New menu of dining venues for Princess duo

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. -- A new dining setup on Princess Cruises' upcoming ships, the Diamond Princess and the Sapphire Princess, aims to distinguish the two vessels from the rest of its fleet as well as differentiate the line from its competitors.

The Sapphire and the Diamond, which are slated to debut in the spring, are being constructed with five "main" dining rooms onboard. Four will have open seating (or what Princess calls "Anytime Dining"), and each will have a cuisine theme. On the menu: Italian, steakhouse, Southwestern and Asian. The fifth restaurant will offer the industry's traditional two-seating dining.

A Princess spokeswoman said the themed restaurants will be "like specialty restaurants, but without the charge."

The line will continue to offer its specialty Italian restaurant, Sabatini's, on the two ships.

The spokeswoman said the Sapphire's and the Diamond's dining setup and food themes will likely not be replicated on other Princess ships, which have one traditional restaurant and two open-seating restaurants.

"Every class of ship, we try to do something different," the spokeswoman said.

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