360: An Extraordinary Experience with Princess Cruises
Have you ever been on a cruise ship? I had never stepped foot onto one until an “extraordinary” afternoon with Princess Cruises. Cruising has never been on my radar nor sounded like my “thing.” Yet, after experiencing the 360: An Extraordinary Experience aboard the Princess Discovery, my opinions have vastly changed.
Thanks to IFWTWA and Princess, I enjoyed a marvelous afternoon at a media preview for 360: An Extraordinary Experience. It’s the cruise line’s newest dining venture and is available to VIP suite guests. It was one of the most unique ventures I’ve had the pleasure to enjoy.
Arriving to Discovery Princess
We began our 360 journey with a stay at the Los Angeles waterfront in San Pedro. I had not spent any time in this area in about a decade. This was probably the most I’d explored, too. Unique and “funky” stores like music shops and tattoo parlors fill their downtown. Mixed in are boutiques and at least half a dozen coffee houses. Back at our hotel, it was clear to see that most guests are in town because of a cruise. Either starting their adventure or wrapping one up.
As the media arrived onto the Discovery, we gathered in the stunning piazza. The ship was in the holiday spirit as a pianist played all of the classics. The Christmas tree that overlooked the festivities was tall and beautiful. Later, a merry mariachi band played Feliz Navidad to the packed promenade. Although I thought I could get used to this, I had not seen anything yet.
Welcome drinks and mingling soon followed. Our cocktail featured vodka, lemon juice, and blue Curaçao. Although I was not a fan of the white frothy topping, the drink itself was intriguing. Curaçao gives it its bitterness, and the lemon brings out its citrus notes. A bit more time went by. We were all anxious to at last see (and taste) what the 360 Experience was all about. And, then, our time arrived.
360: An Extraordinary Experience
360: An Extraordinary Experience is reserved for 20 dining guests per meal. I sat in a round table setting with a 360-degree screen surrounding me. Our violinist, Anastasia, played a beautiful song to welcome us in as we were seated.
As our experience began, I quickly learned this would be partly like an immersive movie. On the LED screen, we are introduced to Bethany, played by Brooke Shields. Bethany has just begun her Mediterranean travels and wants to soak as much in as she can. She wants to embrace herself in the cultures and be a bit more impulsive. Through Bethany, we experience all that is 360.
The Six Senses with Bethany
We started our first of six courses. Each course is designed to awaken our six senses. Bethany served as our guide as we experienced the beauty and magic of Santorini, the Amalfi Coast, Barcelona, and Provence. Each “stop” connects us with the farmers, growers, chefs, and locals who made our exquisite meal possible. We learned exactly where our food and drinks were sourced from as we dined.
As fragrance plays a big role in the six senses, I loved the added aroma of essences to pair with our items. Our phenomenal course featuring fresh lemons meant that we could smell citrus as if we were next to a lemon tree in Europe.
While most of 360: An Extraordinary Experience is to be kept under wraps, I’ve been asked about enjoying it when gluten-free. I am pleased to say that nothing needed to be omitted for me. I enjoyed, savored, and at times, devoured, each course. Princess can completely accommodate gluten-free requests as well as vegetarian and vegan.
I would also like to mention the most extraordinary part of the 360 Experience. The staff. My servers went above and beyond to ensure I enjoyed every moment of my lunch. They were never not at the ready to assist, explain, confirm, prepare, or serve. They were so hospitable and made me feel like royalty.
Be Their Guest
By the end of our stunning presentation, I must say, I felt like Belle from Beauty and the Beast. Some aspects of 360 reminded me of the beloved Be Our Guest number. Each element is brought together seamlessly during 360: An Extraordinary Experience. I hope to enjoy it again one day.
Understandably, this is an experience that is as memorable as it is priceless. 360 is available exclusively to guests booked in suite accommodations on Discovery Princess and Enchanted Princess. Also to guests sailing on the Discovery Princess or Enchanted Princess that book a future cruise with suite accommodations on any Princess ship including Princess Premier at non-cancelable rates. Guests can also obtain invitation access from participation in specific “VIP” casino gaming and retail event sailings.
Learn more about Princess Cruises HERE.