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"Voyage of the Glaciers"
July 23-30, 2001
Dining in the Dining Room
We dined at the traditional second seating in the Regency Dining Room. Maitre d'Hotel Bruno was extremely helpful in placing our group of eight at a single table after we had received two tables of four at embarkation. He held court at 3p.m. on embarkation day, and those unhappy with their seating arrangements were accommodated at this time in a very professional manner. We did not see ourselves as the "Personal Choice Dining" type, as we like the structure of knowing when we will dine and that we will not have to wait for a table. Also, since we were traveling with teens, they knew when they were expected for dinner as sometimes we saw little of them during the day.
We enjoyed our waiter, Joaquim, and our assistant waiter, Laszlo, but they never really got to know our wants and needs, even though we ate dinner in the dining room all seven nights. I only got iced tea when I asked for it, which I did every night, and was asked every night if I wanted coffee, even though I drank it regularly. Possibly the automatic tipping gives them less incentive to give personal service.
Breakfast - Breakfast is the same every day in the dining room, with the exception of two different daily specials. Eggs Benedict, a special on the last sea day, was delicious and should have been on the menu daily. Isn't it kind of a cruise staple? My other favorite, lox and bagel, was fortunately on the menu every day.
** Helpful hint: Cappuccino is complimentary in the dining room at breakfast, lunch and dinner, but this is not advertised. It is delicious. Hot chocolate is also complimentary in the dining room and from room service, but at the buffet it must be ordered from the bar.
Lunch - Lunch was varied with six or seven main entrees from which to choose, including several pastas (excellent), salads and other lunch-type offerings. Lunch soups were as good as dinner soups, but desserts were nothing special, with the ice cream being the best lunch dessert selection.
Dinner - The food at dinner was good, sometimes very good, but never great. Presentation of food on the plate is not a priority with Princess. For example, an appetizer serving of fruit consists of fruit chunks served in a cereal bowl. Quality and taste varied among the different courses. Appetizers were hit-or-miss, mostly forgettable. Soups, on the other hand, were very good. Several nights, I ordered two different soups and ate them one right after the other. Main courses got better as the week progressed. I had fish every night except one and was for the most part pleased. Lobster was delicious. In addition to the main entrees, there is a pasta dish offered each night that I ordered several nights in an appetizer portion. The pasta dishes on Princess are wonderful, and some nights the headwaiter prepares the pasta right at your table. A good dessert was hard to come by though, especially a good chocolate dessert. This was true in the dining room as well as at the buffet. The two exceptions were the Love Boat Dream, a fudgy chocolate mousse type concoction that is offered every night, and the homemade ices.
** Helpful hint: Soups and salads are grouped together on the menu, presumably in hopes of encouraging one to order only one item from this group, either a soup or a salad. The soups and salads were generally quite good, so don't hesitate to order both. However, if you do order both, you will get "behind." Others at the table who didn't order soup, for instance, get their salad while you were eating your soup, and you ended up eating your salad quickly to "catch up." I would prefer that all appetizers be brought out together, all soups together, etc.
Melanie in the Regency Dining Room