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dining rooms on Sapphire

J

Janie1111

Guest
#1
What dining room would you recommend for the first night on the Sapphire Princess? It's my mother in laws first cruise. Would like her to be impressed. Thanks.
 
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DiamondDonna

Guest
#2
Hi. Haven't been on the Sapphire yet - but we are doing two back to back cruises in the fall on her. Just found out from our t.a. that there are no longer ANY reservations being taken for Personal Choice Dining and ALSO each of the 4 p.c. restaurants are doing away with their previous "themed" menus and only featuring "one" entree along with the traditional dining room menu. It is a big disappointment for us. Apparently they are waitlisted for the main dining room now because everyone does not want to line up with no reservations for personal choice.

Depending on the age of your mother-in-law and her ability to wait in line for for what may be a long time, I would recommend switching to traditional and waitlisting if you have to. Remember, you will be able to choose the "one featured entree" from each of the 4 restaurants even if you eat in the main dining room.

Hope that helps you!
 
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DiamondDonna

Guest
#3
Just spoke directly with Princess and "effective immediately" on the Diamond and Sapphire, there will no longer be ANY themed food or ANY themed Personal Choice restaurants. They will have the four Personal Choice dining rooms, but you will only get the same menu as the Traditional Dining Room and they are even going as far as REMOVING THE DECOR from each restaurant (no more Mexican decor, Italian, Asian or American Steakhouse decor) and changing it to the same as the Traditional Dining Room. Apparently there were large groups of passengers that complained (the Traditional 1st seating passengers) because they did not have the same choices as the Personal Choice diners (even though they could go in Personal Choice if they so desired). They apparently will still take reservations for Personal Choice. Apparently, they will be putting in a Sterling's at the back of Horizon Court (like they have done on the Diamond) and this will be a Speciality Restaurant with a fee like Sabatini's.

We are very disappointed as we have booked two back to back - the Coastal and Mexican Riveria and were looking forward to sampling all the different menus. I hope the Personal Choice people cause a riot and it changes back by the time we sail!!
 
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lizardstew

Guest
#4
This really sucks. I'm booked on the Sapphire Princess in December and I booked it so that I could try the personal choice dining. What a bummer......maybe I'll have to go back and do some more shopping.
 
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DiamondDonna

Guest
#5
Lizardstew,

Yes - it's awful, isn't it? The reason we booked the ship as well as you was for those four restaurants! Hopefully there will be a revolt and they will realize how ridiculous it will be to have five restaurants all serving the same food.
 
L

lizardstew

Guest
#6
Well, I don't know how much good it will do, but I plan to contact Princess and let them know that this may cause me to book on another ship/line....I guess we'll see what happens.
 
P

Princess Pat

Guest
#7
Having been on the Sapphire Princess this spring I saw things a little differently. It appeared people were "begging" to get first seating traditional dining. If I hadn't read on the boards that this might be happening we would have missed the dinner hour on the first night because the line was so long with people having come down to request first seating traditional dining. Fortunately, having been forewarned we walked right around all these people. Our table was near the door and we didn't see an end to people inquirying throughout the dinner hour. Our head waiter didn't make an appearance at our table until the third night and we suspected it was because of all the shuffling.

There was nothing much exceptional about the food. We did get the specialty dining room menus each night along with the traditional dining room menu. My spouse said meats were their forte. The same dish was offered as something else occasionally: the shrimp dish was the same as the scampi dish on the Personal Dining menu, and the pheasant, or whatever they called it, was really chicken, according to a person who had previously eaten the former. Our waitress did a fine job and gained a lot of experience in ice cream sundaes. The Kahlua Crème Brulee was of note and some of these were reserved for another night, ask for this favor if you like it.
 
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Princess Pat

Guest
#8
Having been on the Sapphire Princess this spring I saw things a little differently. It appeared people were "begging" to get first seating traditional dining. If I hadn't read on the boards that this might be happening we would have missed the dinner hour on the first night because the line was so long with people having come down to request first seating traditional dining. Fortunately, having been forewarned we walked right around all these people. Our table was near the door and we didn't see an end to people inquirying throughout the dinner hour. Our head waiter didn't make an appearance at our table until the third night and we suspected it was because of all the shuffling.

There was nothing much exceptional about the food. We did get the specialty dining room menus each night along with the traditional dining room menu. My spouse said meats were their forte. The same dish was offered as something else occasionally: the shrimp dish was the same as the scampi dish on the Personal Dining menu, and the pheasant, or whatever they called it, was really chicken, according to a person who had previously eaten the former. Our waitress did a fine job and gained a lot of experience in ice cream sundaes. The Kahlua Crème Brulee was of note and some of these were reserved for another night, ask for this favor if you like it.

Pat
 
F

Frank Black

Guest
#9
I don't see it as much of a problem. I was on the Star last year. I am booked on the Sapphire with PC dining for this December. On the Star we just walked up to one of the dining rooms and never waited more than 10 minutes. The menu items change enough throughout the cruise that we were always happy. Themed restaurants are not that big a deal to me. The biggest problem then was having tarditional diners begging to use the PC dining rooms. This caused issues at the door and unbalanced the number of diners at the dining rooms.
 
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lizardstew

Guest
#10
Well, that won't be happening anymore....no reason to request PC dining unless you just want the flexibility. I've read from others that, depending on the cruise and the time of evening, they waited quite a while to be seated. This is what I was trying to avoid, and if they're no longer permitting reservations, we could encounter lines and waits.

If I decide to stay with Princess...(which I probably will because we got a really, really, really good price)...I will be prepared for this and plan accordingly. This will not ruin my vacation and I won't complain about it onboard or afterward, I just have to switch my mindset around a bit. I was looking forward to the different restaurants, but after I've gotten to sleep on it, I've decided it's not the end of the world.
 
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DiamondDonna

Guest
#11
Lizardstew,

They are still going to take reservations for Personal Choice Dining!! My t.a. was told by a rep. that they were NOT taking them, but after speaking directly with Princess, that is the ONLY thing that is staying the same!

My hubby said to tell you that "Yes - it is the end of the world" - LOL! He has been dreaming of his guacamole and chips, fajitas etc. We are doing two back to back on her for 12 days, so we were REALLY looking forward to the different restaurants. We just got back from our wedding/honeymoon on the Navigator and the Coral Princess. Now, the p.c. dining rooms will be just like the Coral. We had heard so much about them through friends and also reading the reviews, we were looking forward to the variety and also the different decors.

Like I said, the princess guy I spoke to anticipates that people are going to be very upset and he hopes that it won't last long and they will come to their senses and change it back. Princess prides itself on being the only one at sea with Personal Choice Dining (although NCL has freestyle, but that's another story) and I think the other lines will find it laughable that they have these four extra restaurants that look and serve the same thing as the main dining room!!

DiamondDonna
 
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lizardstew

Guest
#12
Good news, Donna! I'm glad they're still taking reservations....when I'm hungry, I wanna eat!!! :lol

Hopefully by December it will be back to "normal".....we'll keep our fingers crossed.
 
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DiamondDonna

Guest
#13
Hey Lizard,

You said you get a really really really good price on the Sapphire. Do you mind me asking what it was? Our coastal cruise (1st part) is not on sale as it is sold out, but the Mexican Riveria cruise (the 2nd part) was on as a "past passenger" sale. We have a balcony on the 1st one and a mini-suite on the 2nd one, but we paid a pretty penny!!!

We are Canadian so we have the dollar to deal with. I searched all over the net for a good price, but found that Princess' price through the travel agent was still $10 cheaper each than all of the cheapest ones on the net.

Donna
 
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lizardstew

Guest
#14
I don't mind at all! With all taxes, we paid just over $782.00 (USD) per person for a BB balcony on the Caribe deck. We booked through smartcruiser.com. I just checked and it would be almost $100.00 more per person if we booked the exact same cabin right now. We weren't decided as to whether we wanted to do the Mexican Riviera or another Western Caribbean, but I saw this price and nabbed it. I'm glad we did, 'cause prices are just going up and up.
 
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DiamondDonna

Guest
#15
Hi Lizardstew,

That is a great price!! I just looked at my notes before booking and we would have had to pay $985.80 US all in (without air) for that same balcony. We just booked a couple of weeks ago. When did you book? We paid $1275 US all in (without air) for an AB mini-suite. There were no balconies left so we had to go for a mini-suite. That rate is a "past passenger sale". On the 5 day coastal, we have a BA balcony on Caribe (the one with the largest balcony) which we paid $761 US all in. We had to get one way air back to Vancouver from LA which is a shocker as it is almost more than the return fare!!!! But you are going in December and it seems to be cheaper than Sept/Oct. Although you would think it would be more in December with the holidays etc.

It's been nice chatting with you. Hope you have a nice time in Oregon!!

Donna
 
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lizardstew

Guest
#16
We booked back in April. I scoured the 'net for a good price, and then pounced when I found one. :)

I'm trying to talk my parents into coming with us...we may have to change our dates by a week or two so they can come, but it will be worth it! :) I priced an AB mini suite for them for $1052 total!!! (I'm tempted myself.....)
 
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DiamondDonna

Guest
#17
Hi,

Yeah we booked about the same time ahead as you did for the Navigator and the Coral and we noticed the price just kept going up and up and up. The t.a. told us we were actually booking "late" for these two cruises. I have been on 15 cruises and started cruising in the late 80's and boy, things have sure changed since then. I used to book a couple of months before and get a great rate and the ships were not sold out like they are now. Now it seems like you have to book a year in advance!!

Where are you from?

Donna
 
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lizardstew

Guest
#18
We live in the Phoenix area, so the Mexican Riviera is really convenient for us...we might drive to the port this time instead of fly, but we haven't decided yet.
 
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lizardstew

Guest
#20
:lol :lol :lol

Well, I was wondering if it would be chilly on the beach, but I fugure that a chilly day on the beach is better than a nice day away from it! :grin