As someone with a passion for all things gastronomic, food is a key factor when planning my holidays. So, when I got the chance to spend a week on a Mediterranean cruise, I couldn’t resist. Hello Spanish seafood, French cheese, and Italian pasta!
And if there wasn’t enough great food to be found on land (unlikely, I know!), sailing on Enchanted Princess meant I could indulge at the many bars and restaurants on board, including speciality venues Crown Grill, a New York-inspired steakhouse; The Catch, a seafood spot by award-winning chef Rudi Sodamin; and Sabatini’s, a modern take on the traditional Italian trattoria, serving up the likes of prawn linguine and oozing burrata.
My voyage begins in Barcelona, where Enchanted Princess gleams enticingly in the sunshine. At more than 200ft high and 1,000ft long, she looks overwhelming at first, but the crew, with beaming smiles, soon usher me into the marble-floored Piazza, where gold spiral staircases lead to boutiques, lounge spaces and alluring eateries such as the Ocean Terrace Sushi Bar. The door of my stateroom unlocks as I approach it, thanks to my Princess Medallion, a device given to every guest that also enables speedy boarding and contactless payments on the ship.
It’s also one of the reasons Princess has been endorsed as Good Housekeeping Reader Recommended for Personalised Service. For my first dinner, I’ve booked into one of the three elegant dining rooms, where the eager staff talk you through the daily-changing menu; highlights include a baked Alaska that I genuinely did write home about.
Aside from a heavenly massage in the Lotus Spa and a few yoga classes, my days at sea were spent lazing by the adults-only pool, the Retreat, where I ordered slices of Neapolitan-style pizza straight to my sun lounger. Buono! As I disembark, I feel utterly sated yet still sad to be leaving. All good feasts must come to an end, but one thing’s for certain—I’ll be back!
THE ULTIMATE RESTAURANT AT SEA
For a foodie experience like no other, book a suite on Enchanted or Discovery Princess. Both feature ‘360: An Extraordinary Experience’, an immersive dining room seating just 20 VIP guests. It’s a feast for the senses, where you’re served a seven-course Mediterranean meal on an interactive table surrounded by video screens as part of a story narrated by Brooke Shields. Over two hours, you’re transported by sights, sounds and scents (such as lemon spritzed into the room) to, among other destinations, a Greek taverna on the island of Santorini (plates projected on to the table appear to spin and break when you touch them) and a lavender field in France. The beautifully presented dishes include pasta al limone, grilled octopus, beef tenderloin with truffle butter and lavender mousse—all paired with delicious wines and Champagne. Cheers!
This piece originally appeared in the November 2023 print edition of Harper's Bazaar UK