Just got back from the inaugural 8-day cruise on the Quantum of the Seas from Bayonne (a.k.a. Cape Liberty) to Florida and the Bahamas.
Quick review: Beautiful ship but still very buggy. Technology and some procedures need lots of improvement. Although the "bugs" raised the annoyance level, the ship and the cruise were a lot of fun. I'd go again once the kinks are worked out.
Now for the gory details:
Cons (be sure to read the Pros, too):
We were in a "Superior Stateroom with balcony." Although nicely appointed with a big flat screen TV, it was cramped, especially when the sofa-bed was pulled out. An extra 6 to 12 inches of width would have made a big difference.
Royal IQ app barely worked. Could not reliably review schedules or make reservations, which is critical with the "dynamic dinning" on this ship.
Was never able to track my luggage. I really didn't care about tracking it, as it showed up when and where expected, but this "smart" feature fell flat on it's face.
Royal IQ chat/phone add on feature barely worked. This is a really cool feature that should be a "WoW." You can use an Apple or Android phone to call or chat with anyone else while on the ship's WiFi. But it didn't work. Further, Royal Caribbean plans to charge for this feature! It was free on this cruise due to it not working, but I'm amazed that they'd choose to turn this "WoW' feature into a money grab.
We didn't have hot water in our cabin for the 1st day of the cruise.
The electronic order system used in the dining rooms crashed often. Wait staff is still learning how to use them. As a result, dinner took at least 1 1/2 hours.
Dynamic dining means you never get the same wait staff. The system is supposed to allow wait staff to record preferences from one night to the next, but that never worked for us. The worst part is you don't get to make a human connection with the wait staff.
Northstar was shutdown for a repair work a couple of days.
Northstar wasn't cleared for operation in Port Canaveral.
Northstar "ticketing" system needs work...
Ripcord reservations weren't linked into Royal IQ or any other ship systems.
Some elevators were frequently out-of-order. This was surprising on a brand new ship.
Some water fountains were out-of-order!
No open deck area with "dark sky" for star gazing. The bow of the ship is off limits to passengers.
Now for the good stuff!
Mama Mia was amazing! It was as good as a touring Broadway show should be! Truly a first to have the full length show on a ship, complete with live orchestra.
Two 70 is an amazing space at any time of the day or night. Designed to be the ship's "living room," it met that promise.
Starwater and the Robot Shows in Two 70 were really fun. Great singing, dancing and robots in Starwater. It's a must see for all passengers.
The rest of the shows were great fun.
The food was great. I went to Chop and Azumi, both of where were excellent add-ons. The main dining rooms have good food, however the menus get a bit "tired" after two visits. Windjammer had the typical cruise buffet food.
RipCord by iFly was a hoot. The whole family did it.
Flow Rider. 'Nuf said.
Northstar offered amazing views of the ship while cursing. I only wish it had worked more in port so I could have seen more interesting views.
The solarium at the front of the ship is a great place for grown ups to relax. You can rest in a hot tub while enjoying the view over the bow, relax on a lounge chair or curl up in one of the many wicker "pods" scattered throughout.
Lots of deck chairs and different places to hang out. I don't know if it was due to the cool weather on this cruise or simply the amount of available space, but there was no fighting over deck chairs. There was always a place to hang.
Watching the Macy's parade while lounging in the pool was great fun!
Well appointed, but cramped with four people.