Sail Date: September 2018
We wanted to see Japan and this cruise appeared to tick the box. Like most western passengers we too had a very disappointing cruise. As Diamond members, we had express boarding. Over 2 hours we queued, Royal Carribean can't really ... Read More
We wanted to see Japan and this cruise appeared to tick the box. Like most western passengers we too had a very disappointing cruise. As Diamond members, we had express boarding. Over 2 hours we queued, Royal Carribean can't really be blamed for this. However in the high humidity, water should have been available. While RCI, where not to blame for the boarding, they are to blame for everything else that was wrong with cruise. To reiterate, what other passengers have said the food was geared to the Chinese passengers. Even the emailed survey from RCI asked how authentic was the Chinese food. Why ask me I'm from Scotland. First night in the restaurant, not Windjammer, we waited an hour before our first course arrived. Next day in the same restaurant it took 44 minutes ( I timed it) to get me cold poached eggs. At that point I complained to the Head waiter, no visible improvement. Service The bars had no waiters until about day 4. This did not improve service, the computer system for billing took the staff longer to enter the details than it did to pour the drinks. The first night I got a $244 bill, quite a shock as I had a drink package. At $244 a stomach pump would have been required. At a Diamond event I complained to the Captain, with again little noticeable improvement, a theme is developing. When home I gave negative feedback on the RCI emailed questionnaire, no contact from RCI Finally I emailed RCI customer services outlining the issues we experienced , theme continues, no contact from RCI. Either they don't care or they are overwhelmed by the number of complaints. RCI are in danger of losing their loyal customer base. While I understand the Chinese market could be a lucrative one, they should only offer these cruises to that market sector. If you are from the Western world do not book this cruise. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
This was one of the worst cruise I have been on with Royal Caribbean. From the time we arrived at the port. We had to stand for a long period of time in the hot sun before we got to immigration. when it was eventually our turn after ... Read More
This was one of the worst cruise I have been on with Royal Caribbean. From the time we arrived at the port. We had to stand for a long period of time in the hot sun before we got to immigration. when it was eventually our turn after about 2 hours waiting, there seemed to be a problem with the visa we were told to get via email from royal Caribbean from the Chinese embassy and no one at the desk seemed to know what they were doing. After about three quarters of an hour we were finished, only to be met with the same problem a little way down the line. I felt no one knew what they were doing. Cabin was really nice at was the stateroom attendant. (best part of this cruise). We went to the Windjammer this was a bad idea to many people and nowhere to sit. food was cold and they seemed to have the same menu every time we went in. A lot of the food was Asian so if you didn't like Asian food there was very little choice. We went to the dinning room service was slow and when we did eventually get our food it was cold. We did not go to breakfast on a few occasions as it was not worth the hassle to try and find a table to sit at. When we did order room service they forgot half the food. Could not book some of the tours as they were booked out. the two tours we did book we spent much of the time on a coach and then in a shopping area. You also had to reserve your shows we saw no shows as again they were booked out. Only available if you paid for them. entertainment was not very good with the exception of two shows. Needless to say I would not do this cruise again and i would definitely not recommend it to anyone. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We wanted to see china and japan ,this was the easy option. it took two hours thirty minutes to get on ship ,as people where jumping queues and removing barriers,we where literally pushed out of way, food was rubbish ,we eat off ... Read More
We wanted to see china and japan ,this was the easy option. it took two hours thirty minutes to get on ship ,as people where jumping queues and removing barriers,we where literally pushed out of way, food was rubbish ,we eat off classic menu every night for eight days. windjammer was a no go area ,as chinese would again push you out of the way ,tables not cleared ,nowhere at all to sit. coughing up phlegm was a everyday scenario , with some even spitting on carpeted floors. smoking on balconies and throwing cigarette buts into sea a norm , casino was a no go area i have never seen so much smoke ,the smell was unbelievable using toilets and not washing hands was also a norm entertainment was also rubbish if you could not understand chinese embarkation was also a free for all,with barriers being moved,and a mad dash for free shuttle buses ,amazed nobody got hurt in the rush. overall this was the worst cruise we have ever been on in last twenty years,spoilt by bad mannered ,people with disgusting habits,bad service ,bad food,bad entertainment.and even the CAPTAIN OF THE SHIP calling for calm and asking people to respect each other . and other races on board.. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We arrived in Shanghai for 3 nights before the cruise,we were aware that the biggest percentage of guests would be Chinese,what we didn’t expect from royal Caribbean was the food /entertainment and everything else were definitely ... Read More
We arrived in Shanghai for 3 nights before the cruise,we were aware that the biggest percentage of guests would be Chinese,what we didn’t expect from royal Caribbean was the food /entertainment and everything else were definitely aimed for the Chinese market only,the food was by far the worst food We have ever had on any cruise ship we have been on,the entertainment was an absolute joke,they had a magician on one night and he was that good nearly the whole audience disappeared in the first 2 minutes and never returned,Chinese karaoke was the final straw for evening entertainment,the customer services desk was also by far the worst we have ever experienced mostly Chinese and couldn’t understand a word of English and no help at all,the bar staff were the same they have not a clue how to make drinks cocktails we had to tell them,Hadi in the solarium was excellent really nice guy very pleasant and helpful nothing was to much trouble,we mostly ate in the coastal kitchen ,the waiter Jonnie was also very good,the embarkation and disembarkation was a disgrace they have not got a clue,it took 3 hrs queuing to get on to the ship,they are going to be putting the new spectrum of the seas over there what a waste of a ship,again we don’t think this cruise should be sold to any one outside of China.we spoke with a lot of people on the ship from Australia and the United States and uk ,every one was of the same mindset and most said they would not sail royal Caribbean again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We chose this cruise to tick off another bucket list destination, Japan. After booking this cruise I then read all the reviews about how bad it was with so many of the cruisers being Chinese etc. I have to say I was pleasantly ... Read More
We chose this cruise to tick off another bucket list destination, Japan. After booking this cruise I then read all the reviews about how bad it was with so many of the cruisers being Chinese etc. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised, the embarkation was not so much chaotic as it was interesting. Obviously with 4800 passengers it wasn't going to be a quick process but still was in the most part well done. There were a few line jumpers that were pulled back and some that got thru. For those yet to do this cruise just expect a slower than usual embarkation but only by 1/2 an hour. Being an Aussie, we are not great at being in a queue but if you just relax watch some of the antics and be ready for a slightly slower embarkation its fine. I had more trouble listening to some of the English/Aussies that were already prepared to whinge and carry on in the line, they were unhappy about how many Chinese were aboard even though they were advised it was a culturally enriching cruise. If you go straight to the lift after a show it will be crowded regardless if its in China, Australia or Europe. The food, the shows, the crew onboarded were top notch. The cabin and balcony was clean. I cant say enough about the crew, especially the Diamond lounge people, all were friendly, happy and always ready to help. Great cruise again RCCL, thank you. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
Pre-Cruise: We spent 3 nights in Shanghai at Les Suites Orient on the Bund. Great hotel, and amazing views of the Bund from the 20th floor. If you stay there, I recommend a high-floor, Bund view Deluxe room. Shanghai is an amazing city. ... Read More
Pre-Cruise: We spent 3 nights in Shanghai at Les Suites Orient on the Bund. Great hotel, and amazing views of the Bund from the 20th floor. If you stay there, I recommend a high-floor, Bund view Deluxe room. Shanghai is an amazing city. Very clean. Super modern. No horns honking ($30 fine). Chinese food and drink surprisingly poor with some exceptions, but we had a fantastic time. Did some private tours that really made the experience enjoyable. Transportation: I recommend that you get around by taxi. We took a taxi to the port and it was maybe $25-$30 USD and a similar price from the port back to the airport. You'll probably want to have instructions in Chinese, as most drivers don't speak/read English, but this was convenient and the price was quite fair for the distances involved. Embarkation: Kind of a disaster, really. No porter (we don't travel light), very hot, sweated like crazy, which is not the way I want to start my cruise. Huge lines and the staff outside of the port spoke very little English. They initially directed me to the "foreign passengers" line, which was so long and moved so slowly. Then I saw a line for suites and Jr. suites, so they directed me there, but sent me to the Golden suites line, then shuffled me around some more. A slow, long, hot, uncomfortable and unpleasant experience. Highly disorganized and needs substantial improvement. The Ship: Very clean and modern. Not "elegant" like some of MSC's newer ships, but nice with a lot of technology. Maintenance was quite good. I didn't love the layout of the ship, and maybe it needed more than 2 elevator banks. I only used the ship's Wi-Fi for a day, but it was fast and fairly priced. There was a lot of focus on upsetting, which got pretty annoying. Sanitation was a focal point, which I appreciated. Activities: They offered things like indoor skydiving and Northstar, but with an extra cost, which I didn't love. Otherwise, there weren't a lot of things to do that we were interested in. Entertainment: Limited and not the best. We attended a high-tech show at Two70 which started off bad, but was good in the end. The sound and special effects were as good as I've seen. Quality of performers was good but not great. Overall, not as many quality entertainment offerings as I'd like to see. Passengers: Mostly Chinese, but more Americans, Aussies and Brits than normal. The menu and experience was definitely geared towards the Chinese passengers. Food: Mixed and mostly not in a good way. We had dinner in the Suite restaurant Coastal Kitchen every night. Most of the food was pretty good, but I'd still say below my expectations. The rack of lamb was quite good. Veggies and such, basic and so-so. The same for desserts. They did not often rotate the menu. For example, they used the same menu the first 3 nights and then switched back to it. Sirloin steak mediocre. Ahi Salad had maybe 3 tiny cubes of ahi surrounded by iceberg lettuce. While there's no lobster night (bummer) we ordered it at an extra cost and it was quite good. The food in the main dining rooms was poor. We only ate there for breakfast and lunch, but offerings were quite basic and really outshined by the Windjammer Cafe buffet, which was a surprise. Not only was the food not great, but again, the menu often was not rotated. While we had a nice time, I think it's fair to say the food was below expectations, especially in terms of lunch and breakfast. Lines in the main dining rooms were very long and very slow and all of this wait for a rather mediocre offering without proper menu rotation. Needs improvement. I might also add that there was no coffee in the room. Only 2 bags of Green Tea and sugar. $7.95 charge for room service, which I didn't love. Ports: Only 1 or zero shore excursions offered for most ports. We hired 2 private guides and did the Osaka ship's tour, which we enjoyed a lot. Hard to figure out why they didn't offer many tours. The ports themselves were quite good. We got a hotel and spent the night in Tokyo. But getting off the ship in the first port, Osaka, was a bit of a nightmare, as you have to clear Japanese Immigration, which is quite slow. My suggestions is to try to do the ship's tour on the first Japan stop, as you'll get your immigration clearances done and you'll be the first off the ship. Also, bring a clear copy of your passport because you'll need it. Also, I recommend that you get your cash (Yen) at the 7-11 shops, which are everywhere. Staff: Super friendly and super nice. Great experience with the crew. They have some good people working on this ship. Disembarkation: Far better than embarkation. Waits were reasonable, and fairly well organized, although the taxi situation was a bit disorganized. Overall: We really had a lot of fun. While I've shared some criticisms, I think we got a nice cabin at a fair price and we enjoyed the heck out of ourselves. This cruise truly is a cultural experience. It's not the typical cruise where you go to the Caribbean and pound down rum drinks, but I learned a lot and had a super time. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
After reading many terrible reviews on the Quantum of the Seas it was with some trepidation that we embarked on our recent cruise. While there were some issues, which I will outline below, we had a very enjoyable cruise experience overall. ... Read More
After reading many terrible reviews on the Quantum of the Seas it was with some trepidation that we embarked on our recent cruise. While there were some issues, which I will outline below, we had a very enjoyable cruise experience overall. This was our 12th cruise and 2nd with Royal Caribbean. The Ship The ship itself is perhaps the most impressive and well designed that we have sailed on. It is very modern, well thought tout and beautifully decorated. The ship is so vast in terms of space and numbers of public areas that there is very rarely any sense that there are 4,800 passengers onboard. Even the elevators are superb in keeping people moving around in a timely manner and we rarely had to wait for more than a few seconds to enter an elevator. The Two70 lounge facility was perhaps the most versatile and impressive shipborne lounge we have seen and we spent a lot of time there enjoying sail away, drinks and various shows. Our balcony cabin on Deck 9 was spacious and comfortable. The large screen TV had a mix of English and Chinese channels, as well as having all the usual Royal Caribbean informational and promotional channels. There was tons of storage space. We travelled with 2 large suitcases and a couple of backpacks but still only managed to use around 75 percent of the storage space. The bed was very comfortable. While the balcony wasn't large it was functional and very usable. The bathroom was a good size and has a glass (plastic?) screen which kept the bathroom floor dry. Our stateroom attendant Michelle did a fabulous job in keeping our cabin clean and tidy, and we always enjoyed the daily towel animals. Embarkation and Disembarkation Our allocated arrival time for check in was 11.15 but our tour group had us arriving at 10.30. Our bags were taken off us immediately up on arrival and after a series of lines for security, immigration, customs and a couple of other general checks we were on board by noon. This was only 45 minutes after our designated arrival time so wasn’t too bad and certainly far quicker than what we encountered on Diamond Princess in Singapore a few years ago. Arriving in Japan saw Osaka bing our first port of call so the normal migration process was encountered there. From the time we lined up at our designated departure time until the time we exited Japanese immigration took about 50 minutes, which in our experience in these parts is about normal. Disembarkation at the end of the cruise back in Shanghai took less than an hour, with most of that time being spent in the immigration line. At all times the embarkation and disembarkation process went smoothly and seemed pretty organised. Dining and Drinking Our dining experience was a bit of a mixed bag, but overall improved as the cruise progressed. While we normally try a few of the premium restaurants we didn’t on this cruise. The cost of premium dining on this ship is ridiculously expensive compared with even our cruise earlier this year on Celebrity Infinity. As the market for this ship is primarily people from China it isn’t surprising that a majority of the menu caters to their tastes. We happen to love Chinese food so we liked the menu, but some of our fellow passengers found the remaining western menu options to be too limited. On night one of our cruise we dined in the Grand Dining Room. From the time we sat down until the time our main courses arrived took 1 hour and 45 minutes, and the dining room certainly wasn’t full. Breakfast the following morning was a little quicker, but the food was almost stone cold. Days 2 and 3 weren’t much better as we started to try the other 3 free restaurants, but by day 4 they finally nailed it and most of our meals were of the standard that we have experienced on Princess and our previous Royal Caribbean ship. There were still though the occasional lapses in quality and timeliness. We went to Windjammers a couple of times and while it was crowded it wasn’t really any worse than the buffet offerings on the many other ships that we have cruised on and the food was quite good. After our initial disastrous breakfasts in the dining room we started having breakfast at Cafe Two70 where we found the cereals, muffins and bagels to be more than adequate, as was the espresso coffee served there. A curious feature of this ship is that there is no waiter service in the bars and lounges and all drinks are purchased by lining up at the bar. The lack of wait staff also manifests itself in long delays in picking up empty glasses and dishes so at peak times the bars and lounges can look pretty scruffy. Entertainment Entertainment too was a bit of a mixed bag. In terms of daly ship activities such as trivia and the like, it was the most comprehensive program of interesting and varied activities we have seen. Conversely, there was very little in terms of live music in the various bars and lounges around the ship, something that we really enjoy. We only took in a couple of the main stage shows in the theatre. The dance production was very good and the other non musical act was quite entertaining also. A highlight though was the stage spectacular in Two70. We were late in booking the free tickets but opted to pay $25 for ‘VIP’ tickets so that we didn’t miss the show. This gave us front row seats, with some nibbles and a mocktail thrown in. The show was really good and a must in our minds. The Passengers We had read quite a few adverse comments on the behaviour of the Chinese passengers onboard This ship. On our cruise about 75 percent of the passengers were Chinese, with the remaining passengers comprising mostly Australian and British passengers, with a few US passengers as well. Our fears derived from reading other reviews proved largely unfounded. Yes, it was common for half a dozen Chinese people to rush in to the elevator before you have time to exit, but this really only happened about 10 percent of the time. What we interpret as being rude is really only a different way of operating. Similarly, the common practice of throat clearing and spitting in to bins and other receptacles can be off putting, but again it doesn’t happen all day long. We tended to find the younger generation to behave much like westerners, with the older generation being a little pushier. What really shocked us though was the behaviour of a couple of our fellow Australian passengers and the occasional Brit making loud, obnoxious and almost racist comments. It only happened on a few occasions but it was far ruder than any observed Chinese behaviour and totally unnecessary. With just a little tolerance and a sense of humour we seized the opportunity to immerse ourselves in a fascinating cultural experience and we really had no problem wiht the Chinese passengers. Just remember, you are in Asia, this is their territory, so expect a different experience from traditional cruising and enjoy the differences. Conclusion While this was far from being our favourite cruise, it was a cruise that we really enjoyed. But if you don’t feel comfortable mixing with other cultures or enjoying Asian food, perhaps this isn’t the cruise for you. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Warning This is an extremely lengthy review but detailed based on my personal experiences on my sailing date of August 16-23, 2018. There are section headings so feel free to skip ahead if it gets too wordy. I learn so much from the ... Read More
Warning This is an extremely lengthy review but detailed based on my personal experiences on my sailing date of August 16-23, 2018. There are section headings so feel free to skip ahead if it gets too wordy. I learn so much from the information others have shared and I like to give back to the CC community. I find that the Quantum reviews were really lacking while I was doing my information gathering so hopefully this review will help a few passengers that are anxious to get their hands on some firsthand experience. Background We are a family of four celebrating two major milestones this year with DD graduating from college and DS graduating from high school earlier this year. This was our 14th cruise (3rd with RC) and 13th for the kids. DH was born in China but the kids I are ABC (American Born Chinese). I have been to China before and the kids have previously traveled to Japan. We live in Maryland in the DC area and traveled to San Francisco, Beijing and Shanghai before setting sail. PreCruise I was surprised that there wasn’t much that could be done online via the Cruise Planner precruise. I checked 90 days out, 60 days out, 30 days out- there was nothing to indicate anything was necessary for dining or entertainment. There were very few excursions offered but this was not a problem as I almost always tour independently. There was another ship I was contemplating for Asia. However it did not allow booking directly through their site. I ended up choosing RC for the ease and flexibility of controlling my own booking as I usually do. I utilized Costco Travel to receive OBC. Embarkation We arrived at the port somewhere around 10:30-10:45. It was not yet crowded but the taxi driver did not seem sure where to drop us off. We had to walk back a little ways as he had proceeded too far. They seemed eager to take our bags and spoke in Chinese to my husband about dropping luggage but we all managed to travel with carryon and wanted to bring it onboard ourselves. We have lost luggage before and not only that, why wait hours to have it delivered. They eventually backed off and relented and though the minority, we did also see others carry on their own luggage. The process seemed a little confusing but still not overly crowded. I was expecting to find lines just for “foreigners” but did not see anything. Then since we are Gold level members, found a priority line that they allowed us to proceed in. They checked passports and also asked if we had a copy of the passports, fortunately I did. This sped things up. They should have noted online that you should carry a copy but it appeared they had copy machines nearby for those who did not. This was the process for Japan as the ship keeps your passport and you take the paper copy which is stamped and required in each port to get off the ship. Everything up to this point, including boarding the ship was done with the paper set sail pass. We found out that later, the actual seapass is distributed directly to your cabin. This was a bit odd but not a problem. Soon, after bag checks (security), passport review, embarkation photo… we were on our way up the gangway. I have read other reviews where it took 2-3 hours for embarkation. I don’t remember but it may have taken us 45 minutes to an hour- certainly a much lengthier and complex process than any I have encountered before. As with anything, arrive early. The earlier the better to avoid crowds. Cabins were not accessible until 1pm but luckily, I booked in a tiny corridor that we were able to access, ditch the bags just outside the cabin with the cabin tags and a quick word to our cabin steward who then later placed into our room. If we had not done this, I suppose Guest Services would have had a place to check bags. Cabin We had an outside cabin on deck 3. The window was a large rectangular window. The two main beds were pushed together and there was a couch with trundle that when made up was flush with the couch. After it was made the first time, our steward left it that way the entire cruise. This was not a problem as we would often come back to crash or nap at various times throughout the day. Pretty standard layout but I thought the furniture was better as there was an actual dresser with drawers and two closet type units on either side of the bed. One of these units contained shelves and a safe. The other unit had two tiers of rods with hangers and some small baskets on the back of the door for small items. Luggage fit under the beds, even under the couch/trundle. There were also more electrical outlets, and fortunately as the ship was originally sailing in the US, suitable for our use with no need for converters/adapters. However we always travel with gadgets that have multiple plugs/usb ports so there was no shortage of access to charging devices. Our cabin steward seemed to work alone where in past cruises I am used to seeing a main attendant with an assistant. I have no idea how many rooms he had to clean each day but he was efficient. The room was not necessarily sparkling, I did notice toothpaste splatter that pretty much remained the entire cruise but there were always fresh towels and beds made and turned downed with towel animals each night. There is a two sided magnet that can be used to Make Up Cabin and Do Not Disturb. Like all newer ships, you do need to leave your keycard in the designated slot to enable the master switch. There is also another master switch on one side of the bed that made it convenient to turn all the lights off. The window area had a ledge. We propped up the plushies that we accumulated along the trip and had them on lookout when in port. One day when exiting the gangway, we looked back up and saw them there. An attendant noticed us and thought it was cute. Later that day when we returned, he saw us and informed us our dogs (plushies) were still on lookout. I found it amazing that with over 4000 passengers he remembered us. Television Programming There is a flat screen television in the cabin and it has the standard cruise channels advertising future cruise planning, cruise information from the cruise director, itinerary map, webcams and some Chinese programming. We did get caught up in one or two movies that were looping. Later we found two of these movies also offered on the plane. There were very little English language channels to watch. I think there was BBC for news and then maybe some kids cartoons and teen programming but didn’t seem to be current programming- for instance mostly Dora which I don’t think that many kids are into anymore. Surprisingly, we found out that Peppa Pig is very popular, if tshirts and phone cases are anything to go by. Lots of adults wearing Power of Peppa tshirts. Very funny, but then why isn’t Peppa featured on the kids channel? Or since RCL has the DreamWorks partnership and character meets why not this type of programming? We don’t watch a lot of tv on a cruise but when you are waiting for everyone to get ready or with jet lag having a hard time to sleep, a little bit of variety would be helpful. Dining So we soon realized that our Gold status was not the same as the Golden Pass. The Golden Pass is literally a gold (yellow) colored seapass and given to guests who booked special suites. We tried to go into Coastal Kitchen but were denied, we also tried to go into the solarium and were denied. Gold member basically granted us nothing. I thought that I had read somewhere that they sometimes allow foreigners into these areas for a better experience away from the Chinese crowds but that did not appear to be the case. There was no dining room service for lunch on embarkation day. We went to the Windjammer and fortunately as we had boarded early, we were just ahead of the crowd. There were a lot of Chinese offerings, Western offerings appeared to be hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza and pasta. Not sure about embarkation day but other days there were options for breakfast and lunch in the buffet, main dining rooms, Café Two70 and then other times snacks at Sorrentos and Café Promenade as options without a fee. There are 4 dining rooms- Chic and Grande on deck 3 and American Icon and Silk on deck 4. I believe you always line up on deck 3 though I could be wrong about this. The Cruise Compass would list where meals were being served. We didn’t realize it was set time dining as we are usually used to freestyle or my time dining. The first day, we showed up for first seating despite our keycards showing a time for second seating. They did seem to be checking cards but we told them we wanted to see about changing the time so they let us in and then just proceeded to seat us. Since we had a few package options, we didn’t change the time formally and then it worked out and we kept our later dining time for other days. Seating is then like a restaurant, first come first serve by party size and you may get any of the available dining rooms and taken upstairs if needed. The team we had the first night encouraged us to feel free to request their section anytime and we did get them again another time on the cruise and they remembered us. The menu always had Chinese items on the left and a rotating theme on the right. These were often on display electronically outside of the dining rooms with pictures. The first night was international, another time Mediterranean, French, and Japanese on the last night. We missed a few nights due to specialty dining or late night in port. Though not an extensive menu, there were always plenty of things to try and like any cruise, they do not even blink their eye if you ask for multiple courses and were happy to accommodate. The dining rooms had some windows but no wow factor. Some cruise ships have large dining rooms on the aft or multi tiers, but I think the trend is to use those areas for other types of common space. These seem to be the more basic dining room trend that we have been seeing on our latest ships. Specialty Dining There was a big push to sell dining packages. There were display stands everywhere and staff trying to sell in all public spaces on embarkation day. Wonderland and Chef’s Table had their own rates but there was a package to select 3 specialty dining for $88 per person or 4 for $108. They also informed us there was a very limited package for a champagne brunch on the last sea day. We opted for the package of 3 and they even made the reservations for us. We chose Chops, Hot Pot and the champagne brunch. I think there was also some type of special whole fish dish popular with Chinese families in one of the pubs and there was also Izumis for a la carte sushi and Jamie's for Italian but we passed on those. We had Chops on the second night. We had a reservation at 6pm and as we were seated noticed that it was starting to fill up. Although it seemed like there was enough staff on hand, the service was really slow. We waited at least 25 minutes if not more from the time our orders were taken to the first course arriving. We were told to make only one selection of starter, app/salad, entrée so it was very clear what was included. The portions were plenty so it was not in the dining room where you may feel the meal is too light without doubling up. In fact we were so full we were not able to eat dessert and wanted to make a show so we ended up taking dessert to go. Standard Chops experience, nothing to write home about. We decided to try the champagne brunch. This included bottomless champagne and galley tour. This was held the second to last sea day. We made a reservation for 11:30 but then later found out doors opened at 10:30. We did have a light breakfast that morning thinking we needed to hold ourselves over as by this point in the cruise you find that you are missing out if you are not eating every 3 hours. We ended up going a little earlier than our reservation because we panicked thinking we were going to miss out on free champagne. The server that poured champagne was no slacker and I commented that I liked him as he came around every time my glass emptied. But much later in the day I ended up not liking him so much but that was not his fault. We had a nice meal. We had 6 or 7 glasses of champagne- not just a toast pour but fully poured flutes. We were a bit over zealous. Chinese people do not seem to drink a lot. The bars were never crowded when my son went to get sodas. The captain’s reception also did not witness a lot of drinking but instead having juice and non alcoholic options. Non alcoholic options were available at the champagne brunch as well. The server asked us if we wanted our tour before we began eating or after having soup and salad and we opted for the latter. By then we were a bit tipsy. Groups were taken on tour based on English speaking or Chinese speaking preferences. We opted for English speaking and it ended up being a private tour just the four of us. I have worked in commercial kitchens before as had my son recently doing a hospitality internship. My husband and I have also been on a galley tour before. It is nothing short of miraculous or I suppose just very good design and organization that they can crank out the number of meals that they do each and every day. It was fun and informative. I imagine they have separate similar area on deck 4 as waitstaff has had to comment that they had to run upstairs and I imagine a much larger facility must be needed for the Windjammer but it was still nice to get a glimpse of life behind the scenes. We finished our meal and were quite giggly at that point. We passed on dessert. I also broke a glass when I accidently knocked over an empty glass while moving it to the side. Oops. My son hasn’t let me live it down. He escorted us back to our cabin and even was considerate enough to grab sickness bags, though we didn’t need it and then we proceeded to pass out. Maybe just maybe this will turn him off to underage drinking, or even of age drinking. In hindsight, was it just the rocky waves from the rough seas or too much champagne, I will never be exactly sure as I usually have a pretty good tolerance and know my limits. I was surprised to find out later that we passed out in slumber, but not only that, I somehow managed to sleep through 3 separate phone alarms for various activities. I never do that. I always wake up to the alarm sound. One of those alarms was to go retrieve our passports. Luckily my son was paying attention and went to get it. I realized what he was doing and tagged along but was useless, then stumbled back to the room. Man, it is embarrassing but pretty funny but it was not economical. I could have had an equally nice meal in the dining room and ordered a bottle or two of champagne. To me the extra surcharge meals were not worth it. Our last specialty meal was the Hot Pot. Hot Pot is a cook yourself experience, kind of like a Chinese version of fondue. It is held in the Solarium Bistro, I think breakfast for those golden pass holders but Hot Pot for lunch on sea days and dinner in the evenings. That last sea day, I went to request a peek at the night’s menu to decide if we wanted to switch Hot Pot to lunch. The dinner was Japanese and we had missed a port so my son wanted to switch. We went about half hour before lunch stopped but they told us if we were okay with the self serve stations closing then we could proceed. They took our orders for broth preference and lit our individual burners. We went to the cold stations to load up on veggies, noodles and make your own sauce station. There was also a station for dessert and fruit. They brought out the designated raw items of meat and seafood. The seafood tray which had giant prawns, fishballs, fish and squid was limited to one included tray (extra available for fee) but the meats, which included sliced beef and sliced pork, tripe and gyoza was unlimited. We began eating and later they gave us a final warning to reload from the stations that were about to close. Then they allowed us the time we needed to finish cooking/eating. We probably stayed a half hour after they closed the stations (about 1 hour total). I felt a bit bad for the dining staff but this probably happens all the time and another table that was there before we arrived were still there and didn’t feel as bad. We left as soon as they finished. This was a very nice meal. Hot Pot is always fun. The ambiance was not as nice. We couldn’t see the solarium through the dividers but knew it was there and the seating felt like poolside furniture. It was fine, not a problem but not necessarily nice enough for an evening dining experience so I was happy we made the switch to have at lunch. Overall, although I did enjoy the meals, I did not feel it was worth the upsell. The cruise lines have gotten to be horrible with all the nickel and diming. It just seems to be quite an enormous upsell in price that is not necessarily matched by the upgraded quality. So I guess another way you can put it is that the included main dining is quite a good value in itself. The only thing specialty dining does help with is that it gets you away from the crowds and lines. Entertainment There was no information for planning in the Cruise Planner online. I did not know if there would be special shows such as on Oasis. Since I couldn’t do it ahead of time, I decided not to worry about it. Shows were listed in the Cruise Compass and there were often two show times for the headliner shows to account for the two meal periods. One day while having breakfast in Two70 we discovered performers rehearsing an aerial/acrobat type routine. Come to find this is a special show. I think it was called Starwater. It can be booked on the Royal IQ app or the ipad stations on the ship. I had not heard of Royal IQ before the trip and with no internet, could not download the app. I also did not wander into the ipad station area so I was not aware what I was missing out on. Apparently you can book special shows such as this one and you can also book other experiences such as the iFly Ripcord and North Star. It was hit or miss if you were going to receive a system error on it and it was also hit or miss if it would switch over correctly to English. By the time I realized this, the Starwater shows were all filled up. No one seemed to be able to tell me if you could line up somewhere to take seats for reservations that were no shows but then we never ventured over to try having given up and participating in other activities. Ports This itinerary sails from Shanghai on Thursday with a day at sea putting you in Osaka on Saturday, Kobe on Sunday and Nagoya on Monday with two sea days on the return. There was a process requiring obtaining special passes for group slots to debark the ship independently for the first port day. No one seemed to check these passes but we reported to Two70 where our group was called and we were allowed to proceed to the gangway. This was not required for the second port. Another reviewer commented that they lost a lot of time in immigration, again my advice is to go early and avoid the crowds. We had no problems getting off the ship quickly, even with the additional immigration step. Osaka We walked off the ship into the little shopping area to explore and get our bearings. There was free wifi there. The kids wanted to check out the Pokemon Center so we returned to the taxi area where there was someone minding the line and more importantly, helping to translate the destination to the driver. She even gave us a tip upon arriving what level of the shopping center to go to. This was very helpful. The taxi ride seemed to take forever despite maps showing it was not too many miles away. The taxi fare was rather expensive. This was an especially great shock perhaps after the much cheaper taxis we had in China. But by the time the meter climbed, we were already committed. Along the way, we played a game counting the number of 7-11s, Lawsons and Family Marts that we passed along the way. If you don’t already know, 7-11 is a very different experience overseas than from in the US. Yes, they offer beverages and snacks but the type of food and snacks is just not the same! We loved the variety of drinks in both China and Japan but the food was different in Japan. My sister strongly recommended the little sandwiches and Lawson fried chicken but I missed out. There just wasn’t enough opportunity to eat in the short time we were in port. They also have onigiri which is the triangular rice and seaweed paper wrapped snack with filling such as salmon. Yummy. It was just amusing to see these on every street corner instead of Starbucks. We also were on the lookout for shiba inus. We have an 8 month old puppy at home and knew that since it is a Japanese breed it is a much beloved pet in Japan. To our dismay and surprise, we only saw one during the drive. A little surprising as it was the weekend and locals seemed to be out and about. We missed our puppy so much! The kids spent a good amount of time in the Pokemon Center and making their purchases. From that area, we took the subway to Dotonbori which is where we wanted to be in the evening for all of the food and ambiance. We were not disappointed. We tried takoyaki (octopus in batter type of ball), giant scallops cooked on the half shell, some type of skewers, crab claws and then more takoyaki. We wandered and browsed in shops and watched the people go by. There were also a lot of claw machines that we tried to win shiba inu plushies or bubble gum type machines that dispensed small prizes. We also went to a ramen place where you order and pay from the vending machine, then are seated and served inside. That was fun and we lucked out before the line grew long outside. Delicious! We were in port from 2pm until 4am but headed back probably around 10-11pm via subway and returned to the ship. Kobe We were not in a hurry to debark since it was a Sunday and we weren’t sure what would be open. We took our time although the ship arrived around 7am. It may have been about 9:30 when we got off. Inside the terminal we stopped for maps and information and found there was a shuttle to the downtown area in Motomatchi which is also their Chinatown. We again searched for shibas and did not spot any. We took our time strolling the shopping area and little side branching alleys. Then we worked our way to the subway and went to visit Kobe Nunobiki Herb Gardens. Since Cruise Critic failed me this trip in precruise planning, I turned to another unlikely resource and gathered information by searching for information on YouTube. I don’t know, maybe I am old school and look at travel books and websites for most of my information but since there were so few detailed reviews and threads dedicated to Quantum or the ports, I had to turn elsewhere. It was so much fun that this may be the new way I do all my future trip research. The Herb Gardens were fun but a little difficult to locate the correct exit from the subway station. We went up on the ropeway (cable car) and requested a one way ticket. This was a mistake in hindsight, we should have done round trip. I though this meant we would miss the gardens but there is a separate pickup point to ride back down after walking through the gardens. The attendant suggested that one way would require a two hour walk down and he was probably correct although we thought his estimate was to allow for those who make their way through the garden at a more leisurely pace. We wandered the gardens and took a lot of photos. We also saw our ship from various points along the way down. When we exited, we passed that lower cable car stop and had to exit through a side gate completely. Here it was slightly challenging which way to go but there were some sporadic signs along the way to confirm and we had visual of the progress we were making. Some of it was a very winding and an awkward decline to walk. We began to regret our choice. Then about what we thought was halfway, there was a confusing area that overlooked something that looked like a small rest area. We were uncertain if we should proceed on the road or detour into this area. We saw two other “foreigners” turn off here so we thought perhaps we should check it out. There seemed to be restrooms here but no helpful signage so we cautiously proceeded. This detour was perhaps a more scenic route and what I hope to have been a shortcut. It was more dirt path at some points and there were more little shops and vending machines which was helpful as we needed drinks. Somehow at some point maybe it was its own attraction and took us to an area where we saw a waterfall. Definitely an interesting and scenic detour and in the end, got us to the place where we started, which was reassuring. We then took the subway over to the Harborwalk area. There we spent our rapidly declining time in port and was on the hunt for Kobe beef. We did not try Kobe beef while in Dotonbori as we figured it would be even better in Kobe. We found a place in the Mosaic area next to the ferris wheel for a quick bite and then took a taxi back to port as we knew that downtown shuttle stopped and it was getting closer to the all aboard time. We made it just fine and had time to browse the terminal center with the stalls that had been set up that were not present in the morning. Upon clearing the immigration area, they collected our passport copies. I asked what about tomorrow but no one understood me. Little did we know but this was our last port in Japan. Nagoya We never made it to Nagoya as the ship cancelled this port. There were concerns from two typhoons. There was a letter explaining this and port charges were refunded to our onboard account but the other minor compensation was to be handled through a claim form against the insurance that RC purchases for cancelled ports. I have received a claim form from the representative but have not submitted it yet. It is a refund of 400 rmb, about $45USD and possible wire transfer charges will be deducted. Not sure it will be worth the trouble. Activities I wasn’t sure what to think about activities on this ship. I had concerns that the Chinese crowds would get pushy and if RCL would be able to keep order but those fears were unfounded. In the beginning, we were lucky and happened to be early to the bumper car session and roller skating session. We had no problem participating. Later in the cruise, activities quickly formed long lines. We did not try Flowrider. We did the rock wall on a later sea day, it was particularly windy but not enough to close it and we lucked out being one of the first in line for that time. We also managed to try the trapeze although that was for a later time than we lined up and we just watched until our group was called. I do have to compliment RCL on a good job with the design of the SeaPlex. This was a really good multiuse space. Ping pong tables were nearly impossible to snag though. In reading some other reviews, I am surprised that there was more than one comment about these items being for a fee. Yes, iFly and North Star were for a fee however each item I mentioned here- bumper cars, roller skating, rock climbing- were free, no fee charged. Just be sure to pack some socks as that was required for some activities. You also need your seapass card for each person participating and a parent to sign for underage children. I was still surprised so many people lined up and then realized they didn’t have their seapass card. Or one time approaching the gangway that they couldn’t find their seapass. I know there are many first time cruisers out there and perhaps that message was not made clear on this ship but you need to carry your seapass card on you. Beware, there are some air hockey tables in the upper area that require a swipe to turn the machine on and release the puck. Each swipe ended up costing $2 charged to your onboard account. Shuffleboard I have to give this its own category because this seems to me to be an activity that reflects the old leisurely aspect of cruising. Most newer ships do away with this outdoor activity and have opted for a table version instead. Come on, that is just not the same. I was so happy to see a shuffleboard area set up outside. Not one person seemed to know how to play which meant this was available to us personally anytime we wanted to play. We drew some attention and observers. Then upon walking away, we did talk another group into giving it a try and instructed them to put the items away after use. Have no idea if they did but I did try to properly pass along. I love taking photos of my family and will have to compare to earlier cruises as a throwback one day. Service There was definitely a heavy presence of Chinese staff on hand to assist with the primary passengers and language. The cruise director was Chinese and gave both Mandarin and English explanations for announcements and intros to the shows. Most of the dining staff and guest services and staff along the promenade were primarily Chinese. However, that being said, there were also a fair amount of non Chinese staff. Room stewards, waitstaff, activities staff and entertainment was a fair mix of Chinese and English speaking crew. Disembarkation Since we handled our own luggage, we did not need luggage tags or a color. We had a late night flight out after midnight so we treated it as another port day. We had breakfast and did not rush though I felt bad knowing our steward was going to have to turn so many cabins that day. We definitely felt he deserved an extra tip and left one for him. It did take a little bit of time to make it off the ship and through the exit despite having all our bags. No crowds in the elevator surprisingly but they did make us do an extra long loop on the deck to wrap around from the stairs/elevator area to the gangway. Once outside, the only snafu was the line for taxis. It was moving really slow despite a constant line of available taxis. At one point, a Chinese person started yelling at the cab drivers and the person managing the line that it wasn’t fair to Chinese locals who were trying to get home. They felt the foreigners were holding up the line as often they did not have their destination ready in the local language. They felt there should be two lines to better serve everyone. The attendant told them to hold their horses so the line kept moving in order that they lined up. I agree it was frustrating and perhaps not the most efficient process but at the same time am relieved that they kept everyone in order. Other My son got the beverage package and the souvenir cup with chip for the self service fountain machines but those machines were not in use. My guess is that they were either hard to maintain or perhaps there were too many people watching You Tube videos with the hack on how to bypass the system to dispense without a package. As was typical, there was sometimes a slight delay at bars to get sodas. But overall, again since not many people were drinking, the bars seemed underutilized and easy to get a quick soda. While mentioning hacks, the hack to access internet does not work either. Anytime you try to access the web through the Royal Caribbean page, you were redirected to the Voom login page. Hack does not work. But what is interesting is that if you go on the royal wifi page, we found that we were able to send and receive text messages. We could not send or receive photos or videos but standard texts seemed to go through without any problem. We had phones on airplane mode and roaming turned off so hopefully there are no surprises on next month’s cell phone bill. Wouldn’t you know the billing period ends through the date of our cruise so I will have to wait and keep checking next month. Dress code on this ship was extremely casual. Being summer I wore shorts or skirts during the day with tops and tshirts. Husband and son did not change for dinner and shorts were perfectly fine. My daughter and I are a bit more used to changing for dinner so I would at least change to a skirt or capris- still casual but made me feel less self conscious. It would not have been a problem though but I did notice other women making an effort for dinner time which was a little surprising. I read on another review that someone mentioned how they heard the cruise was a way for Chinese passengers to shop in Japan and transport items back home and that they liked the shopping opportunities on the ship. This was evident in the promenade. They said once they looked at it from that viewpoint, everything else made sense and they avoided the shopping areas. In hindsight, I do see this as mostly true. We did not try the Bionic Bar. On all the promotional videos, it looks like something fun to try but again as Chinese people did not appear to drink, we never saw it in use and ended up forgetting to try. Only saw the North Star in motion one time and not sure how popular the iFly Ripcord was. Since Two70 takes over the aft of deck 5, the outdoor areas do not form a full lap of the deck. On many ships we’ve been on in the past, it was nice to have a lower deck walking area separate from the upper sports deck. This usually cuts down on both sun and wind. We did sit out on the deck 5 outer areas but this area did not get much use. Sailaway We had our muster drill on the first day and sometime during this, we must have sailed away. So we were not out on deck when we left port. This was a little disappointing as I like the first sailaway to set the mood for the cruise. There was no horn blowing (that we could hear), no announcements, no deck party (well not sure since we didn’t venture up top). We stepped outside on deck 5 to confirm movement and then decided to go to dinner. Since we were in Osaka so late, we didn’t sailaway until closer to 5am. When we left Kobe, there was evidence there would be some type of sendoff. We could see balloon clusters that would be ready for release. We also saw drummers along the port area and crowds of observers that were not returning passengers. We stayed out on deck for the sailaway and it was one of my most memorable so far. We did see one or two pier runners- I know this is usually spectator sport in a Caribbean port but not much to see here. We did hear a call for a few passengers. Eventually the drummers started to perform and the mood in the air was spectacular. As we pulled away, the drummers kept on beat and the balloons soon released and a pilot type boat in the harbor accompanied us with the fountain jets going. Soon the water changed colors a few times, red, blue, yellow while seeing us off. The sun was starting to set and it was a beautiful sailaway. I had hoped it would be repeated the next day but then we learned we were missing the port due to typhoon. Art Auction We went to the auction to pass some time and have some champagne. In the beginning the staff were clear to review that you are responsible for your bids and cannot back out due to being drunk, not paying attention, letting your child play with your number paddle, etc. I joked with my kids that sometimes a touch of the nose, brushing a strand of hair, scratching your ear, could cost you dearly if the auctioneer thinks you have signaled a bid. It was of course not that extreme. Peter Max items came out costing $60,000. The only reason I recognized his name is because he did the hull artwork on the Norwegian Breakaway which was the last ship we cruised on. Most of those items did not secure the required starting bids so they went back on the auction block. The auctioneer had funny broken English and would usually say in Chinese something to the effect of “Send it back to Peter Max” and then in broken English exclaim to the assistants, “Next one on the block!” At some point, there were prints that started out at a dollar. One item that came up caught our eye. It was of foxes and our puppy often resembles a fox. My son asked if he could bid and I told him sure, but stop at $50. Next thing I know, he is raising it and raising it and raising it and an item went for $180. I panicked. I had no idea what was going on as I was looking around to see if the champagne was coming. Then they consulted with that bidder and somehow must have let him off the hook, next thing I know, they were coming to us and said we won the bid at $60. We were puzzled because my son said he stopped at 50. But then no big deal, we decided what the heck this would be a fun souvenir. They took our info and wrote out a receipt and told us when to stop by for another raffle and finalize the purchase later that evening. Then, finally the champagne was served and I thought to myself this was the most expensive champagne I never had to pay for. This was before the champagne brunch and you can see I will be staying away from champagne going forward. We did go back to finalize the purchase and with shipping cost us a total of $95 and will be shipped within 12 weeks. I thought I misheard on the ship two weeks but just received an email for twelve weeks which makes a little more sense. This follow up seemed to be another ploy to sell to us because they delayed saying there were computer challenges and kept asking us if there was more artwork we’d like to see, what our styles and interests were. Finally after seeing they were getting nowhere with us, or computer issues resolved, they helped us finalize. I really never understood why they think there is a market for this on a cruise ship and then with all the displays in a very little security area makes me even wonder if any of this artwork is original. I’m guessing they are mostly prints but then if prints, aren’t people overbidding? I looked up the artist and piece online just now and he said he markets exclusively with Park West and that they are prints. Maybe I was scammed but fortunately this won’t break the bank and will be a funny story we tell when we display this piece in our home. Misses Was this cruise a hit or a miss? It wasn’t one of the best cruises I’ve ever had but it wasn’t the worst either. I’m of the mindset a bad day at sea is still better than even your average day at home and I was just thrilled we are blessed enough to be able to travel by cruise and see the world. I have no regrets about taking this cruise. The only misses we had on this trip is that we always take a picture of the kids wearing the lifevests either in the cabin or at the safety drill. Now, they no longer place the lifevests in the room but only have them at the assembly stations in the event of an emergency. Crew members had ones for demonstration only. At one point, I was debating asking them to allow me to use for a photo but then decided to abandon the idea so there is no lifevest photo from this sailing. The other miss was escargot. The night the French menu was offered, there was no escargot offered. Instead there was some type of a scallop dish offered that looked like escargot but the scallop pieces were no bigger than the tip of your pinky finger if that. They were served in the same type of dish which really fooled your mind. The cheesy sauce was just not the same but the sliver of bread was okay dipped in the cheesy sauce. Overall in summary, this was a decent value and we got a good price for the trip by booking early. If you are looking at a cruise in Asia, just be sure to research typhoon season. It was a great way to get a taste of Japan and I hope to plan a land trip there in the future so that we can continue our explorative travels. Quantum of the Seas was a great home away from home. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We were excited to be on the Quantum, our biggest and newest RC cruise yet, but had read about the culturally immersive experience on board and were prepared to face unending crowds, crazy elevator situations, and pushy behavior. I am ... Read More
We were excited to be on the Quantum, our biggest and newest RC cruise yet, but had read about the culturally immersive experience on board and were prepared to face unending crowds, crazy elevator situations, and pushy behavior. I am happy to report that the ship is stunningly beautiful, the crew are extremely professional, and the cross-cultural experience was a great learning opportunity. However, our experience was based on having Diamond RCL Crown and Anchor status as well as being in a Golden Suites stateroom (Royal Family Suite), and those factors seemed to make a big difference. Embarkation was as smooth as could be expected in one of the busiest ports in the world. Our tagged luggage was handled swiftly as they had a special place for Golden Suites luggage. Check-in was done quickly, again in the Golden Suites section, but then "border control" slowed the pace. I think given the small number of Crown and Anchor Society (Silver, Gold, Emerald, etc.) members, we were placed in the same line as all the other Golden Suites passengers and that slowed things down considerably while passports, SeaPass cards, etc. were checked numerous times. Be sure to have at least one copy of each passport (one passport per page) before you arrive so you don't have to wait for them to make a copy for you. You will surrender your passport before you board the ship, and that passport copy is your only way to enter Japan. Once we boarded the ship, we decided to jump right in and headed straight to Windjammer. Yes, the tables were crowded, but we found that people like to be near the food so the tables at the back of the ship were more readily available. The Windjammer staff were very quick to respond to our requests to clear recently vacated tables and they did a good job keeping things clean overall considering the volume of diners and the quantity of food being consumed. We braced ourselves and went in to the food stations, where the food selection was of course aimed towards the Chinese majority, which was fine -- the salad bar was bright and clean, "live noodles" was fun, and we found tasty and interesting things to try every day. Yes, there were a lot of people and many were unaccustomed to the concept of standing in line, but singing along to the 80's background music and smiling regardless of how others were behaving made it a fun adventure. I found that extending a courtesy by making eye contact with anyone who wanted to budge in line and saying perhaps a bit loudly, "Please, do go ahead of me" startled some people into backing off or at least pausing before rushing in to grab bean sprouts or whatever. By day 3 of the cruise, we all understood that the food would not run out so it was sort of okay for everyone to stand in line. Going during off peak hours was also a way to avoid the crowds. Here's a tip: If you are in a Golden Suites stateroom, you can take your Windjammer food into the back door of the Coastal Kitchen restaurant, which is reserved for Golden Suites, and not have to jockey for a table at Windjammer (the back door opens right into Windjammer). Plus you can order Coastal Kitchen food as well while you're there! Gillian Singh runs Coastal Kitchen and truly represents the RCL WOW factor. We also ate dinner at Chic and Silk, and it took me a while to figure this out, but here's the scoop: There is a different dinner menu for each day on this cruise, and the four "main" dining rooms all serve that day's menu -- so the menus at Chic, Silk, Icon and Grande are the same on a given night, the only differences are the decor and ambiance, and possibly the add-on $ items (steak, lobster, etc.). Independently, there are two different dinner menus at Coastal Kitchen, and they run the first menu for 3 days, then the second menu for the next 3 days, and go back to the first menu on the final day. To avoid lines, as others have mentioned, plan to go 20-30 minutes after the doors to the main dining rooms open, which also allows for a more relaxed dining experience. We found the dining room staff to be well trained and very accommodating, and happy to have fun conversations with dining room guests who were not rushing to get to the show or other activities. If you have younger children, there is a kids' menu available and the staff will go out of their way to make sure everyone gets what they want. I know a few families who went to the same main dining room each night because they got to know the dining room staff so well and enjoyed the consistent service. We did not eat at any of the pay-to-dine restaurants as we got our sushi fix in Japan. The Golden Suites Concierge Lounge was beautiful and spanned the entire stern of Deck 12, giving us some fantastic views. The Concierge team was exceptionally attentive, checking in on us regularly and even going so far as calling the security team on our neighbors who were smoking unlawfully on their balcony. The lounge was a very calm place with tasty appetizers, although the bartending could use a little advancement -- mixed drinks were fairly weak, perhaps by design. On the other end of the ship, the Solarium was also reserved exclusively for Golden Suites passengers, and spanned the entire bow of Deck 14 in an enclosed, beautifully decorated space with 3 cascading pools and 4 large and largely unused hot tubs. There was always plenty of poolside lounge-style seating available. We spent all of our pool time here, although our 13-year-old ventured into the other pool areas with her new-found Teen Club friends to catch some rays. Great appetizers and a friendly bar staff made the Solarium a wonderful way to spend our afternoons. Sitting alone in a hot tub with an expansive view of the ocean definitely "did not suck." We did the iFly Ripcord as well as the North Star (free for Diamond and Golden Suites). The Ripcord was well worth the spend. I am not sure that we would pay for the North Star experience -- it was fun to be high above the ship, but there's not a lot to see other than the ship itself. We had fun with the English Music Trivia in the Schooner Bar, and the entertainment host, Cars, was hilarious (hopefully he meant to be that funny). It was a good way to meet some of the other English-speaking passengers on the ship. The only show we saw was the StarWater show, and it was technically impressive. I am not sure if it was meant to be more of a variety show as I could not discern a story line. RCL has upped its entertainment game for sure, but as a Disney Cruise veteran, RCL still has a way to go when it comes to production value. Once again the Golden Suites card played well here as we had a reserved space in the upper balcony and did not need to make a reservation in advance. We did our own private shore excursions in Osaka and Kobe, and those were great. Within 10 minutes of being in Japan for the first time, we were riding a train to the Nara Deer Park! In Tokyo, we signed up for an RCL shore excursion, which was okay. The Yokohama port where we stopped is not near anything, not even public transportation, so it took a while to get anywhere, coupled with the fact that it took forever to get everyone off the ship onto the waiting tour buses. The RCL Tokyo Highlights tour did not go to all the sights because we just ran out of time, which was disappointing considering the fact that it was more expensive than our private tours in the other ports. I would recommend a private tour for the Yokohama port of call if you want to see the main sights of Tokyo. Others have commented on the number of people on this ship, and I had heard that it was on the order of 4800, which is a LOT. That being said, the bars were quite accessible, and the Bionic Bar on Deck 5 especially was always empty. That became our meeting spot in the evenings, above the din of the frenzied shoppers on Deck 4. The shop staff will very kindly assist you if you need help to navigate through the crowds. We learned that for many of the Chinese passengers, the cruise is really an opportunity to shop and the actual destinations are not that relevant. Once we saw things through that lens, it made it a lot easier to navigate through the ship especially during the flash sales. I personally would go on this cruise again -- the ship is just that gorgeous and the staff are amazing -- as long as I am able to be in a Golden Suites category room. That was definitely worth the extra money and resulted in a really enjoyable cruise. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Thought it would be Cool to see China and Japan But between Chinese and Japanese immigration and a crappy cuise director and staff on quantum this vacation sucked, I will say after 15 cruises on RCCL this one really disappointed. First ... Read More
Thought it would be Cool to see China and Japan But between Chinese and Japanese immigration and a crappy cuise director and staff on quantum this vacation sucked, I will say after 15 cruises on RCCL this one really disappointed. First we traveled to Shanghai from Chicago which went great, Once we got into China Immigration took about an hour using the 144 hr transit Visa, we then arrived at the Crowne Plaza Pudong which was really nice, on the next day when we arrived at Port everyone seemed to be clueless as to where we went, there were very few signs showing where to drop luggage and where to begin check-in. once we got to check-in RCCL had no clue about the 144 hr visa and that take forever and after about an hour they decided our return flight home would not work and that we must change it before we left Tokyo or not be allowed to re-board in Tokyo, we were able to change flights Just FYI if your on transit visa u cant go back to japan for a connection on a flight. After we boarded the ship we made our way to the Buffet on deck 10 to grab a quick bite they only had half the buffet open lines were long and food was lackluster. Around 1 pm we went to our room which was nice, I was unimpressed with the Virtual balcony in the fact that you couldn't shut it off so it was annoying at night if you like your room dark. Day 2 was a sea day and it was okay except we found that pretty much every activity costs $$ only on this iteniraray wanna ride bumper cars $$, north star $$, i-fly $$, skating $$, breakfast was the normal, lunch was the same stuff as day 1 and it was lackluster would be nice to have actual food and not slop. Dinner was a big letdown we tried to go to dinner at 7 at the american grille our assigned time and dining venue but was told it was full and that we would have to make reservations at a specialty restaurant or go to the buffet so back to the crapffet. Day 3 Japan immigration took over 2 hours which caused us to miss part of our excursion so we opted out of that and went to the aquarium which was nice and then found a place to get some food that was crap. Day 4 Japan day 2 we had a ship sponsored tour which was scheduled to be 6 hours but after immigration was more like 4 so we had to miss 2 stops Day 5 Sea Day spent $$ on ifly and skating, tried a show but we didn't speak Mandarin so we left, went to the casino but only 1 blackjack table at 25 dollars a hand and dont know how to play baccart and didnt want to spend 75 a hand min on texas holdem so we opted out of that. Day 6 tokoyo we had to dock at the wrong pier so we missed our tour. last sea day was the same i just wanted to get back to china and get off the ship After 15 cruises this is the first cruise I couldn't wait to get off the ship and get the hell out of there RCCL should be ashamed of the crap they offer there 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 4.0
Family 5.0 4.0
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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