(10:30 a.m. EST) — You might recognize the face of Ruby Princess’ new restaurant, SHARE, from the Food Network or his iconic Beverly Hills establishment, Maude. Celebrity chef Curtis Stone recently teamed up with Princess Cruises for his first-ever, at-sea gig: a specialty restaurant serving up inventive, high-quality food that’s meant for sharing.
SHARE replaced the line’s signature Italian venue, Sabatini’s, on Ruby Princess, during a recent dry dock that introduced new dining options, bedding, entertainment and more.
The menu at SHARE — which is only open for dinner and bears a $39 cover charge — features a charcuterie platter and five areas from which diners can select multiple dishes: appetizers, mains, sides, cheese and desserts. It’s hard to order just one of each, thanks to enticing recipes like shrimp salad with lemon gel, turnip, citrus salt and brioche, and twice-cooked duck with fennel, bacon jus and parmesan crumb. Stone says that’s the whole point.
«We wanted to amplify that feeling of just being together and sharing stuff with one another, and asking, ‘What are you going to choose? ‘Cause if you choose that, I’m going to choose this, so we get to experience a few things together.'»
SHARE is only on Ruby Princess and Emerald Princess … for now; «Crafted by Curtis» dishes can be found on main dining room menus fleetwide. While there have been no announcements about replacing Sabatini’s on other ships, we asked Stone if he sees the partnership expanding.
«I see myself going to the Mediterranean, I see the Caribbean in my future … It’s actually really fun, I sit down and I look at all the different voyages you can take. Of course we’ve only got a SHARE on two [ships], so it’s kind of hard for me to justify why I should go to one of the cruises.»
We can justify that for you, Curtis.
If you’re wondering why you should pay extra at SHARE when you can eat in the main dining room for free, here are five cool things about the new Curtis Stone restaurant that make it worth the splurge.
1. You won’t find food like this anywhere else on the ship
Ruby Princess (along with sister Emerald Princess) is pretty simple when it comes to dinner venues. Before SHARE, it had two main dining rooms, a buffet and steakhouse — all of which were pretty average in terms of quality and overall experience. SHARE is a game changer. From its celebrity chef label to its perfectly sized portions and natural ingredients, you won’t find food like this anywhere else on the ship.
2. It’s perfect for large groups … and couples
The space is large, open and airy, with long farmhouse-style tables and more intimate seating arrangements, such as booths nestled in dim-lit corners. Large groups have the room they need to engage and share dishes, while couples and smaller groups can enjoy more peace and quiet away from the crowds.
3. The ambiance is upscale … but not stuffy
SHARE’s upscale, rustic chic decor and family-style dining allow you to dress your best and still feel relaxed. Contemporary patterns and industrial lighting blend with eclectic wall art and wanderlust-inspired trinkets — a nod to Stone’s passion for travel. You’ll feel more like you’re in someone’s home, talking, laughing and passing plates across the table.
4. Service is second to none
Service at SHARE outshines any other venue onboard, and it’s evident from the galley to the wait staff — which is knowledgeable about the menu and ingredients handpicked by the celebrity chef and his team. Adds Stone: «The enthusiasm in that kitchen right now is actually unparalleled to anything I’ve ever done; they’re so energetic and so up for it.»
5. You’ll actually have room for dessert
We’ve all been there: You overstuffed yourself with bread and indulged on the main course, so there’s no room for dessert. Thankfully, appetizer, entree and dessert options, which complement a small cheese plate, are all conservative in size. You’ll not only expand your palate by picking at multiple dishes, but you also will be able to satisfy your sweet tooth.