Princess Cruises Changes Dining Times and Updates Menu

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Princess Cruises changes dining times plus Chef Curtis Stone menu updates

Two items of interest this week for Princess Cruises fans and they both have to do with dining.

The first news item is that Princess Cruises has changed dinner dining times in the Main Dining Room for their traditional, fixed-seating dining option.  Dining times that used to be 5:30pm and 7:45pm are now 4:45pm, 5:15pm and 7:15.  What?

In disbelief after learning about this from Cruise Radio while getting ready for our weekly news brief, I phoned Princess Cruises to hear for myself about the new dining times.  It’s true.  Without notice and without first notifying already-booked guests and their travel agents, Princess Cruises has pushed back dining times.  The new traditional dining times have been implemented nearly fleet-wide, the exceptions being on those ships cruising in Asia and Australia.

Apparently, passengers already booked were pretty surprised when upon closer inspection of their cruise confirmation, to see that their original 6pm dining was changed to 4;45pm.  What if you have an all-day or late afternoon shore excursion?  Princess Cruises says no worries.  Everything from champagne toasts to gala production shows are being adjusted to accommodate the change.

The cruise line says it’s doing so based on passenger requests for earlier traditional dinnertime dining.  My first thought was, wow…is the demographic for Princess Cruises really that elderly? Sure, it’s supposed to be healthier to eat dinner earlier rather than later, but don’t tell that to anyone outside the U.S. where dinner time can be 9Pm and beyond.

Since all or almost all the ships that headed for Europe this past summer have returned, it remains to be seen what will happen next year when the repositioning returns to Europe.  I can’t imagine 4:45pm dining while cruising the Med or worse, Scandinavia or the Baltic, where summer daylight prevails til nearly midnight.

What to do if this happens to you?  Immediately let your travel agent know or contact Princess Cruises to try to reschedule.  Stay tuned for more info as it unfolds.

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Princess Cruises SHARE specialty dining menu revamped

Over at SHARE specialty restaurant, the six-course, fine-dining experience from award-winning Chef Curtis Stone has been changed.  The new menu offers include butter-poached chunks of Alaska King Crab and hard-roasted, double-boned Brown Butter Duroc Pork Chop.  Even the main dining room will see something new.  “Crafted by Curtis” dishes on the main dining room menu will soon be rolled out fleet wide.

Where’s SHARE?

On Emerald Princess and Ruby Princess.  Chef Stone has personally curated this menu for a unique dining experience.

“Throughout my partnership with Princess Cruises, we’ve always worked together to create inspired dishes using a fresh approach to fine dining,” said Chef Stone. “We share a passion for bringing people together through food that creates happiness around the table. These new offerings at both SHARE and on the ‘Crafted by Curtis’ section of the main menu will continue to excite their senses, creating lifelong memories as they explore the world on their cruise.”

Here’s a snapshot at the SHARE menu items, available in November:

  • Kanpachi – salt-water amberjack tuna thinly sliced and quick-cured in lime, featuring chilies, avocado and almonds
  • Alaska King Crab – butter poached chunks of crab with “pee-wee potato salad” and confit egg yolk
  • Brown Butter Duroc Pork Chop for Two – a hard roasted double-bone pork rack, with confit carrots, broccoli purée and a jus of whole grain mustard
  • Almond Marzipan – warm cake paired with strawberry coulis, candied almonds and crème fraiche ice cream

The specialty dinner at SHARE includes an appetizer, salad and handmade pasta. The main course choices include a selection from the sea or land, followed by dessert. The cost is $29 per person includes one selection from each course.

Main Dining Room Selection

Guests choosing a “Crafted by Curtis” menu item in the main dining rooms can choose from new options that include Steamed Mussels, Chorizo and White Wine, Beef Tenderloin Tips and Mushroom Cobbler. These new dishes join past favorites like Chicken and Leek Pot Pie and Roasted Pork Belly.

Click here for a complete and refreshed SHARE menu

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