Forbes 7.31.14

Following in the footsteps of hotels around the world—including the Peninsula Chicago, Langham, Boston and Chocolate Boutique Hotel in Bournemouth, England—Princess Cruises is offering new onboard chocolate experiences in partnership with master chocolatier and pastry designer Norman Love.

Dubbed “Chocolate Journeys,”  the program will kick off this fall on the new Regal Princess on her inaugural Caribbean season, and roll out to the rest of the line’s fleet in 2015.

Experiences offered to Princess passengers will include 15 chocolate desserts designed expressly for Princess by Love.  These will be served on a rotating basis in the ships’ main dining rooms and specialty restaurants and include a chocolate tart with vanilla mousse; chocolate pistachio dome with almond and pistachio nougatine; and a chocolate tiramisu with mascarpone cream and espresso gelato.

There will also be pairings of wine and Love’s black, single-origin, dark chocolates in Princess’ signature wine bar, Vines, while his “chocolate love pop” truffles will be served at the captain’s welcome receptions and his petits fours at the formal night dinner.  In addition, Love has created chocolate drinks, like chocolate salted caramel hard shake and chocolate chile margarita, which will be served throughout the ships’ lounges and bars.

The line’s pastry chefs will do demonstrations for passengers, showing them how to create chocolate treats when they return home, while Love’s boxed chocolates will be sold in onboard shops.

In addition, the ships’ Lotus Spa will offer guests chocolate treatments, like a chocolate indulgence body treatment that will combine a chocolate renewal scrub, whipped chocolate body mask and chocolate massage oil.

Announcing the program, Princess president Jan Swartz said, “Around the world there’s incredible passion for chocolate, as evidenced by ever-growing consumption and the plethora of specialty varieties.”

A recent survey conducted by Princess about people’s passion for chocolate found that 58 per cent of women would choose chocolate over sex; 69 per cent of respondents said they had frequent chocolate cravings; 81 per cent said chocolate improves their mood; and 84 per cent said they would like to receive chocolate as a gift.

Love, who personally trained the line’s pastry team to deliver the new chocolate experience across its fleet of ships, has a Fort Myers, Fla.-based company, Norman Love Confections, that creates and distributes handcrafted, artisanal chocolates.  He also runs chocolate salons in Fort Myers and Naples, Fla., where his products are sold and can also be consumed.

Love, who learned the craft of pastry-making in France, is the former corporate executive pastry chef for Ritz-Carlton, and has appeared on “Baking with Julia” on public television and “Great Chefs” on Discovery Channel.  In 2009 he was named one of the top ten chocolatiers in North America by Dessert Magazine.

Source: Forbes