Quantum of the Seas: 11 Reasons to Get Excited
October 21, 2014
Not long to wait now, cruise fans! At the end of this month, on 31st October, Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas, sister ship to currently-waiting-in-the-wings Anthem of the Seas, will finally take to the waters and she’s guaranteed to be brimming with treats for a Halloween launch! She’ll shore up close to home in Southampton, ready for her maiden 2 Nov voyage to Bayonne, New York, for the start of her 2014-15 winter season visiting some of the Caribbean’s hottest spots. Lucky Quantum.
Needless to say, at www.CRUISE.co.uk we’re wet our pants excited! While the first member of the tech-advanced, innovative Quantum-class may be permanently relocating to Shanghai after her inaugural 2014-15 season, her twin-sister, Anthem of the Seas, will be joining her on the water in April 2015 and we are super-chuffed to know that she’ll be staying close and cruising from Southampton.
First thing’s first though – the Quantum of the Seas. She’s billed as the world’s most revolutionary and advanced ship, and while she’s not quite as big as the Oasis class liners (at 167,800 tons versus Oasis of the Seas 225,282 tons, Quantum is actually 5,000 double decker buses lighter!), she makes up for it in features. After all, it’s quality, not quantity – and Quantum class ships will make every ton count. Here are 11 reasons why you should be as excited as we are about her launch – ok, maybe not wet your pants excited, but definitely scream into a cushion excited…prepare to be WOWed!
1. You Can Reach for the Stars
Don’t worry, we’re not expecting you to jump into some sort of karaoke-unworthy rendition of the noughties S Club track – we’re talking about the exclusive to Quantum North Star observatory! With the help of a 135ft long crane arm, this jewel shaped pod, similar to the capsules sported by the London Eye, will lift you 303feet into the air, over the edge of the ship. Don’t look down unless you’ve got a hardy head for heights. Instead, just look out across the flawless 360° panoramic views.
This is not just an RCI first, but a cruise ship first, and while it’s a complimentary trip, it’s bound to be popular, so be sure to book. Unless you have a fear of heights, or vertigo, of course. In which case, it may be better if you stay with your feet firmly on deck and stick to waving at your loved ones as they enjoy an amazing lift.
2. You Can Fly While You Sail
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s….you! Who’d have thought RCI could better themselves after action-packed Oasis class? If you thought that the FlowRider surfing simulator was innovative, imagine being able to skydive on a cruise! Well, on the Quantum – and soon, on Anthem too – you can, with the help of the RipCord skydiving simulator, from iFly. Again, this is another at-sea first in the bag for Quantum and it definitely puts mini golf to shame as an onboard leisure facility.
You can spend a minute, for free, experiencing how it would feel to skydive freefall, without having to throw yourself out of a plane. If that’s not enough, you can book private skydiving time (for an additional fee) – and if that’s still not enough, you could always sign up for a charity tandem dive through the clouds when you get home…we’ll leave that one with you.
3. Whatever the Weather Playtime
For the young, or just the young at heart, the SeaPlex is in the middle of deck 15 and would be a great place to have fun running around like a big, or a regular sized, kid. This indoor leisure space is another industry first, with nothing else quite like it at sea, and having an undercover space to play in is going to be appreciated in weather extremes – yes, it is possible to have too much sunshine!
There’s a truck load of stuff to enjoy, (literally at the SeaPlex Dog House food truck). Boost your energy stores with a FREE gourmet hot dog (will you choose The Sicilian, The Coney Island, or The Wunderdog?) then go play. The SeaPlex complex is a flexible space boasting a full size basketball court, that can convert into a dance floor, a trapeze circus school, a roller disco and, an at-sea first, bumper cars. There’s also a floating DJ booth to keep the music pumping, and plenty of other activities to keep idle hands, and feet, busy, including four SeaPods around the edge of the room, that house Xbox Live gaming, foosball, air hockey and ping-pong!
Whether you fancy yourself as a retro style rollerskater, a circus trapeze artist, the next Michael Jordan or king of the dodgems, if you like to have fun (who doesn’t?) then this sports and entertainment centre is super-exciting.
4. The Dining is Dynamic
There’s no such thing as traditional dining on the Quantum – instead, the dining is dynamic, flexible and controlled by you. The MDR and fixed dining times have been consigned to the past, together with scampi, coq au vin and black forest gateaux. Instead guests will have the choice of 18 restaurants onboard, including five complimentary offerings (comfortable and tasty American Icon Grille, contemporary Chic, elegant The Grande, spicy and stylish Silk and suite guest-only Coastal Kitchen), as well as smaller complimentary food outlets such as Café Promenade and The Café @ Two70°, and other venues that charge an additional fee, including Jamie’s Italian (from the Naked Chef), Michael’s Genuine Pub (by James Beard award-winner Michael Schwartz) and gastronomically delightful Wonderland.
If that’s not enough, some of RCI’s favourites make a welcome return, including Chef’s Table for an intimate feast, oriental Izumi, steak heaven Chop’s Grille and rock n’ roll fave, Johnny Rockets. There’s a vast buffet of meal time options and nothing to stop you going where your tastebuds lead you – whether that’s down the rabbit hole at Wonderland or to the exotic East at Izumi .
Flexible dining times mean that you have complete control over what, and when, you eat – as well as who you eat with. This is a biggy as it means that you don’t have to endure hours of forced conversation with the same tablemates every day (unless, of course, you choose to book a table with them). There are no more rigid sittings, so you can dine whenever you are hungry and you have time to eat. We all know how hectic a cruising schedule can be!
Dynamic dining is being planned to be rolled out across the rest of the Quantum-class ships and beyond, which means the Anthem of the Seas will have it too. So, if you’re planning a cruise on her in the future, make sure you peruse the menus when they are available. Be careful not to drool, though. Drooling isn’t dynamic.
5. You’ll be Amazingly Well-Connected
If innovative technology is what you’re looking for, Quantum, and her sister Anthem, have it by the boat-load. As the most technologically advanced ship at sea, the Quantum is really making waves with her arsenal of gadgets and gizmos for techy fans, and these waves get even more impressive when it comes to Wi-Fi capabilities. Cruise ships have notoriously been a bit hit and miss when it comes to the Internet; understandable, considering you’re in the middle of the ocean, but, to RCI, excuses are for losers, and weak Wi-Fi is banished onboard.
Quantum’s Wi-Fi will be fast enough to support video streaming, Skype calls and social media browsing. So, that means you won’t have to wait for buffering and the dreaded beach ball of doom, and you shouldn’t have to put up with the incredibly annoying stop-starting of videos.
The use of a new generation of mid-Earth orb satellites from O3B will provide the ship with an expected capacity of 500mb/s, which in simple terms, is pretty darn fast! Satellite latency will drop from 750ms to 140ms too, so no chugging connections when you’re trying to say hello to family back home.
The Wi-Fi can also be used in one of the SeaPlex SeaPods, where kids and grown-ups can link into their Xbox Live account and game with people all around the world. Who said you needed to leave the online co-op play at home?!
6. You Can Get from Sidewalk to Ship in 10 Minutes
Thanks to the improved Cruise Planner app, the Quantum-class ships promise that passengers will spend less time in port during embarkation – and that’s always a good thing, right? The existing online check-in process will be further improved, with the ability to upload photo IDs using the SMART system and the issue of digital boarding passes, so that you can go from port to poolside in less than 10 minutes. And if you forget to put your swimwear in your carry-on, there’s just one thing for it – to the bar!
Suitcases will also be tagged with a radio-frequency ID (RFID) device so that passengers can track their luggage during embarkation and disembarkation, too. You won’t have to worry about wearing the same stuff day in, day out, because you won’t lose your suitcase, and you won’t have to start your holiday off with arguments about who’s leaving the bar and going back to the cabin to check on the cases. When they’re in your room, you’ll know, so you can make that your last round – if you want to…
7. The Apps are Amazing
Seeing as we’re in the 21st century, there’s bound to be an app for most things – including crushing candy, fighting zombies and making flappy bird fly – and this is the same onboard the Quantum, although the Quantum apps are far more useful.
The Cruise Planner allows you to book spa appointments, arrange shore excursions and reserve a spot in the restaurant you’ve had your eye on, while the Royal iQ will allow you to keep track of activities and conflicting schedules via the Cruise Compass, as well as enabling passengers to stay in touch with eachother via texting while onboard. Lost your buddies and wondering what they’re up to? Give them a text! Just don’t expect them to reply straight away – it depends what they’re up to. They could be taking a nap…what else were you thinking?! Cheeky. This is also great for keeping track of the kids, even if you don’t actually want to drag them away from the Adventure Ocean activities or meeting Shrek at the DreamWorks Experience just yet!
If it’s yourself that’s lost, the wearable WOWband wristband can help you to track yourself down; just one tap can help you to navigate the ship if you do get a bit stuck. And once you’re at your room, the same WOWband acts as a room key, so you don’t have to worry about losing your key if you’ve had one too many!
There’s also an app that allows you to order drinks at the Bionic Bar, where you can watch a futuristic robotic arm mix them in front of you. Tom Cruise in Cocktail, eat your heart out – there’s a new mixologist in town, and he’s made of metal!
8. There’s Enough Room to Swing a Stowaway Cat
OK, so maybe don’t swing a feline friend (they won’t be allowed on deck anyway – this isn’t the QM2, you know!), but it’s certainly something that would be totally possible in the huge staterooms onboard Quantum, and her sister ship, Anthem of the Seas. The staterooms onboard are the largest of any RCI vessel, on average being 9% larger than those on the preceding Oasis-class ships – so you see, Quantum knows exactly when size matters, in the bedroom!
Not only would you have enough room to swing a suitcase, but you’ll also have plenty of space to store all of the stuff that comes out of that suitcase (and the bits and pieces that you’ll likely pick up along the way).
It’s not just the staterooms that are massive either. There are 18 decks in all, 16 of which are passenger accessible, and while the Quantum-class may have downsized in comparison to Oasis-class (remember those 5,000 double deckers?), it’s still pretty huge. In fact, length-wise, there’s less than half a regular sized swimming pool in it, measuring in at 1,1142ft to Oasis’s 1,186. No wonder every guest has the option of a WOWband and RFID technology to help track their whereabouts – you could wander off and never be seen again! Now, where’s that touch screen map…?
9. You’ll have an Incredible Window to the World
The Quantum-class ships are introducing 373 virtual balconies for all of their inside staterooms, which will include a floor-to-ceiling 80” HD TV screen, showing real-time views of what’s going on outside. Who needs windows when you can have virtual windows providing the perfect view? It’s so perfect, you can even turn it off if you prefer!
The Two70° lounge, at the stern of the ship on decks 5 to 7, will also boast 3-storey-high windows offering 270° panoramic views of the ocean. Imagine the job the window cleaner would have, cleaning them!
Different Windows, but Royal Caribbean are also giving Microsoft Windows (get it?) tablets to every crewmember on Quantum of the Seas, so that they can keep in touch with loved ones back home and track passenger preferences to ensure the best service possible. Eventually, they want to do this fleetwide…that’s a lot of Windows tablets; approximately 40,000 total. You can thank them later, Bill Gates.
10. You can Journey into the Future
Not only will there be futuristic robot arms serving you cocktails in the Bionic Bar, but there are also going to be 5 robotically controlled 100” LCD screens providing digital backdrops in the Two70° lounge. This is to help the venue transform into a unique space for evening entertainment, which will host a multitude of events including a nouveau cirque-style show, StarWater – a RCI original production, Virtual Concert which brings a world-class concert experience to the liner, and Gatsby, which takes you back to the roaring twenties – don’t forget the flapper dress! The five-screen RoboShow can be reconfigured to match the event, and they will almost look like they’re dancing to the music, just like you can. Maybe you could practice your best ‘robot’ moves on the dancefloor, too – just don’t let the kids see you!
There will also be automatic sunshades on the huge Two70° windows, with a 13-screen projection system, displaying live views from outside the ship. So, when the window shades are down, you can still see what’s going on outside. Don’t worry, there won’t be any icebergs storming towards you (apart from the lettuce on the gourmet salads) – so you can relax and enjoy your fresh coffee without worrying about it being iced.
The ship has also stepped into the future with its green credentials, aiming to be at least 20% more fuel efficient than the industry frontrunners – the Oasis-class – by using LED bulbs ship-wide, motion sensors that dim the lights and an ergonomic hull. No need to worry about switching lights off when you leave the room here, you know – Quantum’s got it covered!
11. Enjoy the Most Flexible Cruising Experience
From the flexible Dynamic Dining concept to the robotic screens in Two70° that offer different configurations depending on what’s going on, the Quantum-class ships offer cruising options that are so flexible they’ll put the onboard yoga instructor to shame.
One of the highlights that we are really excited about is the flexible inter-connecting family rooms, which allow families to cruise together while still hanging on to their own space. We all know how difficult it can be to live in close quarters for a significant amount of time (especially if you’re throwing teenagers or in-laws into the mix!), but these rooms help to quash any issues that living with your kids and gran can cause. With a typical 575 square feet of space and up to 216 square feet of outdoor space, including communal areas and separate bedrooms and bathrooms connected by vestibules, it’s a perfect solution for conflict-free family cruising. Some of them can sleep up to 8 people, too, so no-one gets left at home like KEVIN!!
Has your excitement reached world cup final levels yet? Ours has, but it doesn’t stop there. Once the Quantum and Anthem of the Seas (our very own Southampton sailor!) are launched, the third of the line – dubbed the Ovation of the Seas – will be joining her sisters on the open waves in 2016, and these triplets will certainly be causing ripples; hi-tech, advanced and mega-innovative ones!
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