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cheezenip

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Everything posted by cheezenip

  1. The Tutti salad bar is fabulous. Better than any salad offering that Princess has (that includes the Royal class ships).
  2. Just returned from Royal Princess a few weeks ago and thought Grand's Alfredo was vastly superior to Royal. Oddly enough, I thought the pizza on Royal's higher desk was better than Royal's Alfredo. Grand's Alfredo is absolutely fantastic!!
  3. The new NCL is NOT the same as what people remembered 10-15 years ago. The entertainment is indeed outstanding and the food is actually quite good. The key as you pointed out is the vibe. Each cruiseline has their own personality.
  4. You can make the request; however, it depends on availability. Most of the time, they will just have strawberries. On a few occasions, they may have blueberries mixed in but that's not the norm.
  5. What are your thoughts on the pros/cons of Statendam and Edge and how they compare to Regal..I've done HAL's N. Statendam and PCL's Regal but not the Edge. I have my own opinions betw/ Statendam and Regal but I would be curious of yours since you did all 3!!
  6. Your experience with the beef products is not suprising. As part of PCL's food budget "cut program" THIS year, they switched beef suppliers and it has been uniformly worse than before. With the exception of the PCL's Royal Class ships, NCL's Getaway class fleet easily offer a better cruising experience.
  7. You mentioned you have been on Regal. How would you compare the MDR and buffet on both ships?
  8. It would be great to hear your view after your Emerald experience. Having sailed both lines, a few comments: (1) If you are use to the Breakaway class ships of NCL, you will be really disappointed with the buffet on Emerald. THe size, quality, and variety is lacking on Princess. As others have commented, the specialty dining quality is superior on NCL. Service in the MDR is better on Princess; however (and this is a big however), the dining room service team has too many tables and it takes longer to finish a meal than on NCL. The Anytime dining setup on Princess is really poor compared to the freestyle version of NCL. The MDR portion sizes on Princess are smaller than NCL but I view that as a positive as you can sample more stuff on the menu. Mentally, just be prepared for a more "leisurely" dining experience. (2) Nighttime entertainment is heads and shoulder better on NCL so please lower your expectation on the shows and quality of musicians / singers / dancers. However, Princess does a better job in the daytime with lectures and on-site commentary preparing you for your Alaskan experience. (3) As someone else posted, the age group is older on Princess so you will have a more sedate experience which can either be a pro/con depending on your POV. (4) Generally speaking, the ship staff on Princess is better than NCL but it really depends on the individual you encounter and the type of problem you may have. As long as your primary goal is to experience Alaska, you are going to have a great time on Princess as I feel they are the best mainstream line in that region. If the comfort amenities (food, entertainment, internet, etc.) are important and NCL's Getaway class is your baseline for comparison, you will need to lower your expectations.
  9. I remember those...really enjoyed seeking them out in the morning. What was also fun was reading the versions for audiences in other countries for a different perspective. Thanks for bringing back those memories!!
  10. I'm over it now but that was a big complaint I had for the longest time...probably 10 years since they had it. If HAL, Celebrity, RCL, NCL, and RCL can offer it, there's no reason why Princess can't.
  11. Poor planning on so many levels with this current Princess management group. Cut the food budget and waste $$ on this tech nonsense which has the potential to open up litigation and PR problems in the future!!
  12. Pics and written info would be appreciated. I for one am a tad nervous if there are changes as the other Royal Class ships have the best buffets in the cruise industry IMHO and fear that WFM on Sky is a marketing code word for food cutbacks with gimmicky food selections. Hope I am wrong.
  13. Can you comment on how cold or warm the public spaces and cabins are? On some ships, the theater and other public spaces are so cold (despite the warm weather outside) that my mom has to wear a sweater or light jacket. Other times, it's the opposite. Just trying to gauge the current conditions on the Grand as we will be aboard less than 3 weeks from now.
  14. Holland America's N. Statendam, Celebrity Eclipse, and Norwegian's Getaway are my experiences.
  15. I think it's more of Princess not keeping up with the times. Personally, I think the cabin design is efficient and well done for the "old days"; however, times have changed and people require "more stuff" to feel comfortable (cell phones, tablets, electronics, etc.). Our modern society is abundantly richer than in the past and people are accustomed to more convenience and comfort than in the past. Given that the Princess cabin design is still used today, I think it's more of a testament of how well planned it was at the time of conception. Now, it could probably use a revamp.
  16. I was on my 1st HAL cruise aboard N. Statendam in May and ATK was one of the highlights during the day at sea. I appreciate the presenter's seriousness toward cooking as well as the diversity of cooking topics covered. On other cruise lines, I am annoyed how these "cooking lectures" turn into chefs (and the Maitre-D) thinking they are comedians and goof off while "cooking".
  17. On sea days, is there any music playing around the ship during the daytime? Besides bingo, sales/port talks, and comedy cooking classes (cynic in me says chef should stop the comedy and work on improving the dining room/buffet but I digress), what other daytime activities are there? We will be on the Nov Hawaii cruise and there are plenty of sea days. Can you go in a bit more detail on how the dining room / buffet food is just "ok"?
  18. Your observations are correct: (1) Less food choices at the buffet? Welcome to the World Fresh Food Market concept. Fancy new layout design with food stations that take up MORE counter space with pretty food containers / displays (i.e. less room for food options to consume). Sandwich shops and Oven-Baked bread stations take up more room and passengers have less hot food. But hey, it looks more modern and pretty!! (2) More complaints than what Princess wants to hear. Yep, I've talked to Princess managers / workers who admitted off the record about the food budget cuts and even internal staff have complained to management about passenger food complaints.
  19. Although we still do 1 Princess cruise once every or every other year to see if anything has changed, we have primarily taken our business to other cruise lines now. No cruise line is perfect; however, most mainstream cruise lines ships (Celebrity, NCl, HAL) have surpassed the non-Royal cruise ships in overall quality. Every cruise line has cutbacks but it's always about the end result AFTER the cost cutting. As a long time Princess cruiser, it saddens me to see the brand fall behind.
  20. We took the Star Hawaii trip last year. I didn't notice all the sausage. I do often take a couple links with my breakfast, if I'm not in the mood for bacon. (A rare happening.) LOL. Your experience is a growing trend with the food cutbacks on Princess. They have a not too subtle practice now (use to hide it better) of using a greater proportion of certain ingredients that they got on bulk sale. A few times my traveling group use to joke with the chefs/ managers and they were surprised that we picked up on which items were cheap that week (one executive chef was embarrassed enough that we noticed and we didn't see those ingredients on the buffet as often for the rest of the week after our observations...LOL). It's comical and sad how bad the food cutbacks have gotten on the non-Royal class Princess ships.
  21. The buffets on Grand class ships (as well as Coral/Island) have really fallen behind the main stream competitors since the bean counters at Princess HQ have cut the food budget many years ago. It's a big reason why I don't sail on as many Princess cruises as in the past. I've complained about the food on the surveys and we know how that goes. Vote with your wallet and keep complaining to Princess. Maybe in 5 years they may get the message but I doubt it as long as the cost cutting mentality continues.
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