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ithaca gal

Dismal Pinnacle Grill Experience

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We were on the Eurodam January 4th to the 15th and had a wonderful cruise.  We ate in the MDR, Tamarind, Canaletto, Rudi's Sel de Mer (Pop-Up) and Pinnacle Grill.  We had great experiences every evening except for our visit to the Pinnacle Grill on the last night.  We made reservations for 7:30 and were seated promptly.  It took a while for our order to be taken but we didn't really mind (although the delay was quite noticeable).  Our entrees were served at 9 p.m.  When our server started presenting the food, we asked where the clotheline bacon appetizer was.  She said they had forgotten it and would get us one (served with our entrees).  My filet was overcooked and I reluctantly sent it back.  The evening's special, the Red Snapper, was not good and one of our guests had to work to cut off the fat (with a dull steak knife) from his porterhouse steak.  The baked potatoes were hard, making it difficult to apply the butter and other toppings.  During our last several cruises, we had noticed that PG wat hit or miss, but this experience convinced us that it was our last dinner visit to the PG.  (We spoke to the manager afterwards, letting her know how many missteps there were and she said she would be certain to forward our comments to the Head Chef.)

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For the price they charge you’d expect the dinners to be very good.  I do know if we weren’t 4* there’s no way my husband would have supper there.  He just doesn’t think it’s worth it.   I like to go once a cruise.

 

I wonder if it had anything to do with being the last night?   We actually had reservations on our last night on the Oosterdam last month but cancelled it.  

 

Sorry for your experience.

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We were on the Maasdam last summer and had the opportunity to try the Pinnacle Grill on two separate occasions. The first was with our EXC In-depth guest chef doing a food and wine pairing, which was excellent. The second closely mirrors your experience. It took awhile before our orders were taken and even longer for the food to arrive. Without exception the steak dinners were unexceptional. Not cooked to order, poor quality and flavor. It goes without saying (but I will say it anyway) if you can't cook a steak to order you shouldn't cook in a steakhouse. We would have sent every plate back but like you we had already waited too long to be served. When you have a captive audience, their is no excuse for hit and miss service. They know exactly how many people will show up and when. Their is no guessing on staffing levels to meet your service goals. The only thing that that can be said is that their goals are set too low. We will be cruising again on the Maasdam in a few months and we plan on making use of the Pinnacle Grill. The only difference will be that the manager will know our expectations before we sit down.

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4 hours ago, canadianbear said:

For the price they charge you’d expect the dinners to be very good.  I do know if we weren’t 4* there’s no way my husband would have supper there.  He just doesn’t think it’s worth it.   I like to go once a cruise.

 

I wonder if it had anything to do with being the last night?   We actually had reservations on our last night on the Oosterdam last month but cancelled it.  

 

Sorry for your experience.

the term "last night" only fair for a particular passenger. for crew and PG it is business as usual. today this crowd tomorrow another one. one can think of availability of  certain items, but according to HAL itself discussed at their kitchen tours, their protein replenishment happens only every 3 weeks and veg/fruits every two weeks. nothing in PG, like pretty much everywhere else on the ships is "fresh from the market/ocean/farm/ranch"

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That’s a shame ithaca gal.

 

We always dine in the PG on the last night and so far, so good.  But my most recent PG’s have been on the Prinsendam (best PG IMO) and the Rotterdam (pretty dam good, too).

 

I remember our Maasdam cruise a few years ago where it was so dismal that, after the first night dining there, we all cancelled our remaining reservations.

 

I realize things can vary from ship to ship, but specialty restaurants are one place that HAL should really strive for consistency across the fleet. 

 

 

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Unacceptable IMO!!

7:30 reservations, finally food is served at 9!, and your appetizers forgotten!!

We would of walked out a long time ago and made a point to speak with manager as we left ! We book many PG’s for dinner while cruising and never had an experience like yours! I am so sorry that it happened to you! I agree that consistency 

should be of the up most importance!

Denise😊

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5 hours ago, jakers said:

The only difference will be that the manager will know our expectations before we sit down.

That is a good idea - what would be your recourse if your expectations are not met? Can one simply send the food back and have your account credited for the cost of the dinner?

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I have never been a big fan of the PG. We go maybe once a cruise just for something different. I've never found the service or food any better then the MDR.

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Sorry that so many of you have experienced bad meals and forgotten items in the Pinnacle Grill along with poor service.

 

Seems to me that the managers should have reduced the price of your meals if you didn't qualify for a discount.

 

 

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We dined three times in PG on Oosterdam recently.  They were some of the best meals we have had at sea --- so good that we asked about the chef.  Apparently chef and the maitre 'd will be moving over to Noordam for the summer in Alaska.  Noordam passengers are in for a treat.  Very gifted chef.

Edited by AncientWanderer

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We normally dine at Pinnacle on every cruise.  Results have varied greatly, from excellent to only fair - and I order the same things every times, so that is not the issue.

 

As "normal" for HAL, things/experiences vary by ship it seems.  Sure wish that HAL could be more consistent. 

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5 hours ago, DeeniEncinitas said:

Unacceptable IMO!!

7:30 reservations, finally food is served at 9!, and your appetizers forgotten!!

We would of walked out a long time ago and made a point to speak with manager as we left ! We book many PG’s for dinner while cruising and never had an experience like yours! I am so sorry that it happened to you! I agree that consistency 

should be of the up most importance!

Denise😊

We would have done the same!

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We were on Amsterdam 2 weeks in July. Had 4 reservations in PG. Our 3rd night we had a truly surly waitress. I told her I was allergic to garlic, (I always remind them even if they've served us before). My meal came with garlic in the sauce. She took away my plate, my husband finished his dinner and still no food for me. We got up and told M'd Arlis we would not return and to cancel our remaining reservation and told her why. She saw us several times on the ship and would come apologize for the way we were treated. She sent gifts and a note to our cabin and said she took care of the poor situation and to come eat any evening and she promised great service. Nope.. 

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First night, last night: there can be problems with staff turn-over.  Staff getting ready to disembark or staff just onto the ship can make a difference to the kitchen.  We've had good and bad on embarkation day, terrible for lunch on last day.    We now avoid these days.

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I hope that the Pinnacle on the Oosterdam is a good one!  We have 4 dinners lined up for it on our 14 day cruise, plus breakfast there for at least 7 of those days!

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We have pretty much stopped having dinner in the PG since we've found it unremarkable (at best) and disgraceful (at worst).  We still have lunches there, and if there's a Cellar Master or similar dinner, we will book that.

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I've always liked the PG lunches more than dinners.  But we've only had one bad PG dinner, and that was more to do with service than the food.  It was on the Koningsdam a few years ago.  A very officious waiter (who lost our bottle of wine!) and multiple billing mistakes.  Since then we've always had very good service, I'm just not thrilled with most of the menu choices.  No wonder HAL always wants to give out free PG dinners for any problem that arises.  I wish we could "trade" our free 5-star PG dinners for the Tamarind, might just ask about that our next cruise.  Even in 39 days, 4 PG dinners is more than we want.

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We dined at Pinnacle for the first time on the Nieuw Amsterdam recently, and the food and service were excellent with one exception. We were traveling with two other couples and one person ordered the Ribeye.  He said it was cooked correctly but simply was not a good quality cut of meat, which seems to be a common complaint.  Two of us ordered the Filet and it was excellent, as was everyone else's meals.

 

I've read numerous reports on here over the last couple of years and didn't have high expectations because it really does sound like it is hit or miss.  We got it as part of Explore 4 and fortunately it was a hit for us, but it's disappointing to read that others have not such a great experience, especially when paying the upcharge.

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3 hours ago, VennDiagram said:

We have pretty much stopped having dinner in the PG since we've found it unremarkable (at best) and disgraceful (at worst).  We still have lunches there, and if there's a Cellar Master or similar dinner, we will book that.

How do you book breakfast or lunch?  on the Pre-purchased area of the website, all they offer is dinner!

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9 hours ago, ski ww said:

I have never been a big fan of the PG. We go maybe once a cruise just for something different. I've never found the service or food any better then the MDR.

We have experienced the same thing on every HAL cruise. We eat there once on every cruise because it is gratis. Just off the Nieuw Statendam and  it was just as you described BUT Rudi’s was worse and we paid for that experience! 

 

We preferred the service and food in Club Orange but the venue was not good. The chairs are uncomfortable and it”s like eating in a fish bowl. HAL would have a great product by changing the Club Orange venue.

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3 minutes ago, VTcruisenut said:

How do you book breakfast or lunch?  on the Pre-purchased area of the website, all they offer is dinner!

Breakfast is a perk for Neptune and Pinnacle suite pax. Lunch can only be booked onboard.

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