Princess Cruises' Diamond Princess is undergoing an extensive drydock to add new features designed to appeal to Japanese cruisers. During the $30-million refurbishment, the ship will receive an extensive new Japanese bath area – making it the largest such bath experience at sea – as well as a new sushi restaurant, enhanced shopping areas, a revitalized Horizon Court, additional staterooms, new interior furnishings and finishes, fresh hull paint and exterior refurbishment and contemporary Asian-style touches.
The drydock will take place through April 2, 2014 at Sembawang shipyard in Singapore. The most dramatic new addition is an 8,800-square-foot bath and garden complex that will include indoor and outdoor bathing areas to provide a choice of bath styles.
In addition to the new bath area, Diamond Princess passengers will have access to a new sushi restaurant. Because of the popularity of the Kai Sushi restaurant introduced on Sun Princess, a bigger version of this restaurant will be added to Diamond Princess, and will include both table seating and a sushi bar serving fresh seafood. The 66-person capacity restaurant will serve miso shiro, nigiri sushi, maki sushi, sashimi, seafood cocktails and matcha ice cream with red bean paste.
The duty-free boutiques aboard Diamond Princess will be remodeled to offer a new luxury shopping experience to appeal to customers in Japan. Among the new spaces is a luxury watch boutique -- anchored by a special OMEGA shop. The Essence boutique will introduce the first fragrance bar at sea where passengers can sample and learn about new scents. The Meridian Bay boutique includes a full crystal Swarovski installation as well as Jacqueline Kennedy and Audrey Hepburn collections. A new Limelight luxury boutique will offer designer leather and accessories including international and American designer brands such as Burberry, Fendi, Salvatore Ferragamo, Coach and Ralph Lauren.
The ship’s buffet area, the Horizon Court, will be upgraded to offer contemporary food service areas and action stations for live a la carte cooking, plus a special pastry shop, refreshed décor and expanded seating.
Other changes include 14 new cabins, a sports court on the roof of Skywalker’s Nightclub, a revitalized photo gallery and Platinum Portrait Studio, new art gallery displays, new décor in Sabatini’s Italian specialty restaurant, remodeled casino and relocated Internet café and wedding chapel.
Once out of drydock, Diamond Princess will set sail on a season of Japan-based cruises on April 17. The ship will homeport in Tokyo (Yokohama) for an extended season of nine-day cruises that include visits to Taiwan, South Korea, Hokkaido, Russia and 15 Japanese ports, including five new itineraries created especially for the ship. During the popular holiday period of Golden Week, Diamond Princess will have a special 10-day itinerary that includes opportunities to visit several festivals plus enjoy a special call to Nagasaki, home to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries where the ship was built, to celebrate Diamond Princess’ 10-year anniversary.
For more information, visit www.princess.com.