Monday, November 24, 2014

Quantum of the Seas ... WOW!

Photo courtesy of Royal Caribbean

We were lucky enough to be invited on a two night preview sailing of Royal Caribbean's brand new ship, Quantum of the Seas.  When Royal Caribbean says "This Changes Everything" they were not kidding!  The ship comes in at 167,800 tons, 1,141 feet in length and has a double occupancy guest capacity of 4,180 passengers.  The Quantum Class comes in "smaller" than Oasis Class, but larger than the Freedom Class.

I have always considered Royal Caribbean to be a leader in cruise ship innovation, and they certainly did not disappoint in this area with the Quantum.  On board you will find things like RipCord by iFly, which is a sky-diving simulator; the SeaPlex where you can play basketball, go roller skating and ride bumper cars; the North Star that takes you 300 feet above sea level and Two70 which is an incredible space that transforms from day to night.  Of course you can still find the FlowRider surf simulator, rock climbing, DreamWorks experience and youth and teen programs on board.

I have to admit that we did not see the entire ship.  Two reasons for that:  One, we were only on board for two nights and two, it was a chilly 35 degrees out!  Spending time on the open decks was not something that we chose to do.  So, with our very short two nights here are some of my thoughts!

Dynamic Dining:  This is new to Royal Caribbean.  You will not find set dining times here, also you will not find those large main dining rooms. You also will not have any formal nights (except in The Grande Restaurant).  Instead you will find 18 options, 5 of them are complimentary.  You set your options prior to your cruise (this is recommended, although they do reserve space for those that wish to make plans on board, but you might be disappointed as these venues book quickly).  With only two nights on board, well, we only ate dinner in two restaurants.  Chops Grille, which has a well worth it $35 per person cover charge and American Icon Grill, which is complimentary.  We did manage to peek in a few of the restaurants.  Being smaller than main dining rooms, they were fantastically appointed (some even whimsical like Wonderland).  Now I know that some cruisers love the set dining times.  Sitting with the same table mates at the same table with the same wait staff.  That is all part of cruising right?  Well, I have to say that I love the Dynamic Dining concept.  I am one that loves to try specialty restaurants and have an option to sit with just my husband or family, or share a table with others.  I also love flexibility.  After all, I am on vacation.  And I can choose to eat in the same restaurant more than once if I wish (the menus certainly were appealing and with enough choices).  Being in a different restaurant every evening is so appealing to me.  It is something new every evening!  This ship is so automated, the wait staff enters your orders on a tablet, so if you have any preferences or allergies they are noted and every dining venue has access to your profile.
Silk Restaurant

Chops Grille

Wonderland Restaurant

Wonderland Restaurant

SeaPlex:  This was such a cool area!  It is the larges indoor active space at sea.  Here you can find things like roller skating, basketball, bumper cars, a circus school, ping pong tables, air hockey, XBox.  You may never see your kids at all on this cruise (or some adults for that matter).  This is such a clever space.  I cannot tell you how many times I have tried to play ping pong on a cruise, in the open decks.  My hair is flying in my face, the ball is so light it just goes everywhere and if you miss it, you are running half a deck to try and get it.  I wonder why someone has not thought of this before!
Bumper Cars

View from second level of SeaPlex


More XBox

Two70:  What an incredible space!  Beautiful area aft on Decks 5 and 6.  Floor to ceiling windows that can completely transform.  Unfortunately, I was not able to see any transformations or shows since I was only there for a short period of time.  I was able to see some of the technology though.  And a must ... there is a bar here.  I am a "fancy" martini drinker and I love sweet drinks.  There is a drink on the menu called Cotton Canditini.  It was so yummy!  I took a photo of the ingredients and will try my best to duplicate this concoction at home!

Robotics Bar:  This was pretty cool to watch.  Two robotic "arms" making your drink.  I did not order from here, as you can imagine in a two night sailing everyone wanted to get a chance.  It is something to see though!

Music Hall:  Loved this space and the design.  Here you will find a rock n' roll atmosphere, live bands, dancing.  We walked through a few times, but did not have time to stay.  This is on my list as a must do for when we cruise on Quantum in the future.

Solarium:  Here you will find an adults only retreat.  I think I could have stayed here for hours if not days.  Located in the front of the ship on Decks 13 and 14, here you will find an amazing tiered pool, hot tubs, comfy chairs, a bar and some amazing views!

The decor of this ship is not like any of the Royal Caribbean ships I have seen in the past.  To me, it seemed more like a Celebrity Cruises' designed ship with some Royal Caribbean touches in certain areas.  Having sailed on many other Royal ships, most of the time you get the feeling that the ship was built just for families.  The Quantum did not have that feel on most decks.  Now, when visiting the kids programs and the SeaPlex ... those areas were screaming family.  This ship has many stateroom types and options, which makes it ideal for families.  We were staying in an interior stateroom.  All interior rooms on this ship have a "virtual balcony."  It is actually a floor to ceiling "TV" with a view of what is outside.  I do not like interior staterooms, I am a balcony traveler.  For this sailing, we did not have a stateroom option.  I have to say, the virtual balcony really gave a nice feeling to the stateroom.  The staterooms are also beautifully decorated and thoughtfully designed.
Virtual Balcony (Inside Stateroom)
Pool Area

Royal Esplanade

This ship (or class of ships) is a must do.  Yes, it is priced a bit higher than other Royal Caribbean ships, but have you ever heard the saying "you get what you pay for"?  Well, that certainly does apply here.  The Quantum is currently sailing out of Bayonne, NJ, but will be departing for China in May of 2015.  The Anthem of the Seas makes her debut in April of 2015 in Europe, and will make its arrival in Bayonne, NJ, at the end of November.  Reserve your cruise early.  They are selling quickly!  This will ensure best rates, best stateroom selection and a great option to make payments on your cruise.

Would you like more info?  Just let me know.  You can visit my website, send me an email or give me a call anytime at 888-882-5793.  I would be happy to share more details with you about this fantastic ship.

CruiseOne Freer & Associates
Merritt Island, Florida