In keeping with the at-sea trend that is seeing cruise lines moving away from the single-line buffet counter, World Fresh Marketplace is a conglomerate of food stations designed to decrease congestion and move cruisers through the buffet more quickly.
It's a brightly lit, modern space with shiny white tiles on the wall. Each of the three rows of stations is decorated differently (boxy faux drawers in light wood in one row; modern geometric tiles in white, green and yellow in another; and starkly black, dark gray and red in the third).
Surprisingly, the space feels inviting rather than jarring -- as if you had been invited into the homes of three different friends, each with their own sense of style. While it doesn’t have the upscale decor of specialty dining restaurants, the blend of good food and a welcoming atmosphere make it a great cruise experience.
The marketplace can be a noisy spot during any meal, and seats during peak times (embarkation day, sea day breakfast or lunch) are hard to come by. Unlike the main dining room where seating is assigned, seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis.
If you can't find a place to sit, ask a crew member for help. Or take your food to the dining tables outside by the pools.
World Fresh Marketplace is composed of about 15 small counters -- some stand-alone, others back to back -- with designations like Western or Eastern Destinations, Fresh Market Meats and Fresh Market Vegetables, Carvery Bazaar, Garden Soup Kettle, Specialty Shop and International Festival.
As is typical of a cruise ship buffet, World Fresh Marketplace is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as at select times in between for daytime and late-night snacking. Any late-night munchies can be satisfied at late-night eateries that stay open long after the sun sets.
Most cruisers love that they can eat as healthy (or unhealthy) as they want at the cruise buffet. There’s also the added benefit of eating whenever you want and not having to pick the dreaded cruise dining times for the whole family.
Breakfast at the World Fresh Marketplace includes cereal (a 24-hour cereal station, to be precise), a design-your-own-pancake station and regional specialties like shrimp and grits and polenta porridge. The usual buffet breakfast offerings are available as well, like eggs, bacon, sausage and beyond.
Lunch features items like Indian sweet potato and zucchini, beef vindaloo and spinach paneer at the Eastern food station; rosemary chicken with side choices that include vegetable korma, chopped zucchini and garlic, beef gravy, roasted peppers, sautéed mushrooms and caramelized onions in the Carvery Bazaar.
The Western Destination station has a plethora of options to choose from, including but certainly not limited to pork carnitas, enchilada casserole, Yucatan cumin-scented chicken, grilled Cuban sandwich, refried beans and lime cilantro rice at the Western Destination station. Mexican meatball or cream of mushroom soups are available at the Garden Soup Kettle island.
Dinner selections include a Family Kitchen island with items like corn dogs, pasta with marinara or Alfredo sauce, cheddar and pancetta quiche, and French fries. An International Festival station that might offer up chicken paillard-style with ale gravy, chickpea and potato curry, fish baked Portuguese style, mini minute steak Diane, Hungarian beef goulash and Cajun-roasted potatoes. There's even a kid-friendly peanut butter and jelly bar.
Everyone’s favorite meal, dessert, is a highlight of any vacation. At the two Pastry Counters, you'll find a selection of cakes, cookies, brownies and other dessert favorites at lunch and dinner.
All food offered within the World Fresh Marketplace is included in the price of your cruise.
Drinks -- other than water, lemonade, ice tea and basic tea and coffee -- cost extra. Cruise drink packages are available at an additional cost and allow travelers to enjoy all their favorite beverages.
World Fresh Marketplace is available on the following Princess ships: Caribbean Princess, Discovery Princess, Emerald Princess, Enchanted Princess, Majestic Princess, Sky Princess, Star Princess (coming in August 2025) and Sun Princess (coming in February 2024).