Princess Cruises’ Pub Lunch has become very popular with in-the-know cruise fans. On sea days, passengers can enjoy British pub-style fare as a fun alternative to the buffet or main dining rooms.

I’ve tried the Pub Lunch several times, on various Princess ships. For Mr. SBC and me, Pub Lunch is always a highlight of our sea days!

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Pub Lunch is free, so don’t miss out!

On my very first Princess cruise, I skipped the Pub Lunch because it was in the Crown Grill restaurant. Since the steakhouse is a for-a-fee dining venue for dinner, I assumed there would be an upcharge. The food was so good in the main dining rooms and the buffet, so I didn’t feel the need to pay extra for lunch.

But I was wrong! Princess Cruises’ Pub Lunch is complimentary on all ships, despite the fact that it’s often held at the Crown Grill.

When is Princess Cruises’ Pub Lunch?

On many sea days, the Pub Lunch runs from 11:30 AM to 2:30 PM. Make sure you get there on the earlier side. On some ships, there can be a wait to get in.

Look in the Princess Patter to find out if there’ll be a Pub Lunch on your next sea day. The daily newsletter arrives in your stateroom each evening, and has all the info you’ll need to know for the next day.

When we were on the Caribbean Princess a few years ago, it was so busy that parties of two needed to share a table with another couple so the dining staff could fit everyone in. It added to the community feel typical in many British pubs, but we generally prefer to eat with just friends and family.

On other ships, we’ve been able to get a table for two without a problem or a very long wait.

Where can you find Princess’ Pub Lunch?

Pub Lunch used to always be held in the Wheelhouse Bar, but its popularity in recent years necessitated a larger venue. Many ships now hold the event at the Crown Grill. That restaurant’s cozy wood paneling adds to the British pub feeling of the meal.

Look in your Patter to find out which venue will have the Pub Lunch on your sailing.

Keep an eye out for the chalkboard highlighting the lunch menu for the day

What’s on the menu for Princess Cruises’ Pub Lunch?

For our recent sailings on Princess, the menu has been the same:

  • Bangers and Mash: sausages and mashed potatoes with onion gravy
  • Fish and Chips: deep-fried cod fillet in batter with chips (fries), mushy peas, tartar sauce and malt vinegar
  • Ploughman’s Lunch: Farmer’s ham, mature English Cheddar cheese, pâté, Branston pickle and crusty bread
  • Steak and Kidney Pie: beef, kidney, carrots, mushrooms, onion and beef gravy
  • Bread and Butter Pudding: slices of buttered bread baked with egg custard and topped with raisins
The Pub Lunch menu on Regal Princess, August 2019

Over the years, Princess has offered other traditional British specialties for its Pub Lunch. Past offerings have included breaded prawns and chips, chicken curry, Scotch egg, and sherry trifle. The menu may vary over time, so don’t be surprised if it’s a bit different on your next Princess cruise.

Drinks available at the Pub Lunch

You can order a variety of ales, stouts, and lagers at the Pub Lunch for an additional charge (if you don’t have the beverage package). Hard apple cider is also on the menu, and you can also ask for a mixed drink. Unlike in the main dining room, you’ll be right in or just next to a bar, so drink service is always pretty quick.

Of course, you can also have water, coffee or tea at no additional charge.

I like to sip on a dry cider like UK favorite Strongbow, and Mr. SBC always has a Guinness stout at the Pub Lunch. Fun fact: Guinness is an Irish stout, but it’s now the UK’s most popular ale and stout brand, according to The Sun.

What should you order at the Pub Lunch?

I’ve tried everything on Princess’ current Pub Lunch menu, and my hands-down favorite is the Steak and Kidney Pie. Served in an individual baking dish full of steak, kidney meat and carrots in a flavorful sauce, the pie is topped with a flaky, golden brown crust. Thick-cut chips (French fries to us Americans) come on the side, with the option of ketchup and malt vinegar to flavor them.

Mr. SBC prefers the Bangers and Mash which are also really flavorful. A couple of spiced sausages sit atop a mound of buttery mashed potatoes, with gravy (usually mushroom) poured on top.

The Fish and Chips are also a favorite, with a generous serving of battered cod and chips, along with mushy peas. If you’ve never had mushy peas, they might sound (and look) a bit gross, but they’re really yummy! They’re slow-cooked, so the soft texture is so good.

We decided to try the Ploughman’s Lunch for the first time on our last cruise on Regal Princess. This is the one Pub Lunch menu item I don’t think I’ll order again, and I usually enjoy a Ploughman’s Lunch! Traditionally a generous spread of hearty foods served cold on a wooden plank, this version on a dinner plate was small and disappointing.

The Ploughman’s Lunch is a traditional British pub offering, but I’d skip this one.

We never skip the Bread and Butter Pudding at the Pub Lunch. Despite its mundane-sounding name, this custardy dessert takes buttered bread to a new level (well, not so new – it’s been a favorite British dessert since the 17th century). It’s sweet without being sickeningly so, and I promise that if you can leave room for a little something after your meal, you won’t regret trying it.

Bread-and-Butter Pudding is a sweet treat you won’t want to miss!

On your next Princess cruise, be sure to set aside some time on a sea day to give the Pub Lunch a try. It’s a fun way to try an alternative dining venue and sample some British favorites without having to pay extra.

For more Princess Cruises tips, be sure to read my 25 Princess Cruise Tips You Need to Know

Have you tried the free Pub Lunch on a Princess cruise? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below!

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About the Author

Carrie Ann is the founder of Should Be Cruising and a lifelong travel fanatic. A former flight attendant, she now prefers cruise ships over airplanes and spends several months each year cruising and exploring cruise ports. Facebook | Instagram

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7 Comments

  1. I’m English and have been to the The British Pub lunch numerous times, the steak and kidney pie is excellent. I was disappointed with the ploughman’s and the fish and chips were terrible, I love fish and chips I have had them 3 times on 3 different ships hoping they were better. No they were worse the batter is thick and greasy they just don’t know how to make the batter and don’t cook them in the right fat and not hot enough. It’s like the afternoon tea the scones are like little hard heavy buns they just can’t make the scones like the British. Also they need to Boil the water when making tea, hot is not good enough. They should get an English chef to teach them how to make English fare. Apart from that we love Princess cruises.

    1. Hi Ruth, isn’t that pie fantastic? Definitely my favorite. I don’t mind the fish and chips, but it’s not as good as from a UK chip shop! That’s a great idea for them to hire an English chef to up their game with the scones at the afternoon tea (and also to overhaul the ploughman’s). Hopefully someone at Princess sees your comment 😉

  2. This Pub Lunch looks so cute and I love how they’ve themed it on traditional English food too with pints included. The pastry on that steak and kidney pie looks incredible – almost too perfect to eat! I’m not a fan of the Ploughman’s lunch either, not a lot on the plate and the things that are there don’t really appeal to me.

    1. Hi Krista, isn’t the pub lunch so cute? It really is a little slice of pub life out at sea. I always feel like the pastry on the pie is too perfect to eat, too. Then I remember how yummy it is and I dig right in!!

  3. It’s indeed funny that they picked British food as an extra treat on the cruise ship….since Britain is not exactly famous for refined cuisine 😀 On the other side, this might be the reason: To offer something less posh than the usual 😉

    1. Hi Renata, British food always gets such a bad rap, but I really like it! There’s something so comforting about toasty pies and pasties, yum! You might be right about Princess offering something less posh that’s still a fun experience. The Pub Lunch is definitely a casual event!

  4. This post is unique in so many ways. Firstly, I never thought I could visit a cruise ship for its pub lunch and secondly the choice of food – British food. But both look too good to miss. I am intrigued to try it.

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