Like the massive Oasis Class, Royal Caribbean's Quantum Class of ships features a dazzling array of activities, entertainment and dining, but Quantum ships are smaller, hosting just over 4,000 passengers.
There are three ships in the class, but only one -- Anthem of the Seas -- has actually been marketed to Western travelers. Quantum of the Seas and Ovation of the Seas have been sailing out of Asia since their launches and have been appropriate only for cruisers based in Asia, Westerners who wanted an Asia-immersive experience (with the language and programming onboard primarily in Chinese) or cruisers from Down Under who booked on a sailing in and around Australia, in which the language switched from Chinese to English.
This changes in 2019 when Ovation of the Seas comes to the United States -- specifically Alaska -- for the 2019 summer season. The ship will homeport in Seattle, the first time the ship has ever sailed North American waters.
Here's everything you need to know to help you decide whether the Quantum Class is right for you and which ship within the class you might like best. (For the purposes of this article, we will only compare Anthem and Ovation of the Seas as Quantum of the Seas is still targeted primarily at the Asian market.)
Quantum of the Seas
Ovation of the Seas
Anthem of the Seas
Spectrum of the Seas
Odyssey of the Seas
Anthem and Ovation of the Seas are overflowing with things to do. Cruisers are kept busy with surfing, skydiving, bumper cars, roller skating and circus classes from sun up to way past sun down. Evening shows take place in multiple venues; London's West End musical "We Will Rock You" is the main attraction on Anthem of the Seas, while Ovation has an original stage show called "Live. Love. Legs."
Add in the North Star, a glass-enclosed capsule that lifts cruisers into the air and out over the side of the ship for 360-degree views and dramatic photo ops, and parades with a cast of DreamWorks characters, and you'll find it hard to fit it all into a weeklong cruise. Anthem of the Seas and Ovation of the Seas each have several pools and whirlpools, more than 15 eateries and features the full Royal Suite Class program.
Ovation and Anthem of the Seas are virtually identical, with just a few differences when it comes to dining, the size of the casino and retail outlets and the onboard art. For instance, while Anthem of the Seas features Gigi, a gigantic giraffe wearing a yellow bathing suit and pink lifesaver, Ovation of the Seas is home to a 32-foot-tall panda reaching out over the side of the SeaPlex complex toward her cub. (Pandas are a symbol of good luck and are a national treasure in China.)
Cruisers on Ovation will also find two Asian eateries that are not available on Anthem, including Hot Pot at Solarium Bistro and the Kung Fu Panda Noodle Shop (found in the space on the Boardwalk normally occupied by Johnny Rockets, which is not on Ovation). The Hot Pot at Solarium Bistro enables diners to cook their own meats and vegetables at the table in a simmering hot pot. At Kung Fu Panda Noodle Shop, diners can choose from a variety of dim sum and noodle dishes. On Anthem of the Seas, the Solarium features diet-friendly cuisine.
Casino lovers will be intrigued by Ovation of the Seas' gaming space, which is much larger on Ovation than it is on Anthem of the Seas. The casino boasts 30 gaming tables and many more slot machines than on other Quantum-class ships. You can even find slot machines outside of the casino, along the back wall of the Music Hall. The retail space onboard is also larger.
Similar to the Oasis-class ships, Ovation and Anthem of the Seas are perfect for cruisers who want to stay busy all day long, though opportunities for relaxation are always available as well. (One difference between the two classes is that the Quantum-class ships have a much more sophisticated feel than Oasis, with eye-catching artwork and elegant decor.) The large variety of entertainment and dining will keep cruisers of varied tastes happy. Families will appreciate the wide selection of kid-friendly spaces and activities, and parents with toddlers will love the Royal Babies & Tots Nursery, which offers for-fee babysitting.
Don't look to Ovation or Anthem of the Seas for low-cost cruises; prices for sailings on both ships are regularly among the line's highest. Complaints about Ovation of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas are the same as those about Oasis-class ships -- too crowded and too much planning required.