Credit: Princess Cruises

What you didn't know about dining on Princess Cruises

Author: Harriet Mallinson

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Princess Cruises prides itself on top-notch dining options but there's still plenty you might not know. We quizzed the Food & Beverage Director of Sky Princess to find out more.

Right, picture the scene. You're in a pub quiz, final round, neck and neck with the smug foursome in the corner, fists gripped tightly around pint glasses. The question? How much food do cruise passengers get through in a week?

The answer, we'll warn you, is simply mind-blowing so hold onto your hats - on a full ship of 3,600 guests and 1,346 crew - a whopping 120 tons of food is consumed.

That's 120 walruses, that's 24 bulldozers, that's 12 African bush elephants...that's A LOT.

These are the kinds of gems World of Cruising discovered when quizzing F&B Director of Sky Princess Oliver Neuburger. Think you know all about cruise dining? Think again.

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Princess Cruises is renowned for its use of technology - most recently winning Best Use of Technology in World of Cruising's 2021 Wave Awards - and this is clear with the cruise line’s use of innovation when it comes to food and drink.

"Our Medallion technology and Dine My Way app are unique to the cruise ship industry," explained Neuburger.

Dine My Way can be accessed on Princess' MedallionClass app and helps you personalise your cruise dining experience. On the app, you are able to customise your reservations and other dining options at both included eateries and speciality restaurants.

- READ MORE: Personalise your dining & tuck into unique dishes with Princess Cruises -

You can change reservations at the touch of a button and lock in the same dining time every night should you want the same waitstaff.

Want to really take your time over dinner or are you keen to gobble your meal and rush off to a show? Guests can choose a dining pace in their profile as well as share any dietary preferences.

Perhaps more excitingly, for those looking to relax to the max while on their cruise, you can order food and drink from the app wherever you are on the ship and have it delivered directly to you without moving a muscle (well, maybe just your index finger).

"Our Medallion technology and Dine My Way app are unique to the cruise ship industry." Credit: Princess Cruises

Captain's Circle Platinum and Elite members, as well as guests booked in Club Class and Suites, will be given early access to the app ahead of their cruise, with most guests able to use the app once their holiday has been paid in full.

Tech also comes into play at the bar, Neuburger tells us. "Technology can be of assistance like in our Bar 'Good Spirits' where it is used to assist with presentation and entertainment combined," he explained.

Good Spirits at Sea - based on the TV series which globe-trots in search of local ingredients for novel cocktails - is the optimum spot to discover new drinks. Each beverage tells a story as the onboard mixologist immerses you in the culture of your destination while concocting your drink. No run-of-the-mill "Shaken not stirred" here.

- READ MORE: Review - what's it really like to cruise the UK onboard Sky Princess? -

Now, time for the next piece of cruise trivia. How much alcohol does Sky Princess have onboard for a seven-night cruise?

The answer? An enormous 150,000 bottles of wine, beers and spirits for just one week! Now that's a boat party!

Wine is the most popular alcoholic beverage onboard, the Director elaborated, "but it depends if you cruise in the UK or in the US…"

Crown Grill is one of the restaurants Neuburger insists guests should not miss. Credit: Princess Cruises

As for the most popular dinner dish, that would be Surf & Turf. This best-of-both-worlds delight can be found in speciality restaurant Crown Grill. It consists of 8oz filet mignon and 6-7oz Maine lobster served with drawn butter and your choice of sauce and sides. Dee-licious.

In fact, Crown Grill is one of the restaurants Neuburger insists guests should not miss alongside Bistro Sur La Mer, Ocean Terrace Sushi Bar and Sabatini's. "They all have their unique menu," said the F&B head honcho.

"La Mer," as Neuburger calls it, serves French bistro-style dining with a modern twist. It's also home to his favourite cuisine. "I am old school and prefer the classic dishes from our La Mer Restaurant," the food boss confides.

- READ MORE: Celebrate in style with Princess' Ultimate Balcony Dining experience -

Ocean Terrace Sushi Bar serves up premium seafood rolls and sashimi while Sabatini's is an Italian Trattoria.

The latter's biggest claim is its homemade pasta rolled and shaped every day by bonafide Italian chefs using treasured family recipes. Indeed, Chef Angelo Auriana, once head chef at famous Michelin-starred restaurant Valentino in Los Angeles, aims to transport diners to Italy with his cooking. You can practically smell the Colosseum...

Maria recommends trying out the fresh pasta served in onboard restaurants like Sabatini's. Credit: Princess Cruises

Pasta isn't the only thing made from scratch onboard; so are sauces, while bread is baked fresh 24/7 along with pastries, and steaks are aged and cut right on the ship, too. We'll let you into a secret - the same can't be said for all cruise lines!

OK, pop quiz time. How many chefs are onboard a Princess Cruises ship? According to Neuburger, "a Royal class ship has about 120 cooks." Yes, it may sound like a lot of culinary folk in the kitchen but, given the quality of food, we're thinking there's no worry of the broth being spoiled here.

- READ MORE: Enchanted Princess sails inaugural voyage - what's onboard? -

So, what are the Director's top tips for dining onboard a Princess Cruises ship?

"Plan ahead with showtimes, don’t rush, enjoy your time, be open-minded to try different food, and just enjoy your vacation," Neuburger advised - and it sounds like decent wisdom to us.

What we still can't get our heads around is just how much people eat on a cruise. Do you know how much is in one food order? A mind-boggling 1,000 individual items, that's what! No idea how many walruses or bulldozers that makes up but...blimey.

Just popping to the gym.

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