Above: The kitchen of Alfredo's Pizzeria.
Above: The Grand Princess pizza.
Below: The Vegetarian pizza.
Above: A slice from Grand Princess' other pizzeria, Prego.
It is no surprise to find a pizzeria on a cruise ship. Indeed, Grand Princess has had a poolside pizzeria (under various names) for as long as anyone can remember. However, what makes the Alfredo’s Pizzeria on Grand Princess uncommon is that it is a gourmet pizzeria.
Alfredo’s honors Princess Cruises’ master chef Alfredo Marzi. Chef Marzi has been with Princess for some 40 years and is highly regarded by his colleagues. “When it comes to cooking, nobody can hand him the water. He knows what he is doing. This gentleman to me, I call him my culinary pope. This gentleman sets standards - - it is amazing,” says Executive Chef Klaus Baumgarten of Island Princess.
The pizzeria’s connection to Chef Marzi is not limited to its name. It also utilizes recipes the chef has developed from traditional Italian recipes.
This is a relatively new venue for Grand Princess and for Princess Cruises. It debuted on Grand Princess in May 2011 following an extensive refit that transformed the public areas of the ship. It has been so successful on Grand Princess that an Alfredo’s Pizzeria recently has been added to Sapphire Princess.
On Grand Princess, Alfredo’s occupies a portion of the ship’s lobby where the library used to be located. At the entrance, there is a kitchen where you can watch the pizzas being prepared. Inside is a small seating area.
The décor has changed completely. It now features earth tone tiles and large murals that are reminiscent of an Italian Villa. The starboard side wall has four large picture windows that offer views across the water just a few decks below.
Guests arriving at the restaurant entrance are asked to wait to be seated. Although this venue is often quite busy, I did not have to wait long to be seated either time that I visited Alfredo’s.
After you are seated, the head waiter brings you a menu. One side lists the five different styles of pizza that Alfredo’s offers. Each pizza has a name. The other side of the menu lists the wines and beers that are available. (See menu)
Alfredo’s does not offer starter courses or desserts. I saw that some enterprising guests, however, brought a salad or an appetizer with them into Alfredo’s from the nearby International Cafe.
Alfredo’s pizzas are individual size pizzas. Thus, there is no need to confer with your tablemates over what type of pizza to order. Each guest is able to select the type of pizza he or she wants.
The “Grand Princess” pizza, which includes Parma ham and cherry tomatoes, was outstanding. Its blend of shaved Parmesan cheese and Buffalo mozzarella gave it a pizza taste without being overpowering. The thin crust was light and tasty - - almost like a Carr’s biscuit wafer.
Also interesting was the “Vegetarian” pizza, which arrived with a cornucopia of fresh tomatoes, peppers, squash, avocado and sun-dried tomatoes. The flavor was more subtle. A spoonful of ground Parmesan sprinkled over the top enhanced the dish. As with the Grand Princess, the crust was wafer-thin and tasty.
Each pizza is made to order. Consequently, it arrived at the table fresh from the oven, which greatly increases the flavor. Still, they were not so hot that the first bite burns your mouth thus disabling your taste buds from enjoying the remainder of the pie.
These pizzas were not heavy and did not leave one feeling bloated. Rather, they were satisfying. No one felt compelled to order more but no one left any pizza on their plate.
As noted earlier, Grand Princess also has a poolside pizzeria called “Prego.” It offers a much different type of pizza. The pizzas there are more American-style pizza, reminiscent of the pizzas that I consumed regularly as an undergraduate. They are quite tasty but with their thicker crusts and greater amounts of cheese and tomato sauce, they are much heavier. You can eat a slice or two, not a whole pie.
Alfredo’s Pizzeria is usually open from “11 a.m. until late.” Thus, it is an alternative for lunch, dinner and snacks. As you might expect, meal times are the busiest. The pizzas are complimentary.
Cruise ship specialty restaurant review - - Grand Princess - -Princess Cruises - Alfredo's Pizzera