The writer was hosted.
Princess Cruise Lines, renowned for its exceptional service and luxurious amenities, offers an unparalleled cruising experience. With a fleet of modern ships sailing to some of the world’s most captivating destinations, Princess Cruises blends the excitement of exploration with the comforts of sophisticated leisure.
This fall, my voyage on the Discovery Princess Cruise Ship (my first luxury cruise) allowed me to indulge in culinary delights, wine tastings, onboard activities, and shore excursions. Every moment onboard is tailored to create lifelong memories.
The Love Boat Connection
In the mid-1970s, when Douglas S. Cramer, a renowned television producer known for his hit series “Love American Style,” moved his popular comedy sketch series from the confines of a studio to the vibrant decks and holiday spots of a contemporary cruise ship, “The Love Boat” was born. This iconic television show brought the idea of modern cruise holidays to millions of viewers and contributed to the cruise industry’s exponential growth and worldwide success.
Cramer found the perfect backdrop for the movie pilot with Princess Cruises, operated from its global headquarters in Los Angeles, USA.
After the pilot episode in 1977, filmed on the original Sun Princess in Mexico, “The Love Boat” ran for 10 seasons and became one of the country’s top-rated prime-time TV shows.
Princess Cruise Line quickly rose to fame as the beloved series’ main setting and maritime co-star, earning the nickname “Love Boat” cruise line, a title it still proudly holds today. When we departed the San Francisco port, the “Love Boat” tune played on with the ship’s horn over the loudspeaker system. It was a touching farewell.
The Pacific Princess and Island Princess were the original seafaring stars of the show, with “The Love Boat” production shows being filmed on numerous Princess ships in various exotic locations worldwide.
The Princess Fleet
While Discovery Princess is currently the newest Royal-class ship, launched in 2021 with its first cruise in March 2022, two more ships are coming online. The Sun Princess will start its inaugural season in Europe and the Caribbean in 2024. The Star Princess will arrive in 2025 and ply the waters in Europe.
Discovery Princess Facts
Some amazing facts about the new ship Discovery Princess are that she holds 3,660 guests, the crew numbers 1,346, there are 19 decks with 1,830 guest staterooms, and the tonnage is 145,000. Discovery Princess was built in Italy by Italian builder Fincantieri Cantieri Navali Italiani, Monfalcone, and her U.S. maiden voyage originated in America at Los Angeles, California.
The Piazza is the central and stunning three-story lobby located on the Plaza Level, Deck 5. Embarkation and disembarking are on Deck 6, so when I entered the ship, this magnificent space welcomed me with overwhelming hospitality.
Discovery Princess Dining Options
Princess Cruises is famous for its delicious food and amazing culinary experiences. In 2022, Chef Rudi Sodamin was promoted to the first head of Culinary Arts. Chef Rudi has a very energetic personality, has written 14 cookbooks, and is the most-honored Chef at Sea.
Discovery Princess Main Dining Rooms
Alaska-themed dining rooms are situated in the Aft Deck 6 and Midship on Deck 5 on the Discovery Princess. All boast individual themes.
The Ketchikan Dining Room houses The Chef’s Table Lumiére and doubles as a conference room for meetings and gatherings.
The Juneau Dining Room in Midship on Deck 5 contains an immense wine cooler. You’ll find the Piazza, Guest Services, The Enclave, and Lotus Spa & Salon on the same deck.
The Skagway Dining Room serves lunch from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm and dinner from 5 to 9 pm on Deck 6 Midship.
If you’re familiar with Alaska, you’ve already noticed that the Princess dining rooms are named for famous ports of call in America’s 49th state, a popular cruise destination.
Discovery Princess Specialty Restaurants
Specialty restaurants on a Princess cruise ship carry a cover charge. They are elevated dining experiences perfect for celebrations. Following are the Discovery Princess specialty restaurants I visited on my cruise in October.
Bistro Sur La Mer
During my voyage on the Discovery Princess in October, I delighted in the modern take on casual French bistro dining at Bistro Sur La Mer. The restaurant, reflecting the expertise of the celebrated, award-winning, and Michelin-starred Chef Emmanuel Renaut, showcased authentic French dishes with his unique culinary flair.
For my appetizer, I chose the classic French Onion Soup, topped with a deliciously flaky crust that tantalizingly hid the steaming soup beneath. My main course featured tender scallops accompanied by delicate peas, carrots, and cauliflower, drizzled with a luscious white sauce on a distinctive white plate with a blue rim.
While we were on board, Princess revealed that they would be renaming this specialty restaurant to The Catch by Rudi, transforming it into a seafood extravaganza. Here, guests can indulge in a variety of options, ranging from the daily fresh catch to an extensive raw seafood bar. This specialty dining experience will also be offered on the Majestic Princess.
I ate twice at the Crown Grill, and both times, the meals were memorable, and the service was excellent.
Famous for its high-quality beef cuts, chops, and seafood, the restaurant is a renowned steakhouse with a warm ambiance enhanced by wood paneling and soft lighting.
Crown Grill Features Caymus Winemaker Dinner
The newly introduced Caymus Winemaker Dinner, now available across the entire fleet, offers a distinctive menu thoughtfully paired with wines handpicked by Chuck Wagner, the proprietor of Caymus Vineyards. The Wagner family is renowned for crafting a variety of wines sourced from Napa Valley and other regions in California.
Our refined six-course dinner began with an amuse bouche featuring succulent, bite-sized slow-braised beef short ribs accompanied by broccoli tartare and a touch of grated horseradish, followed by a beef carpaccio drizzled with balsamic glaze.
The first course showcased a luxurious black truffle risotto, complemented by a red blend wine from Suisun Valley, California. For the main dish, I chose seared King Salmon and a sizable Prawn, still in its shell, perfectly paired with a California Pinot Noir.
We enjoyed a modest yet delightful selection of charcuterie and cheese leading up to the dessert. The meal culminated with a spectacular Chocolate Raspberry Dream for dessert, a heavenly combination of chocolate mousse, chocolate raspberry cream, raspberry compote, and more, all enhanced by a glass of sparkling wine.
360: An Extraordinary Experience
This seven-course culinary journey is inspired by Mediterranean locales, pairing exquisite and distinct wines with each delectable course. The immersive technology enriches the ambiance with the sounds and aromas, creating a 360-degree sensory experience. We were transported to Santorini, the Amalfi Coast, Barcelona, and Provence without leaving our chairs.
Only on the Discovery and Enchanted Princess ships, the unique style of this presentation is unmatched. After our experience in October, Princess now provides this spectacular dining event free of charge to suite guests, while other passengers can enjoy it for a nominal fee.
Salty Dog Gastropub
The Salty Dog Gastropub offers a warm and inviting atmosphere, featuring beloved pub favorites such as a rib-eye burger, a selection of beers, cocktails, and whiskeys, complemented by live music.
Discovery Princess Inclusive Dining Restaurants
World Fresh Marketplace
The World Fresh Marketplace is a cafeteria family-style restaurant with countless international cuisine stations. They have daily specials for each day onboard the ship.
While on the ship, I enjoyed wandering the aisles and viewing the food offerings. Everything was fresh and attractively presented.
Many tables on both sides of the ship accommodated all the diners. The wait staff kept the tables clean, brought beverages, and served promptly.
The International Café is open 24 hours a day, where you can get gourmet coffee, tea, and small bites that will tide you over until the next big meal.
Gigi’s Pizzeria and Slice
Gigi’s Pizzeria inside on the Promenade Deck and Slice Pizzeria outside on Deck 16 will keep you in delicious pizza for your voyage.
Discovery Princess Lounges
The Discovery Princess offers many opportunities and locations to relax, meet with friends over a cocktail or mocktail, and enjoy the ambiance of the ship. Following are some of the lounges to experience whether you are in Seattle, Alaska, the Mexican Riviera, British Columbia, or the California Coast.
Discovery Princess Entertainment
Some of the onboard entertainment can be found on the outside and inside decks. Here are just a few of the opportunities for fun.
- · Princess Theater
- · Princess Live!
- · Movies Under the Stars
- · Lotus Spa – The Enclave
- · The Sanctuary – Adults-only
- · Fitness Center
- · Skyview Pools and Hot Tubs
- · Wakeview pool
My cruise embarked in Vancouver, BC, Canada, and made ports of call in Victoria, BC, and San Francisco, with the final port in Los Angeles, California.
Princess offers many appealing shore excursions when docked in ports. From Tea at The Empress and Butchart Gardens in Victoria to bicycle rides across the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, you’re sure to find something exciting to do.
All staterooms include:
- · 100% cotton, high-thread-count linens
- · Flat-screen TV
- · Small refrigerator
- · Safe
- · Wifi
She Buys Travel Tip: If you need help accessing the wifi, go to Princess Live! Concierge desk or the internet café for assistance. Do this early in your cruise so you don’t miss all the information and required ship actions.
Types of Rooms
Cabin choices include interior staterooms for the budget-conscious traveler, balcony rooms, and larger mid-range mini-suites; some come with priority services and VIP touches for elevated luxury and convenience.
Full suites with premium upgrades include laundry and professional cleaning services, and other complimentary features like reserved dining, special menus, and private seating.
Families and groups are served with connecting staterooms and family suites that accommodate up to eight guests.
I enjoyed my ocean-view balcony stateroom, which was an upgrade from an interior stateroom. It was roomier than I expected and had a loveseat, coffee table, desk with chair, and lots of closet space with hangars and shelves. The balcony had two chairs and a small table with dividers between staterooms for privacy.
Only available on Sky Princess and Enchanted Princess, Sky Suites offer the largest balconies at sea. They feature two bedrooms, and two bathrooms, plus a dining area with a skylight. The Sky Suites are over 1,000 square feet and provide a 270-degree view from the top of the ship. With a private view of Movies Under the Stars and unparalleled service, this is the best you can get on Princess Cruises.
The service, amenities, and hospitality of Princess Cruises are outstanding and memorable. Dare I say there wasn’t enough time to experience everything onboard?