Remember when cruises were known for quantity over quality — copious midnight buffets with ice sculptures and all you can eat? Princess Cruises has introduced SHARE by Curtis Stone, a unique six-course fine dining experience available on the Ruby Princess, Emerald Princess and Sun Princess. Reservations at the award-winning Maude are hard to come by but now, cruise travelers can enjoy Stone’s artfully displayed dishes for a cover charge of $39/person, including one selection from each of six courses.
The ambiance of SHARE doesn’t feel like a cruise ship unless you glance out the porthole. The wood floors, a communal table, as well as more intimate dining seating, and artifacts lend a warm and cozy feel to the space.
The menu features a variety of seafood and meat dishes, as well as a compilation of vegetarian-friendly dishes to create an elegant experience for those who wish to avoid meat or fish.
The starter course features a Charcuterie plate with 18-month aged San Daniele Proscuitto and a choice of fennel-infused finocchiona, a garlic-dusted Hungarian salami, or spicy soppresata. Non-meat eaters can select Pantaleo Cheese with accompaniments, as shown here. Both plates included a scrumptious herb butter that was hard to resist.
The salad course currently includes Tomatoes and Burrata with whole roasted grape tomatoes,; Lemon Poached prawns, or Little Gem tossed in a caraway buttermilk dressing.
The third course features pasta, fresh-made daily. I chose the Ricotta Cavatelli with roasted sunchokes, pickled beets, and brussels sprouts leaves, which took on a pinkish hue when stirred. The menu also currently features a Pork Ravioli with a green curry filling and lemongrass cream.
The sea course had several options, including a Butter Poached Lobster Tail, resting on roasted potatoes and crispy pancetta in a white onion sourbise. Other selections currently include Day Boat Scallops, which had a Mediterranean/Middle Eastern treatment, Steelhead Trout, or for vegetarians, a White Corn Veloute.
The meat course currently features a Duck Leg Confit, strip loin steak, lamb loin, or Mushroom Ragu of king trumpets simmered in a mushroom reduction, finished with Meyer lemon ricotta.
Of course, no meal on a cruise would be complete without dessert. I loved the Dark Chocolate Cremeux, a chocolate hazelnut custard with crispy mousse and burnt vanilla ice cream. Other options included a Citron Tart and a Toffee Cheesecake.
The selections may vary according to season but are sure to be a memorable part of your cruise, accompanied by wine selections hand-picked by Chef Stone and his sommelier.