No way! A Japanese Bath! You can do that on a cruise ship?
The 2,670-passenger Diamond Princess is undergoing an extensive drydock, taking place between now through April 2, 2014 at Sembawang shipyard in Singapore. The cruise ship will undergo a $30 million-dollar drydock, that will make changes to the ship in hopes of making it more appealing to her Japenese cruise passengers.
Diamond Princess Punch List
- Installation of a new Japanese bath area
- The addition of a new sushi restaurant
- Enhanced shopping areas
- A revitalized Horizon Court buffet restaurant
- Additional staterooms
- New interior furnishings and finishes
- A new coat of pail on the hull and some exterior refurbishments
- Additional contemporary and Asian-style interior decor
Japanese bath area
The most dramatic new feature, the 8,800-square-foot bath and garden complex will include indoor and outdoor bathing areas to provide a choice of bath styles. Highlighting the serenity and relaxation of a classic Japanese bath experience, the area will feature stone and other natural materials and a setting similar to the popular-onsen experience for which Japan is well-known.
“Because bathing is an important part of the Japanese culture, we want to offer passengers an authentic experience onboard, complete with unparalleled ocean views.” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. “This is just one of several additions we’re making to the ship to give passengers an appealing Japanese experience.”
Passengers will step into the new bath area through an entrance beckoning them toward an elegant, open-air Japanese unisex hydro-therapy pool, which is surrounded by refreshing ocean breezes. Outdoors, passengers will be able to relax in plush shaded lounge chairs or soak in a footbath. Indoors, passengers can enjoy two separate, gender-segregated bath experiences with spectacular sea views. The ocean-view sauna and bath will feature an open air skylight to help bathers connect with nature, as well as a dry sauna with dramatic floor-to-ceiling windows, plus a refreshing gentle mist sauna. The Stone Bath will feature an Utaseyu, an invigorating cascade of hot water that is ideal for relieving tension in the back and shoulders.
Diamond Princess passengers will enjoy 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 feature 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, for dessert, matcha ice cream with red bean paste. Sake lovers will be able to try a variety of regional sakes for a taste of many of the ports featured during the cruise.
The ship’s buffet area, the Horizon Court, will be upgraded to feature 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 feature 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.