If you think too much chocolate is never enough, your idea of heaven may be onboard a Princess Cruises ship. Launched in recent years, Chocolate Journeys is the first program at sea dedicated entirely to chocolate and is designed to immerse cruise travellers in the Willy Wonka-style fantasy world of master chocolatier Norman Love.
The famed American pastry chef, formally an executive director of desserts for the luxury Ritz-Carlton hotel chain, is no stranger to chocolate. Love has spent the last 16 years of his career homing his skills and developing his brand “Norman Love Chocolates” in both the United States and around the world. The chef even appears regularly alongside esteemed chef Julia Child on the PBS show Baking with Julia in the United States.
Armed with the background and expertise to develop a remarkable chocolate-based product range, it was no surprise then that Princess Cruises selected him to develop the program which aims to integrate chocolate with the various regions to which Princess’ ships sail.
Your journey into the world of deliciousness begins right from the start. At dinner on the very first evening, the dessert menu introducing you to the Chocolate Journeys program gives you a snapshot into the assortment of desserts you will see throughout your voyage.
Each evening thereafter, a different special Chocolate Journeys dessert will be featured. Highlights include a melting chocolate and raspberry dome and a hazelnut praline delight. If you’re so inclined to want to indulge each evening, we highly recommend mentioning this to your waiter at the start of the meal – they often prove popular and can quickly sell out.
If you’re too slow and do sadly miss out, don’t panic. The program extends far beyond the dining room to multiple bars around the ship, with tasty creations such as a “chocolate chilli margarita” and “chocolate bacon bourbon” – a liquid option for something sweet with a twist. This cocktail selection is also a great supplement to Chef Love’s famed “chocolate love pops” which make their grand entrance at the Captain’s Cocktail Reception. Don’t miss the small heavenly bites – a perfect opening of ones palette prior to dinner.
On ships including local favourite Golden Princess, which features a Vines wine bar, guests can combine their passion for chocolate and wine with a premium tasting experience. The multi-sensory experience was a labour of love for Chef Love, who tapped into his extensive gastronomic experience to create the only chocolate and wine pairing experience at sea. If you love how chocolate tastes, there’s a good chance you will also love how it looks, sounds and even feels in its purest form.
If you haven’t yet reached for the insulin, there is yet another way you can indulge in a chocolate journey of your own. Princess’ team of super-talented pastry chefs offer chocolate cooking demonstrations using Love’s recipes. The comprehensive courses also highlight key cooking techniques such as tempering and colouring chocolate. Many courses are free but on select longer voyages, more hands-on courses are offered for a small charge.
Finally, Princess offers a way travellers can enjoy chocolate without any of it actually passing your lips. The line’s famed Lotus Spa offers exciting chocolate body treatments designed to deliver an assortment of hydrating antioxidants only found in chocolate. The treatments range from full body scrubs to facials and are a Princess exclusive, with spa partner Elemis and Norman Love developing the new treatments.