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Diamond Princess - PC vs Traditional Plans

Discussion in 'Princess Cruises' started by Kathysum, Apr 26, 2004.

  1. Kathysum

    Kathysum Guest

    Hi, I am a first time cruiser sailing on the Diamond Princess to Alaska July 10, 2004.

    Our TA asked us what time we wished to eat and we told her the 8:00 dinner hour, but she never mentioned the PC dining - I assume after reading all the previous messages regarding PC dining that this means we are currently scheduled for the Traditional seating.

    I have a few questions for anyone who can help. Sorry if these seem dumb.

    1. Does having Traditional seating preclude us from ever eating at any of the PC restaurants?

    2. If we change to PC and don't get the reservations we want ( I understand we need to reserve as soon as we board) - does that mean we are stuck with the buffet or grill?

    3. Is there a way to do both? ie, eat some days with reservations and others in traditional seating?

    Thanks for your help,

    Kathy
     
  2. Einstein

    Einstein Guest

    Kathysum wrote:

    > Hi, I am a first time cruiser sailing on the Diamond Princess
    > to Alaska July 10, 2004.
    >
    > Our TA asked us what time we wished to eat and we told her the
    > 8:00 dinner hour, but she never mentioned the PC dining - I
    > assume after reading all the previous messages regarding PC
    > dining that this means we are currently scheduled for the
    > Traditional seating.
    >
    > I have a few questions for anyone who can help. Sorry if these
    > seem dumb.
    >
    > 1. Does having Traditional seating preclude us from ever eating
    > at any of the PC restaurants?

    No it doesn't as U can opt for dinner at PC if U wish. That being said if U are seated with others it would be cordial if U know in advance to alert them to your absense. Also if it turns into a situation where prefer PC dining make sure the Maitre'D knows so your Traditional dining spot can be offered to passengers waitlisted for Traditional dining .
    >
    > 2. If we change to PC and don't get the reservations we want (
    > I understand we need to reserve as soon as we board) - does
    > that mean we are stuck with the buffet or grill?
    >

    U do NOT need to make reservations with PC Dining as that is the beauty of it as it allots U the abilty to eat at varying times if U wish. Do take into account that there may be a short wait if U arrive at a BUSY time. Reservations are ONLY required for PC dining if U wish to sit at the same table with the same waitstaff each evening or U wish to dine at the same time each evening . If U opt for a set time then U should be able to get something that will meet your requirements. U will NOT be stuck with a choice in dining at the buffet or the grill but in your BUSY days U may perhaps choose to use the buffet for your dining as it also allows U another dining option for your flexibilty and it REALLY is the same food your being served in the diningroom minus the diningroom staff and atmosphere.


    > 3. Is there a way to do both? ie, eat some days with
    > reservations and others in traditional seating?

    As Princess has REALLY limited the # of Traditional dining tables with ONLY one diningroom allocated for Traditional dining and MANY cruisers who REALLY want Traditional dining NOT getting their choice it would be only fair to them for you to try and make a choice one way or the other so that two dining locations would not be used for your dining preference. If everyone did this it could cause quite a mess with the dining setup on the ship. From the sounds of it I think the PC dining may be your best choice as U can have the flexibiity that U require with your family and if U wish U can still call for a set dining time in PC dining each day if its done early enough in the day. Once again realize that the peak dining times of 6:30 - 7:30 will be MORE difficult to obtain yourr specified dining time as that is when EVERYONE wants to eat so flexibilty is the key. Hopefully I have explained the dining concept in detail so that U can better make a choice as to what might be BEST for your family. Good Luck and Enjoy!!! :thumb


    .



    Post Edited (04-27-04 00:28)
     
  3. Kathysum

    Kathysum Guest

    Einstein,

    As it happens after posting my question I found a detailed review and explaination of the Diamond Princess Meal Service in a Cruise News Daily Newsfile Article dated March 30, 2004 online:

    <http://www.cruisenewsdaily.com/nf40330.html/>

    We will definitely go the PC route!

    Thanks again!



    Post Edited (04-27-04 00:42)
     
  4. Einstein

    Einstein Guest

    I think it will serve your situation VERY well and U will be pleased with it. Enjoy!!! :thumb

    .
     
  5. Sharkin

    Sharkin Guest

    I'm not sure if it is covered in the linked article, but I want to point out that the PC menus are rotated in the traditional dining room. That is to say, in addition to the traditional menu, one of the four PC menus is available every night in the traditional dining room.
     
  6. Natalia

    Natalia Guest

    The above posts explained things very well... but just to throw in my =twocents....

    We tried PC dining last time we sailed with Princess. Im not sure how many are in your party. There were 4 of us (2 adults, 2 kids) however, the kids rarely ate with us. They were too busy with the kids programs and chose to eat in the buffet most meals since it was quick and easy, plus they could see the food and pick and choose what looked good to them. So, the two of us adults just showed up at the PC dining room whenever we were hungry (never made a reservation) and just about every night we were seated immediately. I think we waited once, about 3 minutes. Now, Ive been reading a lot lately that maybe this isnt the case anymore and that PC has become more hectic. But the nice thing about PC (as E pointed out) is that you eat when you want, thats its purpose. You will sit at a different table each night, which I thought was great because we met SO many different people that way. Plus, its nice to have the option of making a reservation for the same time each night if you want it that way.



    Post Edited (04-27-04 15:31)
     
  7. Kathysum

    Kathysum Guest

    Hi Nat,

    Your point about the kids wanting to do their own thing food-wise is well taken. We are traveling in a group of 13 multigenerational family members (to celebrate my in-laws 50th wedding anniversary) We range in age from grandparents, forty-somethings, and college grads to teens...so our group is definitely a mixed bag. We have a hard time getting everyone to agree just in our immediate family - so I can imagine that the PC experience will definitely be our best choice by far. I think the grandparents had hopes of us all eating together at each meal - but I can see that might be a little unrealistic.

    Thanks for all the advice. It is greatly appreciated.

    Kathy

    Diamond Princess - Alaska Cruise July 10-17
     
  8. gaa

    gaa Guest

    Hi Kathysum,

    We had a multigenerational group of about the same size and age-range as yours a few years back on the Dawn Princess, and we were able to get everyone together for dinner each night at a traditional late seating (5 teens included)---the teens cooperated with no problem because they realized it was not much to ask to have everyone together for one meal a day to catch up, and it really meant alot to great granny. They set up two large tables right next to each other, and the teens all sat together but we were able to talk and share the experience of eating together. Don't give up on it---it was really special.
     
  9. dreamer

    dreamer Guest

    First time reading about Princess line...sounds wonderful!!
    Hope you don't mind me asking...probably been mentioned before
    but
    how does tipping work if your eating at different places each night??/
    thanks
    dreamer
    :wave
     
  10. Einstein

    Einstein Guest

    Tips are pooled and split between the entire staff so that covers the tipping issue. :thumb

    .
     
  11. Natalia

    Natalia Guest

    Kathysum....
    All of you eating together ISN'T unrealistic if you chose one of the traditional dining times. I didnt realize that you had such a large group. This may be why your TA never mentioned the PC, she may have assumed you would all want to eat together. Since you have some older members in your family, I would suggest the early seating. If you choose PC, then it will actually be harder to get such a group seated together. It can certainly be done, but most likely with a wait. Is that making sense to you?? Email me if you need me to explain further (by clicking on my name).

    Dreamer....
    There are standard guidelines for tipping (its just a guideline, you can tip more or less if you feel the service you receive warrants a different amount). Most times, the service is outstanding. Anyways, tipping is customary for your cabin steward, your head watier and your assistant waiter. If a special service is provided by the maitre 'd or a wine steward, a tip is appropriate for them. Room service is included in your cruise fare, but when its delivered you should tip a few dollars. A gratuity is automatically added on to any bar tabs. Each cruise line is doing this differently now, but Princess adds the "standard" tip amounts for the 3 main attendants that I mentioned to your shipboard account. You can let this be, or you do have the choice of seeing the purser to have it removed. Then you may tip those people directly . As Einstein said above, the tips are then pooled and divided. If you would like the tipping amounts, drop me an email. They can also be found in the back of any cruise brochure.
     
  12. PeabodyNVL

    PeabodyNVL Guest

    I think PC dining on the Diamond is a whole different animal than PC dining on the other Princess ships. The Diamond PC dining is four themed restaurants. This is an option that is very appealing to a lot of people. Regular PC dining just has the same entrees available the traditional dining rooms.

    I usually prefer traditional dining, but if I was going on the Diamond, I might just consider the PC dining.
     
  13. Natalia

    Natalia Guest

    Ah... good information about the 4 themed PC dining rooms Pea, I did not know that!
     
  14. dreamer

    dreamer Guest

    I think if I understood it correctly, it said you could order from any menu from any restaurant. that I find really cool!!!!
    When I asked about the tipping....my one and only cruise so far.....we loved having the same wait staff each night, and of course tipped them generously at the end of the week. but if you are eating at a different place each night...who do you tip??
    that's what I was really asking I guess.
    If I read it correctly...please correct me if I am wrong...
    tradional sounds great...same wait staff each night to bond with and you tip them like usual, but can say I would like to see the menu from.........which ever you would like.
    That sounds neat!!!
    dreamer
     
  15. Sharkin

    Sharkin Guest

    Dreamer,
    The traditional menu was offered in the PC DRs with only the menu from that particular DR. I believe you could order from a menu from another Dr, but they did not offer any menus except the traditional and that PC DR's menu. I hope I am not making it more confusing in my attempts to clarify. If I have, please ask again and I will try to be clearer
     
  16. Natalia

    Natalia Guest

    To answer the question of who you tip when you use the PC option, since you have a different wait staff each night: Princess has gone to an automatic tipping policy which is added to your shipbard account. These are tips for your head waiter, your assistant waiter and your cabin steward (the standard amounts can be found in the back of the Princess brochure). The tips are pooled and distributed by the cruise line. You dont have to do a thing, they will be billed to your account automatically. However, if you do not like this idea (especially if you are using the traditional dining option where you will have the same wait staff each night and would like to tip personally at the end of your cruise) then you may see the purser and have the auto tips removed. The choice is yours.
     
  17. dreamer

    dreamer Guest

    Thank you JOhn and Nat for the info.
    I did read that you can request a different menu though...
    thought I read that in the earlier post from kathysum through her link.
    I believe it said, they don't push the fact, but you could stay in the same restauant all week, and eat from all the menus.
    What a great system.
    thanks again.
    dreamer
     
  18. PeabodyNVL

    PeabodyNVL Guest

    I think I had read somewhere the in all in theme dining rooms, you have that DRs menu plus the traditional menu (or the "available all the time" side of the traditional menu). In the traditional dining room, I read that there is supposed to be a menu from one of the theme dining rooms each night, i.e. Monday night the Asian menu is also available in traditional, Tuesday, Southwest, etc.

    I could be wrong, of course. Someone who has actually sailed on the Diamond might be able to answer this better.
     
  19. bostongal

    bostongal Guest

    I was on the Diamond and did PC dining. You get the menu to that specific dining room along with the traditional menu. You cannot order from the other dining rooms - my daughter tried more than once.

    My recommendation is to make reservations for the week when you first board. Just rotate your dining rooms and get tables for 8 or 10 for your party. That way you won't have to stress about not being able to eat in one of the dining rooms or have to wait a long time.

    Meg
     
  20. Sharkin

    Sharkin Guest

    I would like to add one more thought on the PC tipping issue. Our cruise card account had tips added daily and were separated between food service and stateroom steward. I assume if you wanted to make a point one way or the other about service you could adjust that days tip accordingly. The concierge was aware of our name/room number, so if we decreased our food service tips for one day it should indicate displeasure with that day’s service and their records might indicate which table/servers we had at dinner. I may be over thinking this because we have rarely had enough issue with service to modify the suggested tip(s). The times we have felt it necessary to reduce or omit a tip, we made our dissatisfaction politely known to management.
     

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