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Princess Cruises Chefs Serve Up Fresh-Made Dining Choices
Guests Can Enjoy Culinary Options to Suit Every Taste
What’s on the menu today? How about a signature Princess pasta dish, or perhaps grilled fresh salmon, perfectly complemented by a chilled glass of chardonnay? Maybe a slice of homemade Italian-style pizza by the pool?
No matter what a guest might be craving, there’s a delicious option aboard each Princess Cruises ship. Princess chefs work around the clock to make sure meals are one of the most memorable parts of each guest’s cruise vacation. At any hour chefs are busy baking and preparing the ingredients for the next meal, so that each guest will know their meal was made “especially for you.”
Quality is a hallmark of Princess cuisine and menus reflect the latest dining trends and local flavors. Guests will find traditional European dishes blended with contemporary cuisine, focusing on seasonal foods, flavorful sauces, herbs and lighter fare to please a wide variety of tastes. So whether a guest is longing for a favorite Mediterranean meal, the latest in Latin American fare, Asian specialties, healthy options, or even American comfort food, they can find it all in the dining venues on board.
Ships use the finest-quality ingredients from throughout North America and Europe. And, as available, specialties from the ships' ports of call and cruise regions often appear on the menus. Alaska cruise guests, for example, might enjoy freshly caught salmon, while in the Caribbean local seafood and tropical fruits are featured.
The quality of the Princess dining experience has been recognized by the prestigious Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, which has inducted all of the company's ships into the exclusive gastronomic society. This honor, which is usually presented to individuals, is unique in that it recognizes the culinary achievements of an entire fleet.
Princess has introduced a variety of innovations to the experience of dining at sea. Most notably, Princess broke new ground by introducing two options for main dining room seating – the restaurant-style Anytime Dining and Traditional Fixed-Seating, a choice now found widely in the industry. As the first line to emphasize affordable balcony staterooms, Princess also took dining outside with several special dining options designed just for balconies. Another Princess first, the Chef’s Table, has also become a favorite of cruising “foodies.”
All of these many options are served up by a staff – from chefs to waiters – dedicated to making the dining experience something special. Together, Princess’ unique combination of gracious dining staff, fine continental cuisine and new friends make every meal onboard a memorable occasion.
Some of the aspects of the Princess dining experience that have made it so popular include:
Main Dining Room Choice
At the heart of the onboard dining program are the main dining rooms, serving up new choices each day, whether guests are in the mood for traditional favorites or more adventurous fare reflecting global flavors. From signature pastas and freshly baked breads, to savory main courses and indulgent desserts, Princess chefs freshly prepare a world of flavors.
- Anytime Dining – Just like a restaurant at home, Anytime Dining enables guests the freedom to dine when and with whom they wish, at any time between 5:30 pm and 10 pm. Reservations are available through an onboard dining hotline, but are not required, and diners may choose to eat only with their own group, or be seated with other guests. Anytime Dining is available on most Princess ships with more than one main dining room.
- Traditional Dining – For guests who prefer the traditional cruise ship dining experience, Princess also offers a main dining room option in which they can enjoy having the same dining time, waiter and tablemates each evening. Every ship offers at least one dining room dedicated to Traditional Dining, with two seatings, usually scheduled at 6:30 pm and 8:30 pm. On some ships an additional early dining time of 5:30 pm is available is available as well.
Alternative Dining Venues
Variety is the spice of life, especially when it comes to gourmet fare. Princess guests can indulge their taste buds with specialty dining options on every ship. These distinctive restaurants provide intimate dining in an upscale atmosphere.
- Sabatini’s – Princess’ signature Italian restaurant, Sabatini’s gives diners the feeling of having just stepped into a ristorante in the heart of Tuscany. With a refined yet casual Italian ambiance, Sabatini’s offers attentive personal service and a feast of traditional and contemporary favorites. The a la carte menu offers a feast of celebrated pastas, seafood and Italian specialties. Available on 13 ships across the fleet. ($25 cover charge)
- Steakhouses – In the mood for a steak? Princess ships have an array of steakhouses serving the famous Sterling Silver brand of flavorful, hand-cut and expertly aged beef. Featured aboard most vessels, the Crown Grill offers a variety of premium beef and seafood cooked-to-order in an open, theater-style kitchen. Diners can take in the chefs’ show at the eat-up counter as they dine or relax with friends and family in a comfortable booth by the window ($25 cover charge). At Sterling Steakhouse (Diamond Princess, Sapphire Princess, Pacific Princess, Ocean Princess, Sun Princess, Dawn Princess, Sea Princess), guests can choose their cut of steak from a tray presented by their waiter and watch as the chef prepares their meal ($25 cover charge). On Coral Princess and Island Princess, the Bayou Café and Steakhouse add some spice to the meal with Cajun and Creole dishes such as garlic mustard grilled steak along with peel-and-eat shrimp, alligator ribs and gumbos – all served New Orleans-style. ($25 cover charge).
Located at the center of the ship, the Piazza is truly the social hub of the vessel. Guests can gather with friends and family in the lively and inviting Piazza to grab a quick drink or bite to eat, sit and chat, or take in a performance. Decorated with cobblestone flooring and furnishings reminiscent of a European sidewalk café, the Piazza comes alive with strolling performers such as opera singers, jugglers, pianists and much more. Surrounding the open Piazza are several eateries, offering delicious small plates, savory wine and gourmet coffees:
- International Café - The International Café is the place for an ever-changing array of snacks and coffee selections from cappuccino to café au lait. Guests may enjoy freshly baked croissants or beignets in the morning, gourmet paninis and salads at lunchtime, or homemade gelato in the evening. Coffee lovers will find an expanded coffee program featuring a variety of specialty coffee drinks made from a selection of six different coffee beans.
- Vines – This wine bar offers an extensive menu with more than 30 wines available by the glass plus a series of wine flights. Wine lovers can pair their selections with fresh bites including seafood treats, tapas and artisan meats and cheeses. On some vessels, the adjacent wine shop offers guests the opportunity to purchase their favorite bottle. (Note: Food is complimentary with a beverage purchase.)
Princess has been innovating the way guests enjoy their meals at sea for years. Two current special event dining options have become guest favorites across the Princess fleet.
- The Chef’s Table – Princess Cruises pioneered the concept of a chef’s table at sea giving guests a uniquely elegant meal option plus the opportunity to enjoy a tour of the ship’s galley at its busiest time – during dinner. This exclusive behind–the-scenes look at how dishes are created and served includes pre-dinner cocktails and hors d’oeuvres in the galley. The ship's executive chef explains the group’s special menu for the night, then participants are escorted to an intimate table in the dining room for the impressive main course, including pairing suggestions to complement the dinner. The Chef’s Table experience can be reserved by up to 10 guests on select nights during the sailing, at a cost of $95 per person ($115 on Royal & Regal Princess). Each couple at the Chef’s Table receives a personalized autographed copy of Princess’ best-selling cookbook, Courses, A Culinary Journey, a handwritten copy of the special menu and a complimentary photo taken at the private table. Reservations are made onboard.
- Balcony Dining – Whether spending a romantic night at sea with a loved one or quiet time catching up with friends, Princess offers the Ultimate Balcony Dinner – dining al fresco with spectacular ocean views from the privacy of a balcony stateroom. The five-course meal features an array of appetizers, succulent sweet lobster tails, filet mignon that melts in the mouth and a decadent desert to follow. A bottle of champagne is included to complement the meal, plus a full evening of special touches with an attentive waiter on hand to cater to requests at a moment’s notice ($50 per person). Guests can also enjoy the Deluxe Balcony Breakfast featuring specialty pastries, tropical fruit salad, eggs made-to-order and a split of chilled sparkling wine. In Alaska, the Glacier Bay Balcony Breakfast offers a menu of Alaskan favorites, including featuring forest berries, Copper River salmon and quiche, all while sailing along the scenic ice floes of dramatic Glacier Bay ($45 per couple).
Princess pizza has been called the best at sea, made with hand-stretched dough and fresh tomato sauce. Guests have a number of ways to find out for themselves.
- Poolside Pizzerias – Conveniently located poolside for a casual lunch on deck or a snack while watching Movies Under the Stars, Prego Pizzeria features fresh pizza by the slice as well as whole pies. A number of varieties are available, including the oft-ordered cheese, pepperoni and a daily special pizza.
- Pizza Delivery – The long-time popularity of Princess’ homemade Italian-style pizza inspired the company to offer cabin delivery service of its renowned pies. For a nominal $3 service charge, the pizza will arrive in a traditional pizza box with plates, napkins and cutlery.
- Alfredo’s Pizzeria – A new sit-down pizzeria with an enticing menu of freshly prepared individual-size pizzas, Alfredo’s is named for the line’s master executive chef, Alfredo Marzi. The Piazza pizzeria features an open kitchen where guests can watch chefs create the pizzas they’ll enjoy with a glass of wine or other beverage. Currently offered aboard on Grand Princess, Sapphire Princess, Royal Princess and Regal Princess.
- Cookies and Milk – Princess guests have fallen in love with the warm, freshly baked cookies and the enticing aroma that wafts through the atrium every afternoon. After serving more cookies in one day than during an entire cruise aboard the line’s other ships, Princess knew it had a winning combination – a daily “cookies and milk break,” featuring straight-from-the-oven soft-baked cookies, with a different flavor featured each day. Cookies are available at the International Café and around the pool areas in the afternoons.
- Pub Lunch – On sea days the Wheelhouse Bar or other dining venue is transformed into an authentic English-style pub, serving a selection of traditional fare. A menu of British favorites, including bangers & mash, fish & chips, ploughman’s lunch and cottage pie, complement a selection of traditional pub brews such as Bass Ale or Guinness. Pub lunch meal service is free of charge and runs from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
- Afternoon Tea – All ships offer Princess’ trademark British-style afternoon tea daily, complete with tablecloths, gleaming Samovars, easy listening music in the background, and tea boxes for herbal and specialty teas. Guests can enjoy freshly prepared finger sandwiches, cookies, biscuits and cakes served by white-gloved waiters in smart, formal attire. Tea service can also be enjoyed al fresco on the Promenade Deck as waiters stroll the deck with a fully stocked tea cart.
- Leaves Tea Lounge and Library – On Grand Princess, this fusion of tea lounge and library, Leaves offers a distinctive opportunity for guests to custom-blend a variety of base teas with herbs, fruits and spices to create a personalized tea blend. Created in partnership with Mighty Leaf Tea Company, one of the world’s premier maker of artisan teas, Leaves gives guests an impressive choice of up to 500 different tea blends to suit their palates. A trained tea sommelier assists guests in blending a personalized tea creation.
In addition to pizza by the pool, guests can grab other fare for a quick bite while lounging on deck.
- Poolside Grill – For a quick poolside lunch, many Princess ships offer outdoor venues where hungry guests can get freshly grilled burgers and hot dogs for a tasty al fresco meal.
- Ice Cream Bar – The perfect place to indulge a sweet tooth, Princess vessels offer an ice cream counter featuring soft-serve treats.
Whether looking for a quick meal or simple snack, Princess buffets offer a range of options for all tastes.
- Horizon Court (also known as the Lido Café or Panorama Buffet on certain vessels) – Horizon Court offers a wide selection of buffet meals or snacks. A primary feature of Princess ships, the top-of-the-ship restaurant features floor-to-ceiling windows with stunning sea views as a backdrop for a quick breakfast or casual dinner.
- Café Caribe – This themed buffet captures the flavors of the Caribbean. An industry first when it debuted on Caribbean Princess, this elegant but casual dining option presents a changing menu of Caribbean themes with specialties such as Paella-Style Prawns, Whole Roast Suckling Pig, Jerk Chicken, Guiana Pepperpots and Curries, and many more local favorites. Sporting colorful Caribbean décor, the space features an open kitchen where guests can order their meal cooked to their specifications.
Royal Princess and Regal Princess are the first Princess ships to offer these new or upgraded dining options:
- Chef’s Table Lumiere – A spectacular dining experience that takes the chef’s table to a new level, guests are magically surrounded by a curtain of light – providing a soft wall of privacy that envelopes a custom-made glass table.
- Wine Cellar – Diners can enjoy a private dining experience in a wine cellar inspired space. Surrounded by wine bottles, the circular area, which seats up to 12, offers a unique atmosphere for private functions and special celebrations. Wine cellar specialty menus have been developed in conjunction with noted winemakers, and are designed to specially pair with matching wines. Menu items include classic carved meats such as crown of veal rack, lamb Baron and veal rack a l’Orlov.
- Gelato – Royal and Regal Princess' new gelateria serves up a variety of tempting treats such as designer sundaes, sweet crespelle (Italian crepes), creamy fruit smoothies, and delightful homemade waffle ice cream cones.
- Ocean Terrace Seafood Bar – The new Ocean Terrace offers pearls of the ocean, fresh from the sea. Seafood lovers can indulge in an array of treats, including sushi, sashimi, ceviche and caviar.
- Bellini’s – This brand-new Italian-inspired cocktail venue is a perfect place to enjoy the lively atmosphere of the Atrium’s activities, while indulging in a Bellini-inspired drink.
- Horizon Court Buffet – Royal Princess’ buffet has been redefined with a completely new layout and doubled in size. The larger space not only offer more seating but more table choices, such as tables for two and counter-height bistro-style dining tables. New action stations also provide additional dining options, including choices such as Asian cuisine, Mediterranean dishes, a pasta corner and salad-tossing stations.
- Horizon Bistro – Dinner in the Horizon Court offers an interactive experience with themed events and specialty dinners. On certain nights guests may find a Brazilian churrascaria, Argentine gaucho theme, a European bistro or British pub. Actions stations found here include a hibachi grill, rotisseries and carving stations, a taqueria, and a sandwich bar. The Horizon Court also house several new specialty dining options including a crab shack complete with mallets and bibs, or an opportunity to try fondues from around the world.
- Horizon Bistro Pastry Shop – The Horizon Court introduces an industry first: a dedicated pastry shop. Here guests can indulge in fresh-baked goodies throughout the day, including croissants, pastries, hot desserts, freshly baked waffles and French toast at breakfast; classic and modern desserts at lunch and dinner; tea sandwiches, cookies, desserts and waffles at tea time; and special show pieces and flambés in the evening. This completely separate space features its own unique design, décor, function and seating area, plus a dedicated specialty coffee section. Guests even get to see Princess’ pastry chefs in action as they demonstrate their skills in chocolate work and cake decorating.