A Closer Look at Quantum’s New SeaPlex
October 30, 2014
It’s hard to believe that with all of the bells and whistles that the new Quantum of the Seas has that there’s anything else that the ship can bring to the equation but there is!
Not only can you skydive, see the world from the inside with Virtual Balconies, watch robots mix your drinks, dine dynamically and be lifted 300ft above sea level in the North Star Observatory pod, you can also play undercover in the new SeaPlex indoor space – an incredible sports and leisure venue that can morph into several different versions of fun, depending on the time of day.
It really, really is! (Can you tell we’re excited?)
Located on decks 15 and 16 of Quantum (and, quite likely, her sister ship, Anthem of the Seas – set for launch for Southampton sailings spring 2015, and the Ovation – to be released the following year), the SeaPlex complex is the leisure hub of the ship.
One of the things that sets it apart from leisure zones on other ships is that, being undercover, SeaPlex isn’t weather dependant – a great plus for those who don’t want to play sport under blazing sunshine or if you’re planning a cruise when the weather isn’t guaranteed to be constantly good.
To get an idea of what SeaPlex is all about, mix Carnival’s SportsSquare with the coolest teen spaces at sea and you’re getting somewhere close but SeaPlex isn’t just for the hip young things – big kids, little kids and the young at heart will love hanging out at SeaPlex (and not just for the juicy (free!) hotdogs from the Hotdog Truck!).
Get ready to want to ditch the computer and go play!
The SeaPlex centre is somewhere for all ages to go and hang out, whatever the time of day or the weather.
Spanning two decks of the ship, it has an arsenal of features that will let guests unwind and reconnect with their inner (or outer) youth.
A full-size basketball court with hoops occupies Seaplex’s Deck 15 floor, which also doubles up as a space for dancing, roller-skating, a circus school (with an at-sea first flying trapeze – if you dare!) and another at-sea first, just to hammer the point home, bumper cars.
Yep, you heard us, fairground rides on a cruise ship – Royal Caribbean just needs to throw in a Hook a Duck and some candyfloss and it’s got all the fun of the fair at sea!
The full-size basketball court means that you can shoot some hoops in the middle of the ocean – Michael Jordan, eat your heart out!
Practice your slam dunks and your dribbling and pretend you’re in an American high school movie.
Don’t forget to pack your Air Max and your vest to look the part!
Other sports you can play on this really clever multi-use sports court include volleyball, dodgeball and football – you may be in the middle of the ocean but you can still sneak a quick game of this English favourite into your day, even if you are missing out on your usual Sunday league game (we sure you’ll survive, just this once – plus you can recreate the Sunday league experience perfectly with a trip to Michael’s Genuine Pub after your SeaPlex match).
It may not have a big top, nor a ringmaster (and luckily, there are no lions to tame, either) but there is a circus school at SeaPlex, offering the chance to have a go on the flying trapeze.
We assume that, when the flying trapeze is available, the floating DJ booth will be tucked away – that could cause some issues if you let go and land on the music man!
If you’re not feeling confident enough to trust your upper body strength to hold you as you fly through the air on a trapeze, there are always the Lyra hoops to have a go of, or a trusty set of juggling balls that will ensure your feet stay firmly on the floor, even if the balls don’t (or do, depending on your level of skill!).
It’s a great way to spend a few hours for wannabe clowns and aerial gymnasts alike and if you’ve ever dreamt of running away to join the circus, SeaPlex will let you put a big fat tick on your bucket list.
Get Your Skates On
Plus, let’s not forget the other at-sea firsts that the SeaPlex offers, to give the space even more brownie points (or ‘chocolate panna cotta with peanut butter feuilletine and espresso air’ points, in Quantum’s Wonderland).
The area doubles up as a roller-skating rink, where traditional freestyle roller skating is offered for those who want to discover (or re-discover) their inner 80’s rollerdisco diva.
Don’t worry, you won’t have to try and find room in your case for your pair of quads (cos everyone has a pair of quads, obviously!); Quantum have them waiting for you.
You might want to smuggle a pair of leg warmers in though – for the full retro effect!
Why not get your skates on and have a go?
Blading isn’t an option though, just in case you had dreams of blading your holiday away, Miami beach style.
Sorry – those denim hotpants will have to stay at home.
A Bumpy Ride
The other at-sea first is, of course, the dodgems.
Feel like you’re in the middle of a carnival with some fairground fun on the Quantum’s very own set of multi-coloured bumper cars.
Luckily, you’re in an enclosed space…driving the bumper car off the edge would cause all manner of issues and be highly unlikely to pass health and safety!
A ride on these dodgems lasts between three and five minutes and you will have thirty dodgems to choose from (just in case you have a favourite colour, or a lucky number).
They’ll be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis but as each ride is only a maximum of five minutes long, you won’t have long to wait for a turn – you could always grab a gourmet dog to stop your stomach from rumbling in the meantime.
Throwing Some Shapes
As the evening arrives, the SeaPlex space can also transform magically into a dance floor, with a hovering DJ booth that ‘floats’ up above.
In the booth there’ll be a, hopefully not afraid of heights, DJ playing some chart-topping tunes for you to show off your dance moves to.
Be warned though, with Mr. DJ high above the action, he can see all the bad moves! Embarrassing
Food for Thought
Is all of this playtime making you hungry?
Don’t worry, you won’t have to spruce yourself up to go and dine in one of the main restaurants mid-play.
Just pop upstairs to the SeaPlex mezzanine level and grab a hotdog from the first food truck at sea – yep, that’s another first in the bag for RCI!
Whilst the SeaPlex Dog House doesn’t serve up fine dining grub (the clue is kind of in the name), what it does do is delicious gourmet hotdogs and bratwurst sausages in soft buns, along with a range of sides and sauces – and it does these very well indeed.
The US food truck scene, that iconic cities like San Francisco, Miami and New York are famous for, is now on the ocean waves too – and with plenty of different gourmet hotdogs to try, the SeaPlex Dog House will offer much more than just the humble frankfurter with American mustard drizzle.
Choose from hotdogs with names like ‘The Sicilian’ – the godfather of hotdogs, perhaps? and the ‘Wunderdog’ – a “wunderbar” Austrian dog made from veal (erm, we’ll try one before we pass judgement…).
Finish off your choice of dog with a scrummy side order, like sauerkraut or sautéed peppers or if you’re a traditionalist, a classic squirt of mustard and ketchup (we promise you won’t be frowned upon).
With a mouth-watering menu, this SeaPlex snack stop is so good you’ll be after a doggy bag. No need cruisers – Dog House is totally free so you can go back for second servings as often as you like!
Connecting to the World
Adding even more to the flexibility of the SeaPlex space are four versatile SeaPods on the mezzanine level, at either side of the SeaPlex room, which each have an unrestricted view of the ocean thanks to the floor-to-ceiling windows which extend over the side of the ship.
Each pod will have a custom theme; three of them will have other leisure facilities tucked away inside them, such as table tennis, foosball and ice hockey tables, for old school table game fans.
The fourth one though, is maybe the most exciting, due to its interactive nature – especially for gamers who love to have a bit of video game action, no matter where they are in the world!
This pod will allow button bashers and tactical players alike to hunker down for a gaming session in one of the several Xbox gaming stations – and with the super-duper Wi-Fi that the Quantum-class ships boast, players can link up to their own Xbox Live account (yep, the one they play on back home!) and enjoy some co-operative play with friends and fellow gamers, no matter where in the world they are.
The available games haven’t been revealed but whether you’re scoring goals on FIFA or snipering your enemy on COD, it’ll be a great way of passing some time during an at-sea day when the weather isn’t playing along.
RCI have long been known as innovators on the seven seas (ziplines, carousels and ice skating rinks all feature on their fleet of megaships already) and it looks like they’ll be pushing the boat out even further on Quantum-class ships. This can be seen not only in SeaPlex but also by the Sports Court that’s located just next door to the SeaPlex centre on Quantum.
Here, cruisers will find the classic Royal Caribbean rock climbing wall, the popular FlowRider surf simulator and the super-exciting RipCord by iFly indoor skydiving tunnel.
The SeaPlex adds to these incredible features, offering a space that is versatile and full of fun, no matter what the time of day or how old you are and you don’t need constant sunshine to enjoy it.
Now, pass us our trainers…we’ll be on our way to the SeaPlex after this last poolside cocktail…honest!
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