New Fleet of Ships to Feature “Dynamic Dining”
by Patricia Mack
A few months ago, news broke about the impending arrival of Royal Caribbean’s latest fleet of luxury cruise lines, to be part of the lines’ latest Quantum class. The luxe ships are slated to offer everything from simulated skydiving, an indoor sports complex and beautiful cabins designed with full functionality in mind. Now, word has come that the Quantum class will also elevate its dining options.
Royal Caribbean is jettisoning main dining room cruise traditions for “Dynamic Dining” – a more modern, creative, ingredient-driven approach to shipboard meals served at a multitude of venues, and meant to suit a myriad of tastes.
Created in collaboration with culinary star chefs such as Jamie Oliver and Michael Schwartz, the completely redesigned culinary experience for Royal Caribbean’s new Quantum class ships offers guests a landscape of options, with some nineteen different restaurants. Five of these act as a complimentary reimagining of the main dining room, while the others involve an additional fee. Each sports a unique menu and focused ambience, ranging from the world’s most cosmopolitan dining palaces to the down-home feel of a neighborhood eatery.
Menu choices are equally as broad, with elegant Mediterranean sea bass at one venue and Cajun chicken wings at another. There are no set dinner times, no assigned seating and no formal dress codes required; a smart new reservation system assures guests the ability to easily log in their choices well before they board. “It’s a transformation of the traditional,” says Adam Goldstein, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean International. “I believe this new program will shake up the concept of dining throughout the cruise ship industry.”
New dining spots include American Icon Grill, one of the more casual main dining restaurants, which takes its inspiration from the classic American road trip. That means beloved regional favorites like buttermilk fried chicken, New Orleans gumbo and New England clam chowder, creating a coast-to-coast dining journey. Elsewhere, Silk pulls its eclectic menu from the foods of the Silk Road. The menu weaves a vibrant tapestry of flavors inspired by Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese and Indian cooking. Dishes such as fragrant slow-cooked lamb curry, sake-glazed salmon and teriyaki steak can be enjoyed in the restaurant’s lush interior.
The most elegant of the Quantum Class’ main restaurants, The Grande, is a luxuriant nod to the bygone era of classic European ocean liners, when dinner was a time-honored ritual. Every night at The Grande is formal and guests are offered culinary classics such as sole amandine, roasted scallops with black truffle and individual Chateaubriand Wellington. Shimmering crystal chandeliers reflect in ornate Venetian ceiling mirrors light the restaurant’s interior.
Created exclusively for Quantum Class suite guests, Coastal Kitchen fuses Mediterranean influences with the bounty of California’s farmlands. From Pacific Coast favorites such as sea bass ceviche to the Central Valley’s sliced avocados or homemade blueberry pie, the menu boasts an array of gourmet fare to savor in a casually rustic setting.
Discerning guests can discover the elaborate world of molecular gastronomy at Wonderland Imaginative Cuisine, where a progressive menu features elemental categories: Wind, Ice, Fire, Water, Earth and Dreams. Jamie’s Italian by Jamie Oliver is the first seafaring outpost of this hugely popular restaurant, where honeycomb cannelloni shares menu space with prawn linguine, cured meats, steaks and decadent desserts. Other celebrity-driven eateries include Michael’s Genuine Pub, from James Beard Award-winning chef Michael Schwartz, and Solarium Bistro, designed by The Biggest Loser chef Devin Alexander, which features a lighter menu where no single dish exceeds 500 calories.
A marketplace, several casual dining destinations and a sprawling café space with 270-degree panoramic views help to round out the options onboard, which are sure to suit any palate on the ship. The new Quantum-class will debut in November 2014 with Quantum of the Seas, followed by her sister-ship Anthem of the Seas in April 2015. Each ship spans sixteen decks, encompasses 167,800 gross registered tons, carries 4,180 guests at double occupancy and features 2,090 staterooms.
More information on Quantum class of ships visit the official Royal Caribbean website
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