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How I Talked My Way Onto the Most Exclusive Meal on a Cruise Ship

My dad and I are both competitive people, and we love a good challenge. When we found out there was an exclusive restaurant on our holiday cruise, he issued me a challenge to find a way to become a part of it. I knew I had to make it happen.

My goal at the beginning of the cruise was to talk my way into “the captain's dinner” and I got to work as soon as I got on the ship. Looking around, I spotted a picture of the senior officers on the ship on one of the walls and I took note of them. I kept this in mind throughout the day, and later at dinner I spotted the director of restaurant operations. I asked my waiter to bring him over.

When he came over, I told him how I’m an aspiring travel blogger, and would write a blog about my experience in exchange for being a part of it. This is when he told me about the 360 experience. He went on to tell me a little about it, and how exclusive it was. It was a brand new venture for Princess Cruises and that was a one-of-a-kind immersive dining experience. I realized this must have been what we had heard so much about, and told him I’d love to take part and write a review of it.

He genuinely listened and said he’d check with the managers to see if there was any availability. I thanked him, and he moved on to check on other tables. After that, I wasn’t sure what more to do than wait. After not hearing anything for a couple of days, I was glad I at least tried. I followed up with him, and he said he was waiting to hear back from his managers. That was all the information I had. I then went to my room to relax and watch a movie.

Suddenly, my phone in my room started to ring. A woman told me that she had good news. A spot had opened up for me! I was to meet at 4:45 pm that night and that’s all I was instructed. I went to guest services to learn more about this 360-meal experience, but they wouldn’t tell me anything about it! They said it was a surprise experience and left it at that! And so I showed up at 4:45, not having a clue what to expect. And what followed I never would have imagined!

We started with a photo shoot with a 360 dining backdrop. I felt like a Hollywood star! After that, we all had cocktails (I don’t drink so I just had mocktails) and we headed into the dining room processing behind a violin player and were serenaded by her melodies. We entered the room, and there were about 15 seats in a circle for all the guests.

Each of us was greeted and seated by our own personal waiter! The experience then began, starting with the manager addressing us all. He demonstrated how the wall of the circle we were sitting in was actually a screen, and so was our circular table! We began the experience, having courses from Greece, Spain, Italy, and More! Before each course, there was a local on the screen who would explain the significance and process of the food we were about to eat.

We continued this as I ate many exotic and delicious foods, and it made for an amazing experience. While I can’t reveal much more than that, I hope that gives you a taste of what the 360 dining experience entails, and how I was able to become a part of the meal!

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