PRINCESS DINING AND ENTERTAINMENT EXPERIENCE
One often hears that the hardest decision passengers face while on a cruise is what and where to eat. With up to 11 daily meal and snack opportunities aboard each of Princess Cruises' nine ships, it's no wonder.
From alfresco breakfasts of freshly-brewed coffee and just-baked croissants to dinners featuring international cuisine to late-night treats of caviar and champagne, dining on Princess ships is a 'round-the-clock activity.
In 1995, Princess was the first cruise line to debut 24-hour dining aboard its Sun Princess. This popular feature was also introduced aboard the line's Grand Princess, Ocean Princess, Sea Princess and Dawn Princess, and will be offered on all of its new ships. Twenty-four hour dining is also currently available aboard Crown Princess, Regal Princess and Royal Princess.
More recently, Princess broke new ground by introducing Personal Choice Dining, an innovative program which features both restaurant-style seating and traditional cruise dining. Passengers have raved about this new option, which enables them to dine when and with whom they wish, just as they would be able to do at any shoreside restaurant at home, or to choose a traditional dining experience where they can enjoy having the same dining time, waiter and tablemates each evening. The program is currently operating aboard Grand Princess and will be operating fleetwide by the end of 2001.
Naturally, with Princess' customized Personal Choice Cruising program, dining options abound. Grand Princess, particularly, offers a bounty of choices including Sabatini's, an authentic Italian trattoria featuring seafood specialties, and the Painted Desert, the first Southwestern restaurant at sea.
Princess maintains considerable pride in its long tradition of fine cuisine prepared by as many as 150 galley staff working day and night on each ship, preparing approximately 45,000 meals a day. Cruisers are able to choose from more than 450 items on the main dining room menu alone each week -- and a dish is rarely, if ever, repeated during a cruise.
Quality is as important on Princess ships as quantity, and menus are regularly changing to keep up with the latest dining trends. Traditional European dishes are blended with contemporary cuisine, the kind found at today's most popular restaurants. The focus is on seasonal foods, flavorful sauces, herbs and lighter fare pleasing to a wide variety of tastes and preferences. Another point of pride is the fact that many food items aboard have been freshly prepared or baked, including a daily offering of mouth-watering breads and desserts.
The quality of Princess cuisine was recognized by the prestigious Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, which inducted all of the company's ships into the exclusive gastronomic society. This honor, which is usually presented to individuals, is unique because for the first time it recognized the culinary achievements of an entire fleet.
Dining aboard a Princess cruise can literally turn into a morning-to-midnight experience. Early risers can enjoy coffee and tea on deck as the sun comes up before making their way to the dining room for a full, multi-course breakfast. Also served in the cabin or on deck, breakfast can range from continental-style fare with coffee, freshly baked croissants and sweet rolls, to a heartier traditional American breakfast featuring a wide variety of morning favorites.
"La Patisserie," featured on most ships, offers cappuccino, espresso, coffee specialties and fresh pastries throughout the day in a comfortable, casual sidewalk cafe-style setting.
Lunch varies from a full menu served in the dining room to freshly made pizza in the Pizzeria, to a casual buffet lunch featuring pasta, hamburgers, salads, sandwiches and desserts.
British-style afternoon tea, complete with tablecloths, gleaming Samovars and tea boxes for herbal and specialty teas, is a leisurely daily occurrence on board. Passengers can enjoy freshly prepared finger sandwiches, cookies, biscuits and cakes served by white-gloved waiters in smart, formal attire, and accompanied by easy-listening music.
Cocktail hour is particularly elegant aboard Crown Princess, Regal Princess, Sun Princess, Dawn Princess, Sea Princess, Ocean Princess and Grand Princess, where a unique wine bar offers imported caviar by the ounce, and wine, champagne or iced vodka by the glass.
An attentive dining staff and a creative variety of menus make each night's dinner a unique event. Dishes prepared tableside are a Princess hallmark and might include the always-popular Caesar salad, pastas and flaming desserts. Imported Sevruga caviar is also served during each cruise from a colorful ice-throne display.
The finest-quality produce and other meal ingredients used on board come from throughout North America and Europe. And as available, specialties from the ships' ports of call and cruise region often appear on the menus. Alaska cruise passengers, for example, might enjoy freshly caught salmon, while in the Caribbean local seafood and tropical fruits are featured.
To accompany a meal, passengers can select their favorite wine from the ships' extensive wine list. Among the choices are selections from some of California's finest vintners as well as the finest wine houses in Europe. Passengers can always be assured their selection is available as 10,000 bottles of wine and champagne are kept on board.
The traditional gala champagne waterfall on formal night is a special treat not to be missed, especially when accompanied by flaming Crepes Suzette -- even if enjoyed only with a camera!
And, as if all this isn't enough, Princess even provides 24-hour room service, so passengers can enjoy breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks in the privacy of their cabins.
Princess' daily Healthy Choice menu options meet the requirements of most people watching their diets. Available selections include vegetarian dishes, low-calorie entrees and salads, as well as options low in cholesterol, fat and sodium. Special diets and Kosher food can also be pre-arranged.
Together this unique combination of gracious dining staff, fine continental cuisine and new friends make every meal with Princess a special occasion.
Entertainment On Demand Round The Clock...Whether passengers are seeking endless activity or total relaxation, Princess' Personal Choice Cruising offers the ultimate in entertainment and activity choices. Exciting Broadway-style revues, state-of-the-art theaters, top-flight exercise centers, swimming pools, casino games and dancing under the stars are just some of the many options available for a truly customized vacation.
With some ships offering up to three different shows each evening, Princess leads the way in providing passengers with an innovative array of entertainment options. And with up to 60 entertainers and cruise staff on board each ship, it's no wonder that Princess has one of the most extensive entertainment programs afloat.
Evenings aboard ship are highlighted by a number of elaborate production shows which feature exciting choreography and costumes. Princess "broke the mold" of cruise ship entertainment in 1995 when it introduced "Metamorphosis," an avant-garde-style production show featuring unusual acrobatic acts, elaborate costuming, exciting staging and original music.
The line has continued to develop these innovative, contemporary shows that are directed, choreographed and staged by dynamic show business veterans whose credits include Broadway musicals, television sitcoms and major rock concerts. These shows can feature up to 27 performers and a number of elaborate sets constructed for the innovative theaters aboard Princess' newest ships. High energy song and dance numbers, acrobatics and popular love songs all share the stages of Princess' award-winning productions. The most recent, "Light, Camera, Action!", celebrates film genres with the most spectacular show yet to hit the Princess stage, and features such high-tech innovations as live video projection, flying wires, full-color laser effects and digital surround sound.
In addition to enjoying a variety of stage productions, passengers also have the opportunity to participate in many other evening activities including theme nights and Karaoke parties, or they can catch a comedy show or cabaret act. After midnight, the disco comes alive with dancing and occasional theme parties. In warm-weather destinations, the pool deck is the center of the "Island Night" festivities for dancing under the stars, the always popular limbo contest and a late-night barbecue.
During the day, passengers seeking non-stop activity or total relaxation can find both aboard a Princess ship.
Fitness buffs can chalk up laps in the pool and time in the gymnasium while taking part in Princess' Cruisercise® program, which includes high- and low-impact aerobics, walk-a-mile, stretch and tone classes, aquacise and personalized workouts. And what better way to end a workout than with a relaxing sauna and massage and a visit to the full-service hairstyling and personal grooming salon for men and women?
For a relaxing afternoon in the shade, passengers can sign up for one of the ships' indoor game tournaments, such as backgammon, chess or bridge. Ping-pong, pool volleyball and golf chipping contests are favorite daytime activities, as are high-stakes Bingo sessions, first-run films in the ships' cinema and lectures.
A Princess cruise also provides the perfect opportunity to learn new skills, such as art, how to make a crowd-pleasing pasta or how to speak basic phrases in French, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese with Princess' popular "Let's Speak" language lessons. In addition, travel talks on approaching ports of call provide valuable tips on shopping, tours and places of interest.
Passengers can participate in singles' get-togethers, fellowship activities for members of service clubs, tours of the ship's galley and bridge, and beauty and fashion demonstrations.
Game show addicts can play their favorites right on the ship, including Princess' versions of "Trivial Pursuit," "Liar's Club," "Name That Tune," "Win, Lose or Draw" and the "Newlywed Game." Or passengers can try their skills at word games, mind benders and sports trivia quizzes.
With Princess' Love Boat Kids program, juniors and teens can also enjoy their own youth facility and full schedule of entertainment and activities under the supervision of the ships' Youth Activities Coordinator and a staff of children's counselors aboard Grand Princess, Ocean Princess, Sea Princess, Sun Princess, Dawn Princess, Regal Princess and Crown Princess. On the remainder of the fleet, although there is no formal children's area, a full youth program is run when there are at least 15 youngsters on board.
And for those who want to do nothing all day, there's plenty of that, too. Many passengers simply enjoy basking in the sun, relaxing in the pool or hot tub, lounging in a deck chair, watching a movie in the cabin, playing any number of games in the card room or reading a book in the library. And, providing perhaps one of the most special atmospheres in which to relax are the line's cabins, featuring private balconies, which have become a trademark of the Princess fleet.
Whatever the activity, the warm social environment created by the cruise director, cruise staff and entertainers on board each Princess ship makes it easy for passengers to relax, make new friends and have fun.
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