Shhh…don’t tell! It’s our secret… something new is happening aboard the Discovery Princess cruise ship. I’m letting you in on this secret about the exclusive 360 experience that is invitation only. So get ready! You won’t believe this!
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I have to let you in on a secret… but shhhhhhh! It’s a secret. A Discovery Princess secret.
On select cruise ships, Princess Cruises now has an invite-only VIP culinary experience. You enter through doors marked “Emergency Exit Only” and “Employee Access Only.” But don’t go snooping around for this. You must be invited and accompanied by Princess staff to the cloaked venue.
In our case, our host Rafel, who acted as sommelier and guide for the culinary extravaganza aboard the Discovery Princess, escorted us along with a concert violinist dressed in a sleek sequenced gown. Suspense and excitement were in the air.
“Are you curious?” Are you ready?” encouraged Rafel after we’d sipped the last of our complimentary cocktails in one of the Discovery Princess restaurant venues. It was the meet-up area before we left on the culinary journey. “Let’s go!”
That’s all I can tell you. I am sworn to secrecy.
As the musician touched her bow to the first strings of a classical version of The Love Boat Theme, we followed behind her, somewhat Pied Piper-like. She walked us through the masqueraded doors that happened to be camouflaged with potholes. That’s all I can tell you. I am sworn to secrecy.
360: An Extraordinary Experience
OK, I can’t help myself—the 360 Experience was so over-the-top I have to reveal a bit more.
As the doors opened, a row of bowing and smiling servers dressed in neat black outfits emblazoned with gold 360 logos welcomed us into the secret space.
The form-fitting black and gold costumes appeared to be a little Star-Treky to me. But I forgot all that after entering into a round-shaped room.
The walls of the circular room were “papered,” so to speak, with LED screens depicting moving panoramic views of the Mediterranean.
A server with the list of the twenty lucky participants’ names asked another to escort each of us to our appropriate seats.
I liked that because I didn’t have to decide which of my friends I would sit next to. So diplomatic!
Curious and excited to find out what happens next on Discovery Princess!
We were curious and excited to find out what would happen next! At that point, it was all a mystery to me, yet to be unfolded.
360: An Extraordinary Experience is here
OK, no more! I can’t reveal another surprise.
But did I mention that the table where we sat was also circular in shape? It was like a counter encircling the middle of the room where Rafel stood with gaps so he and the Discovery Princess staff could move in and out unobtrusively.
Depending on the course or pairing, the servers could easily tend our plates and tableware in front or behind us. All of us guests faced into the room, and we could see moving images projected on the circular wall round us.
Sight, Smell, Hearing, Taste and Touch | Journey of the Senses on Discovery Princess
I think I am allowed to tell you that music, scents and cuisine are all synchronized to stunning moving images.
The 360 Experience introduces Discovery Princess diners to local ingredients, growers, culinary methods, and wines that emerge from the story of each destination. And, sure enough, those elements are orchestrated with each of the seven courses.
The fabulous video images took us around the Mediterranean from Santorini to the Amalfi Coast to Provence to Barcelona. The narrator of this fantastic voyage was Brooke Shields, who played the part of a traveler discovering these favorite Med destinations for the first time.
Food and Wine Intersect With the Story
As the story of a new port encircled us on the screen, servers professionally presented a new course and poured a new wine or libation.
The chef meticulously plated each course as food as art, no matter which region it represented. Or was it art as food?
In either case, the food tasted as good as it looked. And as a foodie, I was brokenhearted not to be able to take photos of the creations.
We weren’t allowed to take pictures to keep the surprise for you and others onboard the Discovery Princess.
However, it was probably the first time I ate hot food while on a media trip.
We food and wine writers always take so many shots of the platings that our food invariably gets cold—one of the hazards of the job. Sigh!
Princess Cruises told us that the technology makes it easy to change out the videos. Guests in the future will be able to “visit” other 360 destinations around the world no matter where their Discovery Princess cruise takes them.
I would enjoy a multisensory 360 Experience of China as I don’t expect to return to that part of the world again.
“Suiten” Your Discovery Princess Cruise
The 360 Experience cannot be bought. The priceless culinary event is offered to guests sailing on Discovery Princess or Enchanted Princess who have booked suite accommodations. I am told that Princess Cruises will contact suite guests before their sailing and invite them to one of the 360 Experiences that happen only twice a day during their cruise and is limited to twenty guests.
I highly recommend that guests accept the 360 Experience invitation. I will be sailing on Discovery Princess in October, and I definitely desire to upgrade to the suite category to “suiten” my cruise experience. Get more information about cruising on Discovery Princess.
Discovery Princess joined the fleet on January 28, 2022, making it Princess Cruises’ newest MedallionClass ship. Each guest sailing on a MedallionClass ship is provided with the Medallion™ wearable, a quarter-sized device.
The badge enables everything from expedited contactless boarding to locating loved ones anywhere on the ship and enhanced service like having whatever guests need to be delivered directly to them, wherever they are on the Discovery Princess.
The award-winning innovation gives guests more time to do the things they love most.
In addition, guests can share their favorite cruise moments using MedallionNet, the best WiFi at sea, stay connected with friends and family back home, work remotely anywhere on the ship, quickly post content and stream favorite movies and shows.
It’s good to know that Discovery Princess uses the latest technologies to reduce fuel consumption, treat wastewater and support Princess Cruises environmental compliance efforts.
Shop UNSTOPPABLE Stacey's guidebooks:
360: First Impressions | Discovery Princess
360: An Extraordinary Experience is here | Discovery Princess
UNSTOPPABLE Stacey was a guest of Princess Cruises a long with three other IFWTWA writers on December 17, 2022. Princess may be offering similar visits to IFWTWA members later this year in Florida. Stay tuned to the IFWTWA Facebook page!
Hi, I’m Stacey
UNSTOPPABLE Stacey Travel is a travel blog focused on immersive travel that highlights food, wine and the spirituality of place. I also occasionally write about life as a Camino de Santiago pilgrim. I hope you enjoy what I post here. Feel free to leave comments! Read more…
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As is common in the travel industry, UNSTOPPABLE Stacey was provided with accommodations, meals, and other compensation for the purpose of review. While it has not influenced this review, the author believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest.
In addition, this blog, UNSTOPPABLE Stacey Travel, contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, Stacey earns a commission at no extra cost to you. These commissions help reduce the costs of keeping this travel blog active.
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