(3:30 p.m. EDT) -- Princess Cruises and master chocolatier Norman Love have teamed up to create a series of onboard chocolate experiences. Custom-crafted desserts, chocolate and wine pairings and chocolate spa treatments are just some of the indulgent offerings the line will be rolling out to its fleet.
"Princess guests have also told us that they love chocolate, and chocolate desserts are among the most ordered items," Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises, said at a small gathering of travel agent partners, elite passengers and travel media in New York City. "But Chocolate Journeys is not just about chocolate desserts; it's about chocolate offerings throughout the entire cruise."
Norman Love was also on hand for the announcement and chocolate tasting. The chocolatier has received world-wide recognition for his work with chocolate and desserts. National Geographic named him one of the 10 best chocolatiers in the world, and the international congress of pastry chefs called him one of the 10 most influential pastry professionals in the world.
During Princess' search for a partner in chocolate, Love's name is the one that kept coming up over and over. His last name didn't hurt, either, considering the line's long history with "The Love Boat."
"One thing is for certain, chocolate makes people happy," Love said. In fact, in a national survey conducted by Princess, 58 percent of women said they would choose chocolate over sex, while 53 percent said they would turn to chocolate over a friend who's feeling sad. Plus, 81 percent said that chocolate improves their moods.
"What could make people smile more than savoring decadent chocolate creations while enjoying their cruise vacation?" Love added.
The Chocolate Journeys experience will include:
Decadent Desserts - Love has produced 15 chocolate dessert designs exclusively for Princess Cruises that will be offered on a rotating basis in the ships' main dining rooms, specialty restaurants and Chef's Table experience. Desserts will include a chocolate tart with vanilla mouse, flourless chocolate cake, chocolate pistachio dome with almond and pistachio nougatine, and a chocolate tiramisu.
Chocolate & Wine Pairings - Only available in Vines, Princess' signature wine bar, passengers will be able to sample Norman Love's Black Single Origin Dark chocolates, paired with a variety of wines designed to enhance the tasting experience. A cover charge applies.
Captain's Welcome Reception Treats - Passengers will be offered "Chocolate Love Pop" truffles at the captain's welcome reception.
Chocolate Libations - A variety of chocolate drinks will be available for purchase in the ships' bars and lounges, including a chocolate salted caramel hard shake, chocolate bacon bourbon bliss and chocolate chile margarita.
Formal Night Chocolate Petits Fours - Chocolate bites will accompany the dessert menu offered to passengers following formal night dinners.
Chocolate Dessert Demonstrations - Princess' pastry chefs will offer passengers a variety of chocolate-related demonstrations.
Chocolate Spa Treatment - Princess' Lotus Spa will offer the Chocolate Indulgence Body Treatment, which combines a chocolate renewal scrub with a whipped chocolate body mask and a massage using chocolate oil.
Additionally, Norman Love boxed chocolates will be available for purchase in the ships' onboard shops.
The Chocolate Journeys experience will debut this fall onboard Regal Princess and roll out to the rest of the fleet throughout 2015.
--By Dori Saltzman, News Editor