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I'm booked on the Emerald for this next May and noticed that there is a new restaurant, Planks BBQ.  From what I understand, they set it up next to Horizon Court for dinner.  Has anyone eaten there?  How was it? 

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There will be two new venues just aft of the buffet - which is no longer Horizon Court. The buffet is now World Fresh Marketplace. Steamers (seafood) and Planks (barbeque) are both back there. The cost is $12. The menus are available via links on the Princess web site. I haven't eaten there (yet) but I've spoken with folks who thought it was quite good and well worth the money. I will likely eat there in November. I'll order from Planks and my wife will order from Steamers and we will sit at the same table and be served.

 

A bonus for these venues is that they are free for breakfast and lunch - with a different menu of course. I get my eggs back there as I can order them over medium or a fill a cup with various ingredients which they will then incorporate into an omelet for me. For lunch there are options that are not available in the buffet. Check it out - you may be surprised and (hopefully) pleased.

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1 minute ago, Thrak said:

There will be two new venues just aft of the buffet - which is no longer Horizon Court. The buffet is now World Fresh Marketplace. Steamers (seafood) and Planks (barbeque) are both back there. The cost is $12. The menus are available via links on the Princess web site. I haven't eaten there (yet) but I've spoken with folks who thought it was quite good and well worth the money. I will likely eat there in November. I'll order from Planks and my wife will order from Steamers and we will sit at the same table and be served.

 

A bonus for these venues is that they are free for breakfast and lunch - with a different menu of course. I get my eggs back there as I can order them over medium or a fill a cup with various ingredients which they will then incorporate into an omelet for me. For lunch there are options that are not available in the buffet. Check it out - you may be surprised and (hopefully) pleased.

Free BBQ for breakfast.....sweet!

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Our dinner at Planks while on the Caribbean Princess this summer was clearly our worst meal on board, but I'm surrounded by good BBQ here in Georgia. The whole thing felt like they were pretending to be a BBQ joint. Tin trays, dessert in mason jars, etc....it looked like a Martha Stewart BBQ. I'm not even sure if the can actually smoke the meat on the ship, or if it's just heat & serve fare. It was not to our liking at all, but I'm sure some people loved it.

Steamers, on the port side was another story all-together.....we ate there twice.

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We ate at Planks on the Caribbean Princess last month. We were the only ones in the place at 6:00 PM. It was the first night of the cruise, but on other nights I didn't see many either. The food was really good and VERY plentiful. Worth the $12. I just don't see how they can justify it, unless  usage picks up. Plus it is more open than the other specialty restaurants onboard. You have some passengers just walking through from the WFM to the rear open deck.  One stopped to take a picture from the window next to our table during  the meal.

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1 hour ago, CineGraphic said:

Our dinner at Planks while on the Caribbean Princess this summer was clearly our worst meal on board, but I'm surrounded by good BBQ here in Georgia. The whole thing felt like they were pretending to be a BBQ joint. Tin trays, dessert in mason jars, etc....it looked like a Martha Stewart BBQ. I'm not even sure if the can actually smoke the meat on the ship, or if it's just heat & serve fare. It was not to our liking at all, but I'm sure some people loved it.

Steamers, on the port side was another story all-together.....we ate there twice.

 

Oh no! I haven't eaten there yet but was told it was great. I guess I should have realized that many people rarely BBQ. We do it year round.

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Here’s a portion of my blog post last year on Caribbean Princess. Hope the photos help you decide..

 

We ate on the Planks side but they allowed us to mix and match from the two restaurants. Here's what we got for $24 total.

Welcome starters from the Planks side: Chipotle BBQ meatballs and honey and bacon-cheddar cornbread with jalapeno-honey butter and pimento cheese

From Steamers: Tomato-Lime Ceviche with breads and sun-dried tomato-cream cheese and smoked salmon spread

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Look at the bacon in that cornbread.
Next up, appetizers. We chose both from the Steamers side.
Caesar Salad and Clam and Smoked Ham Chowder
IMG_2239.JPGIMG_2240.JPG
 
Main courses:
From Planks: You can order four different meats. If you want to want to double up on a meat and not choose four different ones, you can. We went with smoked kielbasa, ribs, and a double order of chili-spiced roasted tri-tip. It also came with wedge-cut fries, 3-bean chili, slaw, toast, dill pickles, and two different BBQ sauces.
IMG_2242.JPG
 
From Steamers:
We went with the Fried Seafood Platter. It had fried torpedo shrimp, battered haddock, fishcakes, carrot and raisin salad, fries, and tarter sauce, cocktail sauce, and ketchup.
IMG_2241.JPG
 
For dessert we went from just the Steamers side. Strawberry shortcake and key lime pie in a jar.
IMG_2246.JPGIMG_2251.JPG
 
I probably should have taken a picture after we were finished eating. But you probably wouldn't notice we had finished because we left so much food behind. Again, all of this for $24 total!
 
The highlights of the meal included the jalapeno-honey butter, the Caesar salad (hubby loved the capers on it), the ribs and tri-tip, and the haddock and the shrimp. I think the desserts were a tie for what was the best. So basically everything was delicious.
 
If you want more detail about our menu items or want to know what else is offered, here are the menus for both places.
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We tried both on the Caribbean Princess and felt it was well worth the cost. I even ate at Steamers twice.

 

As for the evening buffet that they squeezed into what was left of the Horizon Court. Everyone was complaining about the limited space and selections.

Edited by drpack
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We were on Caribbean Princess July 2018.  The actual spaces of Horizon court and Cafe Caribe were not changed from what they were before.  The interior decor was renovated.  The middle food stations in Horizon court were moved out a bit allowing more space between them. The stations along the walls were in the same place - allowing crew behind them.  

 

Horizon court became World Fresh Marketplace. 

Cafe Caribe became Planks & Steamers.    

 

For breakfast & lunch all venues were used.   There was some differences between the foods offered at one vs the other - but all standard breakfast and lunch fare. 

 

For dinner, the split was implemented.  Planks and Steamers are not buffet style but the crew used the kitchen there for prep and cooking.   

Ships don't have smokers on board so all of the food at Planks is cooked with the pre-existing equipment - BBQ made in the oven and on the existing grill. 

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We ate at Planks on the CB in August and really liked it. It was much better than our meal at Crown Grill.  We were comped but it would have been well worth the $12 charge.  Of all the main offerings, the ribs were the best.  I hope it rolls out to more ships.

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7 hours ago, drpack said:

 

As for the evening buffet that they squeezed into what was left of the Horizon Court. Everyone was complaining about the limited space and selections.

 

When were on CB and Emerald and Ruby in the past they used only Cafe Caribe for dinner.  Horizon court buffet lines were closed.    The seating could be used for overflow from Cafe Caribe.  

 

When we were on CB after the reno we noticed that the actual space for Horizon court was the same.  Not sure what you mean by "what was left".  The actual space was not changed.  

 

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In the evening Planks and Steamers are open with their special menus. You can make a reservation once on board or just walk in.  If one enjoys Planks and one Steamers note that the Steamers menu is available in Planks and visa versa.

During breakfast and lunch this area has free dining. This is where they serve the made to order omelettes and eggs as well as other items. There were also theme lunch selections listed on the back page of the Princess Patter.

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15 hours ago, CineGraphic said:

Our dinner at Planks while on the Caribbean Princess this summer was clearly our worst meal on board, but I'm surrounded by good BBQ here in Georgia. The whole thing felt like they were pretending to be a BBQ joint. Tin trays, dessert in mason jars, etc....it looked like a Martha Stewart BBQ. I'm not even sure if the can actually smoke the meat on the ship, or if it's just heat & serve fare. It was not to our liking at all, but I'm sure some people loved it.

Steamers, on the port side was another story all-together.....we ate there twice.

I didn't care for it at all.  But I may try again.

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Ate at Planks once on the Caribbean Princess.  Thought it was roughly worth the cost, which is to say it's good/not great.  It's not bad but it would be an average at best BBQ restaurant on land in most cities.  Still, it's always nice to add in more variety, and the price is perfectly fair for what you get. 

 

As someone else eluded to, I would be willing to bet it doesn't last very long or spread very far on the princess fleet.  I've sailed twice on the CB since Planks was added, only eaten there once for dinner but I've walked by a lot - I've never seen more than a few tables populated for dinner at any given time.  I'm sort of surprised by this.  The only pay restaurant that seems regularly busy is Crown Grill.  Sabbatini's is hit or miss, busier than planks or steamers, but rarely seems full.  I would have thought a cheaper option with BBQ would strike a nice balance and attract people to splurge just a little bit, but apparently not.  The free breakfast/lunch options there are hugely popular, but I feel like it's a swing & a miss as a pay restaurant.  I could be wrong, small sample size and all, but it doesn't look like a huge hit.

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1 hour ago, voljeep said:

no first hand knowledge ... but some have posted you can 'share' a single meal ... then go to WFM to pick up extra items not included , maybe salads ??

 

No reason one couldn't do exactly that. Order one dinner at Planks and share it. WFM is right there and open to all. You could get whatever you like and combine the Planks meal with the WFM offerings. They are essentially connected together.

 

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Edited by Thrak
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