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Can You Have Too Much Chocolate?

One thing that years and years (or decades and decades) of experience tells us about chocolate is this: You have to be careful.

The first time we were on a ship and there was a “chocolate night” at the end of the cruise, we’d been salivating for five days. Kids in the candy store had nothing on us. Mice in the cheese factory played second fiddle (who knew mice could fiddle?) to the resident chocoholics in whatever stateroom we were in that week.

And then something funny (ha-ha) happened.

It was TOO much chocolate.

So Princess Cruises, or its passengers, are hereby forewarned. There is too much of a Love creationsgood thing and, in our house, no food “thing” is better than chocolate.

While many cruise lines feature chocolate — duh, that’s a no-brainer — Princess is taking it a step further. Or a box further. An internationally acclaimed chocolatier and pastry designer we have never encountered in any of our choc-fests, Norman Love, has been hired to teach company chefs how to make chocolate his way. His way is creative, of course, which means it looks as good as it tastes, hard as that may be to swallow.

Or vice-versa.

Norman’s creations will surface when the new Regal Princess does, just weeks from now, and is billed as “Chocolate Journeys.” They will undoubtedly have a sea-going flavor to them, he will likely be on board for the introductions and by the end of 2015 Norman Loveall 18 Princess ships will be so ordained. Known in circles that we don’t visit as one of North America’s top ten chocolatiers, he takes pride in making people smile when they sink their teeth into one of his creations, because that’s what chocolate does to people.

It also makes them say things, in a recent survey, like preferring chocolate to sex (women only), craving chocolate (everyone) and wanting to receive it as a gift (also everyone, but women may be the only ones who admit it). The fact that his name “happens” to be Love probably means this partnership is going to grow because Princess is closing in on its 50th anniversary and may be naming a boat after him…oh wait, they already have, The Love Boat.

There will be at least eight “sweet experiences” when Princess and Love get it all together, from matching chocolates and alcohol to a spa treatment done the chocolate way…aroma, scrub, body mask, massage oil — the whole box.

Will it be TOO much?

Probably, for us. Then again, they had us at “chocolate.”

They always do.

Today at portsandbows.com: The latest in cruise news

Royal Caribbean Navigator of the Seas
7 nights
September 14, 2014
Galveston (return): Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Falmouth
Inside: $499
Cost per day: $71
www.royalcaribbean.com

The Long and Short of Short Cruises

Having just completed a 4-day cruise on the Norwegian Sky, we thought it would be worth providing some insight on such “short” cruises.

Everybody has different reasons for squeezing a cruising experience into three or four days:
1. It’s an introduction for anyone professing to dislike cruising without ever having been on a cruise.
2. The per-day price is attractive.
3. You’ve got the cruise bug and there isn’t time to take a longer one.
4. It’s a chance to visit places you’ve never been.

Our 4-day cruise was from Miami to the Bahamas. Not far. Not long. Good price. Good destinations. Interesting people. Busy schedule.

That’s out snapshot of it. The best thing about the cruise was seeing three new ports in four days. The worst? On 4-day cruises, Norwegian doesn’t do its famous Chocolate Buffet…and I’m a chocoholic!

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