Time has been kind to Quantum of the Seas since it launched in 2014 and spent time mostly in Asia. Its ground-breaking technology is far from outdated. Cruisers are still enthusiastic about soaring 300 feet above sea level in the North Star gondola attached to a mechanical arm. Nobody is tired yet of flying in one of only five skydiving simulators on Royal Caribbean ships. Plus, bumper cars, laser tag, and circus school – just because you can. As for entertainment, the Two70 interactive venue is one of the most technologically advanced spaces of its kind at sea, unique to Quantum and Quantum Ultra class ships.
It’s a ship that feels built for cold-weather cruising in Alaska, with its indoor family pool and adults-only solarium, but it has enough spectacle to satisfy passengers of all ages no matter where it sails.
The exterior of Quantum of the Seas gets your attention right from the start. Between the 30-foot magenta polar bear climbing the upper outdoor structure and the intrigue of the North Star pod, passengers are pulled into an exploration of the whimsical right away.
The play starts with the massive indoor SeaPlex, complete with bumper cars casually parked on racks waiting for deployment as if that’s an everyday occurrence on a cruise ship. The relaxation counterpoint to all that playtime is the Zen-like multi-deck Solarium with its stunning forward view of the bow. A short gap of outdoor pool and splash zone connects the upper deck spaces to the Windjammer Café, making it a seamless process to break for food replenishment before returning to your endeavors.
Quantum’s Royal Esplanade on Decks 4 and 5, though smaller in scale than the promenades on other Royal Caribbean ships, acts as a passageway to everything else you need within the ship, from food to shows. It feels like a slightly curved two-story mall with sleek lines and lighting that just feels good, as if sunshine was flooding in from somewhere.
Deck 3 serves almost as overflow for the public decks above it, catching two of the four main dining rooms, a large Casino Royale, the lower floor of The Music Hall (which is an eclectic surprise in its own right) and the lower floor of the Royal Theatre. It’s the only deck where loud public attractions and staterooms potentially clash, as the remaining stateroom decks are primarily secluded from public spaces, leaving them quiet and peaceful.
On a ship where 75% of the rooms have balconies, one would expect a boring line up of cookie-cutter rooms with nothing distinguishing one from another. But there’s nothing boring about the cabin choices on this ship.
From pioneering virtual balconies in interior rooms to two-story loft suites, every stateroom category has options – whether it’s an intriguing placement within the ship, how one stateroom connects to another, or a shape that doesn’t match the traditional cruise ship cabin footprint.
The best staterooms on Quantum are the ones that position you and your travel party near the things you came for. If it’s ocean scenery, you’re going to be fine almost anywhere. If you came to hang with your people, there are staterooms that connect like jigsaw puzzles, tucked away behind their own vestibule doors – creating your own private enclave. If your kids are spending all their time in Adventure Ocean activities, the best spot for you might be near AO on Decks 11 or 12. And of course, if you cruise to spa, pick any deck, but consider a cabin near the forward elevators which will whisk you to your treatments.
Are there rooms/cabins to avoid on Quantum? Consider most of the obstructed balcony cabins a last choice unless the price is right. Sure, you’ll have a balcony to sit on to enjoy the sea breezes and hear the ocean waves. But unfortunately, your view of the water below will be blocked by lifeboats.
Balcony cabins and suites on Quantum of the Seas both include some rooms with larger balconies -- much larger balconies. Both categories have accessible rooms. And don’t forget that Quantum of the Seas suites come with Suite Class perks, including dining in Coastal Kitchen, concierge service, and much more.
Quantum’s main dining rooms aren’t secret. They come as a four-pack of restaurants on Decks 3 and 4, each with a name denoting its décor, while sharing the same menu. Windjammer Café on Deck 14 stretches for what feels like an acre, featuring food stations near the front and seating along the windows and across the back of the ship, including some almost secret outdoor tables.
Specialty restaurants that incur an extra charge and a la carte food in unusual spots like the bar bites menu in Harp & Horn are not to be missed. On our sailing with a fresh crew, we found the specialty dining food and service was often superior to the included choices.
You might miss some options simply because they feel tucked away in corners. You’ll find yourself surprised at the array of soups and sandwiches (including the line’s famous Kummelweck roast beef sandwiches) available in Café Two70. You may be equally as surprised to discover the takeaway trays of crispy fish (or chicken) and chips from the corner eatery next to the outdoor pool (port side) – still cleverly disguised as an Asian noodle shop.
We’re assuming the signage will eventually be corrected to its new name: Splash Away.
One last hidden food spot to seek: If juicy hot dogs while watching soccer, roller skating, or hoops sounds fun, check the schedule for your favorite spectator activity then go top your dog (yes, they have kraut) and enjoy the fun surrounding SeaPlex Doghouse.
All shows (reservations needed for most)
Most daily activities, unless otherwise noted, including dance classes, sports, and daily movies
Fitness center use, but not classes or personal training sessions
Meals at Windjammer Buffet, Main Dining Room, and select specialty restaurants
All pool and hot tub use
In-port appointments for North Star
Kids and Teens Clubs
Continental breakfast room service
Most specialty restaurants
Most beverages beyond water, drip coffee and lemonade
Fitness classes and personal training sessions
Photos and artwork
Certain onboard activities (wine tasting, bingo, etc.)
Late night babysitting services
Room service, except for continental breakfast
In-stateroom on-demand movies
iFly by Ripcord skydiving simulator
VOOM Wi-Fi internet access
Passengers on Quantum’s Alaska itineraries are primarily North American, with some international passengers. The language onboard, including on signage, is English. Families traveling with children of all ages make up a large portion of Alaska passengers, and Quantum’s attractions will make it popular for families no matter where it sails. Solo travelers and couples in the age range of 30 to 60 make up most of the remaining passenger load.
Following summer in Alaska, Quantum moves to summer in Australia, New Zealand, and the South Pacific, likely making it popular with family cruisers down under. Passenger country of origin should mirror the change of hemispheres, with a few wandering Americans in the mix.