Princess Cruises held a sneak media preview on the Ruby Princess last Sunday to show off new creature comforts designed to help passengers ‘Come Back New’ (the theme of its latest campaign). After sampling the fare from the new SHARE by Curtis Stone alternative dining venue to the cushy Luxury Beds it was easy to see that the Santa Clarita, California-based operator of a fleet of 18 ships is truly making waves in the industry and raising the bar the cruise experience.
In addition to SHARE by Curtis Stone (reviewed here recently) the line has added the aforementioned Princess Luxury Bed. We walked over to the bed after lunch where the developers, Dr. Michael Breus and Candice Olsen explained its genesis. Developed exclusively for Princess Cruises by the manufacturer of some of the most well-known and comfortable hotel beds in the world, the bed really envelops you with a plush, two-inch thick pillow top, a nine-inch, single-sided medium firm mattress for enhanced support, individually wrapped coils for less partner disturbance, a European-inspired duvet and 100% luxurious Jacquard-woven cotton linens. “We’re committed to ensuring that our guests come back from their cruise vacation feeling refreshed, rejuvenated and renewed,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises’ president who was on board for the media event. “With our guests’ overall wellness in mind, we’ve invested in the design and development of our new Princess Luxury Bed with leading experts in both the science of sleep and design to offer the most comfortable and rejuvenating sleep at sea.”
● After the sleeper display we checked out “Chocolate Journeys” — special decadent desserts created by Norman Love, one of the world’s foremost experts in chocolate which was sinfully delicious. The offerings can be found fleetwide at such spots as:
● International Café Treats* – Each day in the International Café, a chocolate treat designed by Chef Love will be featured, from milk chocolate mousse, caramel and chocolate flan to peanut butter chocolate tarts and milk chocolate Chantilly éclairs.
● Horizon Court Breakfast Items – Throughout the voyage, savory breakfast items featuring touches of premium chocolate will be offered, such as chocolate muffins, Bretons, puff pastry and Danishes.
● Horizon Court Evening Treats – Each evening, a delicious new chocolate cake will be served so passengers can sample a new flavor each night.
● Afternoon Tea – Offered during afternoon tea is a selection of scrumptious chocolate bites designed by Chef Love, paired with a selection of flavorful teas and other traditional afternoon tea fare.
Then it was over to the The Salty Dog Gastropub, which sits adjacent to the popular Wheelhouse Bar and dishes out big juicy burgers that were developed in collaboration with former executive chef of Umami Burger and current chef of Plan Check Kitchen + Bar in Los Angeles. We were too full from the tasting at SHARE so we missed out on sampling what they call the pièce de résistance is “The Ernesto” burger from Chef Uchimura – rib eye and short rib beef patty, grilled pork belly, caramelized kimchi, beer battered jalapeño, charred onion aioli, topped with cave aged gruyere cheese.
Add to all that Broadway/Vegas-style nightly shows, head spinning daytime activities, shore excursions, spa treatments and other diversions and it’s easy to see how one could “Come Back New” and refreshed, save for that dreadful last morning on all ships when it’s ‘here’s your hat, what’s you hurry’ to whisk passengers out of their cabins by 8 a.m. so they can set up for the next cruise. It’s not so bad if you’re taking a flight out that day, live near the port of disembarkation or have long waits in the airport for your flight. But any veteran cruiser is used to that.