Quantum of the Seas, the first of two 167,800-ton, 4,180-passenger next generation Royal Caribbean cruise ships to debut, will launch November 2014 with 2,090 cabins including 373 virtual balconies-- inside cabins featuring real-time views of the ocean and destinations. Its sister ship in the Quantum class, Anthem of the Seas, will sail spring 2015.
(For a look at other upcoming new-builds, check out our new cruise ship
Quantum and Anthem represent 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. At 167,800 tons, the new-builds are similar in tonnage to RCI's 154,407-ton Freedom-class trio but carry 4,180 passengers (double occupancy).
The estimated all-in cost per berth for both ships is approximately €170,000 ($228,000), which amounts to €697 million ($936 million) per ship. According to Robin Farley, an analyst for UBS, the 5,400-berth Oasis of the Seas and Allure of Seas were purchased at a cost of $240,000 per berth ($1.3 billion total) and $265,000 ($1.43 billion), respectively.
Quantum of the Seas is bringing out Royal's wow factor with firsts at sea including a skydiving simulator and North Star, a jewel-shaped glass capsule rising 300 feet above sea level and providing 360-degree views over the sides of 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 operable roof. Other firsts pertain to new cabin categories: 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.
Other features announced so far include:
Rooms will be nine percent larger, on average, than those of the Oasis-class ships.
Room amenities will include modern touches such as USB outlets, larger storage solutions, and multi-functional furniture.
Of 2,090 cabins, 1,570 will be balcony, 147 outside, 373 virtual balconies (inside), and 34 cabins will be wheelchair accessible.
Family-connected cabins will offer flexibility for multi-generational families, connecting three different cabin categories to create a layout which provides separate bedrooms and bathrooms for each occupant. The layout provides shared space with the benefit of added individual privacy.
Studio staterooms will allow solo travelers to enjoy their space, inside and out, with 12 of the 28 cabins including balconies.
Loft suites will be the largest suite class, located across the stern of the ship. Quantum will also feature three junior suite categories with spa-inspired amenities, and a family junior suite featuring a full bath.
Broadway, T.V. and film star, Kristin Chenoweth, will serve as Quantum's godmother, leading to speculation about the ship's on-stage offerings. New, multi-level venue space Two70° promises an interactive experience, day or night, with 270-degree panoramic views of the sea scaling almost three decks in floor-to-ceiling glass. Meanwhile, Music Hall will channel a "rebellious and edgy" aesthetic, and will feature live performances, DJs and theme nights.
Two70° will be home to The Café @ Two70°, a gourmet marketplace providing passengers with casual dining in an enveloping atmosphere. A library and workshop can be found on the second level, and will feature guest lecturers, demos, and arts and crafts activities. By night, look for the spiraling staircase which will encircle Royal Caribbean's first ice bar. A combination of live performers (including aerialists) and audiovisual elements will transformTwo70° into a feast for the senses. Top to bottom, this event space will be outfitted with digital projections, 100-inch LED T.V. screens on robotic arms that descend from the ceiling, and illuminating floor lights.
You will know you are in the right place when you see the leather, chains and mirrors. Music Hall, a rock-and-roll inspired space, will be outfitted with a distinctive design, and daily activities from sun-up to sundown. Spanning decks three and four, Music Hall will host dance classes and improv workshops, along with bars and billiards. A raised main stage will feature live music with unobstructed views.
Billed as the largest indoor active space at sea, Seaplex will be a sporting and entertainment venue with everything from a full-size regulation basketball court to the first flying trapeze at sea. Did we mention roller skating and a bumper car rink which grooves to the sounds of a floating DJ booth above? Found on the mezzanine level will be four activity rooms with a view, each with a custom theme. Also on that level you will find the first food truck at sea, serving snacks up to the masses at-play. Seaplex, along with the outdoor sports court, will be located on deck 15 on both Quantum-class ships.
Skydiving at sea will be made possible with the simulator RipCord by iFly onboard both Quantum-class ships. Feel like you're flying with ocean views as far as the eye can see inside a 23-foot tall glass chamber for two one-minute simulations. A viewing platform allows family and friends (along with curious spectators) to observe your flight. Located on the outdoor sports court at the stern of the ship, you will be close to other signature Royal Caribbean activities, overlooking the FlowRider surf simulator and nestled by the rock climbing wall.
Rise well above the sea in a gem-like transparent pod called the North Star, for 360-degree views 300 feet above sea level over the side of the ship. Available both at sea and in port, this 15-minute experience will be located on the top deck towards the bow of the ship. While complimentary, three North Star premium packages will also be available for advance purchase, including private flights and flights during the most sought-after viewing times, expected to be sunrise and sunset. All packages will include a pre-flight reception, in-flight Champagne toast, commemorative certificate and a post-flight brunch or dinner.
While details are scant at this time, Royal Caribbean promises that "the most flexible dining options and more specialty restaurants than ever before" will be made available on its Quantum class of ships.
Many of Royal's signature family features return on the Quantum class including:
Award-winning Adventure Ocean children's program
Royal Babies and Tots Nursery
DreamWorks entertainment and events with live character appearances from Shrek, Kung Fu Panda and Madagascar
An H2O Zone kids' water park will be featured on the top deck.
Quantum of the Seas will sail out of New York Harbor from its homeport of Cape Liberty in Bayonne, New Jersey. Quantum of the Seas will sail seven- to 12-night itineraries to destinations in the Caribbean and the Bahamas.