Princess Cruises Taps Local Experts to Educate Guests

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Chef Curtis Stone carving a chicken in a studio kitchen
Chef Curtis Stone carving a chicken in a studio kitchen

Princess Cruises kicked off 2016 with the launch of its “Come Back New Promise,” a $450 million innovation campaign designed to enhance the cruise line’s onboard guest experience.

Several culinary initiatives have debuted under the program, including a partnership with award-winning chef Curtis Stone. The restaurateur and New York Times best-selling author has devised a selection of “Crafted by Curtis” menu items for the main dining room, and selected ships will feature SHARE, a new communal dining restaurant with a Chef’s Table experience.

The SHARE menu includes a range of dishes served family-style and designed for sharing, such as a charcuterie starter course, butter poached lobster with caramelized endive, and twice-cooked duck leg with fennel, bacon jus and Parmesan crumb.

“The Come Back New Promise offers [groups] enriching experiences by connecting them with each other, nature and different cultures in a new way,” says Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises. “Our promise is to provide groups with transformative moments designed to inspire them to discover the world and themselves, ultimately allowing us to declare that a cruise isn’t good enough unless you ‘come back new.’”

Getting Schooled on Everything Cool

Several programs will immerse groups in authentic and meaningful experiences at each port such as the “Global Partners + Local Experts” initiative, which partners Princess with local experts in key regional cruise destinations. Informative talks, tours, guest experiences, walking maps and an insider’s guide to “cool things” will be made available in each port. Princess is releasing series of short films featuring insiders and their thoughts and recommendations about the places they call home.

The film footage is shared with groups by direct email ahead of their cruise, and is also shown onboard. Local experts featured include Glasgow Port Director Andrew Hemphill; he speaks to his love of Glasgow Cathedral, and Tuscan regional expert Giovanni Spadoni describes how the port of Livorno is the gateway to many uniquely Italian experiences.

“Our research has revealed that our guests want to authentically connect with the destination, people and culture,” Swartz says. “Through engaging stories from people who live there, exclusive guest experiences and expert recommendations, we want to inspire our guests and help them create lifelong memories.”

Places to Be and Be Seen 

To complement these initiatives Princess has also launched a new interactive mobile app that will help planners research the cruise destinations that would best fit the needs of their group. A first of its kind in the cruise industry, the “Places to Sea” tool takes users on a visual journey through a series of images of possible destinations, activities and culinary experiences. By swiping right to like and left to pass, the app identifies preferences and then matches destination and itinerary suggestions to the results.

“For those who are researching cruises, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with so many options and choices—our new Places to Sea experience guides the process and matches the ideal trip with a [group’s needs],” says Gordon Ho, senior VP of global marketing. “The swipe technology is a trend that plays well in the travel space. It’s easy to use and turns the travel planning process into a game that introduces unexpected places and experiences that may not have been top of mind.”


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