In an era where cabin sizes generally are shrinking, Quantum of the Seas bucks the trend: Most cabins are larger than the industry average, and balconies are sizable and comfortable.
Quantum has 2,090 cabins, and 75 percent of them -- 1,570 staterooms -- have balconies. Most of the ship's 373 interior staterooms sport "virtual balconies," essentially floor-to-ceiling flat-screen HDTVs that give passengers real-time views of what those with genuine balconies see. The remaining 147 cabins are ocean-view cabins. Thirty-four cabins are wheelchair accessible, and 28 cabins are studios designed for solo passengers—almost half are solo balcony cabins.
All cabins are decorated in tones of brown and blue, with bold but tasteful geometric patterns. Wood tones are alternately light and dark, and storage space is plentiful, with most cabins including large dressers with deep drawers, small cubby-style nightstands, wardrobes for hanging clothes and large over-bed cubbies.
Most cabins have king-sized beds that can be separated into two twin beds, and small sofas, most of which can be pulled out into sleepers. This is a great configuration for families traveling with children.
Desks, which double as vanities, are standard, as well; they have white low-backed chairs that each feature a small handle attached to the back that makes the chair easy to pull out -- a thoughtful touch we just love. Three outlets (one European, two U.S.) grace the top of the desk, joined by two USB ports; another U.S. outlet is located bedside. Hair dryers, safes and refrigerated minibars are included in all rooms. Hair dryers are the kind that require you to hold down the button during use, so if that bugs you, bring your own instead. The small safes make for a tight squeeze, especially for full-sized tablets.
All cabins have digital thermostats, energy-saving lighting (put your card into a slot to keep the lights on in your room) and soft-close drawers to avoid slamming. There’s a large flat-screen TV in every cabin, mounted in a way that doesn’t take up precious counter space. Programming includes several Royal Caribbean channels that provide info about the ship and the cruise line, as well as channels featuring older TV series and movies. Recent and popular movies are available on demand (for a somewhat outrageous amount!)
Suites and Balcony Cabin choices on Quantum are so abundant, it becomes difficult to remember what all the options are when you begin the booking process.
Balcony cabins fall into one of four categories. The standard Ocean View Stateroom with Balcony is 198 square feet with a 55-square-foot balcony. The obstructed view balcony category is the same size room, but with obstructions ranging from a support pole to lifeboat equipment blocking at least some views from the balcony.
The next category up is Ocean View Stateroom with Large Balcony which is 198 square feet with 65-square-foot balconies and up. Some of these rooms are square in shape, rather than long rectangles, creating a more spacious feel, and adding an extra window next to the balcony door. The final category is Studio Ocean View Balcony, which is listed as 119 square feet with a 55-square-foot balcony, though some of these have larger balconies. Each balcony features two mesh chairs with two small ottomans and a stool-sized table that could accommodate a couple of cocktails.
Balcony cabins near midship on most Royal Caribbean ships have always been favored for what loyal cruisers lovingly call "The Hump": a spot where the ship gets wider, creating angled and oversized balconies. Quantum’s architectural design creates forward and aft “false humps” followed by cabins that are slightly recessed from those, and one true hump in the center, mostly taken up by suites. At each of these angles (forward, aft, and on both sides of the center hump), there are opportunities for balcony cabins with slightly larger balconies, including two of the three studio balconies on each side on decks 6 and 7.
Suite Class on Quantum begins with Junior Suites (starting at 267 square feet with 81-square-foot balconies), which make up Sea Class. Perks in this class include priority boarding and dedicated check-in line (though we had to ask where to find the Suite Class line in Seattle), a Lavazza Espresso coffee maker and tea kettle in the room, upgraded bath amenities, bath robes, and the ability to make dinner reservations when space is available in Coastal Kitchen. There is an accessible JS category and a category with large balconies (276 square feet with 161 square-foot balcony).
Quantum’s Sky Class suites include Grand Suites with either one or two bedrooms, and some with larger balconies, as well as Sky Loft Suites. The list of perks in Sky Class includes everything from Sea Class, while adding concierge service, priority departure, all-day dining at Coastal Kitchen, and complimentary Voom Wi-Fi.
The top suite class on Quantum is Star Class, which adds a Royal Genie -- what Royal Caribbean calls its butlers. This class also includes gratuities, specialty dining, and deluxe beverage packages. Suites in this class start at 673-square-feet and go as large as the two-level Royal Loft Suite at 1,640 square feet.
Our experience sailing in suite class was frankly extraordinary. The concierge in the lounge was attentive from the moment we met him, literally until the moment we walked off the ship. We asked a simple question on day three about the little flaky cinnamon rolls we’ve previously enjoyed on Royal Caribbean. The next morning, we almost had them coming out of our ears. First, room service delivered some. Then the concierge himself delivered more. We’d sail in a suite again just for the concierge service and dining in Coastal Kitchen, which topped the list of things we enjoyed most about the cruise.
Most bathrooms are compact and well designed, with glass-enclosed showers, sinks, small counters, and narrow shelves for storage. There are no drawers in the bathrooms, and the only electric outlet is limited to shavers. The hairdryer must be used at the dressing table in the cabin.
A bottle of combo shampoo and conditioner is mounted on the shower wall; you might want to bring your own. There's a bar of soap in the sink, but no shower gel or soap is in the shower, so here too, you'll want to bring your own. All suite categories (including Junior Suites) have upgraded bath amenities, and both a tub and shower. Loft suites have more than one bathroom.
Most of the balcony cabins on Deck 6 are obstructed by the lifeboats and related equipment below on Deck 5. In most cases you’ll be looking at the tops of the boats and the cranes that lower them. You’ll have a view of the sky and the sea beyond the lifeboat, but as much as 75% of your view may be obstructed. Alternatively, check out our favorite cabins below.
On a Budget: The Spacious Ocean View category includes forward-facing staterooms with large windows looking out over the bow of the ship. If you’re judging your value by how many square feet of space you get for your money, this is the room for you at 214 square feet priced lower than smaller balcony staterooms.
For Families: Quantum has so many choices for families it’s hard to pick. Options to connect rooms even includes connecting an Interior Studio with a Junior Suite with Large Balcony and a standard Balcony Ocean View, with a shared vestibule and shared balcony space. Alternatively, families on a budget should try to snag a corner Spacious Ocean View with a connecting room next door in the same category if you need more space. (Tip: Those corner SOV rooms only show up as available when you’re booking with children or more than two adults, so they are essentially reserved for families.)
Splash: Go for a Junior Suite. You’ll gain square footage, both inside and out, you gain a tub (perfect for soaking away those sore muscles from Kayaking in Alaska’s crystal-clear waters). Even better, you gain access to Coastal Kitchen for dinner. Consider that a complimentary alternative to specialty restaurants – it’s that good. Just be sure to make your reservations as soon as you board.
Splurge: There’s no doubt that the Owner’s Loft Suite with Balcony is a big splurge, but the perks that go with it make it so tempting. Imagine having a Royal Genie at your disposal to schedule and arrange your every whim. Plus, you’ll have priority seating at every show, complimentary specialty restaurants (all arranged by your genie), complimentary Voom Wi-fi, as well as drinks and tips thrown into the package. It’s your all-inclusive luxury dream cruise.