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7amCoffee

Princess Ships Food Differences

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My wife and I have sailed on Royal class ships, Regal and Royal, and love the buffets, Alfredo's pizza, specialty restaurants, etc. We recently booked a 10 day cruise on an older Princess ship, the Crown Princess, and we were wondering how different the buffets, food quality, and food selections/options will be. Any insight would be greatly appreciated!

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3 minutes ago, 7amCoffee said:

My wife and I have sailed on Royal class ships, Regal and Royal, and love the buffets, Alfredo's pizza, specialty restaurants, etc. We recently booked a 10 day cruise on an older Princess ship, the Crown Princess, and we were wondering how different the buffets, food quality, and food selections/options will be. Any insight would be greatly appreciated!

The buffet is not as large and does not have as many selections.

Specialty restaurants, MDR's, International Cafe, poolside grill and pizza are fairly consistent across the fleet as they work from standard recipes and standard purchased stores.

There is no Alfredo's on the Crown. 

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Many people say food is subjective;  some people like the buffet and some don't.  Some like main dining room food and some don't.  I have been on two Princess cruises and found both the buffet food and main dining room food to be about same quality on both cruises. I liked the food on both ships.

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MDR menus will be essentially the same.

Crown does not have Alfredo's

Sabatini's on Crown still uses the "old" menu rather than the Sabatini's Trattoria version.

There is no separate Gelato stand but scoops of gelato (not frappes or crepes) are at the International Cafe.

Said IC should be similar to Regal; Crown was actually the very first ship to debut that venue.

Crown offers the Salty Dog Gastropub as a "pop up" specialty restaurant in Wheelhouse Bar each evening.

Also reports that the Lido deck outdoor venues on Crown have been updated to their most recent versions: Salty Dog Grill replacing Trident Grill, Coffee and Cones replacing Swirls, Slice Pizzeria replacing the old stand that shared space with Scoops.

 

The ship-specific features page for Crown on the Princess website has further info on the above:

https://www.princess.com/ships-and-experience/ships/kp-crown-princess/

There should be relevant links in your cruise personalizer as well.

 

I did not mention the buffet as quality (or lack thereof) is exclusively in the eye of the beholder. Personally I avoid them as much as possible but must admit Princess vastly improved with Royal and Regal.

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Food can change even on one ship. We had a cruise that started out with "meh" food. Half way through the cruise the food got vastly better. Wait staff told us the "regular" head chef had rejoined the ship. There is no way to tell how the food will be.

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On the Royal, Alfredos was more of a step-down version of Sabatinis then just a pizzeria. On non-Royal class it's just a pizzeria.  A good pizzeria but just that.

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We were happy with the food on the Crown. Some of the best crab legs I've ever had were served to me in the MDR a few years ago during an Alaska cruise. We found plenty of choices in the buffet.

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13 hours ago, Thrak said:

Food can change even on one ship. We had a cruise that started out with "meh" food. Half way through the cruise the food got vastly better. Wait staff told us the "regular" head chef had rejoined the ship. There is no way to tell how the food will be.

 

I agree, the executive chef has a big impact on the quality of the food throughout the ship.  I've been on the same ship with different executive chefs, using the same menus and ingredients and it was like night and day.

 

Jackie

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17 hours ago, Thrak said:

Food can change even on one ship. We had a cruise that started out with "meh" food. Half way through the cruise the food got vastly better. Wait staff told us the "regular" head chef had rejoined the ship. There is no way to tell how the food will be.

I agree!  My experience is the chef in charge does make a big difference. If recipes are standardized, not sure why.  But was ready to give up on MDR, and next Chef (don't recall name, he was Filipino) had his kitchen turning out fantastic meals.

But you can't predict staff. You will only know it was good in hindsight.

Edited by jimmieg

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Our last 2 cruises were on the Caribbean and the Regal.  The buffet on the Caribbean was borderline awful, did not like the new world fresh market setup, and the options were really limited.  With that said, we didn't starve, and there are many options on the ship for food, not limited to the buffet.  I think the DR food is comparable across all ships.

The Regal, being larger and having more buffet space, had many more options, as in 4x as many, which was much more to our liking.

 

Food is quite subjective, I was just speaking of the contract in options based upon the ship.

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Probably doesn't need its own thread, so I will tack the question on here.

The new(er) ships (Royal, Regal, Majestic and according to the posted deck plan, Sky) have a venue called "Pastry Shop" ("Bakery" on Majestic) at the entrance to their respective buffet areas on the Lido Deck.  How does this venue differ, in terms of operating hours and offerings, from the International Cafe on those ships?  Thanks.

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1 hour ago, JimmyVWine said:

Probably doesn't need its own thread, so I will tack the question on here.

The new(er) ships (Royal, Regal, Majestic and according to the posted deck plan, Sky) have a venue called "Pastry Shop" ("Bakery" on Majestic) at the entrance to their respective buffet areas on the Lido Deck.  How does this venue differ, in terms of operating hours and offerings, from the International Cafe on those ships?  Thanks.

 

On both the Royal and the Regal, the Pastry shop was open all the hours of the buffet from morning to late night. The International Cafe was open 24 hours.

There is a coffee bar in the pastry shop also. There was a varied assortment of goodies in both locations.

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7 minutes ago, Mom33 said:

 

On both the Royal and the Regal, the Pastry shop was open all the hours of the buffet from morning to late night. The International Cafe was open 24 hours.

There is a coffee bar in the pastry shop also. There was a varied assortment of goodies in both locations.

Can I get a latte there?

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35 minutes ago, Ombud said:

Can I get a latte there?

Yes.  Oddly enough they don't carry the brewed coffee there, but they do make all the specialty coffee's there.

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23 hours ago, 7amCoffee said:

My wife and I have sailed on Royal class ships, Regal and Royal, and love the buffets, Alfredo's pizza, specialty restaurants, etc. We recently booked a 10 day cruise on an older Princess ship, the Crown Princess, and we were wondering how different the buffets, food quality, and food selections/options will be. Any insight would be greatly appreciated!

 

The food stations of the buffet are approx one-third to one-fourth the size in area, well, at least it feels that way. 

We’ve  been  onboard the Royal and Crown within the last 7 months. We like them both for different reasons.   Dining room service is good on the Crown.  We enjoyed our meals there. Seating areas harder to find on the Crown, at the buffet, at the shows, and in the atrium.   

We loved Coffee and Cones by the pool on the Crown.   The ice cream by the pool on the Royal was not at all the same quality as on the Crown.  We liked the street tacos and the Ernesto burger by the pool on the Crown, as well as the Salty Dog that is within the Wheelhouse.  We like that there is an Explorer’s and a Club Fusion on the Crown. We actually had a wonderful time on the Crown. 

The Royal has a much nicer atrium and a mind blowing buffet and a beautiful showroom, but it also has horrible  small balconies, no Explorer’s, and according to many,  substandard service in the MDR.  

After four cruises on the Regal and Royal, we enjoyed the Crown just as much.  

we also  like that there are several pools, fore, aft, and mid, unlike the Royal, which has two smallish pools and a ‘poolette,’ a petite piscine, if you will.  

Edited by 4cats4me

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1 hour ago, kywildcatfanone said:

Yes.  Oddly enough they don't carry the brewed coffee there, but they do make all the specialty coffee's there.

 

The only thing they couldn't make me was a frozen mocha. I had to go down to the IC to get one.

 

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1 hour ago, kywildcatfanone said:

Yes.  Oddly enough they don't carry the brewed coffee there, but they do make all the specialty coffee's there.

I believe the reason is that ALL the coffee on the Royal-class ships is brewed. So you can get specialty coffees either at the IC or at the buffet on these ships. And you can get freshly brewed coffee either place.

 

Jim

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8 hours ago, kywildcatfanone said:

Our last 2 cruises were on the Caribbean and the Regal.  The buffet on the Caribbean was borderline awful, did not like the new world fresh market setup, and the options were really limited.  With that said, we didn't starve, and there are many options on the ship for food, not limited to the buffet.  I think the DR food is comparable across all ships.

The Regal, being larger and having more buffet space, had many more options, as in 4x as many, which was much more to our liking.

 

Food is quite subjective, I was just speaking of the contract in options based upon the ship.

Having just been on the CB in March, and the Royal Princess in January,  I agree 100% about the CB's buffet.   1 carving station vs 4 on the Royal.  Grandma's Chocolate cake 4 days,  bacon wrapped meatloaf vs tender and tasty prime rib.

I must admit that the wait for anytime dining was much shorter on the CB.   The service all around was also better the CB, including the room steward. 

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10 hours ago, tere247 said:

Having just been on the CB in March, and the Royal Princess in January,  I agree 100% about the CB's buffet.   1 carving station vs 4 on the Royal.  Grandma's Chocolate cake 4 days,  bacon wrapped meatloaf vs tender and tasty prime rib. 

I must admit that the wait for anytime dining was much shorter on the CB.   The service all around was also better the CB, including the room steward. 

Yeah, honestly my biggest disappointment in the CB.  We don't go to the DR anymore, not wanting to sit thru almost 2 hour dinners, so we normally just do the buffet, and last summer on the CB, the selections were some of the worst I have ever seen.  And only one carving station option, is really ridiculous, they should have at least two choices.  I remember most the last night, the entree was Meat Loaf, and the other entree was meat balls.  That's just not even trying, and really sad to me that they don't have at least a couple of more options. 

With that said, I'm sailing her again this summer, mainly because it's the only option for the Caribbean, hope things have changed at least a bit.

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On 5/1/2019 at 5:19 PM, 7amCoffee said:

My wife and I have sailed on Royal class ships, Regal and Royal, and love the buffets, Alfredo's pizza, specialty restaurants, etc. We recently booked a 10 day cruise on an older Princess ship, the Crown Princess, and we were wondering how different the buffets, food quality, and food selections/options will be. Any insight would be greatly appreciated!

 

 

We were on Crown March 2019 - the food in the buffet was amazing.   

 

We've been on Caribbean Princess and Royal Princess most recently before that.  

CB's World Fresh Marketplace buffet was awful to us.   Royal's buffet is excellent, but its main dinner was shut down around 9-9:30 pm leaving fewer options until 11.  

 

Crown's buffet had full dinner until 11 pm.  The food was fresh, plentiful, and the selections were awesome.  Reminded us of what the buffet was like 5 or more years ago.   I can't recall who the Head chef was in March - but he ran an excellent program.    Dining room was good too.  Some new items on the menus that we'd not seen before.  Every night we found great items to choose from.  

Crown Grill excellent as always.  

 

 

We were really pleased with the Crown overall - hope she stays that way, even when crew turn over! 

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On 5/2/2019 at 12:39 PM, kywildcatfanone said:

Our last 2 cruises were on the Caribbean and the Regal.  The buffet on the Caribbean was borderline awful, did not like the new world fresh market setup, and the options were really limited.  With that said, we didn't starve, and there are many options on the ship for food, not limited to the buffet.  I think the DR food is comparable across all ships.

The Regal, being larger and having more buffet space, had many more options, as in 4x as many, which was much more to our liking.

 

Food is quite subjective, I was just speaking of the contract in options based upon the ship.

The DH & I both agree 100% with you on the CB food being awful. It's terrible when compared to the older Princess ships like the Crown.

They prep & selections at the buffet always left both of us headed to the DR where the food was at least decent.

At least the Crown has maintained the quality & preparation standards that Princess has been noted for over the years in both the buffet & DR. 

 

We also have sailed the Royal class ships many times & prefer their buffet over all other Princess ships but that's an unfair comparison all things considered.

One thing for sure, you can't go wrong with the Crown.

 

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On 5/1/2019 at 7:21 PM, Thrak said:

Food can change even on one ship. We had a cruise that started out with "meh" food. Half way through the cruise the food got vastly better. Wait staff told us the "regular" head chef had rejoined the ship. There is no way to tell how the food will be.

I agree.  Much depends on the chef or cooks.  We like a particular Florida restaurant chain, Duffy's.  But the same food can be prepared differently (overcooked, tender, moist, undercooked, too spicy, not tasty enough) at different times and different locations, even though they are using the same recipe.

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there are so many variables that make up a cruise and so it's really difficult to make a good comparison. The same menu can be unforgettable..or disastrous..depending on who is supervising the cooking and so..whether it's the same ship..or a different ship..the reality is the it's unrealistic to assume that you will have a wonderful cruise the second time round..or..that the second time will be as horrible as the first time out. That's the scary..and that's the great thing about cruising I think!! It's always an adventure!!

 

I admit that I love that fact..I was ready to give up on anytime dining because of previous frustrations until I sailed on the CB last December. It was the best experience ever and what true anytime dining should be about..I loved the Royal buffet and expected to love the Regal one as well..but no..I was disappointed...which surprised me..but it shouldn't have..

 

I actually enjoyed the unusual choices in the new Marketplace buffet on the CB and I'm curious to see whether I will feel the same when I next sail on her. I do know that they were giving out feedback sheets at the time so I expect (hope) that suggestions are implemented to make the experience better..we shall see...

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