I've been lucky enough to sail with Princess twice in the last year, and earlier this spring I went on the trip of a lifetime sailing around the Baltic on Princess' beautiful Regal Princess ship.
The last cruise I was on was the smaller Ruby Princess - which was pretty easy to get the lay of the land quickly. The Regal seemed a bit daunting at first with so many amazing choices - but it didn't take much time to find so many favorites from around the ship.
Princess does cruise food right - you truly have access to world-class restaurants around the clock, full of delicious options for any craving.
When people ask me my favorite part of the cruises I have taken with Princess it's always easy to answer - because hands down, it is always the FOOD!
So let's get to it - my picks for everything you need to eat on the Regal Princess.
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Pizza from the Prego's Pizza and room service
One of my favorite dinners of all time on Princess is the most simple - pizza from Prego's - the walk-up pizza bar that constantly cranks out pizza through the day. Prego's pizza is New York thin - foldable, full of cheesy goodness, and seriously good. And its there all the time!
The pizza chefs at Prego's are constantly loading pizzas into the oven - cheese and pepperoni are staples, and there are rotating specials for other pies every day. It is so fast and easy - and so delicious!
Hot tip: Really craving pizza, but don't want to head upstairs? For a small charge ($3), you can get a whole fresh pizza delivered to your room, and they throw in tons of herbs, cheese, and pepper to sprinkle on top.
I should probably not admit to how many times I ordered pizza (especially with a cruise that involved so many ports like ours- when I got back on the ship I was just ready to relax in my room, not head to dinner) - but who can resist perfect gourmet pizza, right to your room?
Peanut Butter and Jelly - Room Service
I know it sounds funny - but Princess has the BEST peanut butter and jelly sandwiches from room service - which is available 24 hours a day!
The bread is very lightly toasted, and there is a middle slice separating the peanut butter from the jelly - it is crunchy, creamy, sweet - and SO addictive.
It's great anytime of day - but we found it to be a lifesaver after a day where we were on a really long, intense shore excursion - only to wake up starving after skipping dinner to sleep. PB&J's at 3am to save the day!!
Obviously, pizza here rules, and I tried it all so I could dutifully report back (it's a tough job, but someone's got to do it!!). Alfredo's is Princess' signature sit-down pizzeria, which also offers delicious Italian staples like lasagna and other pastas.
The star here for me is simple - the Regal Pizza topped with parma ham. I craved this pizza the whole cruise - it was so delicious!
Sabatinis is one of Princess' supplemental restaurants (meaning there is a small charge to dine there) - with a menu bursting full of Italian favorites in a gorgeous, sleek setting that is perfect for parties or a romantic night on board.
Don't skip the burratta - it is amazing!
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Princess knows their gelato -
Hot tip: order the Frangelico gelato, and mix it well with a straw to make your own boozy gelato shake! SO SO SO delicious.... and the best indulgence you can find!
The Crown Grill
The Crown Grill is my favorite supplemental restaurant on board the Regal Princess - and it's really easy to see why! The delicious steakhouse goes over and above all expectations with dry aged chops, steaks, and insanely fresh seafood - and some of the tastiest desserts on board!
Hot Tip: order surf and turf. Just do it. And order the dessert sampler... all the desserts are too good to pass up!
Symphony and Concerto Dining Rooms
The two free-seating dining rooms (meaning you can dine anytime - reservations not required but sometimes crave-able to avoid busy seatings) that have full menus featuring an appetizer, soup or salad course, main dish, and dessert for lunch and dinner seatings.
The menus change daily in the main dining rooms - but some favorites are on the menu everyday, and some repeat during the cruise (there are also theme nights like the Tuscan evening when waiters dress up in tuscan themed sweaters).
Take it up a notch: to enjoy a night dining unlike any other, be sure to try the Winemaker's dinner - a full tasting menu perfectly paired with different wines that takes place in a secluded wine room inside the dining rooms - or the Chef's Table - a dinner that also feels like an excursion, which focuses on a tour around the ship's galley, special meals you wont find anywhere on the menu, and plenty of face time with the chef in a truly magical evening.
The top trick to mastering the dining room is quickly befriending your waiter. We ended up having the same waiters most of the cruise (shoutout to Archie and Samuel - they were SO fun and went totally over and beyond to make sure we were happy, and made us truly feel at home!) and often asked them what dishes THEY loved.
With so many dishes, and many of them rotating in and out throughout the menu, it can be totally overwhelming to really nail your picks - but the waiters want you to go home happy and full - and will give you great picks!
Hot Tips: watch for dishes created by chef Curtis Stone many nights on board - they are delicious, full of fresh flavor, and trendy ingredient pairings!
If for some reason you aren't happy with your order, just ask for something else! Love your entree, but want more? No worries- ask for another! Want just dessert for every course, or just make a meal of appetizers? DO IT! The dining rooms are totally flexible with mealtime, so if you really want something, ask.
If you're on the hunt for a delicious cocktail, Princess doesn't disappoint. While all of the bars on ship are fabulous (we sadly didn't get to make much use of the gorgeous bar over the skywalk on my recent cruise as it was a bit cold and even snowing on our cruise at one point), Crooners is always my favorite.
Crooners has super comfy chairs, always has fun lounge music playing, and a great spot over the piazza, perfect for people watching.
If you pull up a chair at Crooners, be sure to try the peach margaritas, the raspberry margaritas (with fresh raspberry preserves), the elderflower champagne cocktail - or just let your bartender know some ingredients you like and ask them to surprise you (we did this most of the time and always ended up LOVING our drinks!)
Hot tip: watch for happy hour (all bars, ship-wide) when you can get two for one drinks. The lines can get a bit long, so just be patient - but so worth it to try out new drinks!
Tea time is always a favorite for me on Princess Cruises - they make it so much fun! This cruise, we were invited to try out the Royal tea inside the Piazza.
We had three tea courses, with specific treats paired with each tea (including my favorite scones, some delicious caviar, and tea sandwiches that I love - as well as a jaw-dropping dessert that you can only get with Royal Tea!)
If you asked me my #1 favorite place to eat on a Princess cruise, you might laugh a bit when first hearing it is the 24 hour International Cafe - a small corner off the Piazza that serves up sandwiches, salads, and pastries. On a ship with so many decadently rich options, a grab-and-go cafe might not seem like a top choice - but it absolutely should be! Everything at the International Cafe shines and is completely recommended - they have
Don't let the small size throw you - the International Cafe has SO many delicious (free) options, it is a MUST visit! There are light and fresh salads (the Watermelon Feta salad is to die for - as is the greek salad), fresh panini-pressed sandwiches that are overflowing with flavor, and the pastries.
We literally ate breakfast at the International Cafe everyday - they saw me coming and had a double latte and almond pastry ready by the last few days! That almond croissant - it is the best I've ever had.
Flaky, buttery, and rich - with a deliciously sweet almond filling and crunchy almonds on top. If I could have them sent to my house every morning for breakfast, I totally would!
Hot Tips: there tend to be certain pastries on offer every day of your cruise (though I have heard these change throughout the season), and some that only come out a couple days. If you see the Pistachio or Apple doughnuts - don't even blink, just order them! So delicious. The cheese bretzel, white chocolate hazelnut muffins, and chocolate stuffed croissants were some of our one-day-only favorites.
Make your own perfect pairing by grabbing a salad or small plate with snacks from the International Cafe and head up to Crooners - since they don't have formal food service at that bar (unlike the seafood bar which serves fresh sushi or Vines' tapas selections), it's the perfect light accompaniment to cocktails and wine!