I’m aboard my flight home now (12/12) reflecting on a truly amazing cruise aboard Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas. As I’ve noted before, I will prepare a complete review with pictures and commentary. I’m most excited to share the details of my interview with Quantum’s Executive Chef, Henrique, with you. I have lots of notes and pictures, but sometimes I think it’s best to get a few thoughts out there early on while the memory is fresh.
The Ship – Quantum of the Seas is a beautiful, elegant, and well designed ship. Easy to navigate. I had concerns about crowding. They were misplaced. The ship handles its well over 4,000 guests quite well.
The Stateroom – The new staterooms were very well done. The decor is reimagined, and I was really impressed with the storage. They’re finally equipped with a usable number of power outlets, including one by the bed. The bathrooms are bigger and better, especially the showers.
The Solarium – Unquestionably, my favorite in the fleet. Well designed and beautiful.
Dynamic Dining – I was a bit skeptical of the concept. I will now anoint myself as the “official Dynamic Dining cheerleader”. There were hiccups for sure. I believe they were mostly related to new IT along with staff and guests getting used to something that is a radical change for most who are familiar with Royal Caribbean. Getting the right staff in the right places will help improve things. More on that later. I’m a Dynamic Dining convert. I like options. While not totally related to Dynamic Dining, the Windjammer buffet has been re-imagined for Quantum of the Seas. Vastly improved. Best in fleet.
North Star – I’ll admit I didn’t think much of the concept of a gondola hanging on a mechanical arm above the ship when I first saw it. Now that I’ve seen the real thing – do NOT miss it!
Bumper Cars at Sea – Another yawner for me until I tried it. Then I tried it again. And then again. Why? Because I was having fun!!!!
Dynamic Dining – Royal Caribbean rolled out a radical new concept when compared to previous dining experiences. I am relatively tech savvy and well-informed when it comes to change. Not all cruisers are or care to be. I think they’ll need to up the outreach a bit to their most loyal guests. Further, I am unconvinced that the complimentary restaurants are staffed well enough to effectively serve the number of guests they have. The return of the “assistant waiter” or some other iteration of help for the dining team will go a long way.
Royal IQ App – On a ship so dependent on technology, it is almost a necessity to have access to your cruise calendar every step of the way. On 2 days out of 11 on board, I could not access my cruise calendar for an entire day using my smartphone. Needs to be fixed. I acknowledge they are working on it as evidenced by the number of IT staff onboard. As an iDevice loyalist, I’ll also say that an Android version of the app is needed sooner rather than later. Tip: the calendar is also available on your stateroom television or at multiple common use tablet stations around the ship. For whatever reason, they mostly worked when my smartphone did not.
Room Service – Royal Caribbean managed to quietly roll-out a la carte room service pricing on Quantum of the Seas. In fairness, there are complimentary options, but room service staples like a burger? Now $4.95. Tip: look at the kids menu – chicken fingers and fries are complimentary and only listed on the kids’ room service menu. Yes, we ordered that when snack time hit. 🙂
The Drink Package – MrsMJ and I purchased the Ultimate Drink Package option for this cruise. It really is virtually unlimited. My nit – the max price for wine is $12 per glass. Nothing really wrong with the price point except…… funny thing – the best $12 glass of wine on board IMO is Clos Du Bois Cabernet. Other funny thing – it’s rarely available in any of the dining rooms. The typical option was either $8 or $17, which means you’re going to pay that $5 difference if you want the better wine. I would like better availability of the “happy medium” on wines in the dining areas.
The Bottom Line
Our cruise aboard Quantum of the Seas was amazing! I can’t believe it went by so fast. Yes, I have some constructive input, but overall, I was truly impressed by the ship and the service. Quantum of the Seas really does change everything, and I can’t wait to book another cruise on Quantum of the Seas or one of her Quantum Class sisters.