Royal Caribbean goes with “Dynamic Dining” for Quantum-class ships

In a bold move, Royal Caribbean International is shaking up the dining scene on its Quantum-class ships, eliminating main dining rooms and shipwide formal nights in favor of what the line is calling “Dynamic Dining.”

Passengers on Quantum of the Seas (debuting in November) and sister ship Anthem of the Seas (debuting in April 2015) will have a choice of many for-a-fee specialty restaurants, as well as five complimentary, themed restaurants (though one, Coastal Kitchen, is for suite guests only), and casual dining venues including an expanded Lido buffet.

What is Dynamic Dining?

Yes, it’s about eating with who you want, when you want, where you want – with no assigned seating on these ships.There will be 18 eateries in all, and passengers will be able to make reservations using “smart” technology, including pre-cruise.

If all that seems way beyond anything Royal Caribbean has ever done with food before, it is. But the ships will also have signature favorites such as Johnny Rockets and Chops Grille.

At a launch event in New York, Royal Caribbean President and CEO Adam Goldstein noted, it’s not the first time the line has offered passengers choices.

“We probably haven’t done as good a job as we should have done in recent years of describing the flexibility we already have. There is enormous culinary flexibility in dining on Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas and a decent amount on some of the other ships,” Goldstein says. “So we didn’t just go from inflexible to flexible. We went from flexible to incredibly, unprecedentedly flexible.”

The largest of the free restaurants, after the buffet, have at most 434 seats. They include The Grande Restaurant, where every night will be formal night and guests can dine on lobster, and American Icon Grill, serving comfort food from New Orleans gumbo to New England clam chowder. The other free restaurants are the Mediterranean/Californian-influenced Coastal Kitchen, pan-Asian Silk, and sleek, contemporary Chic.

Those watching calories can head to Devinly™ Decadence at Solarium Bistro, where the low-cal menu was created by Devin Alexander, chef of the TV show The Biggest Loser. (Her healthy version of a Big Mac, sampled at the New York event, is extremely yummy.)Intimate specialty restaurants – fees not yet disclosed – will include British celebrity chef Jamie Oliver’s first Jamie’s Italianat sea; Miami’s award-winning chef Michael Schwartz will continue his relationship with Royal Caribbean with aMichael’s Genuine Pub on the ships; and the newWonderland is described as imaginative cuisine.

The restaurants have dress codes ranging from casual to smart casual to formal.

“This is all tremendously exciting for us,” Goldstein said.