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Inside the kitchens of the cruise ship Sapphire Princess

Luxurious Love Boat Dream dessert from the Sapphire Princess
Photography by Elynn Chen

During our four hour day cruise on the Sapphire Princess, we not only got a tour of the newly-renovated cruise ship, but also received a behind-the-scenes tour of the expansive cruise ship kitchens. 

We wondered what goes into serving over 2,500 passengers each week on a cruise ship?

Then we found out: about 24,000 dinner rolls, 10,000 slices of Neapolitan pizza, 3,000 pounds of beef and 2,800 pounds of pasta.  And more.

View of the pool deck on board the Sapphire Princess cruise ship

With five different dining rooms, a buffet, a 24-hour international cafe, a sundae and ice cream bar, and a kitchen staff of over 150 people, passengers will never go hungry on this ship; if anything, there simply isn’t enough time (or stomach room) to try everything.

The ship serves a large variety of foods, but its main focus is definitely on Italian cuisine. One of my personal favourite dishes on board was the handmade ravioli from Sabatini, the ship’s signature Italian restaurant. These decadent little mouthfuls were loaded with a delicious rich, cheesy flavour and a hint of chive and truffle.

Sabatini's handmade ravioli

This particular restaurant, as well as the ship’s steakhouses (Crown Grill and Sterling Steakhouse) where you can choose your own cut of steak, all require an additional cover charge of between $20 to $25.

Flavourful cuts of prime rib on a bed of arugula salad

Executive Chef Nino Palma also whipped up a creamy lobster risotto on the spot for us to enjoy while Culinary Operations Manager, Pierre-Marie LePrince, emphasized the importance of simplicity in ingredients when creating complex flavours in the ship’s dishes.

If you have the opportunity, make sure to reserve a seat at the Chef’s Table for $95. This meal option includes a tour of the galley, a specialized menu and a copy of the Princess’s cookbook. For something a little more intimate, there is also the option of Balcony Dining where you receive a five-course meal and champagne for $50.

While on board, Alfredo’s Pizzeria is a must-try. This casual pizzeria serves up fresh Neapolitan-style pizzas in an open kitchen and is included in the price of the cruise.

We also had the opportunity to head into the kitchens and get some hands-on experience creating their signature dessert, the Love Boat Dream, a rich chocolate mousse dessert with a brownie crust. Make sure to grab a shot of their homemade (and very potent) limoncello as well to complete your meal.

The Sapphire Princess most definitely serves up enough variety on board to please any palate. With five different dining areas and additional cafes, bars, pizzerias, steakhouses and more, there’ll be something new to try every day, even if you’re not willing to fork out the extra cash for the optionals.


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