As Princess Cruises gets ready for its second season of Japan cruising, Diamond Princess is undergoing an extensive drydock to add enticing 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 and Asian-style touches.
The drydock will take place through April 2 at Sembawang shipyard in Singapore.
The most dramatic new feature, the 792-square-metre 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.
Passengers will step into the new bath area through a peaceful entrance beckoning them toward an elegant, open-air Japanese unisex hydro-therapy pool, surrounded by refreshing ocean breezes. Outdoors, passengers will be able to relax in plush shaded lounge chairs or soak in a footbath while enjoying fresh salt air. Indoors, passengers can enjoy two separate, gender-segregated bath experiences with 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 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.
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.