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Princess Cruises Food Review – EVERYTHING I Ate During my Cruise: (Photos and Menus)

If you are taking a Princess cruise you might be wondering what the food will be like. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included at no extra cost on a Princess cruise.

I’ve just disembarked Emerald Princess and in this post we will look at everything I ate in the main dining room, buffet and poolside grill. Menus are also provided.

Buffet – Included

The buffet on the Emerald Princess was open from early in the morning until late at night. The buffet is split into two sides and is relatively small due to the small size of the ship.

Below are some examples of my buffet meals. All of the food in the buffet is free and unlimited.

princess cruises main buffet food

The great thing was that during the changeover times, between breakfast and lunch, or lunch and dinner the buffet didn’t have to close completely because they would close one side and open another.

The buffet at dinner time consisted of:

  • A Carvery Section (Roast Meat etc.)
  • Pasta
  • Salads
  • Indian, Chinese or Mexican Dishes
  • Breads
  • Desserts

The sections would be different for breakfast and lunch.

Below is a photo of my breakfasts and one of my lunches.

princess cruises buffet food

I loved the number of things that were in small grab-and-go cups, this made it very easy to pick up a snack or to have a small portion of something.

We usually ate breakfast in the buffet and although I am not a big buffet fan, there was lots of choices. I mostly had bread and fruit as seen below.

There were lots of waiters around who would ask if we wanted a drink as soon as we sat down.

princess cruises main buffet food

The buffet was always very clean and the tables were cleaned between each group of guests.

The below photos show my dad’s breakfast (he’s much more into breakfast than me) and my fajita and nacho lunches. These were very yummy!

princess cruises main buffet food

Main Dining Room – Included

There are multiple main dining rooms onboard the Emerald Princess.

Guests can either choose fixed dining, where you have the same table at the same time each night or flexible dining. We opted for flexible dining and it worked well.

Flexible dining meant that we could book different restaurants and eat at different times.

We did also have the option to table share so if you were cruising solo, this would be a good way to meet other passengers.

Starter #1Duck Liver Pate
Starter #2Salad with Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Main #1Curry (Off Menu)
princess cruises main dining room food
princess cruises dinner menu

It wasn’t uncommon to find that there were extras available not on the menu.

Most nights there would be at least two specials, and one of them was usually vegetarian. The majority of the time the specials would be pies or curries.

The below vegetable pie and chips were an off-menu special.

Main #1Vegetable Pie (Off Menu)
Main #2Smoked Pork Loin
princess cruises main dining room food
princess cruises dinner menu
Starter #1Sesame Chicken Bites
Starter #2Mexican Salad
princess cruises main dining room food

There was also an always-available section on the menu, these are called Princess’s favourites and they don’t change.

The dessert menu also has an always-available section. My favourite in this section is the Love Boat Dream, it’s a chocolate brownie/mousse and I had it multiple times during the cruise.

princess cruises main dining room food
Main Penne Pasta
DessertLemon Meringue
princess cruises main dining room food
princess cruises dinner menu
Starter #1Field Greens
Main #1Chips/Fries and Vegetable Samosas (Off Menu)
Main #2Jerk Chicken

A plate of chips/fries wasn’t on the menu but when I ordered the vegetable samosas, our waiter asked me if I could like some chips as the portion was small, I didn’t expect a whole bowl of chips!

If you’d ever like something extra, just ask.

princess cruises main dining room food
Starter #1Field Greens
Main #1Chips/Fries and Vegetable Samosas (Off Menu)
Main #2Jerk Chicken
princess cruises dinner menu

Caesar salad was always available as a starter as you’ll find on most cruise lines.

It is possible to order a starter as a main or a main as a starter if you’d prefer.

princess cruises main dining room food

There aren’t any limits on how many courses you can order, so if there are multiple things that take your fancy, order them all!

Many people order a couple of starters and a couple of mains. The waiters are very used to it.

princess cruises main dining room food

The below menu was from Gala night, this is Princess’s formal night of sorts.

Many people do dress up for dinner and there is a dress code that’s in place.

It isn’t as strict as other cruise lines like Cunard, but compared to other American cruise lines like Carnival or Royal Caribbean, it is taken more seriously.

princess cruises dinner menu
Starter #1Marinated Tofu
Main #1Beef Wellington
Dessert #1Chocolate Bomb
princess cruises main dining room food
Starter #1Wedge Salad
Main #1Ravioli
Dessert #1Cheesecake
princess cruises main dining room food
princess cruises dinner menu

We always found that the food was well presented, the portion sizes were good and the food hot. The service was great too.

Starter #1Steamed Asparagus
Main #1Eggplant Timbale
Dessert #1Baked Alaska
princess cruises main dining room food

Other Included Food – Pool Side Grill

In addition to the food in the buffet and the main dining room, there was freshly made pizza, burgers and hot dogs served on the pool deck.

The pizza restaurant was called Slice and the poolside grill was called Salty Dog.

princess cruises pool side grill / salty dog

The above might not look like much, but they were very tasty!

My brother said that his poolside burger from salty dog was the best that he’s ever had on a cruise.

I understand how gross the loaded fries (right) look but they were amazing. There was one vegetarian and one meat option.

Sadly there were no meat-free hot dogs available but there was a veggie burger.

To find out more about what is included in a Princess cruise beyond the food, check out this post: Princess Cruises – What is Included? Food, Gratuities and More

Other Included Food – Room Service/Bar Service

Princess cruises have taken room service one step further by letting all guests order from the room service menu to their location, even if they aren’t in their room.

We were able to order sandwiches, desserts, and drinks to our location just using the app.

Realistically the app worked about 50% of the time, but when it did work, it was amazing.

I didn’t order room service on this cruise but have on Princess cruises in the past. Below are a couple of photos from my room service on Sky Princess.

emma cruises room service princess cruise
princess cruises room service

Other Included Food – International Cafe (Cookies)

In the atrium of Princess cruise ships, there is a cafe called the international cafe. Here they have snacks that are available 24/7.

These are mostly small sandwiches and cakes but they do also have cookies here!

emma cruises cookies princess cruises atrium

The cookies are usually behind the scenes so you have to ask for them, either when you order your drink or you can just walk up to the food area and ask.

We had three different types of cookies on this cruise and they were all fantastic.

Our waiter would often bring us plates of cookies so that we could keep them in our cabin for snacks, it was amazing!

princess cruises cookies international cafe in atrium

Tea and Coffee are served here but these do cost extra.

Tea and Coffee are also available for free in some other places around the ship, to find out where and when, check out this post: Princess Cruises Tea and Coffee Guide – Free and Premium Options

Speciality Restaurants

I didn’t go to any speciality restaurants during this cruise (restaurants that cost extra) but in the past, I have tried almost all of Princess’s speciality restaurants.

To find out what those are like, check out this video:

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