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Balcony Dining and Chef's Table Questions

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Hi all,

 

Can you give me any information on what comprises the "Ultimate Balcony Dining" experience? It is like just having room service for your meal on your balcony or is it something more "special'?

 

Also, is there a cost for that?

 

Second - I heard about a chef dining experience or something like that. Would appreciate any info on what that is, costs, and how you go about getting that…and is it worth it in your opinion?

 

My wife, sister and her husband will be with me for a New England cruise in September and was thinking of trying some different dining experiences.

 

thanks

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Hi all,

 

Can you give me any information on what comprises the "Ultimate Balcony Dining" experience? It is like just having room service for your meal on your balcony or is it something more "special'?

 

Also, is there a cost for that?

 

Second - I heard about a chef dining experience or something like that. Would appreciate any info on what that is, costs, and how you go about getting that…and is it worth it in your opinion?

 

My wife, sister and her husband will be with me for a New England cruise in September and was thinking of trying some different dining experiences.

 

thanks

 

The Ultimate Balcony dining isn't anything like room service. Princess room service is quite limited unless you are in a full suite, if not, it is pretty much salads, sandwiches and a few simple desserts.

The UBD is a 'served' full coarse dinner of Filet or Lobster or a combination of both, along with the rest of the coarses. It comes with flowers, table settings, a photo, drink of your choice, and a personal waiter that will serve you coarse by coarse on the privacy of your balcony. The price is $100 per couple for this.

 

The Chef's Table is more than just a meal but a dining experience that actually begins in the galley onboard to see the workings of the kitchen staff in the production of the food served during meal service. It includes many different types of wines and is more of a culinary exprience than just a dinner. The charge is $75 per person for this.

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Second - I heard about a chef dining experience or something like that. Would appreciate any info on what that is, costs, and how you go about getting that…and is it worth it in your opinion?

 

My wife, sister and her husband will be with me for a New England cruise in September and was thinking of trying some different dining experiences.

 

thanks

 

You didn't mention which ship you will be on, but as of now, the Chef's Table is only offered on the Caribbean, Crown, Dawn, Emerald, Golden, Grand, Ruby, Sea and Star. They'll be rolling it out on more ships as the year goes on, but I don't have the schedule for when.

 

This is the notice I got from my Vacation Planner at Princess.

 

For only $75 per person, passengers are welcomed into the inner sanctum of the ship's galley by the executive chef for pre-dinner cocktails and hors d'oeuvres, followed by a specially prepared multi-course tasting dinner in the dining room. The Chef's Table experience can be reserved by up to 10 passengers on nights when it is offered (two times during a 7-day voyage, three times during a 8 to 12-day voyage and four times during a 14-day voyage). The Chef's Table cannot be ordered pre cruise. Reservations are made onboard through the ship's DINE telephone line or in person at the dining reservations table set up on the first day of the cruise. Designed as a unique treat for "foodies," Chef's Table experience offers a select group of gourmands the rare opportunity to be welcomed into the inner sanctum of the ship's galley to enjoy a full evening of memorable sights, tastes and conversation hosted by the executive chef. While many passengers are able to enjoy galley tours during the quiet off-hours, the Chef's Table experience takes interested diners behind the scenes during the height of dinner preparation where they'll also enjoy cocktails and hors d'oeuvres, followed by a special multi-course tasting dinner paired with selected wines in the dining room.

The Chef's Table begins when the Maitre d' personally escorts the passengers to the galley where they can observe the bustle of dinner-hour preparations and meet the executive chef, plus enjoy French champagne with appetizers. The chef previews the details of the menu he created for that evening, and the group is welcomed to their special table in the dining room. The multi-course menu is specially created by the chef, and is not offered anywhere else on the ship. The fare might include anything from a focus on regional cuisine to a showcase of indigenous ingredients from a recent port. Each course is accompanied by a detailed explanation of special features, preparation methods, and tasting suggestions. Specially selected wines complement the meal. During the dessert course, the chef rejoins the group at their private table to participate in a discussion about the evening's meal, answer questions, and share culinary secrets perfected during many years of experience at sea and on land.

 

Additionally, each couple at the Chef's Table will receive a personalized autographed copy of Princess' best-selling cookbook, Courses, A Culinary Journey, which has sold more than 100,000 copies worldwide and is available on amazon.com. Guests will also enjoy a complimentary photo taken at the private table with the chef.

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The Ultimate Balcony Dinner (and breakfast) as so worth it. The food is outstanding. We did this on our 15 day Hawaiian cruise. The sun was just setting and it was magical. They set up a different larger table on your balcony with table settings. The waiters bring in each course. They seem to know exactly when to come in so you are not bothered with waiters hovering over you. We are doing this again on Star in Octoberr. I have read that a group of people had them set this up somewhere private on the ship and that is what my CC group is trying to do.

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What is the dress code for the chefs table? Due to new baggage restrictions we are not taking our formalwear. So what would I need to bring for the Chefs Table?

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What is the dress code for the chefs table? Due to new baggage restrictions we are not taking our formalwear. So what would I need to bring for the Chefs Table?

 

Pam - you can wear whatever you like although we opted to dress '"semi-formal"" because it felt like a really special event! For the kitchen tour you wear white lab-style jackets. All you 'must' do is guarantee that you are wearing freshly laundered clothes and wear closed toe shoes. Also, fyi, you must sign a waiver saying that you are not/nor have recently been ill.

 

Enjoy :) Jayna k

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I am late in responding back to all of you...but I wanted to say "THANK YOU" for all the comments and reviews of these dining options.

 

We will be on The Carribean Princess and really looking forward to it.

 

Thank you again :)

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Pam - you can wear whatever you like although we opted to dress '"semi-formal"" because it felt like a really special event! For the kitchen tour you wear white lab-style jackets. All you 'must' do is guarantee that you are wearing freshly laundered clothes and wear closed toe shoes. Also, fyi, you must sign a waiver saying that you are not/nor have recently been ill.

 

Enjoy :) Jayna k

 

CLOSED TOE SHOES:eek: I never have closed toe shoes unless I'm cruising in the middle of the winter, and then it's sneakers. Thanks for that little bit of info. Hoping to do the CP this July, if we decide to do this, I'll make sure I carry a pair.

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To add to what has been said about the UBD.......we LOVED it. While the food was not piping hot, it was special/better than the dining room. It was what cruising USED to be. It is a very special experience that we would do again in a heartbeat.......what I am adding is that our waiter on the Caribbean earlier this month told us that they only do TWO per NIGHT ship-wide. This a very limited experience, but well worth it!

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CLOSED TOE SHOES:eek: I never have closed toe shoes unless I'm cruising in the middle of the winter, and then it's sneakers. Thanks for that little bit of info. Hoping to do the CP this July, if we decide to do this, I'll make sure I carry a pair.

 

WE did the Chef's Table on the Emerald in Feb and one of the ladies in our tour wore her "water shoes" for the tour and had a bag with her sandles in it to change into right after the galley tour. I don't think they care what you wear in the way of shoes, so tennis shoes or even "water shoes" that were enclosed toes worked!

 

Good luck, hope you are one of the lucky ones that gets to experience this FANTASTIC dinner! Worth EVERY penny, and then some!

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Balcony Dinner was absolutely fantastic!!! Well worth the cost. It is a great deal of food so be prepared. The quality is impressive and our waiter did tell us that this dinner was like what dining rooms ued to be like. I am not a seafood fan, but the filet and the filet on the surf and turf is the same size so I was advised to get the surf and turf. Boy is my DH lucky :)- 2 lobster tails...

The price includes one picture (they send the photographer to your room), a half bottle of champagne, a cocktail per person, and a dinner that includes canapes, appetizer, salad, dinner, dessert, and what I call post dessert. since I told the reservationist that I do not like seafood, the waiter was informed and he brought two different appetizers for me to try. The were both really good. I preferred the watermelon/feta salad over the chicken in phyllo, but again Dh lucked out!

Hope that helps

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I forgot to mention- There was some discussion about the tipping for this. Not sure if it was included in the price or not, but the waiter goes way above and beyond so we gave him a gratuity at the end.

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THis sounds wonderful but I'm wondering - Do they do this on an Alaska cruise? Seems like it could be pretty chilly out there. What kind of food do you get if it's the breakfast one?

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We did it on the last night and it was a bit windy and chilly. The waiter offered to set the table up in our room instead, so you have that option if you are too cold. Halfway through dinner he even asked if we wanted to move inside.

Once you have had the champagne and start eating, you warm up :)

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How do you make reservations for the ultimate balcony dinner. Does it need to be done once we get onboard? We already know which night we'd like to do this on our upcoming cruise. - SF

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How do you make reservations for the ultimate balcony dinner. Does it need to be done once we get onboard? We already know which night we'd like to do this on our upcoming cruise. - SF

 

This cannot be booked ahead of time. You can book by calling Room Service once you are aboard.

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Kind of a weird question but i would like for us to do this on our upcoming cruise. BUT, I don't eat Lobster or Beef (but DH, loves both) would I be able to get something else for my Entree. Are they accommodating?

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I actually called from the phone at the pursers desk. Call ASAp after boarding.

 

They may be able to bring you something else...

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THis sounds wonderful but I'm wondering - Do they do this on an Alaska cruise? Seems like it could be pretty chilly out there. What kind of food do you get if it's the breakfast one?

 

We did the balcony breakfast on the day we transited the Panama Canal and it was great. I think Princess offers it on most itineraries. If it's too cold, they just set up inside your cabin.

 

It's been a few years so there may be changes but I remember lots of fresh fruit, juice, a split of champagne to make mimosas, a selection of sweet and savory pastries, lox and cream cheese, quiche and possibly more. It was a ton of food and served amply as both breakfast and lunch for us.

 

One difference is they didn't serve the breakfast course by course. Just set everything up and left us alone--I think they realize a lot of people aren't ready for a lot of interaction in the morning.

 

Kathi

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Someone else posted months ago that it is possible to pre purchase the UBD under "Celebrations" in your cruise personalizer. You can't request a date at that time, but you are guaranteed the experience, you fill in the date when you board. Is this incorrect, or outdated information?

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We just returned from Alaska on the Star Princess and chose not to do the UB. It was way to cold to do it outside and it was hard to get really warm food in the dining room much less having it hauled to the room. The purpose was to do the breakfast while crusing in Tracy Arm or which ever glacier bay is on your trip. It was the coldest time of our trip. We had the regular room service of juice coffee pastery etc. and it did the job. We didn't want to miss a minute inside and miss a beautiful ice berg or waterfall.

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Great info everyone!

 

I joined this site years ago, and just recently remembered it was here. I love the info being shared.

 

thanks again!

 

Rick

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Sounds wonderful. I turn 40 on the Crown in March and our 14th wedding anniversary is 10 days later. Now to decide which event to celebrate with the UBD.

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The Ultimate Balcony Dinner (and breakfast) as so worth it. The food is outstanding. We did this on our 15 day Hawaiian cruise. The sun was just setting and it was magical. They set up a different larger table on your balcony with table settings. The waiters bring in each course. They seem to know exactly when to come in so you are not bothered with waiters hovering over you. We are doing this again on Star in Octoberr. I have read that a group of people had them set this up somewhere private on the ship and that is what my CC group is trying to do.

 

We did a group one with 9 people. It was really a nice evening:D

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We did a group one with 9 people. It was really a nice evening:D

Which part of the ship did they use for your group UBD?

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