Princess Brings Big Changes To Sabatini’s Italian

April 7, 2017.

Newly Designed Menu, Decor and Handmade Pasta Dishes from Award-winning Italian Chef Angelo Auriana 

Celebrating the cruise line’s Italian heritage, specialty restaurant Sabatini’s Italian Trattoria has been delighting millions of Princess Cruises guests with traditional and innovative cuisine since it first debuted aboard Grand Princess in 1998. Nearly 20 years later, Princess Cruises today unveiled a fleetwide enhancement to its signature restaurant in collaboration with acclaimed Italian Chef Angelo Auriana.

Introducing a fresh new design and menu featuring antipasti and handmade pasta dishes from Chef Auriana, as well as family recipes curated from Italian Princess executive chefs across the fleet, the transformed Sabatini’s Italian Trattoria debuts aboard Caribbean Princess following a multi-million-dollar drydock. Recognized as one of the “Best Specialty Restaurants at Sea,” the Sabatini locations on Caribbean Princess and Grand Princess will offer the new inspired menu this April, with the newly refreshed menu coming across the fleet in the coming months.

Chef Auriana, Executive Chef and partner at the authentic Italian restaurants, The Factory Kitchen and Officine BRERA, in Los Angeles, is inspired by fresh Northern Italian flavors and childhood roots from his hometown of Bergamo.

“Sabatini’s has always been a Princess guest favorite and this new collaboration with Chef Auriana elevates our Italian heritage, continuing our fresh approach to authentic Italian dining,” said Mario Siebaldi, Princess Cruises senior vice president guest operations. “Also featuring a beautifully transformed ambience, the new Sabatini’s Italian Trattoria will delight new and returning guests alike.”

Chef Auriana relies on using old world grains like buckwheat and durum that gives semolina the signature pale yellow color and high-protein strength necessary to hold the shape of house made pasta. Non-traditional ingredients—like mint and marjoram—are also infused to showcase Chef Auriana’s contemporary flair.

Offerings include:

  • Picagge – marjoram-infused long pasta, white prawns, clams, artichoke pesto, ligurian olive oil
  • Tortelloni – mint-speckled pasta, roasted lamb, pecorino crosta nera, cacio e pepe sauce, broccoli rabe
  • Pappardelle – wide ribbon pasta, celeriac, nebbiolo-braised beef cheek
  • Risotto – vialone nano rice, beets dolce latte, gorgonzola, pistachios
  • Torchietti – whole wheat pasta, foraged mushrooms, rosemary oil

“In my hometown of Bergamo, Italy, I was born with an appreciation for the beautiful flavors of Northern Italy that I love to incorporate into my cooking,” said Chef Auriana. “Now I’m pleased to share that appreciation through delicious new Sabatini’s menu items made fresh daily and served exclusively onboard Princess.”

More Princess chefs hail from Italy than any other country and their family favorite recipes are featured on the new menu, including:

  • Roman Seafood al Cartoccio – grouper, shrimp, black mussels, scallops, potato, artichoke
  • Porchetta – rolled pork belly toscana, fennel seeds, potatoes, spinach, roasted tomato
  • Breaded Veal Vallet – marjoram roasted potatoes & artichokes, sun-dried tomato, provolone

The re-envisioned Sabatini’s Italian Trattoria features a new interior design that reinforces the fresh dining experiences that await guests. A contemporary look reflects the innovative efforts of the Princess culinary staff, while rustic touches serve as a reminder of the traditional Italian specialties that always have been a Sabatini’s hallmark.

A superb all Italian wine menu, iconic Italian cocktails and Limoncello liqueurs are available to complement the menu. A $25 per person cover charge includes a four-course dinner, plus dessert.

Sabatini’s Italian Trattoria will soon feature pasta making classes for guests, with more details coming soon.

Caribbean Princess to Debut Seven New Dining Options

March 28, 2017.

When Caribbean Princess debuts from a two-week, multi-million-dollar renovation on April 6, the ship will have completed its largest food and beverage innovation to ever take place during a drydock and guests will enjoy seven new onboard dining venues.

According to Princess Cruises president Jan Swartz, “Fresh, regionally-inspired and family friendly offerings were the inspiration behind our largest food and beverage makeover ever. With updated décor and designs that offer a welcoming atmosphere, the seven new dining options aboard Caribbean Princess are sure to please any palate and delight the senses.”

World Fresh Marketplace

Replacing Horizon Court (deck 14), World Fresh Marketplace unveils a completely new look and improved layout, featuring freshly-made regional specialties and well-balanced food choices: 

  • Breakfast will include 24-hour cereal stations; a designer pancake station with “pancake of the day” stacks; unique hot cereal offerings such as shrimp & grits and polenta porridge.
  • Lunch serves up signature hand-crafted sandwiches, regionally inspired dishes and soups, as well as carvery selections of specialty sausages, hams and roast meats.
  • Dinner selections include breakfast at night with omelets and chicken & waffles, family kitchen comfort foods and a kid-friendly PB&J bar. Night-time offerings will also include a live-action station with stir-fry and customized pasta, plus composed salad choices.
Two Casual Specialty Restaurants

Café Caribe (deck 14 aft) transforms into two new, casual evening specialty restaurants great for families with kids who want to enjoy a special meal in a nice, yet laid back setting. These options include:

  • Planks BBQ serving up family-style “Planks” of loaded ribs, beef, sausages and chicken plus all the fixings – fries, chili, coleslaw, charred toast and dill pickles. Dinner is served by wait staff for a cover charge of $12 per person. Complimentary buffet-style breakfast and lunch options include savory customizable breakfast bowls and signature soup, freshly tossed salads and fork & knife sandwiches.
  • Steamers Seafood offers east coast-style Steamers with regional flair including Black & Blue Mussels, Scallops & Sausage, Classic Clams, Shrimp and Sausage and Broiled Scallops, Shrimp and Crab-stuffed Flounder. Dinner is served by wait staff for a cover charge of $12 per person. A delectable lobster tail and King Crab legs can be added for $10. Complimentary buffet-style breakfast and lunch options include specialty egg dishes and ramen bowls with regionally-inspired broths.
Top-Deck Dining Venues

Four Princess top-deck outdoor dining offerings will be revitalized, renamed and enhanced, including:

  • The Salty Dog Grill (formerly Trident Grill) – guests can indulge in “The Ernesto” burger, voted “#1 Burger at Sea” by Cruise Critic from Chef Ernesto Uchimura, as well as signature Princess burgers grilled up with 100 percent handmade beef patties and buns. In addition, guests can choose new Street Tacos of grilled chipotle-lime chicken or roasted sweet potato-green chile with corn tortillas. Loaded fries in tempting varieties include chili cheese and bacon & cheese. Classic hot dogs round out the menu offerings.
  • Slice (formerly Pizzeria) – featuring west coast and east coast offerings, Princess guests will enjoy award-winning signature classic Neapolitan-style pizza. New menu items include Deep Dish Focaccia layered with marinara, meatballs and cheese, California Artisanal Toast including Cali-Avocado or Caprese, as well as Sliced Stromboli, an east coast take on an Italian calzone filled with deli meats and cheese.
  • Coffee & Cones (formerly Scoops) offering treats of gourmet ice-cream sandwiches, complimentary ice cream cones and now brewing specialty coffee on the top deck, serving New Grounds Crafted Coffee.
  • The Mix (formerly Blackbeard’s Bar) – the poolside bar will be updated and redesigned with vibrant colors (full designs will be completed by fall 2017).

In addition to the food and beverage innovations, Caribbean Princess will emerge from drydock with new offerings appealing to families, including Camp Discovery Youth & Teen Centers, upgraded Movies Under the Stars, Princess Luxury Bed and interconnecting staterooms, just in time for the upcoming Europe summer and fall Caribbean seasons. The cruise ship will also be wired for the Ocean Medallion launch that will be available for the 2018 summer Caribbean season.

Royal Caribbean’s Implementation Dates For New Room Service Menu and Fee

March 21, 2017.

As we’ve reported twice recently, Royal Caribbean is rolling out a new enhanced room service menu that adds a $7.95 service charge for most orders.  You can read more about it here, and see the new menus here.

Serenade Of The Seas will be the first ship to get the new room service on March 27, and the plan is to have the whole fleet* transitioned by May 26.

*Quantum Of The Seas is not included in this new room service plan.

The ship-by-ship rollout is as follows:

Holland America Line Introduces Rudi’s Sel de Mer French Brasserie Pop-Up Restaurant to Six Ships in the Fleet

Intimate dining venue to feature classic French cuisine with a contemporary twist

March 12, 2017 Holland America Line is honoring its Master Chef and culinary consultant Rudi Sodamin, the creator of Sel de Mer aboard ms Koningsdam, by launching the French brasserie as a pop-up in the Pinnacle Grill and naming it Rudi’s Sel de Mer. Six ships in the fleet will feature the pop-up, including ms Eurodam, ms Nieuw Amsterdam, ms Noordam, ms Oosterdam, ms Westerdam and ms Zuiderdam.

Since it launched on Koningsdam as a stand-alone venue, Sel de Mer has garnered both guest and industry acclaim. Rudi’s Sel de Mer will build on this success with a version of the menu of classic French dishes including locally sourced seafood served in a setting that will transform the Pinnacle Grill alternative dining venue into an intimate brasserie with custom décor, plates, menus and uniforms reflecting the ambiance of the original Koningsdam restaurant. A specially crafted cocktail and wine menu also will be featured. Rudi’s Sel de Mer will be offered once on seven-day cruises and twice on cruises longer than 10 days.

For Rudi’s Sel de Mer, Chef Rudi also has created Food Faces art for the exclusive show plates made by Bernardaud, the leading French manufacturer of Limoges porcelain.  Each artistic culinary plate portrays a work of art — from food.

 “Sel de Mer onboard Koningsdam is extremely popular among our guests and one of the most talked about dining experiences in the industry,” said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. “The restaurant showcases our commitment to providing our guests with unrivaled dining options, and launching it as Rudi’s Sel de Mer on six more ships as a pop-up will allow more of our guests to see what the buzz is all about and indulge in its phenomenal cuisine.”   

Rudi’s Sel de Mer is set to debut in 2017 on ms Nieuw Amsterdam March 31, ms Oosterdam May 11, ms Eurodam May 24, ms Westerdam June 12, ms Noordam Oct. 2 and ms Zuiderdam Nov. 10.

Indulge in the Freshest Seafood at Rudi’s Sel de Mer

Rudi’s Sel de Mer will serve a classic selection of French seafood dishes with a contemporary twist. After an amuse-bouche of Seared Scallops on Seaweed Salad and Light Saffron Vinaigrette Foam, guests can select appetizers including Steak Tartare, Bouillabaisse Marseillaise, Rudi’s Seafood Tower and the classic Fruits de Mer (serves two).

Bouillabaisse Marseillaise

For an entrée, guests can dine on Broiled Maine Lobster, Whole Dover Sole Meunière, Rack of Lamb Persillade, Duck Cassoulet, Steak Frites, Soufflé au Fromage and the popular Salt Crust Baked Branzino. The chefs also will go ashore to the local fish market whenever possible and personally select the catch of the day as a featured dish for the menu.

Fruits de Mer

Side dishes include French fries, cauliflower puree, green beans, wild rice, truffled mashed potatoes and ratatouille.

No meal at Rudi’s Sel de Mer would be complete without a delectable dessert. Choices include Crêpes Suzette, Apple Tarte Tatin, Profiteroles with Hot Chocolate Sauce, Artisanal French Cheese Plate and Rudi’s famed Souffle – a version of the Salzburg Nockerl.

Rudi’s Sel de Mer will be offered for a set price of $49 per person for dinner, and reservations are recommended.