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  • Connie George

360: An Extraordinary Experience Shared From a Firsthand Encounter

Updated: Dec 27, 2022


man with white gloves holdng wine bottle, 2 woman and 2 men sitting at table, screen with divers exiting water
Host introduces a wine during a pairing at a "360: An Extraordinary Experience" dining aboard Discovery Princess.

A week before Princess Cruises officially announced what “360: An Extraordinary Experience” is about last month, I got a chance to try it.


I was escorting a group on Discovery Princess in the Mexican Riviera. I received a call from the Dining Department, inviting me to a new dining experience for dinner later in the week. There was little explanation beyond that it would be an “immersive experience” and to meet in the Piazza at 4:45 pm.


I’ve been invited to events a few times over the years when I’ve been escorting a group. But timing usually conflicts with the group’s events and meals. When escorting, the group is my priority so the opportunities have been turned down. But with confirmation of my question, “Can you guarantee I’ll be out in time to greet our group’s guests as they have late dining,” I eagerly agreed.


Not knowing what to expect, I dressed “country club casual” and was down by the Salty Dog Gastropub in the Piazza at the designated time.


Here’s where I am struggling to know what to share. You are not permitted to take photos or video. Princess Cruises wants to hold onto details as best as possible so that everyone who attends gets the added amazement of not really knowing fully what to expect. I wholly agree.


Whilte and blue cruise ship sailing in ocean
Discovery Princess, one of the two ships offering 360: An Extraordinary Experience dining for suite guests by invitation.

But where does that leave me in this blog? It’s like seeing a fantastic movie with details you want to share with friends, but you hold back so you don’t tell them so much about it that you ruin the surprises and experience. Part of me wants to tell you all about it, but I don’t want to overshare and ruin the full experience for you. Let’s see what I can tell you, starting with facts:


  • 360 became available on Discovery Princess on November 8, 2022. It’s to begin in January aboard Enchanted Princess. There’s no news of it expanding to additional ships at this time.

  • It’s by invitation to suite guests.

  • There are two seatings nightly.

  • Limited to 20 diners sitting in a circle.

  • Dining involves a seven-course set meal paired with wines.

  • 360 is a multi-sensory experience. You’re immersed in an encounter involving your senses of sight, hearing, taste, smell, touch, and kinesthetic.


lemon tree, mountains, ocean in background
The beautiful Amalfi Coast is one of the regions celebrated during your 360: An Extraordinary Experience dining aboard Discovery Princess and Enchanted Princess.

This is accurately referred to as “An Extraordinary Experience.” It’s food, not just eating the food, but all that encompasses what you are about to put in your belly.


The experience begins with the greeting in the Piazza with a cocktail only available for guests about to embark on their dining adventure. It continues on your way in to be seated in a small, round room that you unlikely knew was hidden on the ship. Twenty of you will be seated in a circle.


You are about to be surrounded by, infused with, and be part of an incredible experience. You’ll be introduced to the Mediterranean, specifically to Santorini, Barcelona, the Amalfi Coast, and Provence. I suspect that the future will hold more world regions.



Through storytelling, led by Brooke Shields as her character introduces you to cultures and people who are responsible for some of the food you’ll enjoy, you’ll learn about your meal’s purveyors by explanation, music, and sights delivered on the surrounding screens in 4K cinematography. You’ll feel like you’ve personally met these people and know some local ingredients you take for granted, all giving you an interest in and appreciation for what you are eating and drinking.


Not mentioned in the press releases is that you’ll get opportunities to interact with some fun characters. That’s all I can say on that subject. 😉


Throughout all of this, your host will guide you and explain each course and accompanying wine. And you’ll be served by excited, synchronized wait staff.


Who shouldn’t do this? That’s tough. They do ask about food issues before you start. If there’s something served that you don’t care for, you won’t starve. If you are an incredibly picky eater or if your strict diet can’t be accommodated, you’ll likely find the experience still amazing and worth the time, even if you don’t eat much. But I do have to say that I and everyone there that I spoke with loved the meal and were wowed by what we’d just been through.


I love that travel is evolving to keep offering more of the cultural aspects of food beyond filling our stomachs and fulfilling our tastebuds. I credit Anthony Bourdain with a lot of that movement. And I credit Princess Cruises for their obvious dedication to making this part of some of their guests’ experiences.


Want to book your suite on a Princess Cruise? We can assist you in planning your next great vacation. If you like, we can also look for food and cultural experiences in your ports too. Cruising has changed a lot over the decades. Let us help you enjoy these new waves of cruising!


Happy Traveling,

-Connie

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