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Discovery Princess Dining Menus: Food For Thought?

Ketchikan dining room on the Discovery Princess

It’s no surprise that food is a big part of cruising. Having sailed the Majestic Princess ten months earlier, we were eager to see how her sister ship, the Discovery Princess, compared when it came to dining.

During your Princess cruise, you’ll have access to a range of complimentary dining options, including three main dining rooms. These are named after popular Alaska ports of call; Ketchikan, Juneau, and Skagway.

For casual dining, the World Fresh Marketplace buffet, along with several eateries, offers complimentary choices. For something extra special, try one of the three specialty restaurants onboard.

Discovery Princess Dine My Way

Like Norwegian Cruise Lines, the Discovery has moved away from set times to anytime dining. Guests make reservations through the Medallion app. Without a reservation, you can show up to the main dining room and join the “no reservation” queue.

The Discovery Princess and a broiled lobster entree from the dining room
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The Juneau (deck 5) and Skagway (deck 6) are located midship, and the Ketchikan (deck 6) can be found at the aft. The Ketchikan looked more upscale with elegant table settings and monogrammed napkins.

Of the three main dining rooms, only the Skagway on deck 6 opened for breakfast between 7 and 9 am and lunch from 12 to 1:30 pm.

Other Dining Venues

Other complimentary options include Slice and International Café.

For ice cream lovers, you can get your fill of frozen delights from Swirls, a complimentary option on deck 16, and Gelato (deck 5), providing heavenly sweet options for an additional fee. There were ten flavors of Gelato.

Fior di latte – vanillaCioccolato – chocolate
Nocciola – hazelnutPistacchio – pistachio
Stracciatella – chocolate chipAmaretto – almond flavor
Caramello Salato – salted caramelTiramisu – cocoa coffee flavor
Nutella – hazelnut chocolateFlavor of the week

The Gelato is reasonably priced, and they carry sugar-free and dairy-free selections. Complete your sweet treat with a choice of six sauces and eleven toppings.

I found it odd that the ship had two pizza venues. However, Gigi’s Pizzeria, the Ocean Terrace (seafood bar) and salty Dog Grill now require a fee of USD 14.99. Gigi’s can also cater to those who are gluten-free, and the dough is made fresh.

Should you have the Princess Plus or Princess Premier packages, these casual venues are included.

The Salty Dog Grill has a variety of pub-inspired dishes. Choices include:

  • Spicy stout beef short ribs.
  • Wild caught calamari frites.
  • Lobster mac and cheese.
  • The signature SDG Burger.

On the Lido deck, Slice offers pizza by the slice. Guests can choose from three thin-crust choices, which change each day.

The day I stopped by, they offered a Margherita (vegetarian), Pepperoni, and a special of the day, Mexican Chorizo. Very appropriate since I was cruising the Mexican Riviera.

The International Café, open 24 hours, offers specialty coffees, teas, and snacks. Expect a line-up in the mornings.

Discovery Princess' Pastry Shop signage

Discovery Princess Dining Rooms

Before embarkation day, I tried to make dinner reservations through the app. However, some nights weren’t available, and certain evenings only offered a dining time at 8:40 pm. So, we waited to get on board to sort out the time.

Since I cruise with food allergies, I alerted Princess Cruises through my travel agent and got in touch with a restaurant manager the first night.

We ate all our dinners in the Juneau Restaurant except for a few nights when we tried specialty dining. However, I have included the menus for our seven-night cruise.

We tried the Skagway Restaurant for breakfast and lunch one day and found the service incredibly slow. The breakfast choices were limited.

Day One

While the menus still included the classic favorites, we noticed that Princess had removed the steak. Since first nights can be hit or miss, the initial menu didn’t wow us.

Brian and I chose all our items from the classics. We started with the Princess shrimp cocktail, and Brian also tried one of his favorites, the French onion soup.

Seared salmon with wild rice entree
Seared salmon with wild rice entrée

We had the seared salmon with wild rice, which was good. The star of the night was Brian’s Princess Love Boat Dream which tasted as good as it looked. It had a lightweight mousse filling that wasn’t too sweet.

Princess Love Boat Dream dessert
Princess Love Boat Dream dessert

The pastry chef made me Bananas Foster Flambe to adhere to my food allergies. While it tasted good, it didn’t have the presentation impact of the “Dream” dessert.

Night one menus

Day Two

Day two, a sea day, was the first of two formal nights. Of my three courses, the big hit was the White Rum Tapioca Fruit Salad. It was refreshing and not overly sweet. I could have eaten it every night of my cruise. I later had it dining on the Crown Princess, but it lacked the presentation.

White Rum Tapioca Fruit Salad
White Rum Tapioca Fruit Salad

My entrée consisted of my favorite leg of lamb. Unfortunately, it was so tough that I barely touched it. The pastry chef made me a pear and chocolate mousse. This was also a miss since it was very grainy.

Leg of lamb with mint sauce
Leg of lamb with mint sauce

Brian’s fared much better with a Medallion of Beef Tenderloin, which he remarked was very good. His dessert of Wild Berry Cobbler was equally as delicious.

Night two menus

Day Three

It took until day three to be assigned a table with a consistent waiter and manager to arrange my meals. This night, we enjoyed one of the best meals.

Brian selected the Tropical Fruit Cup with Macadamia Nuts, followed by the Prime Rib with Rosemary Jus. Both were very good, and the beef was tender.

Grilled Seafood Bowl
Grilled Seafood Bowl

I chose the Mexican Salad and Grilled Seafood Bowl. Both of my choices were yummy. My entrée had lots of red snapper, salmon, shrimp, and scallops with lovely mango salsa over jasmine rice.

Night three menus

Day Four

We chose to eat at Sabatini’s this evening, and glad we did. The three main restaurants featured an Italian night.

Night four menus

Day Five

The big hits in the Juneau dining room were my appetizer of Seafood Medley and Brian’s repeated dessert of the Princess Love Boat Dream.

Seafood Medley appetizer on the Discovery Princess
Seafood Medley

The Seafood Medley contained scallops and shrimp in a lovely vinaigrette. Brian stuck with a favorite, the Princess Shrimp Cocktail.

For entrees, Brian selected the Surf and Turf. Wanting to try something different, I picked Bacon-Wrapped Meatloaf. Brian’s shrimp were good, but his beef was very tough. The meatloaf lacked flavor and needed some gravy.

Surf and Turf entree
Surf and Turf entrée

There was an option to order Ice Cream Baked Alaska this night.

Night five menus

Day Six

Being another sea day, this was our second formal night, and lobster was on the menu. We enjoyed the Ponzu-Marinated Tofu and Lime and Salt-Cured Salmon starters, both of which were delicious.

Lime and Salt-Cured Salmon starter
Lime and Salt-Cured Salmon starter

Brian ordered the Broiled Lobster Tail. Since the manager knew he liked lobster, he brought a second one.

Since many cruise lines are starting to charge a fee for second or third lobsters, we were happy the additional one was complimentary.

Broiled Lobster Tail dinner
Broiled Lobster Tail dinner

I couldn’t decide between the Pork Loin or the Beef Wellington. I ultimately chose the beef, but the manager brought both. It’s good that he did because the beef was tough, but the pork was excellent.

The pinnacle of the meal was the dessert, the Chocolate Pistachio Dome. A work of art in looks, and Brian said it tasted even better!

Chocolate Pistachio Dome dessert
Chocolate Pistachio Dome

Night six menus

Day Seven

For this evening, I chose the Greek salad and Seared Mahi-Mahi with pineapple salsa. The fish was nicely cooked and the tangy salsa gave it a nice punch.

Brian stuck with the classic of shrimp cocktail and Seared Salmon with Lemon-Dill Butter.

For the last five nights on the cruise, I was disappointed that the pastry chef gave me the same dessert every night. The gluten-free cake was dry, but they tried to spruce it up with different frostings.

Night seven menus

Discovery Princess Specialty Restaurants

The Discovery Princess cruise ship offers a variety of specialty restaurants to fit every budget. While you’ll pay an additional fee to dine there, the cost is much lower than lines like Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises.

If you book a Club Class cabin, you’ll have Club Class dining access. While you’ll eat in the main dining room, you’ll have a designated area, no waits, superior services and two extra items on the menu. Suite guests can have a special breakfast and lunch in a specialty restaurant.

The Catch by Rudi

The Catch by Rudi has replaced the Bistro Sur La Mer. The seafood restaurant offers a fantastic menu by chef Rudi Sodamin.

Princess Cruises’ specialty restaurants are very reasonably priced compared to the competition. The Catch by Rudi charges a USD 39 fee, compared to USD 65 at Rudi’s Sel de Mer, which I enjoyed on my Holland America Koningsdam cruise.

However, to enjoy the lobster entree which I enjoyed at Rudi’s Sel de Mer, there’s a surcharge of USD 30 at the Princess restaurant.

The Crown Grill

Discovery Princess Crown Grill specialty restaurant
Crown Grill specialty restaurant

While we didn’t dine at the Crown Grill this time, I have included the menu. Being a steakhouse, it offers an excellent selection of cuts, as well as beef, veal, and lamb chops. The salt menu is terrific and a great addition to the meal.

Crown Grill Menu

Sabatini’s Italian Trattoria

Being celiac and lactose-intolerant, I stepped out of my comfort zone by dining in a restaurant with pasta and cream sauces. However, the manager assured me that my allergens were not a problem.

Sabatini’s Italian Trattoria charges each guest USD 39. Sabatini’s provides an intimate setting on deck 5 across from guest services.

In the end, dining at Sabatini’s was the highlight of our cruise. I was dining with my husband, Brian, and we ordered different food to compare the selections.

The menu contains five courses, and each additional entrée costs USD 10. You can choose one item from the Antipasti, Salads and Soups, Pasta, Second Piatta, and Desserts sections.

I started the Apple and Pear Salad, which had a fantastic vinaigrette dressing. For my entrée, I chose the manager’s choice of Lemon and Rosemary Chicken Scaloppine. The thinly sliced cutlet was complimented with a nice wine sauce.

Porcini Mushroom Risotto
Porcini Mushroom Risotto

The manager suggested they add a pasta dish on the side for me to try. Her choice was the Porcini Mushroom Risotto. Wow, while I’m not a huge pasta fan, the Mushroom Risotto had the perfect blend of flavors and seasoning.

Brian started with the Veal Appetizer, which was nicely presented and tasted great. He tried the Lobster Tortelloni (made with spiral pasta) and Lasagna Bolognese al Forno for entrees. He remarked that both had amazing flavors.

Lasagna Bolognese al Forno
Lasagna Bolognese al Forno

Even though we had no room for dessert, the waitress recommended we try the Specialita dello Chef, a mini collection of four desserts. They consisted of Chocolate Journeys Rocher, Vanilla Panna Cotta, Tiramisu, and Zabaglione Marsala.

Each mini portion came in small pots, and each one was delicious. However, Brian and the guests at the neighboring tables all agreed the Panna Cotta was the best.

Specialita dello Chef - 4 mini desserts
Specialita dello Chef

Sabatini’s Italian Trattoria menu

360: An Extraordinary Experience

New to Princess, the 360 dining experience takes guests on a culinary journey. The seven course meal, initially only offered to suite guests is now bookable for all passengers.

During your meal, you will smell, hear, see, and taste flavors from around the world. While this unique dining experience isn’t available on all vessels, you can enjoy it on the Discovery, Enchanted, and Sun Princess.

The World Fresh Marketplace

The onboard buffet was extensive, and it needed to be due to the crowds of people it attracted. At breakfast, it had all the usuals, including an omelet station.

We ate almost all breakfasts and lunches in the buffet, and I found the selection quite good. Although getting a place to sit was often difficult.

In the evenings, the World Fresh Marketplace has themed dinners. While I wished we could have tried one or two, it was safer for me to have custom-made meals due to food allergies.

Day One – Los AngelesBavarian dinner
Day Two – at seaBrazilian dinner
Day Three – Cabo San LucasMexican dinner
Day Four – MazatlanItalian dinner
Day Five – Puerto VallartaMongolian Stir Fry Noodles
Day Six – at seaIndian dinner
Day Seven – at seaAll American Corner

Room Service

Since we were arriving in Puerto Vallarta at 7 am, we chose to order room service for breakfast. Our arrival was delayed to 8:45 am during the cruise since three ships were in port, and we needed to dock last as the largest vessel.

We had booked an excursion to Marietta’s Island with a meeting time of 8:15 am and stayed with the plan of ordering breakfast.

Princess Cruises offers a continental breakfast in your stateroom at no extra charge. The breakfast includes cereal, croissants, pastries, fruit, yogurt, and a breakfast sandwich.

While Brian prefers something more substantial before a long day in port, I was happy with fruit, orange juice, and a cup of tea.

We selected a delivery time of 7 to 7:30 am, and our food arrived a little after 7 am.

Complimentary Afternoon Tea

Guests could enjoy complimentary afternoon tea in the Skagway Dining Room between 3 and 4 pm. Since I was traveling with my mum, who lives in England, we decided to try the impromptu tea one day.

Discovery Princess afternoon tea
Afternoon tea sweet treats

Like the Majestic, the Discovery offered no tea selection, just one brewed tea. The service could have been faster, and the staff serviced some guests at our table but skipped others.

I was happy to get two egg and tuna sandwiches that were both gluten and lactose-free.

The sandwiches and treats looked nice. No one at the table commented on them, so the taste must have been satisfactory.

Ordering Food With The Medallion

While you can order food and drink with the Medallion, we didn’t utilize that service on this cruise. With meals flowing from one to another, we were never hungry.

After we tried ordering through the Medallion on the Majestic, it took almost an hour for food to arrive, so we were happy to walk to get what we needed and work off the extra calories.

Final Thoughts

While it had been ten months since we sailed a sister ship, on the Discovery Princess, the cutbacks in food were quite noticeable. There were few beef choices and virtually no lamb.

Instead, entrees consisted of a lot more pasta, cheaper cuts of meat, and dishes with fillers. Since Princess prides itself on the Chocolate Journeys, it was no surprise that some of the desserts looked and tasted fantastic.

We noticed the cutbacks in staffing too. Usually, a server and assistant waiter would serve us. However, we had no assistant waitperson for our 7-day cruise.

After the pandemic, we understand that cruise lines need to cut back in some areas to recover losses. It didn’t affect our overall experience onboard, and we enjoyed our time on the Discovery Princess.

The Discovery Princess cruise ship and Princess Love Boat Dream dessert


Sunday 4th of June 2023

Hi Karen! Thank you for all the detailed information on the dining on Discovery! Can you please tell me approximately how old these dinner menus are for the main dining room? Thank you!

Forever Karen

Sunday 4th of June 2023

The menus are from January 2023.