Quantum of the Seas, the first of three 167,800-ton, 4,180-passenger next-generation Royal Caribbean cruise ships, will launch November 2014 with 2,090 cabins including 373 virtual balconies -- inside cabins featuring real-time views of the ocean and destinations. Quantum Class fleetmates Anthem of the Seas will sail spring 2015, and the third, dubbed Ovation of the Seas, will debut in mid-2016.
The Quantum Class represents a significant reduction in size compared with Royal Caribbean's Oasis Class ships, which measure 225,282 tons and carry 5,400 passengers at double occupancy. The Quantum Class is more similar in tonnage to RCI's 154,407-ton Freedom Class trio.
Quantum of the Seas is bringing with it a number of firsts at sea, including a skydiving simulator and North Star, a jewel-shaped glass capsule that rises 303 feet above sea level and provides 360-degree views from high above the ship. SeaPlex will become the largest sports and entertainment complex at sea, with attractions including bumper cars, roller skating and a circus school complete with a flying trapeze. The adults-only solarium and outdoor pool will return featuring a brand-new indoor pool with retractable roof. Several new cabin categories debut on the class: virtual balconies will dispel the traditional idea of an inside cabin, family-connected staterooms will prove more accommodating and studio staterooms with balconies will spoil the single traveler.
In March 2014, Royal Caribbean unveiled a new concept called Dynamic Dining, which eliminates set dining times and main dining rooms, replacing them with 18 restaurant options, flexible dining times and dining spaces that limit capacity to no more than 500 passengers. This will be rolled out on the Quantum Class.
Perhaps the most highly anticipated component of the ship, though, is the technology. Royal Caribbean promises Quantum of the Seas will be the most technologically advanced ship at sea, with Wi-Fi available that is fast enough to support video streaming -- unheard of on cruise ships. Passengers on Quantum of the Seas also will spend less time in port during embarkation; RCI says passengers can get from "sidewalk to ship" in 10 minutes, thanks in part to its new app, Cruise Planner. A second app, Royal IQ, will allow passengers to communicate with one another via texting while onboard. The ship will feature the Bionic Bar, where patrons order drinks on tablets and watch as a robot mixes them up, and entertainment space Two70 will combine tech with live action.
Photos from Quantum of the Seas
Photos chronicling major news announcements, construction and Cruise Critic's shipyard tour.
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