Royal Caribbean International announced new dining options today for its newest class of ships, Quantum of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas. “Dynamic Dining” will feature five new main restaurants along with both old and new specialty dining favorites, as well as new reservations tools to help ensure you can dine when you want.

According to Royal Caribbean’s press release, “Dynamic Dining” is a completely new culinary experience that gives guests on Quantum of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas a landscape of 18 restaurant concepts as vast and varied as dining in the world’s most cosmopolitan cities. With a new take on the main dining room, guests can choose from five complimentary, full service restaurants, offering more choice and flexibility than ever before. Guests will also be in full control of their own epicurean journey via a smart, new reservations system that empowers them to decide when, where, with whom to dine, and how to dress each evening.”

New main dining options include:

  • American Icon Grill, a take on the classic American road trip, pulling together best-loved regional favorites into one comfort-style menu
  • Chic, where the height of contemporary cuisine is realized and the freshest ingredients, such as proteins that pack a punch and sauces made from scratch, are evolved for a modern palate
  • Silk, a vibrant and exotic destination where the spices of the Far East bring new flavor to adventurous palates through a Pan-Asian menu
  • The Grande, a luxuriant nod to a bygone era of classic European ocean liners when dining was a time honored ritual, featuring timeless dishes, and where every night is formal night. (emphasis mine)
  • Coastal Kitchen, a concept created exclusively for suite guests, fusing Mediterranean influences with the unmatched riches of California’s bountiful farmlands.

Roasted scallops with black truffle. Image courtesy of Royal Caribbean International.

On the specialty dining side (meaning extra charge), old standbys like Chops Grille, Izumi, and Chef’s Table will return, but there are some pretty interesting new choices as well.

  • Wonderland, an elaborate feast for the senses in a setting where Royal Caribbean chefs twist their culinary kaleidoscopes to invent a dreamscape of never-before-seen fare
  • Jamie’s Italian, featuring rustic Italian favorites, handmade – using seasonal ingredients and Jamie’s tried-and-tested crowd pleasers
  • Michael’s Genuine Pub, the first American gastropub at sea and the next evolution of Royal Caribbean’s relationship with James Beard Award-winning chef Michael Schwartz, offering simply-prepared food and drinks made with quality ingredients from the best artisanal producers
  • Devinly Decadence at Solarium Bistro, Royal Caribbean’s fittest dining destination, serving the foods you love all under five-hundred calories, designed by Devin Alexander, media personality, New York Times bestselling author and chef of highly-rated television show, “The Biggest Loser”

Of course, more casual options remain, but with a twist. Old favorites like Johnny Rockets, Cafe Promenade, and Sorrento’s remain along with:

  • Windjammer Marketplace, a Royal Caribbean dining mainstay gets a new twist on Quantum class as a global culinary pavilion that invites guests to explore the world, dish by dish through enticing food islands, interactive stations, made-to-order specialties, an on-site bakery and a 24-hour station called The Grill
  • The Café @ Two70 ̊, a new gourmet marketplace serving savory hot-pressed sandwiches, salads made to order, handmade soups and more
  • SeaPlex Dog House, the first food truck at sea offering gourmet hot dogs for all to enjoy in SeaPlex, the largest indoor active space at sea

My Take

Dynamic Dining represents a big change for Royal Caribbean. Their other ships offer flexible dining times as well as the more traditional early and late seating at fixed times. Frankly, I like the old way just fine. MrsMJ and I book the late dinner seating, period. We have a set time to show up somewhere, a schedule to build our day around. Sometimes we choose available specialty offerings, and more often than not, we book those at the same time as our traditional dinner seatings.

But that’s not to say Dynamic Dining is not intriguing to me. I really like the multiple restaurant main-dining concept, and I am looking especially forward to the increased specialty options. A successful implementation of the new reservations system will be key to making all this work. I’m excited to try as many of these new options as possible during our December Quantum of the Seas cruise. Color me pleased with all these new options.

-MJ, March 26, 2014