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Pinnacle Grill experience declining?

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12 hours ago, mammy123 said:

WOW, we are booked on the Rotterdam and our TA has given us dinner to the PG.  Now we are wondering if we should try it out or just continue going to the MDR, which we enjoy.  After a lot of this conversation, almost afraid to try the PG.  

 

We've always enjoyed the Rotterdam Pinnacle.  If you like it, you might want to try it for lunch, too.

Lovely menu, smaller portions, some really good items.  Pavlova is superb!

 

Enjoy the Rotterdam!

 

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Have always enjoyed my PG meals, found the food and service a bit above the dining room.  The one exception, re: service, was the last time Dear Sis and I cruised together.  After dessert was served, the staff abandoned us. No offer of coffee with dessert.  No one came to clear our dishes.  We were seated side-by-side on the banquette.  The table was very heavy and difficult to move from our position.  We felt trapped and got to giggling so much that other guests looked our way.  Still no help.  Finally shoved the table enough to get free and left, still giggling.

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I have always enjoyed the Pinnacle Grill; food and service generally a step above the MDR. If you get there early, you  get the best service and if you are a party of two or one.

I really wish HAL would change the menu. That would be a big improvement IMO.

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HAL is giving away far too many promo meals in the Pinnacle. On an Alaska Cruise we were told that reservations were full other than the last night of the cruise.  Some bulk travel agents throw in Pinnacle meals as part of their promotions and since they can have close to 200 cabins in their control that's a lot of Pinnacle meals.  The Pinnacle experience has definitely declined over the years.  We have reserved dates and time on line, but this requires using your credit card to pre-pay and getting the money back took over a month.  Since we are five star we get two complementary meals. Possibly HAL can find a way around this ?

 

I actually remember when the Pinnacle was called the Marco Polo, on the Zaandam, and it cost $20.  No one showed up and the restaurant was always empty.  Then they lowered the price to $15 and it filled up.  Go figure ?

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3 hours ago, RedmondCruiser said:

HAL is giving away far too many promo meals in the Pinnacle. On an Alaska Cruise we were told that reservations were full other than the last night of the cruise.  Some bulk travel agents throw in Pinnacle meals as part of their promotions and since they can have close to 200 cabins in their control that's a lot of Pinnacle meals.  The Pinnacle experience has definitely declined over the years.  We have reserved dates and time on line, but this requires using your credit card to pre-pay and getting the money back took over a month.  Since we are five star we get two complementary meals. Possibly HAL can find a way around this ?

 

I actually remember when the Pinnacle was called the Marco Polo, on the Zaandam, and it cost $20.  No one showed up and the restaurant was always empty.  Then they lowered the price to $15 and it filled up.  Go figure ?

 

The Marco Polo was free at first and the food sensational. Seriously real Italian. I still remember the Pannacotta.

Edited by SilvertoGold

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3 hours ago, RedmondCruiser said:

 

 

I actually remember when the Pinnacle was called the Marco Polo, on the Zaandam, and it cost $20.  No one showed up and the restaurant was always empty.  Then they lowered the price to $15 and it filled up.  Go figure ?

 

The "Marco Polo" on Volendam and Zaandam and the "Odyssey" on Rotterdam and Amsterdam prior to all four being changed to Pinnacle Grill

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Thank you everyone for some positive replys, I think we are going to give it a try.  Always love reading CC.  

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I had several dinners and lunches in the PG on my EXC Kon Tiki cruise in Sept/Oct.  I felt that the Maitr'd was excellent - much more attentive than on my previous HAL cruises.  He wasn't above helping to clear & set-up tables, and visited with each table at least once per sitting.  The seafood soup is excellent, but the first time I had it on this cruise in was in a regular wide bowl; the next time they brought it in a plastic bag, which was placed into the bowl & then the top was  cut off.  Rather strange, I thought.  Perhaps serving in a shallow bowl is a problem when the ship is moving more than usual.  

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29 minutes ago, BJzink said:

I had several dinners and lunches in the PG on my EXC Kon Tiki cruise in Sept/Oct.  I felt that the Maitr'd was excellent - much more attentive than on my previous HAL cruises.  He wasn't above helping to clear & set-up tables, and visited with each table at least once per sitting.  The seafood soup is excellent, but the first time I had it on this cruise in was in a regular wide bowl; the next time they brought it in a plastic bag, which was placed into the bowl & then the top was  cut off.  Rather strange, I thought.  Perhaps serving in a shallow bowl is a problem when the ship is moving more than usual.  

 

Ship did move a lot on that Kontiki Explorer cruise.  (Wild open oceans and strong currents) Plastic vacuum bags of food held in hot water - sous vide - appears to be now part of the Maasdam too. Makes sense to use this method for ship board preparations, but hardly an elegant ship board presentation. Only other alternative on those bumpy nights would have been to eliminate the soup courses, I suppose.  

 

Still drinking in all the intense experiences we had on that cruise. Particularly noticing how many times I am now seeing that row of moai along the sea front in cruise line travel brochures, including HAL's website - just got one from Oceania (another one!!!) with that exact same photo.  Sorry Oceania, been there, done that.

Edited by OlsSalt

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On ‎10‎/‎29‎/‎2018 at 6:36 PM, mammy123 said:

WOW, we are booked on the Rotterdam and our TA has given us dinner to the PG.  Now we are wondering if we should try it out or just continue going to the MDR, which we enjoy.  After a lot of this conversation, almost afraid to try the PG.  

 

Oh my goodness, please go and try it out for yourself, you may find it's the nicest meal of the cruise. Not that there's anything wrong with the MDR, we've had some great meals there, too. But some of the best meals I've ever enjoyed on a ship have been in the PG. Their Steak Diane was to die for (back when they had it), but the filets have always been outstanding to me. DH had crab legs once and they were also great. An appetizer shrimp cocktail can't be beat! When they were still doing Le Cirque, the room manager (then on the Volendam, now on the Zuiderdam?) suggested a few dishes, and they were simply amazing (Chateaubriand for one, and the melon and yogurt soup for the other.....sounds weird, but it was delish!).  Hope you enjoy your experience!

 

Best wishes!

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4 hours ago, BJzink said:

 the next time they brought it in a plastic bag, which was placed into the bowl & then the top was  cut off.

 

Regarding the seafood stew:  serving such in a plastic bag and then having the top cut off with one eating the food out of the plastic bag.  This is elegant dining?  I think not!

 

Regardless of the motion of the ship, if it was that rough that a soup of any type could not be properly and safely served, then none ought to be served in my opinion.

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1 hour ago, CruiseMGM said:

 

Oh my goodness, please go and try it out for yourself, you may find it's the nicest meal of the cruise. Not that there's anything wrong with the MDR, we've had some great meals there, too. But some of the best meals I've ever enjoyed on a ship have been in the PG. Their Steak Diane was to die for (back when they had it), but the filets have always been outstanding to me. DH had crab legs once and they were also great. An appetizer shrimp cocktail can't be beat! When they were still doing Le Cirque, the room manager (then on the Volendam, now on the Zuiderdam?) suggested a few dishes, and they were simply amazing (Chateaubriand for one, and the melon and yogurt soup for the other.....sounds weird, but it was delish!).  Hope you enjoy your experience!

 

Best wishes!

But, Le Cirque is no more, and most of the dishes you have listed also.....

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35 minutes ago, BJzink said:

But, Le Cirque is no more, and most of the dishes you have listed also.....

 😀 Filet mignon, crab legs, shrimp cocktail... all still available as of our last cruise, and all still delicious, IMO. Sad about Le Cirque, though, we enjoyed it.

 

Best wishes!

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That boil in the bag style of cooking is far from inelegant..Sous Vide,as it is known,is used in some of the best restaraunts in the world.

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On 10/29/2018 at 8:36 PM, mammy123 said:

WOW, we are booked on the Rotterdam and our TA has given us dinner to the PG.  Now we are wondering if we should try it out or just continue going to the MDR, which we enjoy.  After a lot of this conversation, almost afraid to try the PG.  

 

Absolutely try your free meal in the Pinnacle Grill. The lavash in the breadbasket alone makes it worth the experience to me. I'm not a big fan of steaks so I never order one and can't comment on the quality. Everything I've had in the Pinnacle Grill has been nice. Some things are of course nicer than others, but that is true of land-based restaurants as well. And, even if you go and do not enjoy it, at least the meal was free and you can mention to your Travel Agent that while you appreciated the free meal, for whatever reason, the Pinnacle Grill was not your thing.

Edited by ellieanne

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On 10/29/2018 at 8:53 PM, RocketMan275 said:

After you've tried the Pinnacle Grill you'll wonder why you ever thought about going to the MDR instead.

 

Maybe not. I only go to the Pinnacle Grill when I have a free meal. It's nice and the lavash is excellent, but the never-changing menu gets really old after a while, especially since I do not like steaks. I actually prefer the dining room experience to the Pinnacle Grill.

 

But isn't it lovely that there are choices for those that have different opinions and likes?

Edited by ellieanne

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9 hours ago, ellieanne said:

 

Maybe not. I only go to the Pinnacle Grill when I have a free meal. It's nice and the lavash is excellent, but the never-changing menu gets really old after a while, especially since I do not like steaks. I actually prefer the dining room experience to the Pinnacle Grill.

 

But isn't it lovely that there are choices for those that have different opinions and likes?

Yes, it is lovely that the specialty dining offers the opportunity to escape the over-crowded and far too noisy MDR.

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The beef has declined dramatically since they changed vendors.  The Ribeye is almost inedible it was so full of gristle.  

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We have always had a great experience dinning in the Pinnacle Grill.  (Prinsendam / Westerdam) We eat there often, espically lunch. We've had great service, great food, excellent preparation and presentation,  and a pricey, but good wine list.  The chef has made the rounds a few times.  We've never seen jeans or flip flops. We bought the buy 4, get 5 Pinnacle Grill dinners certificates.  The certificates may look like "free" meals, but they are not.

 

We also have tried the Canaletto, but found it plain as far as Italian food goes.

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34 minutes ago, mrtrthompson said:

Sorry, thought the photos would be small...

 

I like bigger photos so no problem!

 

We usually enjoy the Pinnacle once a cruise as hubby is happier in the MDR.  I don’t think we’ve had a bad meal in the Pinnacle over the years and on our 21 days on the Koningsdam in December ate there several times and all very good.  We will try at least once on our upcoming Eurodam cruise and hope for the best.  

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On 11/3/2018 at 9:07 AM, RocketMan275 said:

Yes, it is lovely that the specialty dining offers the opportunity to escape the over-crowded and far too noisy MDR.

 

... not to mention getting food that a lot of people (myself included) feel is clearly superior to what is served in the MDR!

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Our PG lunch and dinner on the Westerdam and Eurodam were not stellar.  The food was "okay" (except for the strawberry pavlova which was excellent).  The Westerdam atmosphere seemed a little "stuffy" and service on the Eurodam was painfully slow.  However, our PG dinner on the Maasdam was superb--probably one of the best meals I've ever eaten!  The filet and accompanying marinated mushrooms were to die for, the jumbo shrimp cocktail very tasty, and we both loved the baked Alaska with cherries jubilee--all of that in a much more welcoming atmosphere.  We'd not have chosen PG on the Maasdam due to our previous experiences, but received it as a perk.  That meal convinced me to not rule PG out in the future.  We also loved our meals at Canaletto--again, the atmosphere was much more welcoming on the Maasdam.  Maybe just the smaller ship atmosphere?

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JeanieCM,

 

My one time experience in a Neptune Suite was on the Westerdam and breakfast in the PG was, I felt, "stuffy".  I had breakfast there only twice:  the first morning and the final morning.  I preferred having breakfast elsewhere.  

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47 minutes ago, JeanieCM said:

Our PG lunch and dinner on the Westerdam and Eurodam were not stellar.  The food was "okay" (except for the strawberry pavlova which was excellent).  The Westerdam atmosphere seemed a little "stuffy" and service on the Eurodam was painfully slow.  However, our PG dinner on the Maasdam was superb--probably one of the best meals I've ever eaten!  The filet and accompanying marinated mushrooms were to die for, the jumbo shrimp cocktail very tasty, and we both loved the baked Alaska with cherries jubilee--all of that in a much more welcoming atmosphere.  We'd not have chosen PG on the Maasdam due to our previous experiences, but received it as a perk.  That meal convinced me to not rule PG out in the future.  We also loved our meals at Canaletto--again, the atmosphere was much more welcoming on the Maasdam.  Maybe just the smaller ship atmosphere?

We found the service on both Westerdam and Oosterdam to be excellent.  Of course that might change from sailing to sailing, new waitstaff, etc.

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