Views from the Pinnacle Grill on Holland America Line’s Veendam

by Janis on August 22, 2012

We recently completed a 7-day Bermuda cruise sailing round trip from New York on Holland America Line’s ms Veendam. Some of our favorite experiences while on board this cruise were dining in the Pinnacle Grill alternative restaurant. Many cruisers question the idea of having to pay extra for dining on a cruise.  Here’s a look at what we enjoyed about the Pinnacle Grill on the Veendam.

Dining in the Pinnacle Grill begins with strikingly beautiful blue Bvlgari china and an amusebouchea bite from the chef that’s different daily.


Wine is served in elegant Riedel stemware and decanted upon request, even when you bring your own bottle. Holland America Line is one of the few cruise lines that allow you to bring your own wine on board — for consumption in your stateroom, or at one of the restaurants for an $18.00 corkage fee and gratuity.  We brought two special bottles along with us, and enjoyed both during dinners at the Pinnacle Grill.


Sal, the Pinnacle Grill manager was a charming host. Sal left the ship for vacation after our cruise; however, most of the Pinnacle Grill managers that we’ve met on Holland America Line do a terrific job in making certain that your meal is a special event.



The menu, while fixed, is varied enough for multiple visits on a cruise.  This portion of the menu focuses on the appetizers. You can order multiple appetizers as it’s difficult to narrow a decision to only one.



The Spicy Chicken Coconut Soup is one of our favorites. This soup is spicy; not ‘toned-down’ to accommodate moderate tastes.



The French Onion Soup King Louis XV is traditional. And delicious.



The Dungeness Crab Cakes are a popular signature dish.  They are mainly crab meat, held together with a thin coating of panko.



There’s a Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail for steak house traditionalists. The shrimp are large and tasty, but not as unique as the other appetizers such as the Pinnacle Ocean Platter with an assortment of smoked fish, or the Baby Arugula Salad, or the traditional Caesar Salad tossed table side with the dressing made as you watch to your specifications.



Moving on to the main course, the Pinnacle Grill menu focuses on beef and seafood. It’s difficult to choose, and you must choose only one.


We think the aged Sterling Silver Beef is the star of this menu.  The filet mignon comes in two sizes — the smaller petite cut or the larger Pinnacle cut. The smaller size steak is large enough even for hungry-as-a-bear, six foot, six-inch-tall Mr. Jones.  The horseradish-mustard sauce is a favorite, as well as the hollandaise. If you need a little seafood to go with your steak, try the “Land and Sea” entree wear jumbo prawns accompany your filet.



Filet Steak Diane, our favorite entree, is flambéed with Cognac table side. It’s beautiful, and delicious.



For dessert, the New York-style Cheesecake looks nothing like typical New York cheesecake, but it is creamy and delightful.



If you decide you can’t resist the chocolates that are served with coffee, Mr. Jones recommends the crunchy ones — either in dark or white chocolate.

Yes, dining in the Pinnacle Grill costs extra. The regular cost for adults is US$25.00 per person or lunch for US$10.00. Children under 12 dine free of charge. A rate of 50% applies for children between 13 years and under 18 years of age. As four-star Mariners we get a 50 percent discount, so it only costs us $25 for dinner for two or $10 for lunch for both of us.  Three star Mariners receive a 25 percent discount.  We used our $100 Carnival Stockholder benefit shipboard credit to fund our three visits for dinner plus two lunch visits. Where else can you get five fine-dining experiences for less than $100?

Don’t be disappointed.  Make your Pinnacle Grill dinner reservations before you sail, either online or by calling Ship Services at 1-800-541-1576. If you cannot book ahead, visit the Pinnacle Grill manager on the first day on board to arrange a reservation. Many folks wait until mid-cruise and the Pinnacle is sold out.

What’s your favorite item on the Pinnacle Grill menu?

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