While no exact statistic is available, it is fair to say that millions of pounds of chocolate are consumed at sea each year on cruise ships. So why do cruising and chocolate go together?
"Chocolate and a lot of things go together," said French-trained Master Chocolatier Norman Love, who consults on all things chocolate with Princess Cruises. "On a cruise, people are on vacation and enjoying themselves. There's also a romantic side to cruising and a romantic side to chocolate as well. Cruising and chocolate are made for each other."
The chocolate on Princess' 18 ships, whose passengers consume more than a million pounds annually, comes from cacao-bean growing countries around the world. As with wine, great fruit produces great product, with sunlight, soil and elevation factors in creating distinct chocolate flavors, Love said.
Chocolate Journeys" program with Love. You can sample his 15 extravagant desserts at dinner, bites with afternoon tea, chocolate pastries at breakfast, and chocolate cookies while watching Movies Under the Stars. Or get more adventurous and have anti-oxidant chocolate smeared on your body as part of a hydrating treatment at the Lotus Spa. You can even sip loaded chocolate creations in ship bars.
"Chocolate makes people happy," Love said. "It's a wonderful, universal thing that Mother Nature creates." Americans are consuming more chocolate than ever before, Love added, whether for health benefits, with an aphrodisiac purpose in mind or just because it's so good. "It's chocolate's time right now. Chocolate is really hot," Love said.
A recent survey conducted by Wakefield Research for Princess Cruises showed more than half of U.S. adults admit to being a chocolate addict. The survey also showed 70 percent of women would choose chocolate over sex.
Holland America Line showcases high-end Belgian chocolate in cakes, muffins, custards, sauces, and cookies—and more extravagant creations by world-renowned chocolatier Jacques Torres, such as his Chocolate Coconut Napoleon and Baked Chocolate Soup. A passenger favorite is the Grand Marnier Chocolate Volcano Cake at the Pinnacle Grill. You'll also find Dutch hot chocolate served on Holland America Line ships on cool days, for instance when you're warming up after seeing the stunning sight of a glacier thunderously calving into the sea in Alaska.
Images Courtesy of Carnival Corporation