1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
Background Information My friend and I were wanting to get away from Sydney and as we've enjoyed our previous cruises to the South Pacific, another cruise was always going to be the best option. However, rather than picking one that ... Read More
Background Information My friend and I were wanting to get away from Sydney and as we've enjoyed our previous cruises to the South Pacific, another cruise was always going to be the best option. However, rather than picking one that leaves from our home port we decided on this RCI cruise from Shanghai to Japan and back for a different kind of experience. We book-ended the cruise with a night in Shanghai beforehand and 2 nights afterwards which we loved (but that's for another review). Overall, most of the positive reviews of this type of cruise have it right. If you're prepared to deal with the predominately mainland Chinese passengers and the different cultural experience that comes with it, there's a lot of great fun to be had on this trip. Embarkation International travelers are shuffled into the express paths as much as possible so the embarkation process was quite smooth. There is obviously still some line-waiting to be done but compared the lines the other passengers have to endure, it's really not that bad. We didn't print our luggage tags nor had our sail away passes printed when we turned up but this didn't halt any proceedings and were helped to get everything ready by the always friendly RCI staff. Stateroom (Cabin review details are listed separately). Ship Info The Quantum of the Seas is a massive ship, easily the biggest we'd ever been on. Having said that though, the size of the ship brings me to my main gripe with the cruise which was the number of passengers onboard. I get the feeling that if RCI had built a ship that accommodated say, 200 less passengers then I think it would've been perfect. There were just a few too many times that we were hassled by the amount of people we needed to navigate, especially at the buffet (but more on that later). Apart from that the ship had plenty to do and plenty of public places to have a drink, catch a show, listen to some music or get something to eat. It was clean and easy to navigate and I would definitely be thinking of joining another RCI ship if they're all made to this standard. Dining We learnt very early not to go to the buffet during peak meal times. The first time we did this the pushing and shoving from the crowd and the lack of seating were nearly prohibitive in themselves. However, after this first meal we always ate half an hour before the buffet closed and it was fine. Plenty of seats, plenty of room to select your meal and still plenty of food on offer. Can't comment on the pay-to-eat places as we didn't frequent them and the other complimentary dining places usually had long lines to get in. So as the buffet had all we need this is where we stayed for the most part. One other comment (and this applies to eating in China generally), there are very little options provided for vegans so be prepared for quite a small selection of available meals. Activities There is no shortage of activities for anyone wanting to be involved. However, be ready to wait in line (especially for the dodgem cars) as the amount of passengers on board generally mean that most of the activities are occupied most of the time. Service It's hard to overstate how awesome the customer service was from all RCI staff members. To be honest, I'm not sure if it's the status quo or if they were pleased to be able to converse with an english speaking guest. But in any event, the service was excellent and everyone was very welcoming. Gilbert and Max in the Schooner Bar were especially great. Entertainment We enjoyed the stage shows which were pretty great. The magician was really very good and the ladies who paired an acoustic guitar and violin were exceptional. One word of advice is to reserve a seat for the Starwater show asap. We went to reception on the morning of the first day out of port and all shows had already sold out for the entire cruise(!) so you've gotta be quick. All other shows were fine and had plenty of seats available though so you should be right. Port & Shore Excursions The second port was cancelled so we only had one day on shore. At Shimonoseki we booked an RCI tour to Chofu and the Samurai village which was great. The english speaking guide was welcoming and pleasant and the tour wasn't so long that it took all day so we were able to do some personal touring afterwards. Summary The cultural immersion on this type of cruise is very real. One of the bartenders told us that other cruises (longer ones of say 9-12 nights and also ones that stop at Tokyo) have a much larger contingent of Western passengers. So if you're really concerned about this, I'd recommend that type of trip. For any other cruise out of Shanghai, be prepared for a cruise with a majority of mainland Chinese who don't speak English and display highly questionable social etiquette. We only met 2 other western couples out of the thousands of passengers on the ship so you'll need to be prepared for this type of ratio. To be honest, I actually enjoyed being an 'outsider' and found the entire cruise to be a unique experience I wouldn't get anywhere else. So all in all I had a great time. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
This is a very different cruising experience. There were 4000+ Mainland Chinese and 500 non Chinese which created a completely different vibe on the ship. We had a taxi from our downtown hotel, 45 minutes, 260 yuan on the meter. We ... Read More
This is a very different cruising experience. There were 4000+ Mainland Chinese and 500 non Chinese which created a completely different vibe on the ship. We had a taxi from our downtown hotel, 45 minutes, 260 yuan on the meter. We were dropped by the check in area,handed in our luggage which we had already tagged and were in our cabin within an hour of being dropped off. Cabin was excellent as was the room attendant. Dining was a little of a let down. Went to Windjammer on embarkation day, very crowded but managed to find seat, eventually. Tried the next morning for breakfast, even more crowded. A waiter was clearing a table, we asked if it was free, and while we were waiting a Chinese family just sat down! Our waiter in Chic- Chinese- said don't go to Windjammer as it was "like a fish market!" This was last time in Windjammer as we took breakfast in the dining room that was open after that. Much better, the head waiter always ensured that we got a good table at this time. The disappointing aspect of the dining was that all four restaurants had the same menu every night. We ate every night in Chic with the same waiter and table, booked by the head waiter as the online app did not work.The restaurant service we received was as good as on other cruises, but there was much less choice of menu items. Went on two shore excursions in Japan Osaka Castle and Inuyama Castle booked with RCI. Both a distance from port but the guides were informative and entertaining. Bars very quiet. We didn't have a drink package but purchased a 12 drink card on board using our on board credit-$59- which suited us perfectly.There was also a soft drink one for $39. Only went to one show- US soul singer very good. Thee trivia was as usual except that the crew member was not a native speaker so had a few laughs with pronunciation. Disembarkation was OK, except we were delayed docking due to fog (pollution) and there were no announcements about any changes so we were late to our holding area but a crew member escorted us to the right place. Long line at passport check. Plenty of taxis to take you downtown. Paid 300 yuan- no meter You need to be aware that the cruise is for the Chinese and accept that there norms are not the same as ours, there will be cutting in line and some shoving, but it was a good way to get to Japan. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
Visiting Shanghai for the F1 Grand Prix and this was my first ever cruise on any ship. I have to say that this ship and cruise is most definitely aimed at Chinese. If you are a European like me, it’s a real eye opener. There are over ... Read More
Visiting Shanghai for the F1 Grand Prix and this was my first ever cruise on any ship. I have to say that this ship and cruise is most definitely aimed at Chinese. If you are a European like me, it’s a real eye opener. There are over 1 billion Chinese that have money to spend and Royal Caribbean wants to exploit that market, it’s good business sense. Be prepared for rudeness, queue jumping and little consideration from the Chinese passengers on the cruise with you. An example was that there was a long queue at Sorentoes, I got my meal, the server tried to hand it to me and a Chinese man tried to steal the meal. He saw absolutely nothing wrong with this until the server rebuked him in angry Mandarin. Try to avoid Windjammer at peak times, complete madness. Little choice apart from Chinese food, even the western food is aimed at the Chinese passenger. You can get other food but you will have to pay for it. Shipboard currency is dollars, they can change currency but be prepared to pay a surcharge. I was advised to go ashore and change currency there. Embarkation was ok, the cruise line have worked very hard to make it a smooth as possible. The cabin I had was internal and was finished to a good standard and the house keeper introduced herself and was extremely helpful when I needed to ask her questions. I cannot fault the rest of the crew I have had dealings with, but it’s VERY obvious which passengers are in the driving seat on this ship and the crew don’t enforce the rules unless they have to. They do not want to upset those passengers at all. I have A LOT of time for the crew on this ship because of the hard work they have to do. There are LOTS of videos in Mandarin instructing the passengers not to walk around in pyjamas, disposable flip flops and certain areas you are required to dress smartly to enter. I walk around the ship and lost count of the passengers wandering around in pyjamas and flip flops. I got dressed up for chops resturaunt and in came several others in jeans, t-shirts and disposable flip flops. I went on a trip and was told that at the last minute I could not leave the ship until my account had been settled, I phoned at friend who had been on another RCL ship (Independence) that it was not done. Where was I going to go? The ship had taken my passport (for immigration purposes) it’s not like I was going to do a bunk without that? I can only say my own observations, it’s a good cruise and I have had a good time but you are going to see an awful lot of bad Chinese behaviour. I have got a master class in Mandarin insults, and watching men hawking spittle into the hand basins they have to wash their hands in before they go into the windjammer. Come and see China and Japan its a great experience, but you have to bite your lip a lot. You have to remember that what’s considered rude and really out of order in the West is totally different from what’s applicable in China. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
Either RCI’s standards have dropped or they chose to just totally drop the ball on this cruise. This cruise is geared for locals, so if you're not one, avoid this cruise. EMBARKATION: Shanghai’s terminal is far from the ... Read More
Either RCI’s standards have dropped or they chose to just totally drop the ball on this cruise. This cruise is geared for locals, so if you're not one, avoid this cruise. EMBARKATION: Shanghai’s terminal is far from the city center. The drop off point was very far from the terminal. I understand these are under the port jurisdiction not RCI, but we did see vehicles entering the area. Provisions / shuttles should have been provided by RCI for people with limited mobility. My dad was in a wheelchair so it was fine but my elderly uncle was practically near collapse. Once you enter the terminal, the endless lines for check-in, immigration, security, etc. made for a stressful start. We were supposed to have priority check-in but our companions without priority got through faster. We left our hotel at 10am, got to the drop off around 11am, and finally got on the ship close to 2pm. So you had elderly people with limited mobility walking for 3 hours!!! My husband’s first name (2 names) exceeded the 14 character limit of RCI, so they truncated the last letter. I kept raising concern that this would pose a problem. Our agent and even the RCI reservations personnel said it was ok even if it’s not matching his passport name. Well, guess what happened next? Of course we ran into problems and had to be pulled aside. I feared my husband might not be allowed on board and the ground staff were mostly Chinese and don’t understand English. Good thing I knew enough Chinese to explain that RCI told us his name was too long and that RCI said it was ok, and they let us through. Upon boarding the ship, I asked if there was anywhere else to get lunch besides Windjammer. Most ships have food served in the dining areas. All the staff we asked just had a blank expression and just kept directing us to the 14th floor. Only later did I see on the compass that there were 4 other places where we could have had a less stressful lunch. WINDJAMMER: Chaos all over!! The manager should be fired!! Upon entry, we were directed to the wash area to wash our hands. There was no soap in the dispensers and the sinks were full of wet paper towels. So all we did was run our hands in water. Some of the guests just walked through. The hand sanitizer might have been better than this useless exercise. The overhead signs had nothing to do with what’s offered underneath it. Food was repeated in several areas so we spent a lot of time going from one area to another checking if there was anything else to eat. Food was horrible and selection was few. The orange juice was more water than juice. The utensil containers had all spoons in several spots. So we had to wander around looking for the forks and knives. Hygiene standards were thrown out the window. Things we witnessed: An old lady dropped the serving tongs on the floor. She proceeded to pick them up and place them back. My brother quickly ran and stopped her before they touched the food. We saw someone cough at the drink dispensers. We informed staff to wipe down the nozzles. He picked up the rag he used to wipe the counters, wiped the nozzles, wiped the counter again, then wiped the nozzles again!!! Food was scattered all over the floor, the chairs and tables were sticky. Are they under manned? There's more but this review would become too long. The local guests have no manners and no basic hygiene standards. They would eat off the food trays using utensils they’ve had in their mouths. I know this is not RCI’s fault, but this is not their first cruise out of Shanghai. Steps should have been taken to police these or prevent this behavior. Have enough people stand by watching the food counters and stop them. On other cruises, the buffet section is open almost 24 hours a day. We can go up after shows even around midnight to have a little more food. Here, Windjammer closes at 9pm. ELEVATORS: The doors don’t seem to have sensors or don’t work. The locals will push and shove their way in and out. They don’t observe the courtesy of letting people out then in. Once, I let people out and as I was pushing my dad’s wheelchair in, a guy started pressing the close button and the doors proceeded to close on my dad. I ran forward to activate the sensors but nothing happened, so I pulled the wheelchair back. Knowing this behavior, on another occasion, I ran into the elevator and pressed the Open button while the guy on the other side furiously pressed the Close button while my husband pushed my dad’s wheelchair in. We had to prop open the doors. Several times we see people hitting the Close button while people were still getting on, and the doors do not stop closing. The elevators also miss floors or reverse directions unexpectedly, and not because they’re already full. I got on to an empty elevator, on the 5th to go to 13th floor. The buttons for all floors were pressed so I had to wait as we stopped at every floor even with no one getting on or off. However, after the 11th floor, the elevator then went down without reaching 13. On another occasion, I got on, on the 14th, hit 9, and the elevator just went all the way to 5th. DINING ROOM: Forget the fine dining setting you normally expect. Not only was the ambiance shot with all the guests shouting at each other, the menu was one piece of board with pictures of the food, like in a cheap eatery. The food was at food court level except it was served. Soup was served dripping all over the side. No plating skills evident. Appetizers, soup, and entrees were brought out at the same time and dumped on our tables, sometimes in the middle family style, as they didn't even bother remembering who ordered what. They seemed in a hurry to just plop down the cafeteria food on the tables and have us on our way. We were in a mess hall, not fine dining rooms SPECIALTY DINING: Ok, these were good. And we had to resort to these (which was probably RCI’s intent – more $$$) to get away from the chaos in the free areas. Staff in these areas were also very well trained. Special commendation to Carla Ann Flores in Chops and Lorraine in Jamie’s for their excellent service and friendly demeanor. I also want to commend Erika Szente, the Specialty Dining Manager for wonderful service. OTHER F&B – Two70 is beautiful. I also want to commend John Gabanzo (or a last name that sounds like this) from the Philippines for excellent service. He saw I was alone with my dad in a wheelchair, so he helped find a table for us and brought us food as I couldn’t leave my dad alone. On other cruises, we look forward to the healthy food offerings from the Solarium. Here, it’s breakfast only for suite passengers, and hotpot with a $35 charge for lunch and dinner. ROOM SERVICE – Again, on other cruises, room service was free except after midnight. Here, there’s a delivery charge + 18% gratuity. My mom (who was a suite passenger) tried to order breakfast (after seeing the line at Windjammer reaching the stairs) and wasn’t allowed to order before 9am. ENTERTAINMENT – The 2 production shows were good. There was a special show called StarWater where reservations were required. The compass said nothing about charges. I was able to book free of charge, but my companions were charged $29 per person to watch this show. Is RCI taking advantage of first time cruisers? OTHER ACTIVITIES – Get better people. The Zumba instructor was out of rhythm and timing, it was so difficult to follow. The steps were repetitive and cheesy. Groovy Town was cheesy but fun. The jazz instructor was better but we basically just did warm up exercises and it was done. The Western Dance Party started out cheesy fun, as we danced to Achy Breaky Heart, then they stopped it to do a parlor game. Why? Who cares? Only the people who are related to the 6 guys selected for the game. It went on for way too long and broke the mood and momentum, so we left. The Fireworks party was lame as well. We went around looking for a place where we could drink and party and there was no such place. So we just called it a night. Highlights were Flowrider, Ifly, and the Seaplex activities which were managed well. PROMENADE – There’s no grand 3 story or 7 story lobby here. Just a shopping mall with bargain sales going on at all times in the middle. It was like Black Friday sale all the time in the area, with the locals grabbing and shoving and sheer CHAOS all over too. The promenade became a place to avoid as well. OTHER PUBLIC AREAS – The locals were allowed to smoke away with total abandon. Even walking on the pool deck and sports deck was not an option, let alone, lounging and relaxing, as the areas got really smoky. The entrance to the Music Hall on the 3rd Floor was through the casino, so we had to hold our breaths and run through. RCI just wants us to stay holed up in our rooms. Yeah, the ship was beautiful but we can get that with other ships or cruiselines. You don’t have to go on this one. The non-local staff were great. And you can see the weariness in their eyes and smiles as they contend with the unruly guests. The lady at our muster station got shouted at by guests who wanted to leave the drill before it was over. And once she was out, everyone else followed and ignored the drill. Local staff need better training. Overall, this was an easy money grab for RCI. Nickel and dimed all over. Everything came with a tag price. And I’m sure they made a killing at the casino and the shops. Totally geared for the standards and habits of Mainland Chinese. But for a normal cruiser, this was a stressful and chaotic cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
My family of 4 chose this cruise mainly because we wanted to visit Japan, next thing was because we wanted to experience a 5 star cruise. Embarkation at Baoshan port, Shanghai was a true nightmare. It took us nearly 3 hours to get on ... Read More
My family of 4 chose this cruise mainly because we wanted to visit Japan, next thing was because we wanted to experience a 5 star cruise. Embarkation at Baoshan port, Shanghai was a true nightmare. It took us nearly 3 hours to get on the ship. Chinese shore staff didn't speak English or pay attention to who we were. Since we were also Asians, they kept pointing us to the long queue line of Chinese people while Western people were allowed to the International Passengers Queue Line. I tried to talk to them but they ignored me. We were pushed by so many Chinese people and went deeper into the crowd. The customs procedure had many unnecessary steps. However, embarkation and disembarkation at Japan ports were so much smoother and faster. Our rooms were balcony staterooms located on deck 9. The rooms and everything else were amazingly beautiful. The cruise crews were also very nice, kind and friendly. They all had excellent English skills. I have no complaint about the cruise and its crew members. Anyway, before every lunch and dinner at the complimentary restaurants on the cruise, we had to spend 30-45 minutes to queue. Foods were good but not many choices. The Windjammer buffet was large and always crowded but there were actually only a few dishes that were categorized mainly for Chinese people. Half of the shows and entertainments on the cruise were performed in Chinese language. I think 95% of the passengers were Chinese. Hiroshima and Kochi were beautiful in this time of year. I wish the ship had stopped at each port for a longer time than just 5-6 hours. Maybe I will want to cruise again but not any cruise that departs from China or stopping by China. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
Got a cheap deal and booked quickly - a bit of a last minute plan. I had a good time but I wish I had read more reviews before deciding on this cruise! I travelled with my partner and we have been on one RCI cruise previously (7 days ... Read More
Got a cheap deal and booked quickly - a bit of a last minute plan. I had a good time but I wish I had read more reviews before deciding on this cruise! I travelled with my partner and we have been on one RCI cruise previously (7 days out of Venice) which we very much enjoyed. This time we had 2 days beforehand and 3 days afterwards in Shanghai - we spent a lot of time in museums, up towers and eating, as it was very cold outside and we weren't inclined to wander too much! The metro was very helpful in getting from place to place. Getting to the port was a bit of a hassle, as it was difficult to get the taxi driver to understand where we were going, and there was a nasty traffic jam that slowed us down considerably. Embarkation was smooth - we were channelled into a fast lane. The ship itself was impressively large and modern. Our cabin (9716) was configured with a comfortable king size-ish bed (the bed was curved at the bottom, so it was probably full king-length in the middle but not on the outsides). The bathroom was small but functional, as one would expect on a cruise ship. Everything was clean and pleasant. The cabin also had a balcony, which was lovely (although it was too cold to be outside for long periods!) Dining was where we really started to notice that this was an experience designed for Mainland Chinese travellers, and although we hadn't anticipated this would be a problem, it kind of was. There have been some changes since the ship was launched. Johnny Rockets has closed and been replaced, I think, by the Kung Fu Panda noodle shop. At least half the dishes on the dining menus were Chinese, and that included places that implied another kind of cuisine e.g. American Icon Grill and Michael's Genuine Pub (which had one dish - chicken wings - that I could imagine seeing at a traditional pub, and was in all other ways more like a hotpot restaurant). All this is fine, except that I'm a vegetarian, and there is little demand for vegetarian food among Chinese customers, so very little vegetarian food on the ship. Several of the dining options had no vegetarian options on the menu whatsoever, and although most said they could accommodate vegetarians, I'm a bit suspicious of an anonymous dish that isn't good enough to go on the menu. I ended up eating in the Windjammer for most meals, and not asking what was in anything. This was very different to our previous cruise experience, where I very much enjoyed the food and felt I had a lot of options. (Also of note: Chinese consumers are generally not into Diet Coke, so many of the bars on board don't have it. This is an unfortunate thing to discover just after you've bought a beverage package!) As many have said, the Windjammer could be very hectic, and even with a group of 2 it sometimes took a long time to find a table, or even the part of a table to share. We did our best to avoid peak times, but when we arrived at a busy time it was quite frustrating. We did visit Jamie's Italian one evening, and the food was very tasty, but adding up the $35USD pp + drinks + "service charge" it ended up being about the same price as going to the Jamie's Italian in Sydney, which is a bit startling when you recognise that you've already paid for dinner as part of the cruise (and it would have been much worse value if you didn't have 3 courses). The other big disappointment was activities. Every day we were issued with a daily planner, but the vast majority of the activities in English were either $$$ outright, or invitations to buy something (Get a body check at the Japanese Clinic! Come and look at some art that is for auction! Free inch loss consultation at the spa!) A number of times we showed up for something that was listed on the planner, only to discover that it was actually to be conducted in Mandarin. We did participate in a wine tasting which we very much enjoyed (and didn't mind paying for). The story was very similar with shore excursions - there was only one English language option in each of the ports, compared to a number of Mandarin language options. We decided to do our own thing in Nagasaki, and I think that was the right decision - Nagasaki has a great tram system which makes it easy to get around. Initially we'd intended to go to the ropeway and the gardens, but the weather was not so good, so we ended up going to the atomic bomb museum and a few other things much like what we would have done on the shore excursion anyway. In Okinawa we did the one available shore excursion going to Shuri Castle and the Gyokusendo caves - this was fine, but I would have much preferred to spend some time at the crafts village that we dashed through on the way back from the caves. As the boat moors so far away from anything in Okinawa I'm not sure we would have been able to make our own way anywhere. The staff we encountered were without exception lovely, courteous and helpful. Overall, I think the experience was a good one but the options are quite limited for non-Mandarin speakers, and for anything that doesn't fit with Chinese cultural expectations. If I had it to do again I would probably choose something different. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
Initially chose this sailing because of the large ship and the nice itinerary. However, be prepared with the number of guests this ship can accommodate. At the checkin at Baoshan Port in Shanghai, the process was well organized and ... Read More
Initially chose this sailing because of the large ship and the nice itinerary. However, be prepared with the number of guests this ship can accommodate. At the checkin at Baoshan Port in Shanghai, the process was well organized and controlled despite the large numbers. Expect a total check-in time of at least an hour from entering the terminal, luggage drop-off, seapass card claiming, security, customs, and immigration up to boarding of the ship. Windjammer is too small for the total capacity. You will be seated separately from your group since the seats are all taken. There will be queues to get food at the buffet. Rooms and Housekeeping are as expected for Royal Caribbean. If you are a group of 8 or more cabins, visit the Group Coordinator, they help out alot! It was my first time to be on casual dining set-up. Make sure to reserve at any of the four main dining restaurants at the first day of the cruising as all these get filled up quickly. The food is not as good as previous Royal Caribbean sailings. Shows are not as high quality as previous sailings too. The shows are usually song and dance numbers. Different from the musicals and circus type shows that i expected. Expect waits at the elevators, because of the number of guests again. Disembarkation process will take more than an hour. In general, 1) service is not as personalized on this ship as compared to previous sailings. 2) expect long waiting times for anything that involves queueing (the crew are able to control the queues though, so little pushing and queue cutting happens) 3) if ever there are any activities that require reservations, make sure to reserve as they have very few slots in relation to the number of guests onboard. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
As others have mentioned before, this cruise was different from your typical Caribbean or Mediterranean Royal Caribbean experience. We chose this itinerary for the suite class and its benefits, and for the ports of call. Overall, we found ... Read More
As others have mentioned before, this cruise was different from your typical Caribbean or Mediterranean Royal Caribbean experience. We chose this itinerary for the suite class and its benefits, and for the ports of call. Overall, we found the high quality of service from the crew, the suite perks and the Japanese ports to encompass a memorable holiday vacation. This was our second time on Quantum of the Seas having experienced her maiden voyage from Southampton to Cape Liberty. Highlights: Embarkation Since we had Golden Suite Class this process was a breeze. The two things I would point out is that you must sign a damage release form for soft baggage at the pier and that your passports will be collected upon check-in and not returned until the day before disembarkation. Remember to make copies. The port opened at 11am and we were on the ship by 11:30am. Customs and Immigration was efficient. We immediately went to the Solarium and were surprised to see that it was closed off for suite guests only. After a few days of hectic air travel and touring Shanghai the serene calm of the Solarium hot tub was a relaxing way to start the trip. Owner’s Loft Suite 8720 One of the main reasons we booked this cruise was because the Owner’s Loft Suite was available. This suite, which is on the back of the ship, is bigger than my apartment and boasts three balconies. The upstairs bathroom is enormous and you could fit another bedroom in the walk-in closet. Our room attendants were so sweet and perhaps the most accommodating and thoughtful I’ve ever experienced on a Royal Caribbean ship. We were also given a complimentary ride of the North Star just before we pulled out of port in Fukuoka and a bridge tour. This suite was truly memorable and special treat to stay in. Fukuoka and Nagasaki This was my first visit to Japan and we booked half day tours through Royal Caribbean at both ports. As others have said before, the Chinese passengers book tours through other vendors and vacate the ship in large groups. We left both of our tours at the end before the bus returned to the ship and walked back after exploring each city. The Half Day Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Site and Museum Tour was very informative and a good history refresher. Departure at each port was efficient and we returned to the ship with no line. Food and Drink The bartenders are bored on this ship and it made for great entertainment. We spent quite a bit of time on the ship chatting with the bartenders at Schooner bar (Zen is the best) and Michael’s Genuine and with the dining staff at Izumi. They went above and beyond with their service and I hope to see them in the future on another ship. We enjoyed the private breakfast area and afternoon canapes for suite guests along with the drinks and snacks in the suite lounge. We only ate in the Coastal Kitchen one night, but the service and food were of expected quality. We enjoyed the 10 course Da Dong menu at Wonderland. The duck was very good. We also ate at Jamie’s Italian. I would say this was the only disappointing meal. The service was slow and food was not up to par. The sandwiches and soups were tasty in the Two70 Cafe, but it can get a bit crowded and pushy. Sorrento’s was still old faithful for late night after a couple of cocktails. My favorite snack place on our previous voyage was the Dog House in the Sea Plex and it is still great. We did not eat in the Windjammer or the Main Dining Room. Disappointments/Noted Differences/Observations: -Golden Suite Class is not the same as Royal Suite class i.e. no free internet. -Drink packages are a steal on this ship compared to others. Internet is not. I recommend buying a SIM card and using your phone in the port if you are desperate for a connection. -Always make an appointment with NextCruise. We got a great sale for future cruises on this ship. -They did not convert the Music Hall into a casino area yet. -Coca-cola machines do not vend. -Wine dispensers to not vend at Vintages. -No Stoli Elit. -5 nights, it’s much shorter than I anticipated. -Be sure to make it to the adult version of the Quest on this ship. -Be sure to go to English Trivia if you are hankering for some english conversation. -Suite lounge is located at the back of the ship making it a trek to get back there. -I called ahead and paid for transfers through RCCL, but they didn’t have us on the list when we left the dock. It only took about 15 minutes to remedy. Having never been to China or Japan, I think this cruise was a great introduction to these countries. We flanked our trip with a few days in Shanghai before the cruise and a few days in Tokyo after the cruise before returning to the states. To conclude, we enjoyed this cruise and were not disappointed by the cultural submersion on the ship. If you are prepared to be outside of your comfort zone as a westerner you will do well on this itinerary. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We did three consectuive sailings I think though because we were in a suite we didn't need to line up embarkation was super smooth Priority access boarding for suites guests, Pinnacles, Diamond Plus, Diamond, Emerald and ... Read More
We did three consectuive sailings I think though because we were in a suite we didn't need to line up embarkation was super smooth Priority access boarding for suites guests, Pinnacles, Diamond Plus, Diamond, Emerald and Platinum. Gold cards holders could eat at the Coastal Kitchen for breakfast, lunch and dinner if you wanted to at no extra charge. Silver card holders could use the Coastal Kitchen for evening Meals. This is a brilliant restaurant with waiter service and everything is cooked freshly for you The Windjammer is very busy but had some nice options. We ate at the Hot Pot twice excellent, Jamies Italian three times excellent, Izumi great choices and Wonderland was great. Disembarkation at the ports was great as well with the conceige escorting you off and back onto the ship. The conceige lounge on deck 12 aft was a littele oasis as well as the Spa I beleive if you are not in a suite you would be pushed and shoved quite a bit. We loved the entertainment and found that most of the shows were in English The cruise Director Kris was hysterical and his assistant Bonnie was absolutely great. We booked a local guide in Shangahi with China Tours also in Nagasaki we found this invaluable and they took us to non tourist places as well We went on the bullet train from Yatsushiro to Kumamoto which took 11 mins a great experience. Overall we loved the ship and all the staff everyone seemed very Happy to help Read Less
Quantum of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.5
Dining 4.0 3.2
Entertainment 5.0 4.0
Public Rooms 5.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.1
Family 5.0 4.1
Enrichment 3.0 3.2
Service 5.0 3.6
Value For Money 4.0 3.1
Rates 3.0 N/A

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