I have never been on a Princess Cruise Lines ship before today so I was really excited when I got added to the guest list for a special press preview introducing Princess Cruises’ new wine offerings, curated by Ivy League educated Master Sommelier and Master Of Wine, Doug Frost–a leading expert on the intersection of wine and travel. This guy is “the man” when it comes to the world of wine–he has studied with the best and he is fun to talk to about his own favorites (Morris says that he loves Riesling and Lambrusco the most).
I was actually there more for the food than the wine and wanted to see if Princess Cruise Lines lived up to all the hype of being a premium cruise line. I got to go on one of the newer ships, the Royal Princess, which was named by the Duchess Of Cambridge right before her first child was born (and her elegant maternity dress is actually on display for all guests to see). At the press/influencer luncheon I went to today, we dined in the Crown Grill which is considered a premium dining area–guests pay about $29 extra to experience world class steaks, seafood and overall knockout American Fusion cuisine. The decor is a cross between classic New York steakhouse with its adorable vintage skyline murals on the walls and dark res leather booths. Oh, let me say right here that I have never had an artichoke soufflé before and this totally knocked my Crocs off. This dish was paired with Domaine Bouchard Meursauky Les Clous, 2016 from Burgundy, France.
We also had Marinated Goat Cheese And Heirloom Tomato Salad which featured baby spinach, beets and an opal vinaigrette which was actually red in color. This was organic and superfresh. I loved every crunchy bite. This was paired with Leogate Estate Wines Brokenback Semillon 2016 from Hunter Valley, Australia.
Next up was New Zealand Lamb Chops with Rosemary Essence, Green Bean & Bacon Bundle and Crushed New Potato. These tender, rare lamb chops drew oohs and aahs from all the media and Princess execs in the room! This dish was paired with CARO 2015 from Mendoza, Argentina and Chateau Lafite Rothschild 2011 from Paillac, Bordeaux, France.
We then moved on to the piece de resistance–Grilled Iron Beef Filet With Wilted Spinach And Sautéed Wild Mushrooms. The meat was so tender it was an incredible treat even for the jaded New York food critics in attendance. The wilted spinach and sautéed mushrooms had the perfect hint of OVOO. The filet mignon was paired with Shaffer Hillside Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 from Stags Leap District, California and Gaja Ca’Marcanda Promis 2016 from Tuscany, Italy.
This wonderful luncheon was topped off with the most romantic of desserts: Chocolate Raspberry Mousse with Vanilla Creme Brulee and Crunchy Shortbread. This was both creamy and crunchy and a little bit of heaven on a plate. Speaking of heaven, this dessert was topped off with a slice of milk chocolate by Norman Love, the official chocolatier of Princess Cruise Lines. This sensational, artistic heart-shaped dessert was teamed with the most remarkable dessert wine of my life, Chateau Rieussix Sauternes 2011 from Bordeaux, France.
There is talk of Princess starting to do high end wine tastings on certain ships, so be sure to keep an eye out or inquire about it with customer service on www.princess.com. I hope to be going on my own first voyage with them in 2019!