Disappointed in Diamond Princess

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Mar 21st, 2004, 04:43 PM
  #1
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Join Date: May 2003
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Disappointed in Diamond Princess

Hi,
Just returned from the Diamond Princess' maiden voyage. Dining arrangements were the worst. We chose Anytime Dining and found out after we sailed that they preferred the passengers to make reservations through the concierge on ship. Some couldn't even reach the concierge to do so.
Seems to me that if you have to make reservations for a certain time to dine then it's not Anytime Dining, right?
Lots of passengers were very irate because of a lot of things and one of the things was because they had to eat at the buffet on deck on formal nights, when they were dressed to the teeth, because there wasn't room for them in any of the 4 theme dining rooms at a time that was suitable to their dining needs.
The problems went on and on. Not only in the dining room but too many things to mention in this forum. And I'm not convinced that these problems occurred because it was a maiden voyage. Hopefully, they will go back to the way Personal Choice dining was last year.
It worked fine and with only 2 dining rooms.

We have cruised with them many times and
it's always been our favorite but unless they change their system they will lose us forever.
If anyone has questions they can either ask me through this forum or e-mail me at: [email protected]

Lydel is offline  
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Mar 21st, 2004, 09:43 PM
  #2
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
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That's really too bad. I'm taking the Diamond this May to Alaska. What I don't understand is why people are allowed to switch (and from what I've read most do) from the dining room to Personal Choice but not vice-versa. It should be forseeable that the PC dining rooms will get more crowded as the week goes on.

Would you mind telling me how you reached the concierge? By phone from the room or can you go directly to the dining room? Other message boards mentioned that one should make arrangements for the whole week on the first day. Takes a lot of the fun out of it! Predicting what type of meal I'd like four says in advance isn't all that relaxing to me. Hope some changes are made.

As for the food, how did it taste? Thanks.
travelinwifey is offline  
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Mar 22nd, 2004, 03:48 AM
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This is the first 7 day cruise on a new ship with a new dining concept - it doesn't surprise me that things didn't go as smooth as they could have. I would give it a few weeks for things to be ironed out - I am sure it will be fine.

I read some reviews from other boards and those who made reservations (and didn't have problems doing so), loved the new dining concept and had only kudos to say.
Theresa is offline  
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Mar 22nd, 2004, 02:36 PM
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Travelinwifey,
You can reach the concierge on the phone from your room, there is a button you press to reach her. IF you can reach her. A lot of passengers told me that when they called she was unavailable. That's where a lot of problems stemmed from.

All four of the theme dining rooms are also offered the menu from the International Dining Room every night, which is the fixed dining room, along with the theme's dining room menu. You may select from both menus.

The food was alright, not as good as in the past though. I didn't have the lobster but someone complained that it wasn't very tasty.

In answer to Theresa's comment, no, there probably wouldn't be problems if all the passengers knew ahead of time about the Anytime Dining system.
One of the waiters told me that all the Princess ships were going to start using that system. Still, nothing will convince me that the problems stem from it being a new ship and a maiden voyage.
Lydel is offline  
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Mar 22nd, 2004, 04:46 PM
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I am really concerned about what I am reading. My husband and I are also scheduled on the Diamond in May to celebrate our 30th anniversary. We experienced PC dinning on the Star last year and loved it! So much so, that in our minds, it sets Princess apart from other cruise lines. (We have done numerous cruises with Princess). I was surprised to see in the preliminary cruise papers that fixed dining folks could switch to PC dining anytime they wished to do so. Seems to me this would create problems. I have never heard of this concierge thing. On the Star you went to the dining room when ready and were sat within 10 minutes. I did read that on the Diamond, you could make a reservation thru the TV. I think these Princess ships are getting too big to handle the number of passengers.
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Mar 22nd, 2004, 06:12 PM
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Thanks for your response Lydel. I must admit I'm a little concerned about this cruise. There was also another negative review at cruise-addicts.com. I hope the PC problems will get worked out before our sailing in May.

We sailed the Norwegian Dawn one month after it's opening too and were disappointed in the food. I had read comments that it wasn't so good but chalked it up to picky eaters. They were right, food was bland. Hope things get better on the Diamond
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Mar 22nd, 2004, 06:47 PM
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JudithE,
My husband and I were also on the Star last year in Feb. and loved PC. That's why we chose it again this year. We never had to wait at all to be seated.

But, at least now, you know to make reservations as soon as possible. We weren't aware of it til the first night when we showed up thinking it would be like last year and be seated right away.
We wanted table-sharing all week but had to take a table for two that first night, it was all they had available at 5:30. Immediately after dinner I called the concierge and made reservations for 6:00 for the remaining nights for table sharing. She told me what dining rooms were available at that hour and we took whatever was available. She had us in a different dining room every night which we liked, but some nights we couldn't get table-sharing and had to eat at a table for two, even with reservations.
Still can't figure that one out. And I can't understand why there were about 75% empty tables at 6:00 when we dined, maybe they were holding them for other reservations, we saw many, many passengers turned away even though they had all those empty tables.

The concierge is a new thing this year.

I don't know anything about making reservations on TV.

As far as the ships getting bigger, it seems like with 4 theme dining rooms and a fixed dining room that would be enough to accomodate all the passengers. Last year they did it on the Star with only two, remember?
And also, the Diamond is very similar to the Star.

But Judith, make your dining reservations early and you probably won't have any problems. Go and have a wonderful time.
When you return, if you get a chance e-mail me and let me know what you thought.
Happy sailing,

Lydel is offline  
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Mar 23rd, 2004, 08:48 AM
  #8
 
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Lydel, I will definately let you know what I thought when we return. My husband couldn't believe the buffet on deck for formal night and wondered how one would do that in Alaska weather! I looked over the deck plan for the Diamond and compared it with the Star and it looks like the Diamond has less open dining space, and more specialty resturant space. I remember the Star having 2 dinning rooms for open seating.(1 for fixed) Having to make a reservation days in advance does not make it personal dinning. It will be interesting to see how this plays out in May. Sounds like in the future, we will select a Princess cruise based on which ship is sailing. We are scheduled on the Island Princess in September, but are hoping as it is a smaller ship that the dinning will run smoothly.
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Mar 23rd, 2004, 01:11 PM
  #9
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Judith,
That's my whole point, if you have to make a reservation in advance then it's not Personal Choice.
The PC brochure in the cabin says it's for the Diamond and Sapphire Princess.
It gives all the info. you need to know but we didn't see that brochure until we got into our cabin. Had we known, we would have made reservations ahead of time.
I'm sure they have to make changes in the dining and they probably will.
It just got too confusing and ended up with too many irate passengers saying that they are going to write letters to Princess.
Another big problem was they made an announcement not to throw anything overboard yet there were no buckets to dispose of cigarette butts on the decks, only inside the ship at the elevators and in the Casino, what does that tell you? They told us that they overlooked that one completely. This is not the cause of it being a maiden voyage.
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Mar 23rd, 2004, 04:58 PM
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Lydel, Let me ask you another question. In looking over your postings it looks like the PC dinning is in the "theme" resturants (fixed in the International Dining Room) and that you can order off the regular menu as well. What about the cover charge in the "theme" resturants for PC people?
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Mar 24th, 2004, 03:43 AM
  #11
 
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Judith - the 4 themed dining rooms offer the traditional menu plus the theme menu. You can order off either menu and combine things from both menus. There is no charge for this.

There is a charge for Sabatini's restaurant.
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Mar 24th, 2004, 12:04 PM
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Judith,
Theresa is absolutely correct.

The charge for Sabatini's is $25 per person. A couple who ate there this trip was very disappointed. Said the food wasn't very good and the service was terribly slow.
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Mar 24th, 2004, 02:52 PM
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Thanks for the information. We ate at Sabatini's on the Star. Food was good but heavily spiced to the point that I would not do it again.
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