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The TK Experience on Seabourn

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2 hours ago, SLSD said:

I think we all  need to get a grip.  We are talking about a dining room on a high end cruise ship.  As that, the TK Grill usually does a credible job ( in my humble opinion) .  Yes, there are lapses in both food and service. But, after dining at a TK Grill at least five times, I find it OK.  That does not mean that I didn't find the roast chicken incredibly salty or the Eggplant Parmigiana not to my laste.  Instead, I found the TK Grill to be a credible effort to provide an American Steak House experience on an international cruise ship.  The dishes served were very basic American dishes and not to the taste of all of our European and international friends.  In fact, not all Americans would like what is served.  But, it is what it is, and as presented, it does represent a genre of American dining.  Like it or leave it--it is what it is.  If you don't like it at all, don't dine there and lobby Seabourn to take another path. 

 

Agree. We sailed Seabourn for the first time in May. and had dinner at TK 4 times. Nothing special, but a nice alternative to The Restaurant. The TK service was far superior to The Restaurant - this should not be the case.

 

Our 2nd Seabourn starts Sunday. 46 days Miami to Buenos Aires.  We have 7 reservations at TK. We'll try E an O, and hope to be there once or twice a week in the warmer weather. That leaves us with 25/30 or so days at The Restaurant. OK with us.

 

As SLSD says TK is a dining room not a restaurant. On land it is unlikely I would pay $100 per person for dinner at Seabourn Restaurant or TK  (with or without wine), but given the environment I think they do a decent job of serving good food from a nice menu. I'm sure my main problem over the next 46 days will be how not to gain weight.

 

Oceania was our first (and second and others) cruise and remains our #1 for food. The BA to Miami on the Marina over Christmas 2016 was wonderful.

 

As an aside. Several years ago we sailed on Royal Caribbean. We wanted a cruise to get back to the US after a wedding in the UK. This one had perfect timing and visited The Faroe Islands and Iceland. 2 places on our bucket list. We tell our friends that we have been on Royal Caribbean once, but it counts as 2. First time and last time.

 

Ciao!!

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3 hours ago, SLSD said:

I think we all  need to get a grip.  We are talking about a dining room on a high end cruise ship.

 

How true, well put!

24 minutes ago, TUCHIK said:

On land it is unlikely I would pay $100 per person for dinner at Seabourn Restaurant or TK  (with or without wine), but given the environment I think they do a decent job of serving good food from a nice menu.

Great perspective, and good to keep in mind!

 

Any winds of change blowing through Seabourn are a threat to the great prior experiences we've had with them.  Our concern with TK Grill is it is (or will) lead to more of a two-tiered dining experience.  If that happens (or caviar becomes restricted) we'd be a lot less loyal to Seabourn.   

 

Really looking forward to Earth & Ocean on Odyssey!

 

Edited by johng75370
clarity

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2 hours ago, johng75370 said:

 

How true, well put!

Great perspective, and good to keep in mind!

 

Any winds of change blowing through Seabourn are a threat to the great prior experiences we've had with them.  Our concern with TK Grill is it is (or will) lead to more of a two-tiered dining experience.  If that happens (or caviar becomes restricted) we'd be a lot less loyal to Seabourn.   

 

Really looking forward to Earth & Ocean on Odyssey!

 

We will be on the Odyssey on 1st December, is the Earth & Ocean up and running?

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Joc123 - thanks for posting the photos and menu. Looks inviting and we will certain try it all out in December.

I hope the plates are well warmed as the stoneware will go cold very quickly.

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9 hours ago, Silver Sweethearts said:

 

The whole thing seems like an exercise in frustration for everyone concerned.  Yes, Keller has to be profiting, but isn't he also damaging his image by indulging in aptly named "mass catering"?

 

I had never heard of Keller prior to his relationship with Seabourn so he had no reputation  to damage in my eyes.

 

They say you cannot please all the people all the time.

 

I was not a fan of R2 and we rarely ate there. I do like the TK Grill and have several reservations for my upcoming cruise. 

 

Seabourn offers several dining venues so if you don't like one there are other choices. If they don't work then you are on the wrong cruise line.

 

Also, we don't like caviar. Seabourn could do away with it completely for all we care.

 

When I read these threads I do wonder how it is that on almost every Seabourn cruise we take, somewhere between 70% - 80% are repeat customers. Don't these people read Cruise Critic?

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16 hours ago, SLSD said:

I think we all  need to get a grip.  We are talking about a dining room on a high end cruise ship.  As that, the TK Grill usually does a credible job ( in my humble opinion) .  Yes, there are lapses in both food and service. But, after dining at a TK Grill at least five times, I find it OK.  That does not mean that I didn't find the roast chicken incredibly salty or the Eggplant Parmigiana not to my laste.  Instead, I found the TK Grill to be a credible effort to provide an American Steak House experience on an international cruise ship.  The dishes served were very basic American dishes and not to the taste of all of our European and international friends.  In fact, not all Americans would like what is served.  But, it is what it is, and as presented, it does represent a genre of American dining.  Like it or leave it--it is what it is.  If you don't like it at all, don't dine there and lobby Seabourn to take another path. 

Amen. Well said.

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13 hours ago, johng75370 said:

 

Any winds of change blowing through Seabourn are a threat to the great prior experiences we've had with them.  Our concern with TK Grill is it is (or will) lead to more of a two-tiered dining experience.  If that happens (or caviar becomes restricted) we'd be a lot less loyal to Seabourn.   

Good luck finding unlimited included caviar on any other cruise line.

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32 minutes ago, wripro said:

Good luck finding unlimited included caviar on any other cruise line.

 

My point exactly :classic_smile:.  That's why we're "sticky" with Seabourn.   Everyone is different; some people might find TK Grill is what keeps them coming back, but for us it's the caviar!

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23 hours ago, johng75370 said:

 

My point exactly :classic_smile:.  That's why we're "sticky" with Seabourn.   Everyone is different; some people might find TK Grill is what keeps them coming back, but for us it's the caviar!

I can't think of a better reason!

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Not a big caviar fan.  If I have a bit once in a while, I'm fine with that.  We saw plenty of people on Seabourn getting their nightly serving at the bar--standing orders, every night!

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I love caviar, just not the stuff Seabourn serves. I’ve seen the 4 gallon while plastic buckets it arrives on the ship in... no thank you. Little individual tins of Beluga please 😁

 

Floris 

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Oh, Floris, have you ruined everyone's day! Silly me, I thought it tasted okay, not great, but better than no caviar. Now, I'm not so sure. Come to think of it, they don' serve it from the tins, do they?

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We've had the caviar only twice in 31 days of sailing with SB.  It is fun to share a plate with friends, but no one was oohing and aahing. about how wonderful it was.  It just was a feature of having fun on the ship.  

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1 hour ago, SLSD said:

We've had the caviar only twice in 31 days of sailing with SB.  It is fun to share a plate with friends, but no one was oohing and aahing. about how wonderful it was.  It just was a feature of having fun on the ship.  

 

Yep, same here. Had a taste a few times in about 70 days and it would not be the reason I chose SB. Meeting some friendly guests and fabulous crew, now that’s worth cruising for for us. I guess that is the way to run a cruise line, offer something for everyone. 

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We are coming up on night 3 on Ovation.  We dined at TKG on night 1 and Sushi on night 2.  Planning to enjoy the formal night menu in Sushi for night 3 as well.

 

The TKG meal was our best in this venue yet.  Hubby started with shrimp cocktail and I with the artichoke.  We both had the lobster thermidor.  We had macaroni and cheese and mushrooms as a side, as those are two of our typical steakhouse go-tos.  He finished with the lemon tart and I with the coconut cake.

 

Service was quite leisurely (in a good way).  We ordered a bottle of white from the list and did not finish all of it so they sent it back to our room for us along with our cookies to enjoy later  

 

Our only “issue” was that we put the bottle of wine (probably 1/4-1/3rd full at most) in our fridge so I could enjoy a glass while getting ready the next evening.  When I went to pour a glass, it was gone.  Our suite stewardess, not realizing it wasn’t comp wine had thoughtfully replaced it with a fresh bottle.  After I inquired with guest services as to whether it had been relocated, a new unopened bottle of our wine from the prior evening appeared in our suite.  So all’s well that ends well!

 

We, as expected, love Sushi.  We’ve had a lunch and dinner there already and will go early this evening to enjoy the formal night set menu.  We’ll miss the Captain’s welcome but as they are doing the “progressive party” on this ship (three separate and staggered officer rounds at the three indoor drinks venues), I don’t feel like I’ll be missing much.  I understand they cannot accommodate everyone in the Grand Salon, but we always enjoyed hearing the band perform and seeing everyone in their evening finery.

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On 11/2/2018 at 11:31 AM, florisdekort said:

I love caviar, just not the stuff Seabourn serves. I’ve seen the 4 gallon while plastic buckets it arrives on the ship in... no thank you. Little individual tins of Beluga please 😁

 

Floris 

I"m sure they would be happy to see you little tins of Beluga with some Cristal or Krug to wash it down. Just be prepare for them to triple their fares. I, for one, am impressed that SB continues to offer caviar on a complimentary basis, No, it's not Beluga, but it is fairly decent and a big asset imo.

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We have mostly had good experiences at the TK Grill, probably 15 or so times now.  I was not a fan of the chicken, and have no idea why they bring out this big plate of veggies that they do not actually offer you when they do the presentation, (are they real or plastic?)  plus I normally don't order chicken but my wife wanted to try it.  We have consistently enjoyed the sole and steaks.  I also like the crab cakes and the chowder as apps. The Cesar table side has been hit or miss.  One or two times had some minor issues with service but we have had service issues in all the restaurants, especially if you are on-board for many days it is bound to happen.  The people who work there are human, like the rest of us and sometimes make mistakes.  With Seabourn, at least in my experience, when mistakes occur they make up for them.    

 

We liked the former R2 only for the signature menu and even if on for 3-4 weeks only would go once so we think the Grill is a big improvement.  

 

As always food is very subjective and personal matter, and the experience can vary from night to night in any venue whether on sea or land. Where we live we have a go to Mexican (but true Mexican not Tex/California Mex) and also a high-end restaurant we consistently frequent (in a town of high-end restaurants there is only we regularly go to and take visitors to) that over the years we have each been to many times.  Almost every time - despite totally different experiences - they have been great, but there have been a few times at each where had it been our first time we would likely not have returned. 

 

We are looking forward to Earth and Ocean on our next cruise based on all the good reviews we have seen.

 

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We are on the Quest right now and have enjoyed Earth and Ocean several times.  The menus are interesting and the execution has been excellent.  On the other hand, we were underwhelmed by the TK Grill.  The quality was excellent, but we found the menu to be old fashioned.  I suppose you could call the dishes "classics," or the usual features of a high-end steak house.  But this is not the way we eat when we go out on land.  I would have preferred something more ethnic or challenging, perhaps pan-Asian or even Italian.  Actually I would prefer something more obscure that that, but unusual ethnic food is not going to happen on a cruise ship.  We will be back to TK tomorrow night and may form a somewhat different set of opinions.

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tv24,  We loved Earth and Ocean too.  The innovative dishes there were a real treat.  At the same time, I think that the TK Grill fills a slot for those who like the classic steak house dishes.  We don't care for Pan-Asian and Italian is great, but a few Italian dishes on a long cruise would do it for us.  My point is that food is subjective and I think SB has decided that along with the MDR, Earth and Ocean and the Sushi restaurant (where we NEVER dine) the TK Grill helps them cover their bases.  

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1 hour ago, tv24 said:

I would have preferred something more ethnic or challenging, perhaps pan-Asian or even Italian.  Actually I would prefer something more obscure that that, but unusual ethnic food is not going to happen on a cruise ship.  We will be back to TK tomorrow night and may form a somewhat different set of opinions.

As you say I don't think you can reasonably expect obscure or unusual ethnic food options on a cruise ship. They are catering to a a cross section of passengers from all over, most of whom are a bit older and prefer more familiar cuisines that are not highly spiced. I understand TK may not be the way you dine at home but all in all I find it a very nice alternative in a lovely atmosphere with very good service. That is about all I can expect on a cruise ship.

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On 10/20/2018 at 7:29 AM, DavidTheWonderer said:

I didn't go to TK on my recent, first, Seabourn cruise, for various reasons probably of little interest to others.  But I did talk to a woman who went in to make a reservation and felt she was being interviewed so the staff could determine if she was suitable. Just one impression from one passenger, but ...

 

I apologize in advance for this reply but I can't imaging, in a million years, how anyone would feel they were being profiled as "suitable" anywhere ever on Seabourn.  I'm the most unlikable person in the world but always feel welcomed everywhere on Seabourn.  They do tend to insist I use a knife and a fork when eating in TK instead of my just using my hands but, other than that, I always felt accepted :)

Edited by raphael360
typo

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We enjoyed our first TK experience last evening.  The food and service were wonderful, easily the best steaks we have had at any specialty restaurant on any other line.

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On 11/21/2018 at 11:39 AM, raphael360 said:

 

I apologize in advance for this reply but I can't imaging, in a million years, how anyone would feel they were being profiled as "suitable" anywhere ever on Seabourn.  I'm the most unlikable person in the world but always feel welcomed everywhere on Seabourn.  They do tend to insist I use a knife and a fork when eating in TK instead of my just using my hands but, other than that, I always felt accepted 🙂

 

We love Seabourn in large part because of how welcoming everyone is, but I have to say our recent experience at the TK Grill had a very different feel to it.  We made the mistake of dining there the first night of the cruise, and it was off in several ways - no lobster thermidor (we were told it was not boarded, yet it appeared the second night at sea....how does that happen?), we asked for recommendations from the sommelier and the first two bottles suggested were out of stock (he tried pushing wines 2x price what we initially chose), and the staff we came across were all "cold/professional" as compared to every other staff member we interacted with on board.  At the end of the meal we asked if we could get a reservation for a different night, given that we felt we didn't get the real experience.  We were told no, that we are allowed one visit only per cruise - yet we came across several couples we got 2 or 3 reservations, along with couples who got the same "one visit only rule" thrown at them (including couples in owners suites and "diamond elite" level, so that didn't give them extra pull apparently).  Given the inconsistency of who gets more than one booking and who doesn't, it's easy to be left with impression that the TK Grill staff might be profiling in some way.   

 

Short summary:  food was good, but the overall experience was not what we've come to expect from Seabourn.  Would be happy to see it replaced.  Was far more impressed with the TK-inspired menu items in the Restaurant, and the special TK fried chicken and rib nights in the Colonnade.  

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I am always dismayed when I hear these stories about the TK Grill.  Our TA always makes the reservations for us--and we have been able to get one reservation for each 7 days we are on board.  In other words, on a three week voyage, we were able to get 3 reservations.  However, perhaps it is important to note that these reservations were made BEFORE the cruise began.  While on board, we tried to change a reservation for two to a reservation for four--and they said we could not do it for that night.  Friends on board accomplished just that for the NEXT night--but it WAS a different night and perhaps different circumstances.  

 

We never buy premium wines as we are just not that into wine--so haven't had the pushing of expensive wine experience in the TK Grill.  Our wait staff has always been delightful in the grill--never stuffy or coldly professional.  They have always been friendly and helpful.  Surely my friendly Texas personality has nothing to do with that, but I do seem to have good luck getting along with most anyone--and enjoy that.  

 

All this is not to say that we will not encounter a disappointing evening the TK Grill on our next voyage.  If we do, I will report it here!

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We are able only able to make one TK reservation per 7 days of our cruise.  While we love the TK restaurant, once a week is enough.  I would share your disappointment the lobster thermidor  not being available because this is the only thing I order at TK.  I will remember this and not reserve the first night out in the future.

 

As a side note, we've taken the Montreal to Ft. Lauderdale cruise twice (now it's the Montreal to Miami cruise).  I've learned SB provisions in Quebec City so they were short a few items until the second day in Quebec City including Gray Goose.

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