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Host Caroline

LIVE FROM THE DIAMOND: THE "DISH" ON DINING!

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Live from the Diamond, it's the "dish" on dining aboard as of this week and continuing on

  • There is traditional dining at 5:45 and 8:00 p.m.
  • There is "alternative" specialty dining in Sabatini for $25pp
  • There is "alternative" specialty dining in the "new" Stirling Steakhouse located aft of the Horizon Court for $15pp
  • There is "Anytime" Dining in the other dining rooms (what used to be Stirling is now the Savoy)
  • There is the same menu in all dining rooms at night ex. the Steakhouse and Sabatini
  • You can pre-reserve tables in Anytime dining rooms for Sat. and Sunday when you board and for the rest of the week on Sunday a.m. DO IT EARLY... they book up fast.. esp. for a big table like we have (8 people).
  • Traditional dining folks can eat in Sabatini or Stirling but not in the anytime dining rooms.

For those of you who chose your cruise to Alaska based in part on the specialty dining options here on Diamond Princess, I hope you have time to adjust to this change and "get over it"... Alaska is an amazing destination and hopefully you too will sail on a beautiful gorgeous sunny afternoon from Seattle like we did ready for a week of adventure, fun and excellent dining -- just not the same dining they used to have!

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Can you make a reservation for 'Anytime Dining' at any time that you wish or are you restricted to certain times?

 

thanks...

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Thanks for the info (at least, as it is this week ;) ).

 

To be honest, the various menus each evening was one of the reasons we booked the Diamond. Being on board for 18-days this fall, we thought the variety of dining themes would be valuable, not just the variety of settings. The temptation of a full Asian-themed meal....or an entire meal of Southwestern or Italian or whatever....was an important element in choosing this ship and this extended itinerary. :(

 

Nevertheless, we will eat well, and a good time will be had by all. :D

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Personally, I think this will work much better, and be far less confusing than how it was. It also brings the Diamond more into line with the rest of the Grand class ships.

 

While the new dishes were nice, and the idea a good one, I think until Princess comes up with a better, more defined way to explain to passengers what the difference is between "Traditional" and "Anytime" seating, and the passengers understand clearly that if you choose Traditional you CANNOT dine in the Anytime dining rooms, the old way is not in anyone's best interest.

 

Taking away the additional menus makes it clear there are only TWO "specialty" restaurants for a fee, not four free ones for everyone (which there never were).

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Caroline, as I recall, the Horizon Court extended all the way aft to the outside deck...did they appropriate some of the Horizon Court seating to add the Sterling Steakhouse? Thanks for the update.

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I think until Princess comes up with a better, more defined way to explain to passengers what the difference is between "Traditional" and "Anytime" seating, and the passengers understand clearly that if you choose Traditional you CANNOT dine in the Anytime dining rooms, the old way is not in anyone's best interest.

 

You "done" good, bardgal.

 

That simple sentence should have been enough to explain it; why couldn't Princess think so simply? "If you choose Traditional you CANNOT dine in the Anytime dining rooms....except at the fee-for-dining specialty restaurants." I've never been on a Princess cruise, and I fully understood the principle the first time I read about it on line. :rolleyes:

 

An' I ain't no more smart than nobody else! :eek:

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There is "alternative" specialty dining in Sabatini for $25pp

 

Wow, they raised the price of sabatini to $25 ??:(

Does that mean the rest of the fleet will follow as well ? :confused:

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WOW! Things really change fast onboard! We got off of the Diamond yesterday, and looking at my Patterns it was $20 pp for Sabatinis last week. There was no such thing as the "Savoy" - and I ate in the back of the Buffet the last day and there was no sign of a seperate Sterling restaurant! CRAZY!

 

FYI - when we got onboard, we had PC assigned on our cards accidentally, and they were able to change us back to the traditional 1st seating shown on our docs. Now my Mom, she was still scheduled for 1st seating, and she had Vivaldi on her card. The Patters showed this as a PC dining room, so I guess maybe a certain part of those tables are the traditional seating??

 

Thanks so much for the updates Caroline! Have a great trip!

 

Casey

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Answers in order and clarification:

 

I must admit I "think" Sabatini is 25 but 20 may be right.. I haven't actually looked again.

 

 

 

Second, you can make a reservation for any time between abuot 5:30-10:00 in the Anytime restaurants but they won't guarantee specific table, waiter etc. The most popular time is around 8:00 I guess. You just have to do through Princess Concierge service, NOT thru maitre'd or at the dining room itself on embarkation. But the Concierge was open from noon on yesterday and at just after 8:00 this a.m.

 

 

 

Still sunny up here so maybe all the rain's left:)

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Casey or Caroline: Did they have an Alaska Menu one night? Have heard on the one way trips that this is offered and has the crab legs on the menu. If they had it last week or this week, could you tell me what night it was?

 

Thank you for the information on the dining rooms and the new Sterling Steakhouse. It was excellent on the Star last April and looking forward to trying it again. Just don't want to make a reservation for it the same night they could have the crab legs.

 

Thanks for any and all information. Looking forward to our cruise.

 

Susan

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Host Caroline,

I got off the ship the day you embarked. I didn't see the Sterling at the back of the Horizon Court. Will you please take a picture for me? I can't imagine they transformed it two hours. That is wild! Thanks for reporting!!

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Hulagirl,

 

I was on the 5/28 sailing, and had the best crab legs EVER. Wedesday night was Alaska night. Great menu, followed by Lobster on Thursday, the second formal night. It was very tasty. Does this help you.

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The initial lure for me to go on the Diamond last year and use PC dining was because it offered varied dining rooms with their individual menus. I was willing to accept some of the PC pitfalls knowing that there would be such a variety in dining.

The anticipation turned into reality once I sailed on the Diamond. The ship was great but it stood out from all of the other Princess ships that I have cruised on because of the food choices. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

I realize that people have varied tastes and priorities, however, the dining onboard this ship really enhanced my cruise.

Now, if they continue offering the same menus in all of the non-fee dining rooms I might as well just go back to Traditional.

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Sheebah!!!!!

 

Yes, that helps me a lot. Thank you so much for the quick response. We have friends sailing with us who have never cruised before. My friend loves crab and was hoping they would have one menu with it and now I can tell her they definitely do and which night it is. So appreciate your help.

 

Susan

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What we saw on the Royal last month was that in the evening one side of the Horizon Court was turned into Sterlings. No changes other than the tables had a little nicer silverware and decorations. We felt not worth the extra money as the atmosphere was still Horizon Court.

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Hey Caroline...have a great trip and we are very anxious to hear all about the Diamond as we may sail her 7/06

Mabel

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That would make MUCH more sense....since we didn't spend much time in Horizon Court at night, I can see how a "transition" like that would make sense. Thank you.

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:confused: Okay this whole dining thing is clear as mud!

I think that someone needs to set up a "Eating on the cruise 101" class. Especially for us newbies and even for the returning crowd, and those who just left the ship and had all the answers before they changed the test. :)

 

Hula Girl, if you find a family of 4 starving because they couldn't eat in the dining, or in the buffet would you save me your leftovers:) :) I do hope I figure it out by the Wed and Thurs menus. My husband would be depressed if he missed those.

 

Still, I am going to have a great time, it will be an adventure. I look forward to the challenge.

 

Carm

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:confused: Okay this whole dining thing is clear as mud!

I think that someone needs to set up a "Eating on the cruise 101" class. Especially for us newbies and even for the returning crowd, and those who just left the ship and had all the answers before they changed the test. :)

 

Hula Girl, if you find a family of 4 starving because they couldn't eat in the dining, or in the buffet would you save me your leftovers:) :) I do hope I figure it out by the Wed and Thurs menus. My husband would be depressed if he missed those.

 

Still, I am going to have a great time, it will be an adventure. I look forward to the challenge.

 

Carm

Carm, here are the basics:

 

If you choose TRADITIONAL dining when you book your cruise:

You will have a dining assignment on your S&S card when you board, it will state your dining time, and table number. You can eat in the main dining room at your assigned time/table (The International Dining Room on the Diamond - for example), and for your "Personal Choice" dining, you can eat "anytime" in Horizon Court Buffet and Sabatini's (for a fee). You CANNOT eat in the PC dining rooms (Diamond: Savoy [what it's called today, but Sterling on the website deck plan], Santa Fe, Pacific Moon, and Vivaldi [unless they're using it for overflow Traditional dining].)

 

If you choose "PC/Personal Choice/Anytime Dining" (or whatever the other choice is other than Traditional, depending on who you're talking to and what they're calling it that day), you can eat in any of the PC dining rooms anytime you can get a table, or Horizon Court Buffet and Sabatini's (fee). You CANNOT eat in the Traditional dining room.

 

EVERYONE can order room service 24/7.

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Carma: I do hope Bardgal's description helps you. It really isn't anything that should be this confusing. Granted Princess eliminated the small menu's for each of the dining rooms, but that is basically it. Nothing else has changed. It is really very easy and no different than other ships except the Diamond and the Sapphire have 4 smaller dining rooms for PC rather than 2 larger dining rooms like on their other ships. The traditional menu was given to everyone before and that is what they are giving now. Hopefully once you get on board you won't find this confusing at all. Some people like to make dining reservations in the PC dining rooms if they like a certain time, but this isn't always necessary. When there were the small speciality menus this may have made one dining room more crowded than another, but now you shouldn't find that problem. I really think this is the main reason Princess eliminated the speciality menus. Hopefully this does help clear up the confusion.

 

Hulagirl

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Carm,

The gals are right. The food is fantastic, and the whole thing is pretty simple once you're on board. I sailed Diamond twice- ocne in October of last year and once last week. I noticed less crowding in the PC dining rooms, and better food quality overall last week. It all just felt smoother. I didn't see Savoy on board, but ate in Sterling on night one. I think I saw someone carrying the big glass "Sterling" sign on the last day, and am starting to put the pieces together with the little changes they've made. Have French onion soup and lobster for me! You'll have a blast and be stuffed every day!

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I sailed on the Diamond for the 5/28 Alaska cruise. The new Savoy Dining Room (formerly Sterling) was changed late, late evening on Friday 6/3 (the last full night of the cruise). I noticed the morning of disembarkation the signs next to the elevators that there was a Savoy Dining Room mentioned and wondered why we hadn’t eaten there. I went over to the Dining Room and sure enough the ‘Sterling’ sign was replaced with a ‘Savoy’ sign. A staff person was in the Dining Room and I went in and asked him what happened to the ‘Sterling’. He said it would now be located near the Horizon Court and there would be a fee to dine there (didn’t ask him how much) – no fee to dine in the Savoy. I am sure the ship personnel were hustling to change all the signs to indicate the change.

 

We chose PC dining—anyone can eat lunch in the International Dining room whether you have PC or traditional seating. We ate there one lunch and the service and food was very good.

 

I was told by three of the crew that the reason the specialty menus were changed because that is what the passengers wanted. Hmmmm, interesting because most of the passengers I spoke with were very disappointed that Princess/Diamond decided to change their menu’s practically at the drop of a hat. Each dining room does have one specialty item – i.e., Southwestern, Asian, etc. These are not listed on the menu as your waiter is suppose to tell you. We found this out three days into the cruise as no waiter told us until the third night. Personally, I am not a picky eater, but I found the food to be mediocre 80% of the time. Overdone lobster tails, soggy beef Wellington crust, rubbery scallops, dry salmon, cold vegetables. The bread rolls, salads and deserts were on the mark however.

 

There was a nice selection of items at the Horizon Court Buffet during breakfast and lunch. We only ate there twice and opted for room service most days.

 

I do not go on a cruise just because of the food, but I was rather disappointed in the Diamond food and found that on my last cruise on the NCL Star the food to be far superior.

 

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ArizonaGal,

Thanks so much. The Friday night "turboswitch" explains everything. Now I know I am not going totally insane!!!!!!!! I knew I saw someone carrying the glass Sterling sign, but it didn't hit me until I read this thread.

 

I sailed on the Diamond for the 5/28 Alaska cruise. The new Savoy Dining Room (formerly Sterling) was changed late, late evening on Friday 6/3 (the last full night of the cruise). I noticed the morning of disembarkation the signs next to the elevators that there was a Savoy Dining Room mentioned and wondered why we hadn’t eaten there. I went over to the Dining Room and sure enough the ‘Sterling’ sign was replaced with a ‘Savoy’ sign. A staff person was in the Dining Room and I went in and asked him what happened to the ‘Sterling’. He said it would now be located near the Horizon Court and there would be a fee to dine there (didn’t ask him how much) – no fee to dine in the Savoy. I am sure the ship personnel were hustling to change all the signs to indicate the change.

 

We chose PC dining—anyone can eat lunch in the International Dining room whether you have PC or traditional seating. We ate there one lunch and the service and food was very good.

 

I was told by three of the crew that the reason the specialty menus were changed because that is what the passengers wanted. Hmmmm, interesting because most of the passengers I spoke with were very disappointed that Princess/Diamond decided to change their menu’s practically at the drop of a hat. Each dining room does have one specialty item – i.e., Southwestern, Asian, etc. These are not listed on the menu as your waiter is suppose to tell you. We found this out three days into the cruise as no waiter told us until the third night. Personally, I am not a picky eater, but I found the food to be mediocre 80% of the time. Overdone lobster tails, soggy beef Wellington crust, rubbery scallops, dry salmon, cold vegetables. The bread rolls, salads and deserts were on the mark however.

 

There was a nice selection of items at the Horizon Court Buffet during breakfast and lunch. We only ate there twice and opted for room service most days.

 

I do not go on a cruise just because of the food, but I was rather disappointed in the Diamond food and found that on my last cruise on the NCL Star the food to be far superior.

 

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