Why our 360: An Extraordinary Experience hits a new high for onboard innovation
The people behind our brand-new immersive dining venue tell us about its conception and the challenges they overcame when creating it
More than just a restaurant, our new 360: An Extraordinary Experience is a journey for the senses. Unlike any experience or venue ever created on a Princess ship, 360: An Extraordinary Experience follows the story of a traveller’s journey across the Mediterranean, weaving through Greece, Italy, Spain and France. With the help of 360-degree LED screens, interactive tabletops, captivating visuals, alluring fragrances and mouth-watering food and drink, diners will be transported around the Med, wherever they are in the world.
Available on Discovery Princess and Enchanted Princess, President of Princess Cruises John Padgett says, ‘360 is an interactive adventure that immerses our guests into the culture and flavours of the Med. It’s a celebration of the senses.’
To find out how the idea of 360: An Extraordinary Experience first came around – and how it was even possible to install the innovative venue onboard – we spoke to Princess’ communications team in the USA, who had a front row seat to its creation.
Firstly, what’s so unique about 360: An Extraordinary Experience?
Princess is all about creating unforgettable, lifelong memories for its guests and 360 is certainly in tune with that philosophy. It combines the latest multisensory innovation with exceptional cuisine and wine to create an unmatched experience that guests simply can’t find anywhere else.
Is there a story to the experience?
The 360 journey is based on the travels of its host (US actress Brooke Shields), the people she meets and the places she visits throughout the Mediterranean. The concept of 360 itself is the brainchild of Princess’ innovation team, who wanted to create an experience with an unparalleled combination of technology and culinary artistry. There’s no question that they delivered – and then some!
Get fully immersed in the evening's culinary journey © Princess
How exactly are guests immersed into the story?
In the 360 venue, a series of huge screens depict various scenes and in-person interviews shot on location. As the host travels through Greece, Spain, Italy and France, guests are surrounded by spectacular video footage projected onto the screens, so they feel as though they are visiting these destinations themselves.
How long did it take to create the 360 venue?
The concept of 360: An Extraordinary Experience began a few years ago, but the rollout of it was impacted by the industry-wide pause in operations. It took several months to install the hardware and software in the restaurant, plus additional weeks for staff training and fine-tuning.
What were the biggest challenges during the development and creation of 360: An Extraordinary Experience?
The development process, along with the hardware and software installation, was compounded by the complexities of creating an experience on a moving ship. Since the venue is mostly in motion, we need to ensure everything is well fitted and steady. We also have to make sure every single piece of equipment fits in the allocated space to co-exist with various ship operational plants, such as safety systems, sprinkler heads, water pipes – the list is endless!
Just one of the delectable dishes you'll try along the way © Princess
Can all guests enjoy the experience?
The 360 experience is available to guests in suite accommodation on Discovery Princess and Enchanted Princess. We host two sittings per day, which can each accommodate a maximum of 20 diners. We’re looking at a way to offer the experience on a paid basis to those not in suites. Thus far though, every 360 sitting has sold out.
What feedback have you had from diners?
The feedback from guests has been nothing short of sensational! They not only love the unique storytelling through our innovative audio and visual technology, but the food and wine too. It’s artfully presented and served by friendly, attentive staff. There’s really nothing else like 360 in the world of cruising and our guests appreciate the experience, not to mention all the hard work and ingenuity that went into creating it!