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Bushido

PC Dining...Diamond Princess

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Tons of discussion on this and many other boards about the potential change in the PC Dining on the Diamond Princess or for that matter all the Princess ships...It was explained to me by our TA that we would have 4 very different restaurants to dine at as well as the potential for the traditional fixed menu on each of our nights...I have read that they are starting to go about doing this in a different way and putting people on PC dining in assigned areas with fixed menus each night...In the past I have read and looked at the different menus so I know they used to do it.

 

Are they changing this on the Diamond?

Why would they change this?

Why aren't the cruisers on the Diamond being told this if changed?

 

Any insights would be appreciated

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Hi Bushido,

 

We just got off the Diamond 5/21. We were confirmed for traditional dining, early seating. When we got on board, our cruise card showed that we would be in the Vivalde dining room, which is one of the specialty restaurants. My DH called the conceirge who told him that the Vivalde (first seating) had been converted to traditional dining. We asked our waiter about it, and he said that Princess has done away with the specialty restaurant menus, but they are doing this on a trial basis. The traditional dining room as well as the four specialty restaurants all posted the same menu, there were no special menus. I'm not sure if this is going to be a permanent thing or not. I'm not sure Princess does either. I'm also not sure what their thinking is behind this since PC dining seems to be one of their strong advertising points. And we wondered the same thing...why didn't they let anyone know about this change? Guess we will just have to wait and see.

 

At any rate, the food was great, the waiters were wonderful, and we had a fantastic cruise. This was our first time on Princess and we can't wait to go back!

 

Happy Cruising! Jennifer

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Jennifer,

 

Do you happen to know whether those who had been preassigned PC dining were converted to traditional -- i.e. did they get abord and learn that they now had fixed times as well as a fixed menu?

 

Thanks,

 

Jim

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Wow, what a disappointment! I was on DP in January and although I had traditional late seating it was wonderful to try dishes from the other menus. There were a lot of great selections. Loved having the guacamole and chips to start with, even, forgive me, on French night!:0) I was bemoaning the fact that none of the Princess ships on the eastern seaboard had this arrangement and I would most likely have to book another west coast cruise in order to enjoy the dining features of the Diamond or Sapphire (does anyone know if the Sapphire's dining has changed as well?). Anyway, I would be surprised if they changed all of the dining rooms to traditional since Personal Choice is a major feature on Princess. Perhaps Vivaldi was changed in order to accommodate more people who wanted traditional seating since there usually is a huge waitlist.

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Well that's just great....................... This was going to be my first cruise with PC dining. Does anyone know how long the "trial basis" is? I'm glad the food was good, I guess that's the main point, but still, I was looking forward to the specialty menus. I will be on the Sapphire in June and they are probably doing the same thing "menuwise" that the Diamond is doing. :(

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My travel agent called Princess yesterday about the Sapphire, and Princess confirmed that Vivaldi has been reassigned to fixed time seating (overflow for those waitlisted for traditional?). The Princess staffer confirmed same menu for the other 3 alternate dining rooms, but said there are specials in each of these. I guess you have to ask.

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I am actually going to call my TA on Tuesday morning to get the final clarification of the PC dining changes...No matter I think the cruise will be great.

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This thread is confusing me. If I go to Asian DR I won't be getting Asian food and if I go to Sterling I won't get a choiceof beef ? This seems like a step backward or downward the chain of cruise lines owned by Carnival. Will the next step be opening all the dining rooms on the Queens to any cabin?:mad: This is like the change to instant coffee that Princess serves.

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Just got off the Sapphire (sister ship to Diamond) and there are NO special menus in ANY resturant. All menus are the same for the entire ship except for the fee resturant, Sabbitinis and the Horizon Court (buffet).

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Do you still need to make a reservation in advance for PC dining? Last year on the Diamond to Mexico, we made all our reservations the first day so we could get the times we wanted. We leave this Saturday for Alaska and I'm wondering if it works the same way.

 

Michelle

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Wow!! This is a disaster. I booked this cruise not only because of the itinerary but the PC dining. We leave for Alaska on the Diamond in a few days. (We're next) and the threads have been going crazy about the changing of menus. I thought I was a converted NCL cruiser, but now I'm wondering if I shouldn't have stayed with NCL. They have great choices for dining. This upcoming cruise will determine whether or not I cancel my other two Princess bookings. DW is from the orient and we love sushi, etc, and if it's no longer available, that's really sad.:( I would really like to know what brought on this change? You just don't make a major change like this unless there were major complaints, etc.:eek:

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This is a major change. We did 30 days on the Sapphire in November and December, and loved the fact that we could change menus and restaurants every night to give us some variety as well as being able to order off the traditional menu.

 

We're booked for 29 days on the Diamond in April / May next year and one of the reasons we chose to do it was because we loved the PC dining on the Sapphire. I really hope this 'trial' doesn't last too long. I think people who have booked PC will be dissapointed when they got onboard and don't get the PC that they are expecting.

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I read somewhere you can bring a bottle of champagne onboard with you?

Is this true? Is this wise?

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I get the same menu in all dining rooms based on the threads I see on this board. But, can I show up at any of the dining rooms, other than traditional, anytime I want and expect to be seated and be served?

 

We are on the Sapphire June 26 and one reason I went with Princess to Alaska is the Anytime Dining. We are less concerned about the same menus in each dining room, but we did enjoy the fact we could eat at the times we chose vs. the same time every night such as what happens with traditional dining. We enjoyed this aspect of the Diamond Princess when we sailed her in Feb.

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I have to admit I'm not surprised that Princess made this change. I was on the Diamond twice last year and I have never heard so many people complaining about the choices they made for themselves. I was pleased with my traditional dining on both cruises but others I spoke with had PC dining. They were outraged that they couldn't get a table for two in Vivaldi on Tuesday at 8PM with the guacamole from the Santa Fe etc, etc. It's like a kid in a candy shop with too many choices. Although it's best to ignore negative people it is sometimes hard to do and I found it really colored my cruise last fall.

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We did PC dining on the Diamond in February and loved it!! We tried all of the PC dining rooms and doubled up on a couple of them. It was truly a treat to be able to order off the traditional menu and also choose something from the specialty menu. I hope the "trial period" for the "traditional only" menu is a short one. Having those 4 specialty dining rooms was part of what made sailing on the Diamond special and apart from other Princess ships.

 

Perhaps when they get the Sterling Steak House in place they will revert back to the specialty restaurants and turn what is now the Sterling Dining Room into a traditional dining room. That way they could accommodate more guests wanting traditional seating and still have three specialty dining rooms.

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I am one that thought that traditional dining was best. After 2 cruises with PC I have really loved it. The service on our first was not to red hot but on the Diamond in April it was wonderful. It is one of the big reasons that we would choose Princess all though we still cruise other lines.

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Does anyone know if they still have PC dining on the Star????pj

 

Yes, Princess still has PC dining on all the ships. (Except for the Regal, Tahitian and Pacific which never had it.) This particular discussion was regarding the specialty (no charge) PC dining rooms on the Diamond and Sapphire. Sounds like 3 out of 4 are still PC dining rooms without the specialty menus.

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I get the same menu in all dining rooms based on the threads I see on this board. But, can I show up at any of the dining rooms, other than traditional, anytime I want and expect to be seated and be served?

 

We are on the Sapphire June 26 and one reason I went with Princess to Alaska is the Anytime Dining. We are less concerned about the same menus in each dining room, but we did enjoy the fact we could eat at the times we chose vs. the same time every night such as what happens with traditional dining. We enjoyed this aspect of the Diamond Princess when we sailed her in Feb.

 

Just returned from the Sapphire to Alaska on Sunday. We had PC dining. We did a little of everything. A couple of nights we just ate at the buffet. One night we made reservations at the Vivaldi for 8 PM and were seated promptly; another night we made reservations at Sabbitinis (sp?) for 7 PM and were seated promptly; and, one night we went to the Pacific Moon around 6:30 PM without reservations and was seated promptly. Although it was a little disappointing not to be able to try items specific to the dining room, we still enjoyed our PC option and will continue to do so for future cruises. Love the flexibility!

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I was on the Diamond in January as well and thoroughly enjoyed the sushi, steak, onion rings, guacamole and the other specialty foods available through the PC dining rooms. The Vivaldi room was my least favorite so it would not bother me if they just converted it to a fixed time room to accommodate the passengers who would prefer fixed times for dinner, but it sounds like they are only serving the traditional menu and the only thing different about the rooms is the decor and maybe the servers' uniforms. This is unfortunate. It makes me wonder if they are going to have these rooms at no charge if you are dining off of the regular menu, and then they would charge you for the specialty items. This would absolutely effect my choice in ships, as I would be more likely to go on a Sun-class or Grand-class that was not affected by these changes. Truly a shame for the people who were looking forward to this!!

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I totally understand why Princess has done this on both the Sapphire and Diamond.

 

Ever since the Diamond first sailed with it's particular PC setup of four themed dining rooms (where you could also get the main dining room menu) I have never seen more complaints regarding dining on Princess!!! Mostly it was about trying to get a 7/7:30pm reservation - which is what the majority of people in the PC dining wanted all at the same time, which if they said yes to, would do away completely with being able to get two complete seatings in those dining rooms (the early would just be getting finished - hopefully, but the late seaters [8pm onward] would never get a chance to be sat) - so I understand why they told everyone no - and seated people who walked up, or gave them a pager.

 

Part of the problem is the confusion that comes with the title "Personal Choice Cruising" which is their attempt to compete with NCL (why they would want to is beyond me, but that's just MHO.) Many people who have Traditional seating think they can also dine in the PC dining rooms whenever the fancy takes them - after all they want to experience the specialty menus (nevermind that they're offered on certain nights in the main dining room - but that's not widely explained), and want Personal Choice Cruising™ like everyone else. This was a recipe for Chaotic Dining Disaster™, which we all have witnessed here on the boards, and are just a fraction of the complaints Princess must have received due to this.

 

There was also the huge waitlist for Traditional dining.

 

Now, they attempted to correct some of this, by adding one more dining room to traditional to offset that long waitlist. I also understand taking away the specialty menus - they don't have them in the PC dining rooms on any other Princess ship, and it just adds to confusion as many passengers have no idea you can get the main dining room menu (and any other PC menu) in any of the theme dining rooms.

 

Last Oct I sailed on the Diamond, and had a standing 8pm reservation every night for a wonderful table for 2 in the Pacific Moon. Dragos our waiter brought us whatever dish we asked for, from whatever menu on the ship (other than Sabatini's) we wanted. NO PROBLEM.

 

If it were my decision, I'd do away with all the specialty menus, change Sterling to an additional charge room, and keep the other three as PC, and see how bad the waitlist for Traditional was in a few month's time. Sterling is always the most crowded dining room on those two ships.

 

But the complaining now I don't really understand - so what if the specialty menus are gone? They weren't on any other Princess ship without a charge. There are still three PC dining rooms, and with more people happy in Traditional dining, there will be less people competing for reservation times.... You can also still get steak every night on the regular menu if you want.

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This thread is confusing me. If I go to Asian DR I won't be getting Asian food and if I go to Sterling I won't get a choiceof beef ? This seems like a step backward or downward the chain of cruise lines owned by Carnival. Will the next step be opening all the dining rooms on the Queens to any cabin?:mad: This is like the change to instant coffee that Princess serves.
I hope no one will be disappointed. We were on the Diamond in early May and each restaurant had a different menu with the "always available" on the bottom. The Pacific Moon had a different menu than Vavaldi. My waife wasn't sure what she wanted one night and one of the restaurants had pork chops. From speaking to our waiter, if we wanted something like the pork chops that we'd seen on the menu in the other restaurant, he would get it for us. We were early traditional in the Vavaldi dining room. We were not disappointed. I must admit that by the Diamond having the four diing rooms, it results in them splitting each of the dining rooms in two and we perferred the open concept of the large dining room on the Coral, Sun, Ocean, etc. I'm not complaining, crusing is wonderful and we're Princess faithfuls.

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