The 360 Experience Aboard the Discovery Princess

Food & Drink, World Travel

As we finished the last of our 360-embossed cocktails at the gathering space in Sabatini’s Italian Trattoria, Rafel asked, “Are you curious?” Are you ready?”  We enthusiastically nodded as he encouraged us, “Let’s go!”

The anticipation built as our host Rafel and a sequined-gowned violinist, playing the theme from Love Boat, led us Follow-the-Piper-style through the Emergency Exit Only doors designed for Employees Only. Rafel became our guide for this enigmatic dining experience.

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A Cocktail with Blue Curacao at the 360 Experience on the Discovery Princess
A Cocktail with Blue Curacao at the 360 Experience on the Discovery Princess

Like every other foodie, I’m constantly searching for the next over-the-top experience. I look for events like cooking classes where we make fresh squid ink pasta, ocean-to-table lobster fishing off the coast and cooking it on the beach, or fine-dining restaurants with the latest on-trend dinners. I’ve had some memorable times, like the dinner I ate on the patio of the Café Oriente as the sunset over the Palacio Real in Madrid and the illuminating lights twinkled or having a Singapore Sling at the Raffles Hotel in Singapore. I plan something new every trip, sometimes more than one if the opportunity arises. Occasionally I map out whole travels around foodie excursions. And I’m not the only one. On cruise ships alone, tens of thousands of diners pursue that special meal every year to create a memorable vacation.

A Bit of Background

So, when Princess Cruises invited me to a new, invitation-only experience in Los Angeles, I couldn’t resist. But, unfortunately, the representative was a bit elusive as I questioned about the event. So, what was this mysterious dining experience?

The 360 Experience is exclusive. Guests booked in suite accommodations on Discovery Princess and Enchanted Princess or guest sailing on those ships that book a future cruise with suite accommodations on any Princess ship, including Princess Premier, at non-cancelable rates. You can also receive invitation-only access by participating in specific VIP casino gaming and retail event sailings. Unfortunately, with two seatings nightly, the venue can only accommodate 20 guests in each seating. So you’ll need to plan to have this limited experience.

Since I would be traveling from Michigan to Los Angeles, I was hesitant. The flight would take longer than the event, but my fear of missing out won over my hesitation. 

The 360 Experience on the Discovery Princess

The Circular Table with Diners at the 360 Experience on the Discovery Princess
The Circular Table with Diners at the 360 Experience on the Discovery Princess
Photo Courtesy of Princess Cruises

Princess President John Padgett revealed that “360 is a fusion of master storytelling, world-class cuisine, visual entertainment, and ground-breaking technology that manifests in what can only be described as an Extraordinary Experience. 360 is a remarkable adventure that immerses our guests into the compelling cultures and flavors of the Mediterranean in a 90-minute celebration of the senses.” That still wasn’t a lot to go on, but I was all in by now.

No matter where the Discovery Princess travels, you’ll cross the Mediterranean to destinations like the spectacular hilltops of Santorini, the Amalfi Coast, Barcelona, and Provence. They can configure and adapt 360: An Extraordinary Experience to other destinations in the coming years. However, the Mediterranean took the debut spotlight.

The fully immersive 360 journey engages all of your senses with the tastes, sights, sounds, touches, and aromas of the Mediterranean. You’ll find the experience as memorable as it is priceless.

LED walls surrounded us in a circular format, placing us into featured destinations using stunning 4K cinematography. The Mediterranean took center stage as Brooke Shields, renowned for her extensive modeling, film, and TV careers is the voice of Bethany, the voyager who takes guests on the sensory journey. She drew us into her memories as a fellow traveler who relives her adventures and local connections made in each destination, making her travel journal come to life.

Food at the 360 Experience

Diners at the 360 Experience on the Discovery Princess
Diners at the 360 Experience on the Discovery Princess Photo Courtesy of Princess Cruises

They introduced us to local ingredients through synchronized authentic storytelling, imagery, music, scents, cuisine, and stunning visual film. The story of each destination emerges from artisans, passionate purveyors, and culinary methods told through a gourmet dining experience.

While I can’t reveal the specific dishes or ingredients served in this seven-course explosion of flavor, I can tell you that I did try a new item that I hadn’t been willing to try before. If you’re a foodie, you’ve most likely seen each of these ingredients on a menu somewhere. However, like me, you may not have tried it because you weren’t sure you would enjoy it, and the expense may have put you off. At the 360 Experience, each plate is pre-selected and artfully presented, so you won’t need to make agonizing decisions over what to eat and how much it costs. Instead, enjoy each course as your server offers it.

As a travel writer who writes through the lens of food, I regret not being able to take pictures of these fantastic dishes or provide even summary descriptions. But, then, it would ruin the surprise, and that’s part of the fun!

A Special Wine at the 360 Experience Aboard the Discovery Princess
A Special Wine at the 360 Experience Aboard the Discovery Princess
Photo Courtesy of Princess Cruises

Food Allergies and the 360 Experience

If you have food allergies, you may be concerned about a meal cloaked in mystery; however, even though I have allergies, my concerns were unfounded. Before traveling, I submitted my food allergies to the coordinator, and the chef carefully prepared each dish with my allergies in mind. In addition, each server had only two guests to attend, so they could ensure each plate met our specific needs. We even let them know before traveling if we would be drinking alcohol or not so that they could plan accordingly, as an alcoholic beverage accompanied many of the courses.

Conclusion

While the 360 experience is shrouded in mystery, and I can’t reveal many details, I can tell you it was definitely worth the trip. Of course, as a foodie, I’ll continue to look for memorable dining experiences worldwide. But I believe I have already found one I’ll never forget.

For more on the water foodie experiences, check out this article:

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    5 Comments

    1. Stacey Wittig

      I love what your said, “Of course, as a foodie, I’ll continue to look for memorable dining experiences worldwide. But I believe I have already found one I’ll never forget.”

      Engaging article!

      Reply
      • Piper

        Thank you! It was a fun experience do with friends.

        Reply
    2. Robin Smith

      WOW, what an experience. I want to do this too! Princess has gone above and beyond with this one.

      Reply
      • Piper

        They sure did!

        Reply
    3. Mary

      Nothing like a good mystery! Love that you point out there’s no agonizing decisions or looking at the price. It’s always a bit nerve wracking to have a pre-selected meal but there’s nothing I wouldn’t eat again from the 360 experience.

      Reply

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    Welcome to Follow the Piper! Discover interesting destinations, and practical planning tips for packing more travel into your everyday life.

    Our founder and author, Amy Piper, is a freelance travel writer, blogger, photographer, and author specializing in luxury and multi-generational travel. She is a native Michigander who travels through the lens of a food lover and has been to 41 countries and 45 states.

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