Royal Caribbean launched the 168,00+ GRT Quantum of the Seas in November 2014. The 4,180-guest (double occupancy) ship has 16 guest decks, 16 guest elevators, and is over 1,100 feet long. The Quantum of the Seas is the first in a new class of Royal Caribbean ships. Within the next two years, she was joined by sister ships Anthem of the Seas (2015) and Ovation of the Seas (2016).
The Quantum of the Seas is full of innovations, exciting common areas, and onboard activities and entertainment. The ship has 2090 cabins and suites, and over 1500 of them have a balcony. However, the Quantum of the Seas also has inside cabins with a virtual balcony and studio cabins for solo travelers. It also features 18 distinctive, diverse, dining venues. The design and concept of some of the restaurants were developed by celebrity chefs like Jamie Oliver, Michael Swartz, and Devin Alexander. Its use of technology certainly meets the "Wow" factor.
The Quantum of the Seas primarily sails 4 to 7-night cruises from Shanghai, China.
Although I am sure many North Americans are disappointed to see the Quantum of the Seas sailing from another continent, her sister ship, the Anthem of the Seas, sails roundtrip from Bayonne (New York) to the Bahamas and Caribbean. Since the two sister ships are almost identical, the new innovative features and technology on the Quantum of the Seas are also found on the Anthem of the Seas.
Cabins and Suites
The Quantum of the Seas has a diverse selection of cabins and suites, ranging from interior cabins with a virtual balcony for budget-minded travelers to spectacular loft suites where guests might just opt to spend their entire cruise vacation.
Many guests stay in either an ocean view cabin like the one seen in the photo above or a balcony cabin. I stayed in a balcony cabin on a short 2-night preview cruise, and loved having two closets--one on each side of the bed. So many times on a cruise, two people are trying to get clothes out of adjacent closets at the same time. No problem on the Quantum. The bathroom also has a glass door rather than a shower curtain, which is a nice feature.
The most innovative feature of the cabins and suites is the use of either the SeaPass card or the WOWband to open the door. You don't have to insert the SeaPass card; just wave it in front of the lock. The WOWband is worn on the wrist, so you don't have to pull out your card to enter the cabin. However, the SeaPass card is needed to turn on the lights.
Families will appreciate the family junior suites, which sleep 4 or 5 guests. The bedroom area in the suites has two twin beds that convert to a Royal King, measuring 72.5 inches wide by 82 inches long. The suites also have a full bathroom with tub, plus a separate half bath. The sofa in the sitting area converts to a double bed.
Dining and Cuisine
The Quantum of the Seas has 18 different dining venues. Ten are complimentary, five have a surcharge, and three have a la carte menus. Royal Caribbean introduced a new way of dining at sea on the Quantum. This new approach is called "Dynamic Dining", and it allows guests to plan all of their own meals. The large ship has four large main restaurants that are complimentary to all guests. These are:
A fifth complimentary restaurant, Coastal Kitchen, is reserved exclusively for Grand Suite and above guests and Pinnacle level Crown & Anchor members.
Other, more casual dining venues that are also complimentary include:
The surcharge and a la carte restaurants are all very enticing, and the concepts for some were designed by celebrity chefs. Guests can choose from a variety of cuisines including Italian, casual pub food, steakhouse, or Japanese. These seven dining venues are:
Click on the links above to read more about the dining options on the Quantum of the Seas.
Bars and Lounges
Certainly the most technologically innovative bar on the Quantum of the Seas is the Bionic Bar powered by Makr Shakr shown in the photo above. Belly up to the bar, place your order on a tablet, and watch the two robotic bartenders make your cocktail! Don't worry. There are humans nearby to assist in the process. It's great fun to just watch the robots at work!
The Quantum of the Seas has many other drinking establishments, some with live entertainment. Some bars, like Bolero's and the Schooner Bar, are on the Royal Esplanade, which is the indoor hub of the ship and filled with shops, restaurants, and bars. Vintages wine bar is found on The Via, an intimate and elegant space, with more dining, drinking, shopping, and entertainment options. Of course, the ship also has outdoor bars near the pools and the North Star.
The outdoor decks are filled with swimming pools, hot tubs, bars, activity areas like the rock climbing wall and FlowRider, and hundreds of lounge chairs for sunning.
I doubt any guests on the Quantum of the Seas will miss a signature piece of art on deck 15 near the SeaPlex and the rock climbing wall. It's a giant magenta polar bear that is 30 feet tall and weighs 8 tons. The bear, titled "From Afar", is constructed of 1,340 stainless steel triangles. The ship is filled with other interesting artwork, but this bear is distinctive to both those onboard or gawking from ashore due to its size and color. It's also the most photographed piece of artwork onboard the Quantum of the Seas.
Indoor Common Areas
The Quantum of the Seas has many gorgeous interior common areas. The Solarium seen in the photo above is an adults-only retreat with waterfalls and an indoor pool. The Solarium also has a bar, the Devinly Decadence restaurant, and marvelous views of the sea from its location forward on deck 14.
The Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness Center are found forward on deck 15. The spa offers all the treatments found in other deluxe spas at sea and ashore. The fitness center has many types of the latest up-to-date equipment, along with Flywheel, TRX, Pilates, yoga, and beach bootcamp classes. Guests can relax, rejuvenate, and get fitter while on the ship.
The Via and Royal Esplanade are the Quantum of the Seas indoor promenade on deck 5. These two hub areas are filled with restaurants, retail shops, bars, and entertainment venues. Sitting in one of the sidewalk cafes or bars offers terrific people watching.
Quantum of the Seas has several different types of innovative entertainment that are sure to attract and please the cruising public. All shows and entertainment are complimentary to every guest.
The first "not to miss" entertainment is the full theatrical version of the hit Broadway play, "Mamma Mia". This production is shown in the 1,300-seat Royal Theater, which is found all the way forward on decks 3, 4, and 5. Since it is the full-length musical and not one abridged for cruise ship audiences, it's longer than traditional cruise shows, but the music is terrific, and the story moves quickly. It's great fun.
The Royal Theater is also used for "Sonic Odyssey", an original Royal Caribbean production. It features one-of-a-kind musical instruments like the huge Earth Harp, a Drum Wall with 136 drums, a Vocal Percussion Jacket, and Violin Dress. "Sonic Odyssey" blends these unique instruments with a 9-piece orchestra, along with a cast of singers, dancers, aerialists, and gymnasts.
Two70° is a beautiful venue found aft on deck 5. The multi-level venue is name for its 270-degree panoramic sea views through the floor-to-ceiling glass walls. When the curtains are closed, 18 Vistarama projectors are used to create a surface over 100 feet wide and 20 feet tall. Digital shows with 12K resolution make a spectacular back-drop for the shows in the room. In addition, six Roboscreens can stage surprise performances. These 7 foot high screens can move together or independently. It's a little difficult to describe, but pretty amazing technology.
Starwater, an original Royal Caribbean production, takes full advantage of the Vistarama and Roboscreen technology. This theatrical spectacle includes actors, singers, dancers, and acrobats, all of which are enhanced by the marvelous technology.
Two70° is also used for virtual concerts, where musicians, groups, or bands perform while their concert is projected on the Vistarama and Roboscreens.
The Music Hall on deck 4 is a great venue for live performances in the evening. It also has billiard tables and two bars, giving it a casual ambiance. There's a "Mamma Mia" after party, complete with a red carpet and some of the featured cast members of the musical.
Tribute bands play the music of great entertainers throughout the decades, such as The Beatles, Bee Gees, Journey, and Bon Jovi.
The Quantrum of the Seas excels in its variety of onboard activities. North Star is the most visible new venue, since this large pod-like structure reaches 300 feet into the air, providing guests amazing views of the sea, ship, and surrounding scenery.
The most exhilarating new feature on the ship is RipCord by iFly, a skydiving experience that excites and delights even those too fearful to jump from an airplane (like me). Participants "fly" in a wind tunnel, and it's memorable fun.
The SeaPlex indoor sports venue is huge and features activities like roller skating, basketball, table tennis, bumper cars, and even a circus school.
Read more about some of the great activities on the Quantum of the Seas.
- North Star
- Boarding the North Star - Close-up View of Capsule
- Bumper Cars in the SeaPlex
- RipCord by iFLY
- RipCord and FlowRider
Many of the onboard activities incorporate impressive technology, as is discussed on the next page.
The Quantum of the Seas is filled with amazing technology, causing many to call the ship a "smartship". These new technology features include the speed of its wireless connectivity, the use of a WOWband to open cabin doors and make onboard purchases; virtual balconies on its interior cabins, two robotic bartenders; RFID luggage tags; and a downloadable app RoyaliQ, which guests use to manage their dining, entertainment, and cruise activities.
This amazing, innovative new ship is a great option for those who love large ship cruising or resort vacations. The use of technology, Dynamic Dining, and the terrific onboard activities and entertainment options should attract a new group of vacationers to the Quantum of the Seas.
As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary cruise accommodation for the purpose of review. While it has not influenced this review, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our Ethics Policy.