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Mostly agree with the last few reviews on this site. Readers who are interested in the suite areas, or a short sailing out of China may find this helpful. Departure City: Shanghai is a vast city with quite of lot of things to do, but we had limited time there and explored it independently. Easy to get around on the metro if you have a map. Embarkation: very large queues were skipped, very rushed feel with large crowds milling about, but you do need to flag to embarkation staff if you have priority Disembarkation: we elected to leave late, but despite lack of priority, was swift Ship: Large, modern and spacious - feels similar to Ovation, with similar crowd concentration - elevators can be crowded at times, with pushing/shoving at peak times (eg subway in China/Japan at peak hour) - back of the ship (270 area) tends to be much quieter unless there is a show happening there - no overcrowding in the Silver/Gold areas, Solarium seems particularly empty except for a number of children and their supervising parents/grandparents Cabin - very new, modern, no damage/rust yet - very little thoroughfare, quiet, as in the Suite section, which is mostly cordoned off from the rest of the ship - close to the lounge, immediate access to the Solarium, far from other parts of the ship Dining: overall, Western-styled food is not as good as it is on other ships (we did not try Chops, though), but the Asian food is much better - room service menu fairly standard for an RCI cruise, with the addition a few Asian-styled dishes - set dining menu in all restaurants, with more options than you would find on a standard RCI cruise - Silver Dining: buffet with some Asian flavours. Had a great pork/ample combination in breakfast - Gold Dining: standard RCI breakfast menu, slightly more Asian flavours for lunch and dinner, but definitely Western options available - Sichuan Red: good Asian flavours, known for spicy food as per the cuisine (you can request milder, or no spice, although you would probably miss out on the experience) - Hotpot: worth going for the experience if you've never done it before, they provide separate pots if you prefer not to engage in communal dining, though it is better with more people, selection of cakes for desserts (didn't try), lots of Asian fruits, mangoes - Wonderland by DaDong: same environment (down to painting the menu) as other ships, food is OK (less "showy" than the usual Wonderland, peking duck is good - Teppanyaki: reasonable to watch the chef cook/theatrics, especially if you have not seen it before, meat is well cooked to your liking Entertainment: caters from Western/Eastern audiences, usually by minimising any actual dialogue. However, the cruise director speaks about 90% in Mandarin and 10% in English, usually limited to the communicating the essentials. - Silk Road: good theatrics/props/theme, lots of dance numbers with recognisable modern tunes, story is a bit disjointed, but a fun watch nonetheless, kids will love it - The Effectors show: about superheroes of special effects (choreography, sound, light, pixels), mostly decent execution representing each part, decent villain, not complex story (due to no voiced dialogue, only singing), kids will also love it - Showgirls: past, present, future - more classic RCI entertainment as the start is reminiscent of the shows in the smaller ships, but builds up to something that you might see in equivalent ships, no real story - Funny Bones comedic duo: starts slow, like a standard magic show, but the gags get much more involved with fun props, there is no dialogue and any spoken parts are purposefully unintelligible so you can interpret from the tone, body language - very clever - Shops: wide selection of shops that you might see on other similar class ships (the Royal shop, jewellry, handbags); there is also JClinic, which seems to be Japanese alternative medicine store catering only to Chinese passengers as there is no translation to English, there is also a pharmacy which sells all manner of medicines, some that I have never heard of (the packaging is mostly in Japanese). Some of the activities on Quantum Class ships that are normally free now require payment (eg iFly, trampoline, laser tag) Not many dancing activities, trivia, and no bingo If the crowd is predominantly Chinese, as ours was, you should expect a low buzz of chatter at every stage of a show. There is often a rush for seats/viewing space in the non-reserved seating and after the reserved seating is opened to the floor. Service: Friendly, attentive service in the suite lounges and specialty restaurants. Most staff will understand English. Not everyone will understand Mandarin, presumably as it is an English-speaking cruise line.. Bar service is excellent as there are absolutely no queues. It is particularly good in the Suite Lounge during Happy Hour, as most of the other guests are Chinese and don't seem to drink very much. I can't speak for service in the MDR or WJ as we did not go there. However, WJ looked very crowded whenever we went past and did not seem very appealing for that reason. Ports: Fukuoka we travelled independently in the ports - there were limited offerings for Western excursions, with most Chinese guests travelling in tour groups - the cruise terminal was a short taxi ride to Tenjin/Hakata, but you can also purchase a bus+train pass (day pass, 800 yen) from the nearby tourist centre, which allows you to take the bus to these places and around the central city area Would happily go through the same experience again, perhaps on a longer cruise as 4 days is hardly enough.

Worth a try if you are open to new experiences

Spectrum of the Seas Cruise Review by Schmeag

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: October 2019
  • Destination: Asia
  • Cabin Type: Grand Suite with Balcony
Mostly agree with the last few reviews on this site. Readers who are interested in the suite areas, or a short sailing out of China may find this helpful.

Departure City:

Shanghai is a vast city with quite of lot of things to do, but we had limited time there and explored it independently. Easy to get around on the metro if you have a map.

Embarkation: very large queues were skipped, very rushed feel with large crowds milling about, but you do need to flag to embarkation staff if you have priority

Disembarkation: we elected to leave late, but despite lack of priority, was swift

Ship:

Large, modern and spacious - feels similar to Ovation, with similar crowd concentration

- elevators can be crowded at times, with pushing/shoving at peak times (eg subway in China/Japan at peak hour)

- back of the ship (270 area) tends to be much quieter unless there is a show happening there

- no overcrowding in the Silver/Gold areas, Solarium seems particularly empty except for a number of children and their supervising parents/grandparents

Cabin

- very new, modern, no damage/rust yet

- very little thoroughfare, quiet, as in the Suite section, which is mostly cordoned off from the rest of the ship

- close to the lounge, immediate access to the Solarium, far from other parts of the ship

Dining: overall, Western-styled food is not as good as it is on other ships (we did not try Chops, though), but the Asian food is much better

- room service menu fairly standard for an RCI cruise, with the addition a few Asian-styled dishes

- set dining menu in all restaurants, with more options than you would find on a standard RCI cruise

- Silver Dining: buffet with some Asian flavours. Had a great pork/ample combination in breakfast

- Gold Dining: standard RCI breakfast menu, slightly more Asian flavours for lunch and dinner, but definitely Western options available

- Sichuan Red: good Asian flavours, known for spicy food as per the cuisine (you can request milder, or no spice, although you would probably miss out on the experience)

- Hotpot: worth going for the experience if you've never done it before, they provide separate pots if you prefer not to engage in communal dining, though it is better with more people, selection of cakes for desserts (didn't try), lots of Asian fruits, mangoes

- Wonderland by DaDong: same environment (down to painting the menu) as other ships, food is OK (less "showy" than the usual Wonderland, peking duck is good

- Teppanyaki: reasonable to watch the chef cook/theatrics, especially if you have not seen it before, meat is well cooked to your liking

Entertainment: caters from Western/Eastern audiences, usually by minimising any actual dialogue. However, the cruise director speaks about 90% in Mandarin and 10% in English, usually limited to the communicating the essentials.

- Silk Road: good theatrics/props/theme, lots of dance numbers with recognisable modern tunes, story is a bit disjointed, but a fun watch nonetheless, kids will love it

- The Effectors show: about superheroes of special effects (choreography, sound, light, pixels), mostly decent execution representing each part, decent villain, not complex story (due to no voiced dialogue, only singing), kids will also love it

- Showgirls: past, present, future - more classic RCI entertainment as the start is reminiscent of the shows in the smaller ships, but builds up to something that you might see in equivalent ships, no real story

- Funny Bones comedic duo: starts slow, like a standard magic show, but the gags get much more involved with fun props, there is no dialogue and any spoken parts are purposefully unintelligible so you can interpret from the tone, body language - very clever

- Shops: wide selection of shops that you might see on other similar class ships (the Royal shop, jewellry, handbags); there is also JClinic, which seems to be Japanese alternative medicine store catering only to Chinese passengers as there is no translation to English, there is also a pharmacy which sells all manner of medicines, some that I have never heard of (the packaging is mostly in Japanese).

Some of the activities on Quantum Class ships that are normally free now require payment (eg iFly, trampoline, laser tag)

Not many dancing activities, trivia, and no bingo

If the crowd is predominantly Chinese, as ours was, you should expect a low buzz of chatter at every stage of a show. There is often a rush for seats/viewing space in the non-reserved seating and after the reserved seating is opened to the floor.

Service:

Friendly, attentive service in the suite lounges and specialty restaurants. Most staff will understand English. Not everyone will understand Mandarin, presumably as it is an English-speaking cruise line..

Bar service is excellent as there are absolutely no queues. It is particularly good in the Suite Lounge during Happy Hour, as most of the other guests are Chinese and don't seem to drink very much.

I can't speak for service in the MDR or WJ as we did not go there. However, WJ looked very crowded whenever we went past and did not seem very appealing for that reason.

Ports: Fukuoka we travelled independently in the ports

- there were limited offerings for Western excursions, with most Chinese guests travelling in tour groups

- the cruise terminal was a short taxi ride to Tenjin/Hakata, but you can also purchase a bus+train pass (day pass, 800 yen) from the nearby tourist centre, which allows you to take the bus to these places and around the central city area

Would happily go through the same experience again, perhaps on a longer cruise as 4 days is hardly enough.
Schmeag’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
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Shore Excursions
Service
Onboard Experience
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Cabin Review

Grand Suite with Balcony
Cabin GS
Clean, modern, spacious
Bathroom: 2 sinks, shower in tub
Living room: TV - free movies
Bedroom: TV - as above
Quality lighting, furnishings
Large balcony: right under a large overhanging roof (13th floor)
Deck 13 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Shanghai
    Difficult to get to the airport without using a taxi.
    Can try using the metro and cruise shuttle combination, but might be more daunting to get to the port. Had no problems using it to get back, but need to plan in advance.
    Large city, lots of haze. Worth staying in a nice hotel, plenty of Western or French fusion-style food around the Bund, local options in the area seem limited.
    Some tours are available to see a nearby village for a more traditional authentic experience.
    View All 112 Shanghai Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Shanghai Cruise Port Review