Dinner and A Show
Most of you have heard of dinner and a show. The recent immersive dinner experience on the Princess Cruise Lines ship Discovery Princess takes it to a new level.
Our experience started with a signature welcome drink, made with vodka and blue curaçao, decorated with the 360 logo in foam on the top. Little did we know that the blue would be reminiscent of the Mediterranean Sea.
Next, we were escorted into a “secret” dining room, where our sensory adventure was to begin.
The dining table where we were seated was a semicircle. The visual experience plays out on the screens on the wall and the surface of two semicircle tables set for 20 people. The middle area between the semicircle is empty and later served as a pseudo stage for our host, Johannes, and his staff of 10 servers.
The state-of-the-art 4K digital technology, with a 360-degree video screen encircling the walls behind us, transported us to 4 countries during the seven-course, 90-minute dinner experience. Throughout the dinner, a ring of overhead digital projectors transformed our tabletop and plates to match our location. We were immersed in a dinner experience like no other. By the end of the evening, we had used all 5 of our senses.
As we were seated, our names appeared in front of us. The show was about to begin. On the screen on the wall, a fictional traveller, voiced by actress Brooke Shields, sits on a Princess Cruise Lines ship balcony, reminiscing about her onshore experiences.
First Stop is Greece at the 360 Experience
We are introduced to a family of olive farmers as we are served our first course of pita rounds, traditional tzatziki sauce, accompanied by black Kalamata and green Khalkidhiki olives accompanied by Greek extra-virgin olive oil.
As we ate, it was easy to imagine a slight salty tang to the air reminiscent of the salty tang of the Mediterranean Sea.
As our journey in Greece continues, we are transported to Santorini. At the same time, we are served marinated grilled octopus with Greek Manipuri Parnassou cheese, pickled red onion, and feta cheese accented with black Kalamata olive powder.
On to Italy
So much good food and good wine comes from Italy. We were served some of Italy’s famed mozzarella di bufala accompanied by heirloom tomatoes, fresh basil leaves, balsamic vinegar reduction, and basil oil, served in a dish shaped like a caldera from a volcano.
The shape of the dish is an ode to the wine accompanying this meal. The crisp, fruity white wine is made from white grapes grown on the slopes of Mount Vesuvius in Campania, Italy.
Our next course started with an introduction by a lemon farmer and his family. As they told their story, the air in the room held a slight citrusy scent of Amalfi coast lemons.
As our plates were set down before us, they came alive. The gorgeous vision of lemons that decorated our plates began to dance around the plate as you moved your hand.
This animation circled one of the best pasta dishes we have ever had. An oven-roasted lemon sauce, lemon zest, and Italian parsley enveloped fresh spaghetti noodles.
Lo Adoro! That’s Italian for Love It!
The 360 Experience takes us to Spain
This course started with one of the most unique wines we have ever had the privilege to taste.
The bottle has a coral-like appearance from having aged six months underwater in the Mediterranean Sea.
The red wine paired beautifully with Spanish cured meats- Pata Negra, Serrano ham and chorizo. This signature tapa of Catalan was served with Pan con tomato and crisp toast topped with tomatoes.
The tabletop illusion of ever-changing colourful fruit and vegetables almost outdid the next course of grilled fillet of beef, fried eggplant, roasted baby carrots dressed with demi-glaze, and truffle butter partnered with grilled shrimp.
France, here we come
On the screen and in the air, we were surrounded by lavender from Provence, France, for our final food course.
Our tabletop changed to a honeycomb with wandering bees. If you touched the table, honey would appear before your eyes.
Dessert was a lavender honey, white chocolate mousse with tiny honey-flavoured jellied bees and a thin honeycomb-shaped biscuit.
As we all sat digesting the food and the experience, a young woman from the Champagne region of France appeared on the screen. Her family has been making champagne for over 200 years.
As you might have guessed, our final drink was a beautiful champagne to celebrate the end of a unique, all-encompassing experience.
A Delightful Ending to the 360 Experience
So, with a final toast to this beautiful experience, we raised a glass to the outstanding food, drink, and service by the wait staff and host. The 360 Experience is an experience we would do again. This is storytelling at its finest.
The 360 Experience is offered on Princess Cruise Lines Discovery Princess and Enchanted Princess.
It is offered to suite guests at no charge but has now opened to non-suite guests for $149 US per person. Ages 13+ are welcome.
There are two seatings nightly, and non-alcoholic and vegetarian options are available.
If you’re looking for things to do on a cruise ship, we highly recommend the 360 Experience.