The keel laying ceremony for Royal Caribbean’s newest ship, Quantum of the Seas, was held yesterday in the Meyer-Werft Shipyard in Papenburg, Germany. The 430 ton block was laid into place, marking the beginning of the ship’s construction. Also, the first steel was cut for Quantum’s sister ship, Anthem of the Seas. From the press release:

“Today is a very special day in the development of our new Quantum class, as we are now two steps closer to delighting guests around the world with Quantum cruising,” said Adam Goldstein, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “It’s incredibly rewarding to see Quantum of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas coming together so well, and today we not only honor these two very important milestones, but also recognize the years of hard work and dedication from the team developing these ships.”

Video here.

Quantum of the Seas will introduce a number of cruising firsts, including “RipCord by iFLY, the first skydiving experience at sea; the North Star, an engineering marvel that transports guests more than 300 feet above the ocean; transformative venues, such as The Sea-Plex, the largest indoor sports and entertainment complex at sea with bumper cars, roller skating and more; and the cruise line’s largest and most advanced staterooms ever, including the industry’s first-ever Virtual Balcony staterooms, which offers expansive, real-time views of the ocean and exciting destinations for interior staterooms.”

While not as large as the Oasis Class vessels, these ships continue in the Royal Caribbean tradition of introducing innovative ships designed to wow passengers. At 16 decks, 4,180 passengers (double occupancy), and 167,800 gross registered tons, it will be very interesting to see how crowds are managed onboard. In my experience, Royal Caribbean set the example on the Oasis Class, so I have no doubt they will figure it out. The MJ on Travel team is booked on Quantum of the Seas’ first southern Caribbean itinerary, so I’ll be watching for new details on the ship as she makes her way towards setting sail. That promises to be a fun cruise review! I’m getting in line for iFLY.

-MJ, August 3, 2013