Holland America’s Pinnacle Grill

some people refer to the Westerdam as the "Besterdam"

Holland America Westerdam

I used to wonder why anyone would pay for food on a cruise ship when you can get all the food you want and then some at no extra charge.  The dining room serves multi-course meals and there’s always a buffet.  Cruise ships also offer room service, often for free.  But they also all have at least one eatery that has a surcharge, often more than one.

food at the Pinnacle Grill

The waiter brought us each an extra appetizer before the ones we ordered.

On my most recent cruise on Holland America’s Westerdam, I had the opportunity to experience the regular dinner service at the Pinnacle Grill, their fancy restaurant.  The dinner there is definitely worth the extra charge, but those wishing to spend less money to try the food there can make reservations for lunch instead.  It is a different menu for lunch than for dinner though.

Pinnacle Grill on the Westerdam

Pinnacle Grill has some tasty soup

We had great service with two waiters for our party of five.  The menu had lobster available in several dishes, including lobster macaroni & cheese.  The first course had a variety of soup and salad options for the appetizer.  We all chose something different and everyone liked what they got.  Certain menu items include some tableside preparation.

Is it really baked if it's torched?

Baked Alaska, still flaming

For the main course, my sister ordered the lamb kabob.  This the waiters brought to the table with a cart where they flambéd it tableside before moving the food from the skewer to a plate and serving it.  My father’s baked Alaska came to the table in a similar manner.  It kind of provides a bit of a show with the meal when they do that.

when eating at Pinnacle Grill, hope for a dessert delay because these tasty truffles aren't on the menu

A delay in dessert service brought us these awesome truffles

Our dessert had a bit of a delay, so in the meantime they served a dish of homemade truffles in several varieties, all very rich and delicious.  The dish of truffles alone would have made an excellent dessert, and had more than enough for everyone.

chocolate volcano dessert

too much good stuff

I expected a small cake with a molten center when I ordered the chocolate lava volcano, but instead got a large pot of melty chocolate goodness.  More than I could eat following such an excellent meal.

lobster at the Pinnacle Grill

grilled lobster tail

I ordered soup for my starter, and a stuffed chicken breast for the main course.  They also added a small bowl of the lobster macaroni since I had inquired about that, as lobster and macaroni and cheese aren’t normally things people put together.  They worked well together though, it tasted quite good.  My dad tried the broiled lobster tail, which he liked quite well.  I probably would have ordered the lobster too except we had just had lobster the night before at the formal night dinner in the dining room.  They cook it differently at the Pinnacle Grill though.

great food and plenty of it

side dishes of potatoes, asparagus, and lobster macaroni & cheese

I also enjoyed my chicken and had more than enough to eat before dessert came, but it’s a cruise so people live it up and I’m no exception.   Besides the chicken I had the regular sides of asparagus and potatoes plus they’d brought me the lobster macaroni as well.  There’s a reason everyone says people gain weight on a cruise!  (We do try to curb the weight gain by avoiding elevators and always taking the stairs.)

It’s not just the food at the pay-extra eateries that make for a special dinner, it’s the service and the extra little things included with the delivery and the whole ambiance of the venue that make the experience worth the extra charge.

dinner at Holland America's Pinnacle Grill

pre-meal bread came with a dish of fancy butters

What to eat?

Pinnacle Grill dinner menu
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About LBcruiseshipblogger

MyCruiseStories blog tells stories about adventures in cruising on ships big and small. Things to do onboard and in port. Anything connected to cruising. Also food, travel, recipes, towel animals, and the occasional random blog.
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11 Responses to Holland America’s Pinnacle Grill

  1. So this landlubber has a question: from the picture it seems that vessel when its sailing with all its passengers is easily the size of a town. When you’re out there on the open seas, do you ever feel the motion of the ship? The last thing I’d want to feel is sea sick while fine dining. I’m funny that way.

    • Normally the seas where these ships sail are calm enough not to feel motion on such large vessels, but if it gets stormy enough they will rock. There’s been a few times when everyone looked like drunks staggering down the halls due to the motion of the ship on a couple of our cruises. My cousin who is very motion sensitive (enough to get ill on a plane with no turbulence) was always aware of just the normal forward motion of the ship as it sailed from place to place, but most people don’t notice it.

  2. Nicole says:

    The food looks delicious. That is a very good tip you mentioned about trying a fancier restaurant at lunchtime. I’ve found that is a great way to try food at finer dining establishments even back on land. Even though the menus between lunch and dinner are different, often the flavor profiles and ingredients for the lunch and dinner menus are similar. So you still get a good meal. And yes, the prices at lunch time are much more in line with more casual dining restaurants in the area.

    Great post, although now I’m hungry again after reading this!

  3. Rene says:

    Yum! this is making me so hungry!

  4. Chris says:

    I did the pay extra sushi place on my Alaskan cruise. It was well worth the $15 price, the amount of sushi I ate probably would have cost me $100 at home. I just kept ordering until I couldn’t eat any more.

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