Cooking with Alison

Review of Princess Cruise Line Food

In Reviews on January 26, 2011 at am

To see a video tour of the cruise ship galley (kitchen) and some interesting facts, see here.

I went on a cruise for the first time in August, 2010 and I loved it way more than I thought I would.  Krystal and I traveled to the East coast of Canada and USA (New England) with the Princess Cruise line on the Caribbean Princess ship.  We were told that the average passenger gains 12 pounds on this 1 week long cruise.  You’ll see why from my review of the food below.

(In January, 2012, Krystal, Ed and I cruised to the Western Caribbean with the Royal Caribbean line on the Liberty of the Seas ship.  Although the Royal Caribbean ships have some advantages over the Princess ships, the food and service fell short in comparison.  I’ve written a brief review of the Royal Caribbean line in comparison to Princess here.)

Important Note About the Coffee:

When we were in the buffet, a crew member refilled the coffee station with a dark brown coffee syrup.  So be warned that the complimentary coffee from the buffets and dining rooms are not brewed from beans.  It is, however, freshly brewed at the cafes and lounges, but you have to pay extra.

Selection and Availability of Food:

We were continually [pleasantly] surprised by the quality, selection, and constant abundance of food.  Food was available 24/7 and the menus were changed daily for each meal, in each dining area.  Even the pickiest of picky eaters should have an abundance of options.  We sampled the breakfast, lunch, tea time, dinner, and late night snacks/meals from the formal dining room and informal buffet lines, pub, pizzeria, grill, and cafe.  There was food everywhere we went.  They even served cookies and milk on the deck on the day at sea.  (They had the best peanut butter cookies.)  Also, fresh popcorn was available with the Movies Under the Stars each night.

Dining Room Food:

The dining rooms had completely different menus each day in addition to a list of standard dishes that were available throughout the duration of the cruise.  I especially loved breakfast in the dining room, because they had fresh grapefruit halves with the pieces already cut out for you.

The four course dinners served in the dining room never tasted mass produced and were better than the average chain restaurant.  Of special note, their prosecco and peach soup was absolutely delicious.

Tea time in the dining room was fun.  They served small sandwiches and a selection of cookies, scones, and pastries.  Their fruit pastry was the best I’ve ever had.

Buffet Food:

The buffets were even better than the Bellagio buffet in Las Vegas (in my opinion).  Crispy foods stayed crispy, hot foods were hot, cold foods were cold, and the seafood was not dry or overcooked (for the most part).  I was in love with the fact that they served fresh papaya most days.  I was most impressed by the selection of fish on their buffet lines.  Although the quality of the buffet food was consistent, the salting of it was not.  All of the soups that we tried were too salty for our taste and there was always at least one random side from the buffet that was over salted.  Their crispy breaded shrimp and carrot cake were the best I have ever had.  If only they had those every day.

Pub Food (Charged Restaurant):

The pub was the only charged restaurant that we tried.  We ordered the fish and chips and the shepherd’s pie and we were disappointed with both.  The food from the buffet lines were better.  We were both surprised by this, however, I suspect that the fine dining charge restaurants may be better.


The hot dogs from the grill were not good.  You could tell from the texture that they were of low grade quality.  But what really shocked me, was that the flavouring of those hot dogs was even worse than the foot long, 99 cent hot dogs in Vegas (which were awful)!  The pizzas were made fresh and in front of you.  They were good but too salty for us. Although we didn’t try the burgers, they looked very good.

International Cafe:

We visited the International Cafe each night because their selection of international cheeses was superb.  They also had a nice assortment of desserts.  Gourmet coffee drinks were also available but these cost extra.

Overall Summary:

Taking into consideration that food was being prepared for 3100 people, the food was fantastic and the attention to detail was remarkable.  To see interesting facts about the galleys and food preparation, see my post here.  I also want to emphasize that the service was above and beyond anything I have ever experienced.  The staff had excellent attitudes and were friendly, helpful, and very hard-working.  This played a huge role in making our entire trip as enjoyable as it was.

  1. […] the rest here: Review of Princess Cruise Line Food « Cooking with Alison Uncategorized carrot-cake, crispy-breaded, fish, […]

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  3. […] admin wrote an interesting post today Here’s a quick excerpt You’ll see why from my review of the food. I am planning on cruising with the Royal Caribbean line next year and I am looking forward to comparing the service and food of these two major competitors. Important Note About the Coffee: … […]

  4. I genuinely appreciate your piece of work, Great post.

  5. […] Caribbean cruise line in comparison to the Princess cruise line, Caribbean Princess ship.  See here for my original and detailed review of the Princess cruise line […]

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