By Katharine Dyson
Quantum of the Seas, Royal Caribbean’s new “Wow” ship, started off with strong positive vibes from the time we stepped onto the sidewalk just outside the entrance to the pier in Bayonne, New Jersey. Looking at my watch it took us but 7 minutes to get from dock to our room on deck 6. Kudos to RCI for streamlining the former often-arduous process of boarding—the long lines and filling out endless forms. They call it “SMART Check-in.”
It takes but a day or two aboard Quantum to realize how very cleverly designed it is. Rather than feeling like you’re a little cog rolling around in a big box, in this Royal Caribbean super liner, although it accommodates 4,905 passengers and stretches to 1,141 feet long, you experience a sense of intimacy throughout. Wherever you go there are spaces tucked here and there where you can settle in to read a book or have a conversation.
Quantum’s 18 restaurants appeal to those who enjoy cozy dining in places like Jamie’s Italian or Wonderland where your menu magically appears with you brush a tablet with a watery paintbrush. Others like the Windjammer Marketplace reveal nonstop sea vistas from just about everywhere while Chops Grille satisfies the lusty carnivore in you. Even one of the larger restaurants, elegant Silk specializing in pan-Asian cuisine, is divided into dining areas where you could freely propose without feeling like the whole room is watching. For the kid in you, there is SeaPlex Dog House and cookies are available all day long. And be sure to stop for a drink prepared by the robots at the Bionic Bar. You enter into a computer what you want and then watch the robot go into action including pouring your drink.
RCL’s Dynamic Dining policy means you can choose your restaurants and dining times each day or you can go classic and reserve the same time with the same wait staff and dining companions each day. Your choice.
Instead of a large open multi-storied atrium, the heartbeat of the public hub, the two-tiered Royal Esplanade, is carved into niche areas—upscale shops, meeting areas, seating spots and entertainment venues. Linger at the London-style bar at Michael’s Genuine Pub or stop for a pastry and coffee at La Patisserie.
Looking to duck into a place for a little privacy? There are plenty of places all along your way from bow to stern. Even at the sprawling pool area, spaces are created with smaller multi-level pools; chaise lounges that glow blue at night; curved bars and various seating arrangements giving you plenty of options whether you want to be in the middle of the action or in a quieter place.
Like the public areas, Quantum’s staterooms are classy and spacious with full showers in baths, outside balconies and sitting areas. For those craving over-the-top accommodations, the Royal Loft Suite features two-story panoramic windows spanning the width across the stern, dual whirlpool tub and even a media room.
Certainly fun and games is a strong part of the mix. SeaPlex a state-of-the-art indoor sports facility located aft on Deck 15 can be quickly converted from a basketball court, to a bumper car floor to a roller-skating rink or a circus open trapeze challenge. The RipCord by IFLY nearby gives you the exhilaration of skydiving and there is a rock climbing wall, wave pool and the unque North Star Capsule taking you up and out over the sea 300 feet above the waves. There is also a spa, fitness center and video game areas.
And did we mention entertainment? Wow. Would you imagine a full, all-stops-out production of Mama Mia? We stopped in just to catch a bit of it and stayed the entire time totally loving the upbeat music. There are also productions like “Groovy Town” evoking the 70s; “The Dreamworks Experience;” and the visually thrilling “Starwater” think Cirque du Soleil meets illusionary wizardry. There is also “Sonic Odyssey” transforming the Royal Theatre in a heart-stopping musical extravaganza and the two-story Music Hall where you can catch the beat and dance the night away. And that’s just the beginning.
Wondering about staying connected? Quantum has more bandwidth than all the other cruise ships in the world combined!
Quantum of the Seas sails out of Cape Liberty Cruise Port, Bayonne, New Jersey.