Quantum of the Seas
Quantum of the Seas: Innovative ‘smart ship’ sails out of China
Quantum of the Seas is the first ship of the new Quantum class from Royal Caribbean. Dubbed the first “smart ship,” Quantum of the Seas boasts some nice firsts at sea, including robotic bartenders, a skydiving simulator, bumper cars and high-speed Internet that really is high speed.
Quantum is made to order for the digital generation. We were lucky to get a sailing during her first few months in U.S. waters.
Who will like sailing on Quantum of the Seas
Royal Caribbean caters to all types of cruisers, but the Quantum class specifically targets younger travelers and those who are more tech savvy. The amenities on board, as well as the different dining options, have been designed to lure those who may be hesitant to try cruising. She's a big ship: Quantum spans 18 decks, features 2,090 staterooms and can carry 4,180 guests at double occupancy. For those looking for nonstop entertainment, this is your ship. Quantum features the first-ever sky-diving simulator at sea, as well as roller skating and bumper cars.
Experienced cruisers may need to have an open mind when sailing on Quantum of the Seas. During our sailing, we saw a good mix of seasoned travelers and first- timers all enjoying themselves.
Where Quantum of the Seas sails
Top dining options
Quantum was the first Royal ship to introduce Dynamic Dining, giving guests maximum flexibility with their dining choices, but the program has been largely abandoned in favor of a more traditional approach (and with a Chinese twist on Quantum).
The five main restaurants are all complimentary: American Icon Grill, Chic, the Grande, Silk and the smaller Devinly Decadence, which caters to health-conscious diners. My wife and I ate at all five, and it was tough to pick a favorite.
At Silk, the Hibachi Steak was well cooked and perfectly seasoned. At the Grande, where formal attire is required, lobster tail and other superb options are available. The comfort food available at American Icon Grill includes favorites such as surf and turf, New England clam chowder, and macaroni and cheese. Chic, a French-inspired restaurant, also offers modern dishes, including lamb chops and the cruiser favorite crab cake starter.
Other distinctive specialty restaurants on Quantum of the Seas include the imaginative Wonderland, with an Alice in Wonderland theme and equally magical food pairings, and Jamie Oliver’s Italian, featuring rustic Northern Italian fare with the best seafood I have ever had at sea. There are other casual and complimentary dining options too, including the first 24-hour buffet on a Royal Caribbean ship at the Windjammer, and our personal favorite for a quick breakfast or lunch, the Two70 Café, serving wraps, paninis and salads.
Where I went & what I loved
Our eight-night cruise left from Cape Liberty in Bayonne, N.J., and visited two ports of call, San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Labadee, Haiti. We have been to both ports before and knew exactly what we wanted to do. In San Juan, we enjoyed a full day of exploring Old San Juan, walking along the cobblestone streets and venturing through the 300-year-old forts. For the first time, we did get to see San Juan at night and it was definitely a sight to behold.
Royal Caribbean’s private island of Labadee is our go-to beach day. There's nothing better than enjoying some sun while sipping on the cruise line’s signature frozen cocktail on the island, the Labadoozie. Labadee also offers the longest zip line over water, which we have done during previous stops on the island, and we highly recommend it for adrenaline junkies.
Activities on board
There's no way you'll be bored on Quantum of the Seas. Two70 on deck 5 is referred to as your “living room at sea”: This venue offers plush seating, a fully stocked bar and the casual eatery of Café Two70. This was our go-to place for a daytime hangout when the weather outside was not the best. At night, the exclusive show “Starwater,” enhanced with the Roboscreens and 4K digital technology of the Vistaramas, immerses travelers in a completely unique entertainment experience.
On Quantum of the Seas, there is no traditional Promenade but instead two smaller areas, the Via and the Esplanade. The Via on deck 5 contains the signature wine bar Vintages, Jamie’s Italian and high-end shopping. Continuing forward on the ship, more restaurants and public areas can be found on this deck, including the Bionic Bar, tended by two robots!
Heading down a deck, you'll find the Esplanade, with shops and restaurants, including the elegant coffee and chocolate shop La Patisserie. Continuing on deck 4, Michael’s Genuine Pub and the Music Hall lead you toward the Royal Theater, where a complete Broadway production of “Mamma Mia” is shown the first few nights of the cruise.
The party continues on the outer decks, too. Quantum has three pools, including the adults-only Solarium, an indoor pool open to families and the outdoor pool with a large movie screen directly overhead. Continuing aft, you will find the SeaPlex, the largest indoor sports court at sea. With bumper cars, roller skating, indoor soccer, basketball, and even a circus school, this venue is home to hours of entertainment. There's also an Xbox 360 lounge, table games and the SeaPlex Doghouse grilling up hotdogs and sausages.
There are plenty of options for families with children of all ages. The line’s Adventure Ocean program, for children ages 3-12, offers daily programs and activities for your little ones. Of course, the small kids also have a swimming area with its own wave pool. If you have teenagers, they will enjoy the area on deck 14 known as the Living Room. Kids of all ages will love the rock climbing wall and Flowrider, a surf simulator at the stern of the ship, not to mention all the other activities happening in the SeaPlex. Unless a show explicitly indicates it’s adults only, all shows and activities are family-friendly. Quantum of the Seas is a great family ship.
Quantum of the Seas offers a wide variety of entertainment. A complete Broadway production of “Mamma Mia” plays the first few nights of your cruise in the main theater. Toward the end of your cruise, the same cast is back in a musical adventure of modern rock titled “Sonic Odyssey.” This show features the Earth Harp, a large musical instrument that literally encompasses the entire theater. Depending on the length of your cruise, the Royal Theater also hosts guest entertainers ranging from comedians to magicians to singers and other entertainers.
In Two70, “Starwater” plays many nights of the week. It is a story about emotions featuring a dynamic cast of singers and dancers. Stick around because after the last showing each night, a dance party breaks out on the stage, with the Vistaramas and house DJ setting the mood.
Many of the bars and lounges on Quantum of the Seas offer live music, including our favorite, the Music Hall. With tribute bands covering iconic rock bands like U2, Bon Jovi and Journey, this venue is a powerhouse of music and dancing.
Quantum-class ships have 2,090 of Royal Caribbean's largest and most advanced staterooms, including 1,571 balcony, 148 outside, 375 virtual balconies and 34 that are wheelchair accessible. Stateroom highlights include:
- 375 Virtual Balcony staterooms: interior staterooms offering expansive real-time views of the ocean and exciting destinations through virtual balconies
- Up to 16 Family-Connected staterooms: perfect for multigenerational families or groups of friends, providing separate bedrooms and bathrooms for all
- 12 new Studio staterooms feature balconies and 16 Studio Interior staterooms, both for single travelers.
We stayed in an inside cabin with a virtual balcony, and we were pleasantly surprised. The cabin layout was much better than your traditional inside cabin. The furniture and décor was some of the most modern furnishings that we have seen on a cruise ship, with plenty of storage space. The virtual balcony also gave the room additional ambience. These 80 inch-high-definition screens are truly lifelike, displaying real-time images of the view outside the ship.
Pre-book all of your entertainment options and at least some of your dining. (We prefer to book all dining in advance, too.) Showtimes fill up quickly and have very long standby lines.
Dinner is smart casual in all complimentary restaurants except the Grande, which requires a jacket for men and dressy attire for woman. On our trip, the Grande dress code was enforced, but at the other venues, the “smart casual” dress code ranged quite a bit.
You only live once!
Try iFLY by Ripcord. This indoor sky diving simulator is a must for all travelers, as long as you meet the height and weight requirements. It doesn’t matter how old you are or how physically fit you are, give this a try, you will love it!
Tips & gratuities
All drinks have an 18% gratuity. You are charged this additional service charge even if you purchase a drink package, which we did and highly recommend. There is also a daily $12.95 service charge, higher for suite guests, that is split among the cruise staff including your wait staff, room attendant and other crew members. We did provide additional gratuities to our room attendant, Adina, who was amazing.
This ship is a mix of all types of travelers. On our sailing, about half of the passengers were either new to cruising or new to Royal Caribbean. We sailed during the middle of January, and there were still plenty of families with kids. Yes, there were also plenty of senior cruisers, as well as 30- and 40-somethings like us. Really, everywhere you looked you saw people of all ages and backgrounds having a great time on Quantum of the Seas.
Shopping or bargains
There are plenty of high-end brands found on the ship, especially for jewelry and watches. We did not shop in any of these venues, and it did not seem like many of our fellow cruisers did either. Throughout the cruise, there were regular sales/promotions on the Esplanade, including the popular $10 T-shirt sale on the last sea day. If you see a sale advertised that interests you, get there early as popular sizes sell out quickly.
How about you? Have you sailed on Quantum of the Seas? Here or in China? What was the experience like?
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Interested in a cruise on this ship?
Top highlights on this ship
- Two70, the aft entertainment area, offers amazing views by day and incredible entertainment at night with the signature show “Starwater.”
- The Music Hall offers a true rock concert venue with specialty cocktails and was our go-to spot for late night fun!
- iFLY by Ripcord and the North Star are two high flying attractions that you just have to experience.
- There are close to 3,000 pieces of art throughout the ship, including the relaxed and luxurious Via area.
- Staterooms are on average 9% larger than those of Oasis class ships.
- Enjoy a cocktail made by robots behind the bar.
- Enjoy live virtual balcony views on 80-inch LED screens in every interior stateroom.
- Skype chat with loved ones so you never really feel far from home.
Top dining options on board
“Everyone will love Quantum of the Seas because it incorporates all of the latest features (and you can go flying aboard this ship!), and then some, for a lot of Royal Caribbean wow.”