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bostonfred

Is the Star buffet that bad

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4 hours ago, cheezenip said:

 

Your experience is a growing trend with the food cutbacks on Princess. They have a not too subtle practice now (use to hide it better) of using a greater proportion of certain ingredients that they got on bulk sale. A few times my traveling group use to joke with the chefs/ managers and they were surprised that we picked up on which items were cheap that week (one executive chef was embarrassed enough that we noticed and we didn't see those ingredients on the buffet as often for the rest of the week after our observations...LOL). It's comical and sad how bad the food cutbacks have gotten on the non-Royal class Princess ships.

When the increase in food throwaway becomes far too apparent, either two things will happen:  (1) less food choices on the buffet line, (2) more complaints than what Princess wants to hear.  I'm looking for a cruise in January and I'm seriously going to look at a different line.  We've been loyalists to the Carnival/Princess brand for many years and I'm willing to break our loyalty.  We have seen the cutbacks like many have.  We keep doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.  Well, the results are getting worse.  I'm not that picky of an eater, but when I see a leftover hot dog from the grill shoved down the center of a meatloaf, that tells me they are really stretching it.  It was served hot the first day, and cold on the salad bar the next day.  It's been a running joke with DH and I, but I don't want to have to laugh about it any more.

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24 minutes ago, elliair said:

When the increase in food throwaway becomes far too apparent, either two things will happen:  (1) less food choices on the buffet line, (2) more complaints than what Princess wants to hear.  I'm looking for a cruise in January and I'm seriously going to look at a different line.  We've been loyalists to the Carnival/Princess brand for many years and I'm willing to break our loyalty.  We have seen the cutbacks like many have.  We keep doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.  Well, the results are getting worse.  I'm not that picky of an eater, but when I see a leftover hot dog from the grill shoved down the center of a meatloaf, that tells me they are really stretching it.  It was served hot the first day, and cold on the salad bar the next day.  It's been a running joke with DH and I, but I don't want to have to laugh about it any more.

I've seen that meatloaf your talking about but I seriously doubt if they recycled uneaten hot dogs for that purpose even if it looked like it. 

Most of the buffet food is only held for a specific amount of time & them disposed of. A hot dog surely wouldn't be worth any savings involved. 

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1 hour ago, MissP22 said:

I've seen that meatloaf your talking about but I seriously doubt if they recycled uneaten hot dogs for that purpose even if it looked like it. 

Most of the buffet food is only held for a specific amount of time & them disposed of. A hot dog surely wouldn't be worth any savings involved. 

I disagree.  I've rarely ever seen hotdogs served in the buffet.  Hot dogs aren't on my list of foods to dine on.  I've only seen the hot dog/meatloaf on one cruise.  I foresee DH and I going to the MDR more on our upcoming cruise.  I like the buffet for the fresh green salads I can concoct every day.  The chef didn't dispose of the meatloaf/hot dog concoction, as it was served the next day COLD on the salad bar.  I pay attention.

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40 minutes ago, elliair said:

I've rarely ever seen hotdogs served in the buffet.  Hot dogs aren't on my list of foods to dine on.  I've only seen the hot dog/meatloaf on one cruise. 

Sail on the CB & you'll get the hot dogs at the Horizon buffet for lunch. They're sitting under heat lamps with condiments already applied in cardboard containers. :classic_sad:

It's the only ship I've seen them at the buffet otherwise it around the pool only.

Not at all appetising when there's other options of real food to select from.

So far I've never had to resort to eating a hot dog on a ship. 

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3 hours ago, elliair said:

When the increase in food throwaway becomes far too apparent, either two things will happen:  (1) less food choices on the buffet line, (2) more complaints than what Princess wants to hear.  I'm looking for a cruise in January and I'm seriously going to look at a different line.  We've been loyalists to the Carnival/Princess brand for many years and I'm willing to break our loyalty.  We have seen the cutbacks like many have.  We keep doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.  Well, the results are getting worse.  I'm not that picky of an eater, but when I see a leftover hot dog from the grill shoved down the center of a meatloaf, that tells me they are really stretching it.  It was served hot the first day, and cold on the salad bar the next day.  It's been a running joke with DH and I, but I don't want to have to laugh about it any more.

 

Although we still do 1 Princess cruise once every or every other year to see if anything has changed, we have primarily taken our business to other cruise lines now. No cruise line is perfect; however, most mainstream cruise lines ships (Celebrity, NCl, HAL) have surpassed the non-Royal cruise ships in overall quality. Every cruise line has cutbacks but it's always about the end result AFTER the cost cutting. As a long time Princess cruiser, it saddens me to see the brand fall behind.

Edited by cheezenip

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3 hours ago, elliair said:

When the increase in food throwaway becomes far too apparent, either two things will happen:  (1) less food choices on the buffet line, (2) more complaints than what Princess wants to hear.  I'm looking for a cruise in January and I'm seriously going to look at a different line...

 

Your observations are correct:

 

(1) Less food choices at the buffet? Welcome to the World Fresh Food Market concept. Fancy new layout design with food stations that take up MORE counter space with pretty food containers / displays (i.e. less room for food options to consume). Sandwich shops and Oven-Baked bread stations take up more room and passengers have less hot food.  But hey, it looks more modern and pretty!!

 

(2) More complaints than what Princess wants to hear. Yep, I've talked to Princess managers / workers who admitted off the record about the food budget cuts and even internal staff have complained to management about passenger food complaints. 

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4 hours ago, elliair said:

When the increase in food throwaway becomes far too apparent, either two things will happen:  (1) less food choices on the buffet line, (2) more complaints than what Princess wants to hear.  I'm looking for a cruise in January and I'm seriously going to look at a different line.  We've been loyalists to the Carnival/Princess brand for many years and I'm willing to break our loyalty.  We have seen the cutbacks like many have.  We keep doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.  Well, the results are getting worse.  I'm not that picky of an eater, but when I see a leftover hot dog from the grill shoved down the center of a meatloaf, that tells me they are really stretching it.  It was served hot the first day, and cold on the salad bar the next day.  It's been a running joke with DH and I, but I don't want to have to laugh about it any more.

 

Sort of a Princess variant of pigs-in-blankets".  LOL!!

 

DON

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My wife and I only have a few ocean cruises to compare dining experiences as we prefer cruising the rivers of Europe (except no trips with Viking). Our ocean trips have been on Viking (1), Royal Carib.(2), HAL (1) and Oceania (1--the best of all). We have to judge the all of their buffet dining areas as quite OK--nothing to rave about, but certainly a pleasant break from MDR and specialty restaurants (all of which have been quite nice). I am a bit concerned about the few negative comments about the Star's buffet, but will take it in stride when we cruise on her to Alaska next May. If it turns out to be yucky, we will look upon it as another point of reference to compare dining when we cruise on another line for the first time next Sept. when we board the Regent Seven Seas Navigator. May end up sticking with River cruises, especially the ones with Scenic and UNiworld....just hope we aren't served Meat loaf & Weenies, or have to watch the Eagles play the Patriots--boring!

Edited by Fairfield Nana
more thoughts

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On 9/2/2019 at 5:20 AM, bostonfred said:

looking forward to our October sailing😎😎

Which cruise? We're doing the star in October!

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To the OP, the Star's buffet is consistent with buffets that you see on any ship.  I will say that our experience has been that the Royal class buffet's are more extensive than the Grand class.   On any given meal, there will be a chicken, pork, beef, fish,  vegetarian, salad,  fruit, soup, breads, cheese. If nothing looks appetizing to you, they have a breakfast, lunch, and dinner menu in the MDR.  They also offer an International cafe that offers light sandwich, soup and salad fare.  Likewise, on the lido deck is available for hamburgers, hot dogs, brats, fries and pizza. If none of that suits you, there is a 24 hr. room service menu.   For those who are offended that a meat loaf , either hot or cold,  may be offered with a hot dog dressing the top; don't eat it (said with a Sam Kenison tone).

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On 9/4/2019 at 8:47 AM, cheezenip said:

 

Although we still do 1 Princess cruise once every or every other year to see if anything has changed, we have primarily taken our business to other cruise lines now. No cruise line is perfect; however, most mainstream cruise lines ships (Celebrity, NCl, HAL) have surpassed the non-Royal cruise ships in overall quality. Every cruise line has cutbacks but it's always about the end result AFTER the cost cutting. As a long time Princess cruiser, it saddens me to see the brand fall behind.

 

I do not understand that logic.  You used to cruise Princess but they were so bad that you stopped cruising on them.  You have found other lines that suit your needs better.  So why would you waste the money on a once per 2 years cruise just to find out that they are as bad as you remember.  Makes no sense to me.  You don't owe Princess any brand loyalty.  Princess owes you a good cruising experience and they have consistently failed you.

 

DON

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We will be on the Star later this year and will be able to evaluate the food ourselves.  We do like to go to the HC when the MDR is closed on port days for lunch and enjoy the salad bar making our own salads.  

 

We were on the CB last fall and did experience the new WFM.  We saw the prepared sandwiches in the cardboard containers and loved the deviled egg sandwiches.  I did not see any hot dogs offered except at the grill by the pool.  For lunch if not eating in the MDR would find us at the aft area wok.  The WFM is a new concept forced on an old HC design so they were limited in what they could do.  We found the WFM to be much easier to navigate and the offerings to be good.  We did the evening Planks one night and it was just ok with almost all nights in the TD MDR.  

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On 9/2/2019 at 1:25 PM, MTJSR said:

I often wonder where Princess gets their Buffet "Hot Dish" recipes. I have never had anything good enough to want more of (or look forward to again), from the ships buffet. Yet everything I cook from any silly recipe off the internet usually tastes good  enough to make again. Wake up Princess!

 

But stand by, folks will come out of the woodwork to defend the mediocre Princess (grand class) buffet. I promise!

 

I love this mind set, the whole my opinion is better/means more than yours/ I am correct you cant be... Its very mature and so helpful. Opinions are like socks we all have them and they all smell a way we are comfortable with.

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On 9/2/2019 at 1:25 PM, MTJSR said:

I often wonder where Princess gets their Buffet "Hot Dish" recipes. I have never had anything good enough to want more of (or look forward to again), from the ships buffet. Yet everything I cook from any silly recipe off the internet usually tastes good  enough to make again. Wake up Princess!

 

But stand by, folks will come out of the woodwork to defend the mediocre Princess (grand class) buffet. I promise!

 

I love this mind set, the whole my opinion is better/means more than yours/ I am correct you cant be... Its very mature and so helpful. Opinions are like socks we all have them and they all smell a way we are comfortable with.

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1 hour ago, toads45froggy said:

 

I love this mind set, the whole my opinion is better/means more than yours/ I am correct you cant be... Its very mature and so helpful. Opinions are like socks we all have them and they all smell a way we are comfortable with.

 

With all due respect, you or I smell.  😲   Our socks stink. 🤣 

 

Credit to Noah Webster.

 

 

 

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On 9/2/2019 at 12:19 PM, -Lew- said:

 

🙄

I agree! I like the MDR's for Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.

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On 9/2/2019 at 6:56 PM, cheezenip said:

 

The buffets on Grand class ships (as well as Coral/Island) have really fallen behind the main stream competitors since the bean counters at Princess HQ have cut the food budget many years ago. It's a big reason why I don't sail on as many Princess cruises as in the past. I've complained about the food on the surveys and we know how that goes. Vote with your wallet and keep complaining to Princess. Maybe in 5 years they may get the message but I doubt it as long as the cost cutting mentality continues.

 

What are the alternative lines you cruise that have better better buffet offerings?

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21 minutes ago, WoodstockGirl said:

 

What are the alternative lines you cruise that have better better buffet offerings?

 

Holland America's N. Statendam, Celebrity Eclipse, and Norwegian's Getaway are my experiences.

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There was a time when Princess was considered a premium line.  Alas, those days are now written in the annals of history.

 

As long as one is primarily aware of this reality, then one sailing with limited expectations ought to be aptly prepared for the quality of fare.  

 

The Star was the first Princess ship that left us feeling "meh" about the offerings in the Horizon Court.  That sailing was almost 10 years ago.  Methinks it hard to believe that there has been any improvement, considering all of the ever continuing cutbacks that have adversely affected the quality of the included-in-the-fare offerings aboard.

 

Breakfast(on port days) is where it really hits home.  Being destination/port-active cruisers, we are usually wanting an expedient hot breakfast(w/ proteins) to charge us up for a long day touring in port.  The buffet is the primary option on the days that we're looking to get off of the ship immediately after clearance.

 

After returning to the ship on port-intensive days, sometimes we may be too tired to endure a 2hr MDR affair, and are often looking for a more casual dinner option....Perhaps,  we may be wanting to choose to dine a little later, but still have the time to catch an evening performance.  The option of dining at the buffet tends to be the choice here.

 

The quality in the buffet(and MDR) on Princess has noticeably declined in both quality and variety over the years.  It's to the point that we've looked to move on from Princess.   We're content to pay more for more, rather than pay more for the same(or less -- as has been the case with Princess recently).

 

They've missed the boat when it comes to securing our loyalty -- A misstep due to us likely among the younger demographic that they've been trying to woo to continue to fortify their regularly recurring passenger base going into the future.

 

Perhaps they ought to spend a little more on their food budget, and less on skywalks to nowhere, fountains that take up valuable deck space, and Medallion systems that will be outdated technology by the time that they've finally ironed out all of the bugs. 

 

We'll look to sail Princess when fares are discounted and more in-line with what perceived value we believe that they provide.

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52 minutes ago, Skai said:

They've missed the boat when it comes to securing our loyalty -- A misstep due to us likely among the younger demographic that they've been trying to woo to continue to fortify their regularly recurring passenger base going into the future.

 

Perhaps they ought to spend a little more on their food budget, and less on skywalks to nowhere, fountains that take up valuable deck space, and Medallion systems that will be outdated technology by the time that they've finally ironed out all of the bugs. 

Well said!

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I was the OP that started this😎😎 and am pleased with all the feedback...I was disappointed with Caribbean Princess buffet two years ago, and the negative reviews of the Star prompted my post. I just hope there are enough veggies at lunch tp make large salad and plenty of fruit at breakfast with omelet station at breakfast. I believe we have to adjust our expectations as cruise lines try to hold line on fares. When I want salmon I will hit main dining rooms. 

Best buffets past few years have been Oasis class ships sailing with family on Royal. Combo buffet and sit down for breakfast, even grandkids ate well. Hopefully, I can find some almond milk too..can’t wait to sail in a week, it will be a great time as every cruise has been. Life is pretty good if you’re lucky enough to cruise 😉😉

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On 9/2/2019 at 6:56 PM, cheezenip said:

 

The buffets on Grand class ships (as well as Coral/Island) have really fallen behind the main stream competitors since the bean counters at Princess HQ have cut the food budget many years ago. It's a big reason why I don't sail on as many Princess cruises as in the past. I've complained about the food on the surveys and we know how that goes. Vote with your wallet and keep complaining to Princess. Maybe in 5 years they may get the message but I doubt it as long as the cost cutting mentality continues.

I agree.  I was on Grand Princess last month and there was a world of difference in the buffet between now and when I sailed on the ship 4 years ago.  Both were cruises to Alaska.  Breakfast was fine, but I thought the selections for lunch were disappointing.  We had dinner one night in the Horizon and it wasn't much better than lunch.  I did enjoy the food in the MDR and the IC and Alfredo's were great.

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