Star Princess Dining
Dining is a bright spot on Star Princess in terms of quantity, quality and convenience. It would be impossible to go hungry on this ship. Personal Choice is a big hit; Capri and Portofino, two of the three traditional-styled dining rooms, are open seating, while Amalfi is aimed at those preferring an established dining routine with set times and tablemates.
Beyond those, there are two alternative restaurants. Sabatini's, Princess signature Northern Italian venue, offers a multi-course feast and charges $25 per passenger cover. The restaurant is open for lunch (or brunch, as it's called) on sea days and dinner nightly. Crown Grill is the ship's seafood and steak house; the cover is $20 per person. And the Promenade Lounge offers, for an extra fee, caviar. The Promenade Bar is a popular meeting spot before and after dinner.
Much of the Lido deck is consumed by food options. During the day, the Trident Grill offers up hot dogs, hamburgers, French fries and the like. The slices at the nearby Prego Pizzeria are outstanding. Scoops, which has become a Princess tradition, still dishes up Haagen-Dazs ice cream (for an additional fee). Soft-serve ice cream is complimentary.
The Horizon Court, Star Princess' buffet eatery, has round-the-clock dining and, interestingly, is tucked into its own nook behind attractive garden-style gates. Food stations are short and sweet -- and separated by type -- so lines tend to be minimal. Breakfast offers pretty much the usual, while lunch can be eclectic, with various dishes representing different international cultures. Everything from salads to hot dishes and desserts was plentifully and quickly restocked as necessary. From 10 p.m. to 4 a.m., the Horizon Court transforms itself into a bistro, with menu service. Seating is available inside as well as on the deck.
The International Cafe and Vines are two new dining venues, introduced during the 2008 dry-dock. The International Cafe offers complimentary breakfast pastries, soups, quiche, sandwiches, sweets and salads, as well as coffee drinks for an extra fee. Vines serves up tapas and more than 30 wines, while an inset retail shop carries lovely accessories for the wine buff on your shopping list.
Room service is available 24 hours a day and offers a limited menu of hot and cold sandwiches, along with salads and desserts. At dinnertime you can order off the main dining room menu. Service was consistently prompt and pleasant, and usually correct. Room service breakfast is Continental-style, but suites get access to full breakfasts. An Ultimate Balcony Dinner is available for $100 per couple, and includes a multi-course lobster (or steak) dinner, pre-dinner cocktails and souvenir photo.