Royal Caribbean International is eliminating the main dining rooms on its two upcoming ships, the Quantum and Anthem of the Seas, in favor of five smaller restaurants that will offer specific culinary styles.
The five restaurants, to be included in the cruise price, will be among a total of 18 eateries onboard, in a concept Royal Caribbean calls "Dynamic Dining." (Click to find out more about the five restaurants.)
Royal Caribbean also introduced four new specialty restaurants. Patrons will pay a cover to dine at these restaurants.
The specialty restaurants include Jamie's Italian, which was developed in concert with celebrity chef Jamie Oliver. Michael's Genuine Pub will be a gastropub built on a relationship with chef Michael Schwartz. Devinly Decadence, designed by bestselling author and chef of NBC's "The Biggest Loser" Devin Alexander, will feature a low-calorie menu.
Also carrying an extra charge will be Wonderland, where chefs will "twist their culinary kaleidoscopes to invent a dreamscape of never-before-seen fare," Royal Caribbean said.
In addition, the ships will carry Royal Caribbean stalwarts Chops Grille, Izumi Japanese Cuisine and Chef's Table, plus casual eateries such as the Windjammer lido cafe, Sorrento's and Johnny Rockets.
Also on the casual side, the SeaPlex Dog House will be the first food truck at sea, Royal Caribbean said.
The line will use a new reservations system for the restaurants.
In eliminating the main dining room, Royal Caribbean appears to be taking the next step in the evolution of cruise ship dining.
Norwegian Cruise Line's most recent ships, the Breakaway and the Getaway, each have three main dining rooms, but they are smaller and quieter than the traditional two-deck dining rooms on cruise ships. One of main dining rooms on the Breakaway and Getaway has a different menu than the other two.
Princess also has experimented with smaller main dining rooms and cuisine-specific restaurants that are included in the cruise fare.
Still others have been working on new concepts within their traditional dining rooms, such as Carnival Cruise Lines with its American Table and American Feast.
The 4,180-passenger Quantum of the Seas, scheduled to enter service this November, will sail from Cape Liberty Cruise Port in Bayonne, N.J. The Anthem is due to enter service the following spring.
Updated: This report was updated to include the relationship with Devin Alexander to the restaurant Devinly Decadence.