Crown Grill on Star Princess

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#1
Vancouver BC Canada
553 Posts
Joined Sep 2006
Has anyone been lately?? Have been reading some not very good reviews for Crown Grill on other ships. We are celebrating a wedding anniversary on board so would be interested in how the Crown Grill is on the Star lately.

Thanks
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#2
Raleigh, NC
647 Posts
Joined Sep 2012
Originally posted by blondietoo
Has anyone been lately?? Have been reading some not very good reviews for Crown Grill on other ships. We are celebrating a wedding anniversary on board so would be interested in how the Crown Grill is on the Star lately.

Thanks
We were last on the Star this past February for a Hawaii cruise and can say that the Crown Grill was the ONLY disappointment for our group for the entire voyage. The service and food was not up to the usual standards.

Examples were that we were served our entrees and we were halfway through the meal before any of the sides showed up. The lobster tails weren't hot for the folks that had ordered them. The service just seemed to be lackluster which was unusual as Captain Tuvo seemed to be running a tight ship otherwise everywhere else.

We complained to the Maitre'D and he seemed to be uninterested other than stating that we could book another night, but since this was towards the end of the cruise we already had other plans and did not want to take him up on it. He stated he would send us a "special" bottle of wine to our table in the MDR which ended up being the $10 Robert Mondavi Cab that really wasn't too special.

We let our disappointment be known on the post cruise surveys so maybe things will be OK on your cruise so take this for what it was.
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#3
Diamond Bar, CA
808 Posts
Joined Sep 2015
Blondie, I've posted this many times, but my experience seems to continually support my findings.

The food and service in the Princess specialty restaurants is consistently inconsistent. What I experience on one cruise just does not seem to carry over to the next. We have dined in the specialty restaurants on every Princess cruise we've taken. There have been cruises where the food and service in the Crown Grill (or Sabatini's) has been outstanding. There have been cruises where the food or service at the Crown Grill (or Sabatini's) has been pathetic. There have been cruises where the food or service at Crown Grill (or Sabatini's) has been so-so.

My view is that it is dependent on the room's management. If the headwaiter cares, he instills that philosophy on his staff. If he insists that his staff be excellent, generally, you will see him on the floor at all times--looking for opportunities to help or provide guidance. If you don't see him on the floor, then it is pretty clear that he doesn't care. Guess what. The service staff figures that out pretty quickly. If the boss doesn't care, why should I?

The same thing applies to the food quality. If the chef doesn't care, then the line cooks don't care. Similarly, if the chef insists on the highest standard, he is going to observe his operation very carefully and insist that his staff meet that high standard.

Which, of course, does not do you a lot of good. You asked the absolute correct question. Does anybody have any recent experience on the Star Princess? The problem is what is meant by "recent." Management comes and goes--just like staff. The headwaiter from last week may be gone, and a new one is starting.

I will offer this flicker of hope. Our last Princess cruise was on the Ruby Princess last October. Our one visit to the Crown Grill was outstanding. The food was well prepared, and the service was excellent. I should also add that the room was completely filled, and there were four large parties of between eight and ten diners. Consistent with my comment above, the headwaiter, whose name was Jose Luis, was constantly on the floor. If he was not directing his staff, he was pitching in doing the tasks that needed to be done. Bravo Jose Luis.

Here's hoping that somebody with very recent experience can encourage you.

Regardless, have a great cruise.
#4
Southern Cal/Maui No Ka Oi
18,294 Posts
Joined Dec 2009
Originally posted by blondietoo
Has anyone been lately?? Have been reading some not very good reviews for Crown Grill on other ships. We are celebrating a wedding anniversary on board so would be interested in how the Crown Grill is on the Star lately.

Thanks
We went to the Star's CG in January & while we had cheerful & efficient service the food was similar to what Dudley experienced.

Unfortunately our tastebuds tell us that the melt in your mouth filet mignon is now rarely found on any ship at the CG. If we have extra OBC to spend we still go to the CG despite it being less desirable now. Sometimes we get a quality steak but unfortunately it's usually disappointing. Taste is very subjective but for us the steak's quality has decreased.

If you have a balcony cabin you might want to consider the Ultimate Balcony Dinner for great food & service. At $100 it's only $42 more than the CG and provides nearly $100 of extras...cocktails, flowers, half bottle of champagne (we've exchanged it for a full bottle of wine) and a photo.

Being served a great dinner (a quality filet mignon and/or lobster tail) on your balcony by tuxedoed waiters would be a great way to celebrate an anniversary...or even just celebrating being on a cruise.
#5
Colorado
270 Posts
Joined Aug 2009
Originally posted by blondietoo
Has anyone been lately?? Have been reading some not very good reviews for Crown Grill on other ships. We are celebrating a wedding anniversary on board so would be interested in how the Crown Grill is on the Star lately.

Thanks
We were there in June, while my steak was good (better at home), everything else, including service, was just OK.
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#6
Northern California
1,482 Posts
Joined Oct 2010
Originally posted by XBGuy
Blondie, I've posted this many times, but my experience seems to continually support my findings.

The food and service in the Princess specialty restaurants is consistently inconsistent. What I experience on one cruise just does not seem to carry over to the next. We have dined in the specialty restaurants on every Princess cruise we've taken. There have been cruises where the food and service in the Crown Grill (or Sabatini's) has been outstanding. There have been cruises where the food or service at the Crown Grill (or Sabatini's) has been pathetic. There have been cruises where the food or service at Crown Grill (or Sabatini's) has been so-so.

My view is that it is dependent on the room's management. If the headwaiter cares, he instills that philosophy on his staff. If he insists that his staff be excellent, generally, you will see him on the floor at all times--looking for opportunities to help or provide guidance. If you don't see him on the floor, then it is pretty clear that he doesn't care. Guess what. The service staff figures that out pretty quickly. If the boss doesn't care, why should I?

The same thing applies to the food quality. If the chef doesn't care, then the line cooks don't care. Similarly, if the chef insists on the highest standard, he is going to observe his operation very carefully and insist that his staff meet that high standard.

Which, of course, does not do you a lot of good. You asked the absolute correct question. Does anybody have any recent experience on the Star Princess? The problem is what is meant by "recent." Management comes and goes--just like staff. The headwaiter from last week may be gone, and a new one is starting.

I will offer this flicker of hope. Our last Princess cruise was on the Ruby Princess last October. Our one visit to the Crown Grill was outstanding. The food was well prepared, and the service was excellent. I should also add that the room was completely filled, and there were four large parties of between eight and ten diners. Consistent with my comment above, the headwaiter, whose name was Jose Luis, was constantly on the floor. If he was not directing his staff, he was pitching in doing the tasks that needed to be done. Bravo Jose Luis.

Here's hoping that somebody with very recent experience can encourage you.

Regardless, have a great cruise.
I completely agree with your assessment. Management makes a huge difference in how the staff responds to quality, management changes without word to us, head waiters who are present make for a better experience, and we too have had blah to amazing experiences in CG.

The one thing I have noticed consistently is my filet mignon often comes overcooked so if I get that I need to order it rare (I like my meat medium rare). One temperature less than what I want always works. This would not work for someone who actually likes their meat rare. However, the same temperature issue does not hold true for the rib eye. The medium rare rib eye we've ordered has always been served to perfection.

As you said, it is consistently inconsistent We continue to try it, but the more I see these rave reviews regarding UBD, the more intrigued I am to try that instead.
#7
16,217 Posts
Joined Aug 2013
Our most recent experience at CG was on the Crown. The steak was still ok but, as Dudleydog73 experienced, It took a long time before our sides arrived. We do find the food quality at CG worth it.
#8
Vancouver BC Canada
553 Posts
Joined Sep 2006
Thank you everyone for your comments/suggestions. The UBD sounds good but it is an Alaska cruise may be too cool to dine on the balcony...great idea for the future. I think we'll think positive and go ahead and book it.
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#9
Southern Cal/Maui No Ka Oi
18,294 Posts
Joined Dec 2009
Originally posted by blondietoo
Thank you everyone for your comments/suggestions. The UBD sounds good but it is an Alaska cruise may be too cool to dine on the balcony...great idea for the future. I think we'll think positive and go ahead and book it.
On one of our UBDs sailing from Santorini in December inclement weather made it necessary to move the table into our standard balcony cabin. It was just as enjoyable next to the sliding glass door as it was on the balcony...similar view but more comfortable from inside in those weather conditions.
#10
Diamond Bar, CA
808 Posts
Joined Sep 2015
Originally posted by jennybenny

The one thing I have noticed consistently is my filet mignon often comes overcooked so if I get that I need to order it rare (I like my meat medium rare). One temperature less than what I want always works. This would not work for someone who actually likes their meat rare. However, the same temperature issue does not hold true for the rib eye. The medium rare rib eye we've ordered has always been served to perfection.

As you said, it is consistently inconsistent We continue to try it, but the more I see these rave reviews regarding UBD, the more intrigued I am to try that instead.
Yes, I agree that the red meat usually comes out overcooked--even in the UBD. So, this is the strategy that I have adopted. When the server asks how I would like my beef/lamb prepared, I look him/her in the eye, add a courteous smile and state something like, "As rare as you can get it for me." This techniques seems to work. When you look people in the eye, they tend to believe that you are serious. When you smile, you are not intimidating. You are requesting.

Originally posted by blondietoo
Thank you everyone for your comments/suggestions. The UBD sounds good but it is an Alaska cruise may be too cool to dine on the balcony...great idea for the future. I think we'll think positive and go ahead and book it.
I have enjoyed the UBD on three occasions. All three times, because of windy conditions, we have had the table set up in the cabin just inside the sliding door. It's worked perfectly. There is sufficient room for the servers to do their job. We can sit and dine comfortably. I do admit that we usually leave the sliding door open so the we can enjoy the smells and sounds of the sea.
#11
27 Posts
Joined Apr 2017
Originally posted by Astro Flyer
We went to the Star's CG in January & while we had cheerful & efficient service the food was similar to what Dudley experienced.

Unfortunately our tastebuds tell us that the melt in your mouth filet mignon is now rarely found on any ship at the CG. If we have extra OBC to spend we still go to the CG despite it being less desirable now. Sometimes we get a quality steak but unfortunately it's usually disappointing. Taste is very subjective but for us the steak's quality has decreased.

If you have a balcony cabin you might want to consider the Ultimate Balcony Dinner for great food & service. At $100 it's only $42 more than the CG and provides nearly $100 of extras...cocktails, flowers, half bottle of champagne (we've exchanged it for a full bottle of wine) and a photo.

Being served a great dinner (a quality filet mignon and/or lobster tail) on your balcony by tuxedoed waiters would be a great way to celebrate an anniversary...or even just celebrating being on a cruise.


The "melt in your mouth" tenderloin at CG on the Regal was perhaps THE best we have ever had. And the service was excellent! Certainly worth the $29 upcharge (plus the Hendrick's martinis, the Excellent Cabernet and the Remy Martin XO,...of course)


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#12
Southern Cal/Maui No Ka Oi
18,294 Posts
Joined Dec 2009
Originally posted by Sirgym
The "melt in your mouth" tenderloin at CG on the Regal was perhaps THE best we have ever had. And the service was excellent! Certainly worth the $29 upcharge (plus the Hendrick's martinis, the Excellent Cabernet and the Remy Martin XO,...of course)
That's great although based on my experiences I agree with the comments by XBGuy: "The food & service in the Princess specialty restaurants is consistently inconsistent.
#13
Scottsdale AZ
2,438 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
We had great service and food in the CG on the Star in late May. My filet came out rare when I ordered medium and it was quickly whisked away and one prepared to my liking was promptly provided. Agree with the inconsistent comments though, we have had good and not so good experiences in the CG on every ship, fortunately it has been mostly good!
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#14
Chico, California
8,397 Posts
Joined Sep 2012
Considering the last couple of times we ate at CG I don't think my wife wants to return. I'm curious about the UBD though as everybody says they get an insane amount of food. What do you do with all of it? Looking at a video on youtube it seems to me I'd be stuffed after the dang salad! By the time I got to the steak and lobster I would be running out of steam - not to mention when the serve desert.

We leave October 8 for 28 days on Emerald. It's a Hawaii and South Pacific cruise with lots of sea days and we have a nice, big Caribe balcony. It would likely be the ideal cruise to try the UBD but I hate ordering a ton of food I can't eat. Heck, I can barely eat a meal in CG. I end up getting the filet there (which isn't what I want) rather than the Rib Eye (which is what I do want) because the filet is small. I hate ordering a large steak I can't finish - especially if it turns out to be one of those Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh steaks that is tender and flavorful. One reason we like eating in MDR is that the portions are small so we can have the full meal without ending up feeling stuffed and uncomfortable.

So... How does one manage to eat all of that food with the UBD or do you just nibble at this and that and the rest goes to waste?
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Thrak

Not Elite but having fun working on it...



#15
Diamond Bar, CA
808 Posts
Joined Sep 2015
Originally posted by Thrak
Considering the last couple of times we ate at CG I don't think my wife wants to return. I'm curious about the UBD though as everybody says they get an insane amount of food. What do you do with all of it? Looking at a video on youtube it seems to me I'd be stuffed after the dang salad! By the time I got to the steak and lobster I would be running out of steam - not to mention when the serve desert.

We leave October 8 for 28 days on Emerald. It's a Hawaii and South Pacific cruise with lots of sea days and we have a nice, big Caribe balcony. It would likely be the ideal cruise to try the UBD but I hate ordering a ton of food I can't eat. Heck, I can barely eat a meal in CG. I end up getting the filet there (which isn't what I want) rather than the Rib Eye (which is what I do want) because the filet is small. I hate ordering a large steak I can't finish - especially if it turns out to be one of those Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh steaks that is tender and flavorful. One reason we like eating in MDR is that the portions are small so we can have the full meal without ending up feeling stuffed and uncomfortable.

So... How does one manage to eat all of that food with the UBD or do you just nibble at this and that and the rest goes to waste?
Thrak, I am of the opinion that the UBD is only slightly larger than any other meal that might be ordered in the dining room or one of the specialty restaurants. Let me detail the meal:

  • Canapes--these are the little toast point noshes that you can order for your room and that are offered in the wine tastings that Princess has in the dining room on sea days. Each of them is roughly one bite. I think four come with the UBD. Mrs. XBGuy does not particularly care for them. So, I usually eat them all. We open the 1/2-bottle of Champagne when we start these.
  • Lobster cakes--Same size as crab cakes that you might order in a restaurant as an appetizer. Maybe 3 or 4 bites. We are continuing with our Champagne. Also, a little basket of dinner rolls usually arrives about now.
  • Green salad--Not big. Pretty much what you would expect. We are usually finished with our Champagne and into our "Cocktails" by now. Neither of us particular care for mixed drinks. So,we always order glasses of wine.
  • Entree--I always order the Filet Mignon. Mrs. XBGuy always orders the Lobster Tails. The entrees come with the typical sides: potato or rice, steamed vegetables. Mrs. XBGuy never finishes the Lobster Tails. So, I usually get some. Our "Cocktails" are finished, and, so we open up some of our own wine.
  • Dessert--Very decadent, but we've always been able to scrape the plate clean. I always ask for a cup of coffee with dessert.
  • Plate of Petit Fours--OK. Now I'm out of gas. I may have one, but the rest are going to stay in the cabin and we'll nosh on them for the next few days.
In all honesty, I don't think it is that much more that dining in the Crown Grill. Look at that menu:
  • Appetizers
  • Soup or Salad
  • Entrees -- Seafood, Beef, Lamb, Pork
  • Dessert
The only "extras" offered by the UBD are the Canapes and the Petit Fours. Again, the canapes are not, really, that filling, and the petit fours can be enjoyed for the next couple days.

Now, if the meal I have described does, in fact, seem like too much. Just ask them not to bring the Lobster Cakes or the Salad or anything else you think might be overkill. My experience is that they have been very eager to accommodate my wishes.

Finally, please don't think that I am trying to talk you into something you don't want to do, Thrak. I am only offering my opinion for the sake of discussion. I know you and Mrs. Thrak will have a great cruise no matter where you decide to have your meals.


#16
San Diego, CA
736 Posts
Joined Feb 2004
We were on the Star at Christmas time. Sabatini's was outstanding - an unexpected delight. Crown Grill was just okay, even a little disappointing. (Same complaints, meat a little overdone, pace of delivery a little off)

Based on that experience, we've reserved Sabatini's for this coming cruise on the Star.

From ship to ship and from cruise to cruise, I have found it's different every time. Sometimes Crown Grill is so amazing, and sometimes meh. Same thing with Sabatini's. I do think the staff changes can make a difference, as someone else has stated - so we'll see what happens after an eight month time frame.
#17
Atlanta, GA
176 Posts
Joined Jun 2011
We ate at the Crown Grill while on the Star this past March. It was nicer than our previous visit on the Emerald a year earlier, but not outstanding. On the Star, they hadn't formally printed the $10 charge for an extra entree on the menu - we were simply told that we could only order one. My steak was fine, as were the sides - service was fine (not great). The dinner was part of our promotion, or I would have been disappointed at paying $29 above and beyond what I had already paid for that dinner as part of the cruise cost.
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