Quantum of the Seas
When it launched in 2014, Royal Caribbean’s 4,905-passenger Quantum of the Seas defined the line as the most technologically advanced ship at sea.
The first in the Quantum class, this vessel is arguably all about the activities: Highlights include bumper cars, a skydiving simulator, and a lounge with robot bartenders. Quantum of the Seas also introduced a whole host of other features to the line: Hot new restaurants include an Italian spot designed by British TV Chef Jamie Oliver, a gastro pub by Miami Chef Michael Schwartz, and Wonderland, the line’s “Alice in Wonderland”-themed molecular gastronomy fine dining spot.
In spring 2015, Royal Caribbean moved the ship to the Asia market — permanently. Today, she cruises short sailings round trip out of Shanghai to South Korea and Japan, taking with her almost 5,000 Chinese passengers. The ship went through a variety of changes to serve the new market, including the addition of more shopping and a larger casino. The Johnny Rockets diner was converted into the Kung Fu Panda noodle bar, and “Mamma Mia” was replaced with a show called “Sequins and Feathers” that works better for a non-English-speaking audience.
What We Love
Music Hall: The two-story show lounge with red curtains, café-style tables, and an impressive sound-proofing system is designed for cover bands.
Two70: This gorgeous aft lounge is the most expensive space at sea, with towering glass windows overlooking the wake, fun seating choices, and a great bar. During the day, you can grab a sandwich or salad from the cafe and enjoy the sunlight streaming through the space. At night, this is the place for shows — during which entertainers rise from the floor and drop from the ceiling, and robotic screens contribute to the entertainment.
Best Known For
North Star: This amusement park-style ride takes place in a giant podlike structure attached to an arm that raises and lowers the pod into the sky and out over the sea. The ride is short, and you may have to wait in line to try it. But it’s the best vantage spot for photos on board.
Online Check-in: You can check in and upload a photo from home, so that when you get to the port, you walk right up the gangway — an impressively fast embarkation experience for a ship with nearly 5,000 passengers.
Major Broadband Improvements: The Wi-Fi on board is fast enough that you can upload photos, stream your favorite TV shows, and Skype with friends back home. Best of all, it’s even less expensive than Wi-Fi on other lines. How did the line do it? It partnered with a company known for bringing internet access to developing countries.
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Who It's Best For
Those Living in China: This is no longer a ship geared toward the American market, and everything from food to service has been adjusted to serve the cruisers now setting sail from Shanghai. The occasional American passenger is usually either of Chinese descent or living in the East and familiar with the customs and culture. Expect breakfast, for example, to contain more congee and dim sum than cereal and scrambled eggs.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
It’s One of the Biggest Ships in the World: The technology has made moments like embarkation smoother and much more comfortable, but you’ll still find crowds and lines in certain situations.
Sherri Eisenberg is a New York City-based writer and editor. She is the former editorial director of ShermansCruise.
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Quantum of the Seas at a Glance
- Line: Royal Caribbean
- Class: Quantum
- Number of Passengers: 4905
- Ship Size: Mega
- Launch Date: 2014
- Refurbish Date: 2015