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Are menus the same on all ships ?


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We have sailed on Celebrity,  Oceania, Azamara,  Royal Caribbean , Holland America and Princess and they were all good. If I had to pick a best,  I might say Princess.

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4 hours ago, sjde said:

If I had to pick a best,  I might say Princess.

 

When the Executive Chef on your Princess ship is at the top of his/her game, the cuisine can be really good.  Delicious pastas and pastries, etc. come out of the Galley.  But, when the Chef is, well, shall we say, lacking in some abilities, what comes out of the Galley can be disappointing.  Fettuccine Alfredo that is watery and lacking flavor/cheese?  Usually a Princess stable that never disappointed.  Ordering it on Royal Princess:  I was disappointed.  

 

I have been more consistently pleased with the specialty restaurants on Princess ships than I have been on HAL.  Sabatini's, Alfredo's, Crown Grill:  all excellent in cuisine, ambiance, and service.  

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I’ve only been on one Princess cruise so maybe we hit it right. ( 1 Oceania, 2Celebrity,  2 HAL, 4 RCL).  

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43 minutes ago, sjde said:

I’ve only been on one Princess cruise so maybe we hit it right. ( 1 Oceania, 2Celebrity,  2 HAL, 4 RCL).  

 

As RKA mentioned, much depends on the Executive Chef, but I recall the days, especially before they were Carnivalised, when Princess meals were great quality on most of the ships. On the 2015 WC, not only was the quality of preparation poor, but many of the meats were poor quality and in the Steakhouse they couldn't cook steaks to order, even with multiple attempts.

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49 minutes ago, Heidi13 said:

 

As RKA mentioned, much depends on the Executive Chef, but I recall the days, especially before they were Carnivalised, when Princess meals were great quality on most of the ships. On the 2015 WC, not only was the quality of preparation poor, but many of the meats were poor quality and in the Steakhouse they couldn't cook steaks to order, even with multiple attempts.

 

I go back even further, to Sitmar, before they became part of Princess, before Princess became part of Carnival's empire.

 

Sitmar was a small Italian-owned line. Back in the 1970s, waaaay before other lines even thought of specialty restaurants, Sitmar had a little pizzeria onboard each ship with a real brick oven. They made individual size pizzas and there was no extra cost. I seem to recall a limited menu of 2-3 basics and then one special of the day.  I don't think I've ever had pizza as good (authentic) on any ship since then.

 

They had great pasta in the MDR too, of course, including at least one item that was prepared tableside. And in general they had a better quality of food than is found on mass market lines now. Some of their pasta traditions survive on Princess to this day.

 

People lament the "Carnivalization" of many lines, but I suspect it has to do not just with the continuous and relentless "efficiencies" of food prep (e.g., standardizing menus, buying ingredients in bulk) as with the sheer number of meals that these ships must prepare any given evening.

 

After all, the little Sitmar Fairwind carried about 900 passengers. The Regal Princess (mentioned above by rkacruiser) carries five times that many. You can't really provide anything approaching personalized attention to food service when serving 3500 passengers!

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3 hours ago, sjde said:

When was Princess bought by Carnival? I was on it 10 years ago. 

 

P&O Princess Cruises was created as a separate company de-merged from the P&O Group in 2000. In 2001 or 2002 P&O and RCI discussed a potential merger, but Carnival beat them out, merging (purchasing) P&O in 2003.

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10 hours ago, Heidi13 said:

 

P&O Princess Cruises was created as a separate company de-merged from the P&O Group in 2000. In 2001 or 2002 P&O and RCI discussed a potential merger, but Carnival beat them out, merging (purchasing) P&O in 2003.

I was on the Star Princess inaugural cruise in Feb/March 2002 when talks of 'who will get Princess' were going on, and it was announced during the cruise that Carnival was the winner.  EM

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2 hours ago, Essiesmom said:

I was on the Star Princess inaugural cruise in Feb/March 2002 when talks of 'who will get Princess' were going on, and it was announced during the cruise that Carnival was the winner.  EM

 

I had already left before P&O Cruises was demerged, making it ripe for take-over/merger. However, our son started right after the take-over and things went in a downward spiral.

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Silversea have introduced ‘destination focused dining’, which would suggest varied menus dependent on trading pattern.

 

The official blurb is

S.a.l.t. Kitchen 

Take your travel experience further than ever before in the S.A.L.T. Kitchen. Silver Dawn’s exclusive destination focused restaurant is the place to be when it comes to enjoying the local cuisine, culture and rich culinary heritage of your voyage. Taste your way through regional specialities for your most immersive travel experience ever. Whether you are looking for excellent food and wine, a social meal with friends or a deeper understanding of your region’s culture, expect to find it in the S.A.L.T. Kitchen.

 

 

 

 

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20 hours ago, Heidi13 said:

In 2001 or 2002 P&O and RCI discussed a potential merger, but Carnival beat them out, merging (purchasing) P&O in 2003.

 

It's interesting to speculate how such a merger would have turned out.  Any different than when the merger with CCL has turned out?  

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3 hours ago, MBP&O2/O said:

Silversea have introduced ‘destination focused dining’, which would suggest varied menus dependent on trading pattern.

 

We had booked a Galapagos trip with them and they were actually required to use a lot of local foods. Unfortunately it was canceled.

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On 3/6/2021 at 6:42 PM, cruisemom42 said:

Sitmar was a small Italian-owned line. Back in the 1970s, waaaay before other lines even thought of specialty restaurants, Sitmar had a little pizzeria onboard each ship with a real brick oven. They made individual size pizzas and there was no extra cost. I seem to recall a limited menu of 2-3 basics and then one special of the day.  I don't think I've ever had pizza as good (authentic) on any ship since then.

 

They had great pasta in the MDR too, of course, including at least one item that was prepared tableside. And in general they had a better quality of food than is found on mass market lines now. Some of their pasta traditions survive on Princess to this day.

 

 

Enjoy reading your thoughts and agree with them.  

 

When one considers the original history of Sitmar Fairwind and Fairsea--having been built for a different type of service by Cunard--the cruise product that Sitmar developed and provided seems remarkable to me today.  

 

On 3/6/2021 at 6:42 PM, cruisemom42 said:

People lament the "Carnivalization" of many lines, but I suspect it has to do not just with the continuous and relentless "efficiencies" of food prep (e.g., standardizing menus, buying ingredients in bulk) as with the sheer number of meals that these ships must prepare any given evening.

 

 

As far as I am concerned, Carnival has been the "negative poster child"  for what as taken place within the cruise industry.  NCL and RCI belong in that panoply of "guilty parties", if, indeed, such should exist.

 

10 hours ago, Essiesmom said:

I was on the Star Princess inaugural cruise in Feb/March 2002 when talks of 'who will get Princess' were going on, and it was announced during the cruise that Carnival was the winner.  EM

 

A similar experience for me when I was sailing on Sitmar Fairwind from Port Everglades.  We sailed as a Sitmar ship and returned as a Princess ship.  

 

Didn't make any difference to my fellow guests or me--other than curiosity.  But, there was a bit of concern noted among the crew.  

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2 hours ago, rkacruiser said:

 

It's interesting to speculate how such a merger would have turned out.  Any different than when the merger with CCL has turned out?  

 

A P&O/RCI merger would have been intersting, as it would have put them as the largest company over Carnival.

 

In the 70's to 90's, P&O Cruises had stagnated, as the group focussed on building cargo ships and non-shipping assets, so after Canberra in 1961 the only new cruise ships were - Spirit of London (NCL Seaward), purchase of Princess Cruises in 1974 and then they built Royal Princess in 1984. The purchase of Sitmar, to expand the Princess Fleet, was primarily to acquire the 3 new builds - Star (Fair Majesty), Crown and Regal.

 

When acquired by Carnival in 2003, P&O Princess operated P&O UK, P&O Australia, Princess, AIDA, Ocean Village and A'Rosa (German River cruises). With an RCI, it would have been interesting competition with the Carnival Brands

 - UK: The traditional P&O and Cunard competition, which in the early 2000's, P&O was well ahead. Ocean Village would compete with the used tonnage brands

 - Australia: P&O Australia had minimal competition, having been the major cruise line for many years

 - Germany: they had both ocean & river cruising brands

 - USA: both RCI & Princess, so it would have been interesting to see how they would market the 2 brands, with my assumption being Princess would have been a little up market and RCI more main stream.

 

Personally, I believe a P&O/RCI merger in 2003 would have resulted in both P&O and Princess being better cruise lines than they are under Carnival.

 

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"In the 70's to 90's, P&O Cruises had stagnated, as the group focussed on building cargo ships and non-shipping assets,........."

When I joined them in the mid 70's they were in the process of merging several companies under the one name. If memory serves me correctly we had Hains Norse, Strick Line, NZSC, Lauritzen had the reefer involvement ..and others .... and a right mix it was too .... various companies with various liveries and Masters with ingrained ideas (some badly outdated) as to what should be what as they / it had always done it this way!

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3 hours ago, MBP&O2/O said:

"In the 70's to 90's, P&O Cruises had stagnated, as the group focussed on building cargo ships and non-shipping assets,........."

When I joined them in the mid 70's they were in the process of merging several companies under the one name. If memory serves me correctly we had Hains Norse, Strick Line, NZSC, Lauritzen had the reefer involvement ..and others .... and a right mix it was too .... various companies with various liveries and Masters with ingrained ideas (some badly outdated) as to what should be what as they / it had always done it this way!

 

I started right after they formed General Cargo Division, Bulk Shipping & Passenger Division. Only did 3 non-pax ships, but still remember the discussions on which company each officer had started with and the different ways of accomplishing the same thing. It was the same on the pax ships with P&O, Orient and BI.

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Yes, it was a BI master that caused issues 🙄

He insisted that dinner would be served at 7pm and would not start until he arrived ....

Not good for watch-keepers wanting an early night prior to a midnight start.

Sarnies again ... 🥪

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On 3/7/2021 at 10:21 PM, Heidi13 said:

Personally, I believe a P&O/RCI merger in 2003 would have resulted in both P&O and Princess being better cruise lines than they are under Carnival.

 

I appreciate learning your thinking.  Thank you.  

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Menus, Food,  is all very personal,, also your expectations come into play as well.

 

And if you are in the middle of ocean..

and the chef can't slip down the shop to get something....

 

Also it a very large restaurant, feeding a couple of people....

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