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45 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
Hi everyone, I was on the Anthem of the Seas last week. For months and months I have read horrible reviews about everything on this ship, from slow service to the food being bad to the people not knowing whats going on. I am sure you ... Read More
Hi everyone, I was on the Anthem of the Seas last week. For months and months I have read horrible reviews about everything on this ship, from slow service to the food being bad to the people not knowing whats going on. I am sure you can read the other reviews. I can tell you one thing which was the worse thing about this cruise: The passengers. Not all of them but the loud, frustrated individuals who come on the ship as if they are the queen and king of England. They were so rude and loud and obnoxious. So let me say something to all the people who are reading these reviews. They are lying. The ship and staff are awesome and it was a great cruise! When you drive to the area to drop off your car at Bayonne, they tell you where to drop your car, $20 per day, but well protected and clean. Rooms are super clean and proper. Boat is gigantic and absolutely beautiful! I wont go on and on about the small details, but here is one thing: You wont be disappointed, if you do your research about what to expect on the boat. We,my wife and I and 2 small kids, ages 3 and 5, went to dynamic dining at the grande , Chic and American Icon. All the were awesome, food was good and the head waiters, servers and everyone were always asking us if everything was ok and to our liking. Kids had a great time! It is worth the money and worth the trip, and no, I dont work for the cruise line. The frustrated people should just call Dr. Phil and get on his show. He will never be out of work.. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
The check in process was absolutely terrible. My husband and I were already frustrated after being stuck in traffic for over two hours, and then got to the chaos of this horrible port. So unorganized! We got through security and were told ... Read More
The check in process was absolutely terrible. My husband and I were already frustrated after being stuck in traffic for over two hours, and then got to the chaos of this horrible port. So unorganized! We got through security and were told to "have a seat" with about 100 other people. There were about 5 staff members with iPads checking people in and taking pictures. There was no organization whatsoever. The staff looked panicked and the guests were shouting at them to come to their family and check them in. So the staff would leave the line and go start that line, and this process went on and on. Eventually, we had to tell the staff member in our line to finish this and stop leaving to go to some family that was yelling at her. It was a hot mess. Not a great first impression. Once on-board everything was okay. We went to our cabin and made a list of the things we wanted to do that day. We went to eat at buffet near the Solarium and that was alright, but we were starving so it didn't matter. We then walked around the ship just to see where things were. We had dinner at Silk that night and it was pretty good. We didn't buy the drink package and I was kind of upset that I had to pay for a soda. That just seems like something that should be included in the restaurants. So I stuck with water for the next 3 nights. We saw Spectra's Cabaret that night and that was so weird. I still don't even know what it was about. Then we went to Michael's Pub and had some beers and hung out there watching the guy playing guitar and singing (he was excellent). There were quite a few extremely drunk people and I couldn't believe the bartender's were still serving them when they could barely stand. But, that's not my problem, right? The next day we woke up and decided to go in the hot tub in the Solarium. The water was NOT HOT at all. It felt so odd and there were so many people jammed in it that we just left and did not return for the rest of the trip. It felt so gross. Then we went to Seaplex and played ping pong and Air Hockey - which they charge for...I don't know. The cruise is not cheap and I can't even get a game of Air Hockey for free? My husband did the Ripcord (the indoor sky diving) and he really enjoyed that. He did not have a reservation but luckily some people did not show up on time and he went right in. We saw the We Will Rock You show and that was ehhhhh, alright. Way too long. Like almost 2 hours long. We literally fell asleep. We saw the comedian after and he was hilarious. We really enjoyed that. We also went to the casino, but it was a little too smokey for us to stay too long. Then went to Chic restaurant and that was a poor experience. The waiter was cocky and annoying and the food was not that great. Overall, the trip was just okay. We did alot of fun stuff, but the staff was not that friendly and completely unorganized throughout of whole stay. I can't imagine being on a 12 day cruise with them. Not sure if we will sail with Royal Caribbean again. Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
After all the hype about this ship I couldn't wait to get on it. I watched videos of it all the time. I don't know if a longer cruise would have given me a better impression or not. I feel like I was gypped. Too many people ... Read More
After all the hype about this ship I couldn't wait to get on it. I watched videos of it all the time. I don't know if a longer cruise would have given me a better impression or not. I feel like I was gypped. Too many people trying to do the same thing in a short time so you missed a lot. I took my 16 year old grand daughter on this cruise. They didn't get my reservation for North Star & had no more openings so we couldn't do that. I really wanted to do it. Didn't care about Ifly. They changed my reservation for We Will Rock You to a time that interfered with my dining reservation. I had to change it to an afternoon show. They changed Spectra's to a different day than I had reserved also. I wasn't even notified of the changes. I read about people's reservations being changed so I checked mine & found out they were changed too. My grand daughter wanted to do the bumper cars. It was a 1 1/2-2 hour wait for a 3 minute ride! We didn't wait. Another thing we didn't get to do. The only seats we could find for Spectra were in the last row off to the side. I don't understand why the lights were so dim for this show. With that & our seats being so far away, you couldn't really see that great. It was a pretty good show though. I think the design of this room was poorly done. Went 1/2 hour early for We Will Rock You to get a good seat. I did enjoy it although the character of Galileo was a bit annoying at times. Trying to get a seat at the Music Hall was impossible. Three times we went, 3 times there were no seats. Not even a place to stand & watch. The juggler was amazing and very funny. One of my favorite things on a cruise is a Caribbean band. It was in the planner but never saw them. I like line dancing too. None of that either. What's a cruise without the Electric Slide, the Wobble etc? Couldn't find a seat to play Trivia either. They even ran out of forms to write your answers on. We ate at Grande. It was good but not hot. No waiters entertaining you on this ship. Miss that! Had breakfast & lunch either at Windjammer or Solarium Bistro. The scrambled eggs were awful. I believe they are powdered. They use that on a lot of the ships now. Had real bacon one day, after that it was turkey bacon. On the last night we had steak at the Solarium Bistro for dinner. It was good & it was hot. Wish I had tried dinner there before. Tried the infamous roast beef sandwich at 270. It was tough and had a lot of gristle. The self serve ice cream was closed down. The ice cream at the Windjammer had no taste to it. Waits for drinks and elevators were very long. The cabin was small but it had plenty of room to store clothes. Bed was comfortable. There was an engine type noise in the room constantly but I was able to get to sleep even with it. The Virtual balcony wasn't very clear. It looked like there was no sun out but when you got up on deck it was sunny. Pool was too cold for me but my grand daughter loved it. They weren't crowded either. Hot tubs were great. Was disappointed in the Royal shop. Nothing much in there. I was looking to replace some T shirts I bought on another RC ship but they didn't have them. That is the only shop I went in. Couldn't afford the other ones. Staff was good except for one gentleman at the service desk. I went two more times after that & had really good polite service with a young Asian girl. My cabin steward Eniko Brown was the best steward I ever had. Very pleasant, always greeted you, asked how your day was going & if she saw you coming she would open your door for you. She did a great job on the cabin too. Getting on and off the ship was a breeze but it took about 45 minutes to drive down the street to the terminal! Leaving the terminal there was no traffic. Not really impressed by this ship. I won't return again. I think Explorer of the Seas was much prettier, food was better & Leigh the cruise director was great. Too bad it's gone. I will not do a 3 night cruise again on any line. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
After sailing on Quantum of the Seas in 2014, I wanted to try Anthem. I was anticipating this ship and all of its beauty. The ship itself was beautiful and very clean! After a few weeks of bad seas and bad press for Norovirus, I ... Read More
After sailing on Quantum of the Seas in 2014, I wanted to try Anthem. I was anticipating this ship and all of its beauty. The ship itself was beautiful and very clean! After a few weeks of bad seas and bad press for Norovirus, I wasn't sure what to expect but the ship was indeed very clean. I noticed that it seemed to rock quite a bit, but it could have been because we were going very slowly, 12 knots, and I think the stabilizers might have been off. And we didn't go to Halifax as we were supposed to, but went south instead for safety which was fine. It just would have been nice if the Captain told us instead of letting us guess or see on the television that we had a change in direction. Now the reason I rated it average was for a few things, the food was no better than cafeteria food and service was terrible. The exception was Jamie Oliver's, a specialty restaurant, that was fantastic and we had eaten in on Quantum as well. Just great! The Grande where we ate one night was good too and service there was wonderful as opposed to American Icon where it was horrendous! Our room steward too was wonderful though. For a weekend cruise, I was not expecting towel animals which we got. He also brought us ice which was great. We mentioned it once and he brought it everyday without us asking again. Technically, it's supposed to be from room service. The shows were interesting. Spectra Cafe was different and good and We Will Rock You had some excellent singers. The show itself would have been better if they just sang the Queen songs and didn't have a lame story around them. The singers were very good though. The game shows with Abe Hughes the CD were very good too. The best feature of the ship is the Solarium and indoor pool. Just a wonderful space that I would love to see on all ships. All in all, would I go on the Anthem again, I don't think so. Too many negatives and not enough incentive for me. Read Less
31 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
Here is our opinion of this fabulous ship: LIKED+ • LOVED the ship itself. It’s new and beautiful so what’s not to love. • We had a D7 balcony cabin which was great. Lots of storage closets and drawers too. The best part ... Read More
Here is our opinion of this fabulous ship: LIKED+ • LOVED the ship itself. It’s new and beautiful so what’s not to love. • We had a D7 balcony cabin which was great. Lots of storage closets and drawers too. The best part was the balcony: nice and large with 2 chairs that reclined and footstools (that stored under the chairs) to make it into your own lounger. LOVE THAT. These balconies beat the newer ships on both NCL and Princess as most of their balconies are tiny. • Nightlight in the bathroom and the lighted circle on the cabin mirror • We found the food to be good in the dining rooms and Windjammer. Always could find things we liked and I can’t think of anything we didn’t. Very happy lobster was served in all dining rooms the last night; it was delicious. Café 270—their stuff was just ok. We winged it with dining (I didn’t realize set timing was an option but that’s ok) and we didn’t wait more than 10 minutes to be seated for lunch or dinner. • Coconut ranger cookies. Even the chocolate cupcakes in the Windjammer were fabulous. It is rare I find a dessert on a ship that is so good I want more than one. • Solarium. LOVE this space and its location. • Tequila tasting was fun and the host was entertaining. He also makes fabulous drinks in Bolero. • Different drink menus in various bars. I like variety. • Two70. Awesome multi-purpose, three decks high room at the stern of the ship with many windows. • The café in the Promenade that had drinks (water, coffee, tea) and snacks. The pizza place was busy. • If you upload your credit card and photo, check-in is really a breeze and there are lots of check-in agents with their devices as soon as you enter the terminal. Present your pass and passport, answer the health questions, and you’re done. The longest line was after check in at security, and even that wasn’t long. I’d say it was 15 minutes tops from the time our feet entered the building to the time we boarded the ship. Great process once in the terminal (but not up to that point; see below) DID NOT LIKE • ONE dining room open for breakfast! Come on. You need TWO open. Didn’t make it there because both mornings we stopped down at 9am and since they stopped seating at 9:30 some RC guy told those of us beyond a certain point in the line that we needed to go elsewhere. Not sure if this is the case on longer cruises, but it needs more than one dining room open for breakfast on a ship this size. • Didn’t find a lot of the staff to be warm and friendly, though our cabin stewardess was. • The port! The long road into the port had horrible traffic. If you arrive between 11 and 1 you will wait in a long line of cars. The wait in the port was longer than our ride to the port. They need to separate those who don’t want to drop off their luggage first. This would make things move quicker. Even on longer cruises I can cart my luggage from a parking space to check-in. We got to our cabin around 1 and when I looked out over the port roads at that time there was no longer a line. So if I sailed from here again, I’d aim to arrive after 1. Others from the roll call arrived very early and had no lines, so that’s another option. • $30 and $40 for wine tasting? Really? Four two-ounce servings of wine (I checked to see what this included). Way too much $. • Guest Services only has 4 stations (with a human) for a 4,000 pax ship. Not sufficient. NEUTRAL • North Star was awesome. If you don’t have a reservation though, don’t bother. The standby line hardly moved as everyone who had a reservation seemed to show up. Even with a reservation I’d say we spent an hour there from start to finish. It was worth it to do once. • We Will Rock you was just ok, and I found it to be too long. They had technical difficulties about ¾ through the show so we left when it stopped at that point. Spectra was cancelled one night too for technical difficulties. • A lot of TV channels (not just news) which led the boyfriend to view TCM channel’s movies from the 40s and then try the (lame) pickup lines from those on me. Amusing at first, but then not. Other: Why do people have to be told to wash their hands often. Sad! Wish their deck plan indicated whether the bed was by the slider or by the bathroom. I think someone has started a chart on this so I can add my two cents for the cabins we had on this cruise. I would sail on Anthem again. While some things were a slight annoyance, I did like the ship a lot and would love to hang on my balcony again. You can always find things to pick on I think; I prefer to focus on enjoying my time on a ship! Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
The ship is beautiful, decor top notch, comfortable beds. Service in dining rooms needs improvement. Bar service, terrible due to the fact that Royal does not have enough bartenders at any bar on the entire ship. For instance 1 ... Read More
The ship is beautiful, decor top notch, comfortable beds. Service in dining rooms needs improvement. Bar service, terrible due to the fact that Royal does not have enough bartenders at any bar on the entire ship. For instance 1 bartender at Solarium bar on Saturday close to noon, the bartender could not possibly keep up, when I asked him to contact someone to get help, he responded that the other bartender was getting supplies for the bar! Ridiculous, supplies should be brought by someone else. Keep the bartenders at the bar to help the guests. Spectra Cabaret was cancelled for our Sunday evening 9PM show. Such a disappointment. There was a band scheduled each afternoon at the outdoor pool but canceled each day because it was cool. So why wasnt the band reassigned to an area inside the ship, so guests could enjoy music??? The knew the forecast days in advance! Food average, nothing great, desserts some dry and tasteless, others such as cheesecake, the portion so small you would need two slices to equal a normal slice. Specialty coffee shops, do not have enough staff. For instance, the person who makes your latte/cappuccino also has to ring up the order, so takes so much longer. Why doesnt Royal have a person ringing up the orders so the drinks can be made by someone else??? This is a new ship, yet I have NEVER felt so wobbly on ANY other ship and I have been on four cruiselines! The stabilizer on this ship does not do its job, the waters were not very choppy, no storm, yet always felt so much movement. I would not go on the Anthem again, expected better service and entertainment. Read Less
21 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
Diamond Plus cruiser with RCCL, but have sailed other cruise lines. Just let me say the pre-cruise terminal experience was different and not very well organized. One person telling you to go here and there with no signage. Thank ... Read More
Diamond Plus cruiser with RCCL, but have sailed other cruise lines. Just let me say the pre-cruise terminal experience was different and not very well organized. One person telling you to go here and there with no signage. Thank goodness I knew how the process was suppose to work. For a new cruiser, it would be daunting. Your sea pass card awaits you in your room. I booked a balcony on deck 8, thankfully not to far from Aft elevators. Stateroom attendant did a great job. Lets just say there is a lot of walking on this ship. We did the classic complimentary dining, (rotated between the free dining rooms each night with the same table and wait staff. We had table 101 for 2, with Christian as our waiter, he and his wife (asst.waiter) were great. We ate in Chic, Grande and American Icon, our least favorite was American Icon which I thought I would like the best. We ate lunch in Chic one day, the lobster/shrimp saffron rissoto was the best. Smoked potato soup not too good. Our waitress did not tell us that the tuti salad bar was available. Windjammer food the same as always, but variety was much smaller than I felt in the past. Only one waitress offer to get us drinks. Indoor pool and solorium were packed everyday. You could not enjoy Johnny Rockets as it is located on the outside pool deck, where they normally would have ice cream stand. Concierge Lounge has a beautiful view, once you find it at the end of deck 12 staterooms, be prepared for a long walk down a crooked hallway. Two 70's caberet show was cancelled, Queen show worth it to see, Atomic Punk (Van Hallen show), loud but ok. Casino, only wasted 5 dollars, no wins. Slots expensive, penny slots actually cost more than 3 dollars per spin on some. Not much variety. Only place we didn't go was SeaPlex. We saw Northstar and Windtunnel experience. Don't waste money to dine in Solorium Bistro (lunch or dinner) or go there for breakfast. Only came across one disgruntled employee, he was the concierge person in the diamond lounge on deck 5 outside the theater. No food was available in Diamond or Concierge Lounge due to them not passing Noro Virus inspection from last cruise. Ship seems a little top heavy as it swayed more than most and the overall design, had an Asian feel, no glitz, cheap poster pictures, Floors 3,4,5 not designed for amount of people on ship, to many expensive shops, Disembarkation was easy and fast after all the selfies left. Would I go again, only if prices came down, because I can drive to port and not fly. But for now, will try Baltimore and continue to fly to Florida to cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2015
I'm a travel agent so my experience will be different than yours but I wanted you to see what we see. First I was picked up by Motor Coach at Newark. It was a long drive to Bayonne but it's free so beggars right? Once I ... Read More
I'm a travel agent so my experience will be different than yours but I wanted you to see what we see. First I was picked up by Motor Coach at Newark. It was a long drive to Bayonne but it's free so beggars right? Once I arrived I was quickly through the check in process and on to the ship. There were no porters to take bags but the flip side.... the ship was only about 25 - 33% full. Food - EXCELLENT. Now, I'm a meat and potatoes guy.... but all the food I had was very good. My only complaint would be late night..... They only had pizza and a little sandwich shop open late when people were partying. I was especially disappointed that there were no sweets or ice cream open late. Drinks - Well.... I don't drink anymore. I know... BOO.... but The Bionic Bar is VERY COOL..... watching the robot arms make your drink..... seeing the time left until it's prepared and the man I spoke with said it's the best Long Island Iced Tea he'd ever tasted.... so Kudos for the cool new way to market a drink. Lots of opportunities to partake in the restaurants, bars and everywhere. Unfortunately the Specialty Restaurants were invitation only so I couldn't test them out.... They do offer aged steaks and an Italian restaurant..... sushi.... They have Starbucks coffee and pastries. Oh and the Wayfarer Market Buffet..... they bake bread there..... so many different types.... I could live there. Shows..... "We Will Rock You" was Very Good. The two female cast leaders Ozzy and Scaramouche were top notch. "Cabaret".... Also Very Good..... lots of excellent costumes and dancing.... The acrobat aerialists added something special to the spectacle..... and the cast was just generally beautiful which is always a plus. Bands - Both bands were outstanding.... I've heard cover bands before. I'm a musician and play in cover bands..... both Phoenix and The Wild Boys were way above average! The crowds LOVED THEM and danced their butts off. Cabin - Balcony. Good not great. The bed was hard.... now I like a hard mattress but I was a bit surprised at how hard this one was. And, as you know, they push two beds together to make a queen. I could feel the point where they come together. I recommend a mattress pad to alleviate that problem. I still slept well for what it's worth. SO MUCH SPACE to put away all my clothes..... good Lord..... however no outlet in the bathroom for my electric toothbrush???? The hair dryer is sub par. Nice flat screen with easy controls. Balcony spacious but I didn't partake as it was pretty cold.... could easily have breakfast out there in the Caribbean. Activities - VERY GOOD.... I pretty much did it all. That was a big thing for me because I wanted to be able to tell other potential clients what to expect. Rip Cord is fun but it's somewhat demanding..... to hold your body in that position with the wind blowing hard on you. TOTALLY FUN! Flow Rider..... much harder than I thought it would be.... I couldn't control the board and fell a few times before finally managing to stay up for about a minute or so.... very difficult to master. Rock Climbing.... I climbed straight to the top no problem. I'm in decent shape but it's demanding. I roller skated.... had to help the DJ find appropriate 70's dance music to make the scene work. I did not try the bumper cars but it's standard bumpers. NOTE: Due to the total number of passengers you should expect long wait times on ALL of these activities. With thousands of people on the ship there will be lines. Still.... it was lots of fun. NO WATERSLIDE????? I was extremely surprised to find just normal pools and jacuzzi tubs.... and the hot tubs did not have jets blasting on your back or neck to sooth tired muscles.... just a hot tub with bubbles. Overall - This is a HUGE ship with a ton of passengers. The crew is exceptional as is their service.... beautiful and charming.... I only wish I had more time to experience the cruise. I would have liked to schedule a massage..... facility looked gorgeous as did the staff. ;) My experience will simply be very different than yours because when you sail the ship will be full. I would expect great food and service..... some lines..... great entertainment and an overall wonderful trip. For the money you're not going to see much better on the high seas. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2015
I was part of a select group of people who had an opportunity to take a 2 day cruise to nowhere to preview the ship. I've never taken a cruise before but was very impressed with the experience. Here's my thoughts: 1) The ship: ... Read More
I was part of a select group of people who had an opportunity to take a 2 day cruise to nowhere to preview the ship. I've never taken a cruise before but was very impressed with the experience. Here's my thoughts: 1) The ship: it was beautifully decorated and easy to understand the layout. It's huge, so there's a lot of walking. The water was pretty choppy so we could feel a little movement below us. There was a few times we turned green. 2) Food: there's a lot of specialty restaurants and a huge buffet called the Windjammer. The windjammer was great for breakfast and offered a great variety so everyone could find something the liked. 3) Shows: we saw We Will Rock you and although the plot is cheesy, the singing was fantastic. We're talking better than Broadway. Very talented cast. We also saw Spectra's Cabaret which had great singers too. The show was interesting... Definitely more edgy and an acquired taste. 4) Activities: everything was awesome! I recommend doing the North Star sightseeing bubble while near a port. We did it in the middle of the ocean and so we just looked at clouds. Also, the bumper cars were much rougher than I expected. Plenty for kids to do though, including a room for teenagers to watch TV and lots of X-boxes, ping pong tables, roller skating, etc. 5) Rooms: the room was nice and pretty spacious as far as cruises go, I'm told. The bathroom and shower were pretty tight/claustrophobic. Plenty of storage though and great closets. We had a deck which was great too. We had a king size bed and there was also a couch which you could sleep on if necessary. 6) The Staff: Amazing. They could not have been any nicer! Every time I turned around someone asked if they could help me. They were beyond attentive! 7) Getting There: I took a car service (Carmel) to get to Port Liberty in Bayonne, NJ from Manhattan/NYC. The price was $49 + tolls and tip. Be warned: Tolls were $18! As far as timing, I got there with no traffic in 50 minutes. Once I arrived, the boarding process was very quick. Have your 'Set Sail' ready and it will go even faster. Overall, we had an awesome time and I would recommend this ship! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
At first, I was weary about embarkation. When we first walked through the door there was a large jumble of people in (somewhat) lines in front of Royal Caribbean representatives holding ipads for check-in. After getting in line, it ... Read More
At first, I was weary about embarkation. When we first walked through the door there was a large jumble of people in (somewhat) lines in front of Royal Caribbean representatives holding ipads for check-in. After getting in line, it exceeded my expectation and went very quickly, we gave the reps our set sail pass, they asked a few simple questions, snapped our pic and sent us on our way to Security. This was also a breeze! The lines were sorted out, some for general boarding and others for suites and high tier Crown and Anchor members. After a short walk through the metal detector we were on our way up the escalator onto the gangway, where we were greeted with a red carpet walk way and beautiful floral arrangements, when we boarded the ship we entered directly into the Royal Esplanade on Deck 5, which is of course where everyone was gathered and was a little hectic at first, but after everyone was settled in you would’ve never known how many people were on the ship. When leaving port in Cape Liberty, Bayonne, NJ, we had the best view of New York City. The first place we ate was Café two70, which had hot/cold sandwiches, salads, soup and fresh carved meat, all in different stations where you would pick out what you wanted, and get it in seconds. I had the BLTA (Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato and Avocado) Salad which was delicious and the 4 cheese melt, again, delicious! Our first dinner we had was at ‘Devinly Decadent’ which is a low calorie, heath conscious complimentary restaurant which was originally a specialty restaurant on board and was later converted to complimentary. The starters and desert was self-serve buffet style, while the menu items were separated out by 500 and 700 calorie options. I had the lemon glazed prawns and filet mignon, which was served with steamed carrots, broccoli, asparagus and a portion of mashed potatoes. Everyone at the table had the filet mignon and all had the same reaction “WOW!” It was incredible! It was cooked to perfection and full of flavor. You would never guess this was only 500 calories! At desert they had small portions of carrot and pumpkin cake, as well as flourless cakes and dark chocolate brownies. I particularly loved the pumpkin cake. We ate at Windjammers café for breakfast which had all kinds of great breakfast options including fresh fruit, fresh baked pastries and bread, hot and cold cereal, pancakes, waffles, meats, egg and omelet stations and so much more all in buffet style. Lunch we had at Johnny Rockets, which was a great little burger place, but it had a long wait time. And finally, our last dinner, we had at Wonderland. One of the specialty restaurants on board which was unbelievable! First off, the décor was incredible; it was based from Alice in Wonderland so it had a very funky and fun element to it. There were mismatched chairs at each table with formal table settings that were oddly shaped or colored to go along with the ‘wonderland’ theme. The menu was Magical! It started out as blank white paper in a large gaudy frame, they provide you with a paint brush and a “magic potion” to dip it in, and you pant away to find your menu appear! As your menu dries, the paper turns blank again. We gave the waiter free range because we just had no idea where to start. After we counted I believe he provided us with a total of 17 dishes! Almost all were placed in the center of the table and we picked away at it family style. My favorite dish was the Short Rib, which was busy cooking 36 hours before we arrived for dinner; it fell right off the bone and melted in your mouth. All the dishes had an imaginative element, such as the eggs were served with a bowl of smoke over them so they seemed to catch fire when you removed it. The appetizers were served in curved spoons or wire whisk. The halibut cooked in a clear bag which had to be cut open to reveal a powerful aroma of rosemary and the veggies served in a rye bread and truffle oil combo that looked like a bed of dirt. All around fun experience! Royal Caribbean is big on activities, so needless to say, on our 2 night cruise we didn’t get to see them all! The ones we did get to experience were great! I was able to watch as some of our party experience the Ripcord by iFly indoor skydiving which looked like a blast. I chose not to partake in the North Star due to long wait in line, we chose to check out the Seaplex instead, but the North Star sure did look cool when we saw it in action! The Seaplex is a convertible venue that could be for bumper cards, roller skating, ping-pong tournaments, sports and a number of other things. On the top level of the Seaplex is an Xbox live gaming room and ping pong tables, on the bottom is the arena and arcade. Perfect place for Tweens and Teens! On the last night we saw “We Will Rock You” a Broadway style show exclusive to Royal Caribbean which was entertaining and funny! Great acting and singing voices showed they did a great job with auditioning the cast. The special effects and well-made props made you feel immersed in the show. Afterwards, we experienced some of the night life the “Music Hall,” a two story night club, bar, and entertainment area. Great venue, live music and DJ were both crowd pleasers! Top deck had an indoor pool and outdoor pool, a few hot tubs and kids area, all of which looked like a blast, the kids pool also had a “lazy river” which was just a small circular pool that the water went around in but looked great for kids. I was able to experience the adults only solarium, which had a relaxing atmosphere, and gorgeous 3 level pool. There were 4 hot tubs in the solarium, I was able to relax in one while looking out the forward of the ship while the sun was setting, absolutely best spot to relax. The ship’s gym was state of the art, on the very top deck with a gorgeous view all around. Any exercise equipment you could imagine was up there, and they also were doing sign up for a variety of different classes. On deck 4 and 5 were a variety of shops and restaurants and also the “Bionic Bar” which was 2 robotic arms that you ordered your drink from an ipad, and then waiting in the queue for your drink to be made. There were large screens on either side of the bar that explained what it was doing and which guest the drink was being made for. When your drink was ready the screens would let you know, and then you can simply scan your bracelet and the drink slid down the bar for pick up. Although this novelty was very interesting it was a very long wait time before your drink was ready. Even with shorter lines. The children’s area was separated out into 5 different rooms for 5 different age groups including a nursery. Bright and colorful décor and low ceilings made it a bright and inviting place for children to be in. On the day of disembarkation we packed up and rolled out! We met up and started to funnel out, we walked through representatives who scanned out bracelets and thanked us by name for sailing, we walked the red carpet again back off the ship and down the escalators to customs, where we waited in line for merely 5-10 minutes for a quick and easy entrance back into the US. We exited the building to find representatives pointing guests to the direction of shuttles, taxis and parking. We were quickly put onto our correct shuttle bus and back to the airport in no time at all. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2014
My most important recommendation for one traveling on Quantum of the Seas is to make sure you get all your reservations (dining and shows!!!) done PRIOR to your trip. They just introduced the "dynamic dining" which means that you ... Read More
My most important recommendation for one traveling on Quantum of the Seas is to make sure you get all your reservations (dining and shows!!!) done PRIOR to your trip. They just introduced the "dynamic dining" which means that you can have dinner in any restaurant (paid or not) IF YOU HAVE A RESERVATION. You need to have a reservation to all restaurants!!! If you wait to make the reservations at the ship most likely it will be impossible and you will get stressed and frustrated and may end up at the Windjammer every day.Not a nice way to start a vacation. Not that I don't like Windjammer which is a beautiful self service restaurant. We had done only one reservation and were able to get into Silk and American Icon Grill by arriving at 5:30pm. This was a stress that we didn't plan to go through. Make sure you also make ALL YOUR SHOWS RESERVATIONS or you may end up again, very stressed and frustrated. I had a drink at the Bionic Bar and I have to say it was the best vodka and tonic ever!!! One of the main attractions of this ship is North Star, a capsule that ascends over 300 feet above sea level. It is indeed one of the most anticipated features on this ship which we were not able to go into. On the first day we were on a line (it was freezing!!!) when there was a problem with the system and they had to stop. I suggest that this should be the very first thing you do in this ship (if you have already all your reservations!!). We did the sky diving simulator (reservations required!!!). I am 59 and didn't enjoy the experience as much as I thought I would. But a lot of people had a lot of fun with the experience and my husband was one of them. I thought I would feel a soft flying sensation which is not true since very strong and unpleasant winds are necessary to make you fly. Broadway show - Mamma Mia - actually had Broadway artists and I could recognize a woman, from Les Miserables (or was it from Once?). My husband, who doesn't like Broadway musicals, loved it! The ship is beautiful, I loved the decoration which is very tasteful. First time I see a ship that is not tacky. I was told there were just 3700 passengers on our trip. It was perfect and we have never had such an easy disembarkation. Stores are expensive and I was told they plan to send Quantum of the Seas to China in May/16. Dont think twice, make your reservation to the Quantum. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2014
My wife and I had the privilege to spend a week-end on Royal Carribean's new ship, Quantum of the seas. The registration process is mainly handled online. They take your luggage, just make sure you tagged with the printed tags you ... Read More
My wife and I had the privilege to spend a week-end on Royal Carribean's new ship, Quantum of the seas. The registration process is mainly handled online. They take your luggage, just make sure you tagged with the printed tags you got online. When you walk into the cruise terminal, an attendant scans your printed registration and asks you a few questions. 10 minutes later we were walking to the ship. The Royal Esplanade is not as striking as the one on the Oasis. Still, you are greeted by butterflies which is relaxing. The rest of the Esplanade is very similar to one on the Oasis. The Vintages is located in the Esplanade. For a quick snack, The Royal Esplanade has everything you can wish for. Desserts at the Patisserie, Pizza's at Sorrento's, Sushi at Uzumi and the very upscale Wonderland. There's also Jamie Oliver's Bistro. So plenty of choices if the ship is not too crowded. There's plenty of dining options as well. You can go downstairs for traditional dining at the "Chic" or "Grande". There's always the "Windjammer" for buffet style dining, but we opted for the Asian fusion "Silk" for which we'd made a reservation online a week earlier. The Silk has a very pleasant atmosphere. We were quickly seated. The menu has a wide choice of appetizers. The nice thing is that you can order as many as you want. We tried everything except the spring rolls, the papaya salad and the crab rangoon. Everything was delicious. The shrimps were exquisite. My wife skipped the rest of the meal as she was full. I pressed on with the Hibachi steak which was excellent as well. For dessert, I had the chocolate lychee tart which surprised me. The texture was great and chocolaty at first, then an overpowering spicy taste makes it really distasteful, unless you like spicy chocolate, which I don't. So, all in all a great experience at the Silk. Great service and great food. We heard a lot of good things about the sea bass from other cruisers... The ship is a mix of Celebrity's Solstice and Oasis of the seas. There's plenty of activities and places for families and teens and you get the Solstice decor and dining experience. Perfect for the internet generation who loves staying connected 24 hours a day. You'll see plenty of cruisers taking pictures with their tablets and cellphones, texting or updating their Facebook timeline. So, the Quantum has something for everybody. The Adventure club is very similar to the Oasis, There's bumper cars and roller skating. There's an Xbox room and plenty of table games all around the rink if you want to call it that way. For thrill seekers, there's iFly and a climbing wall. Oh, and the North Star if you want a 250ft view from up the ship. My wife twisted my arm to try the iFly with her. Stay away if you have a bad back or knee problems. You get a nice 15 minute course and get to dress up in a suit with helmet and goggles. The time in the tube is about a minute. My hemlet strap was not tight enough, so as I made my entry in the wind tube, the strap was slapping my lower chin making it really painful. I could no nothing but wait 'till my turn was up because the instructor cannot hear anything. There's not much to do but follow your instructor's signals and wait for him to gently push you through the door when your turn is up. It was fun, except for the pain... There's plenty of entertainment in the evening. There's the Bionic bar with robot making cocktails, there's a real lounge with a pianist, there's Star Water, which we only saw a few minutes but was really impressive and there's Mamma Mia for your classic theater at sea. My wife loves Mamma Mia so we went. Don't expect a watered down version of the show. You get the full show. I must say the main actors and singers were excellent. Even if musicals are not my thing. If you want to relax during the day and take a dip, the Solarium is really the ideal place. Nice palm trees, a bar, multi-level pool and whirlpools make it the perfect place to relax with a book. Glass all around to let the sun in. We had a nice dinner at the Devin Decadence on our last day. We could not have wished for a better dining experience. John, our waiter was very attentive and explained every aspects of this special restaurant. He filled us in on Devin Alexander's menu and special attention to her creation. We really enjoyed our dinner and wish we had more time to experience the other venues. My wife and I really enjoyed the Quantum of the seas. For us the internet access is really not a priority. So, if we were to choose a cruise with our kids, we would probably look at the itinerary first before making a choice between the Oasis and the Quantum. Because the kid's have everything on both ships. But my wife and I would probably book the Solstice for ourselves.   Read Less
Sail Date: November 2014
Not sure where to start! our 12th cruise with RCI and worst yet! Our card didn't work in few bars which led to double chargers for drinks! Never worked in Bionic bar!!! didn't get on north star cause they gave tickets away ... Read More
Not sure where to start! our 12th cruise with RCI and worst yet! Our card didn't work in few bars which led to double chargers for drinks! Never worked in Bionic bar!!! didn't get on north star cause they gave tickets away without informing! Have been told first day its stand by! Wait time for drink at schooner bar 20min. Chops grill dinner super long withSuper dirty windows not romantic! They run out of champagne I ordered online and told us that at the end of the first night! Really??? for $250 bottle??? WOW-not! offered 2 cheaper once but little late! Seams like to much changes and the crew was confused! No special free inaugural souvenirs like we got on Oasis and Allure! Food so, so! Favourite place...Music Hall!!! Live music, pool tables and good drinks! Ship itself is very modern and beautiful but need to improve a lot!!!! Read Less
Sail Date: November 2014
I had to write this review because of all the prior negative reviews of theis wonderful ship. This was my 36th cruise. We sail all of the major cruise lines. It took about 10 minutes in total to check in and get onto the ship. The ship is ... Read More
I had to write this review because of all the prior negative reviews of theis wonderful ship. This was my 36th cruise. We sail all of the major cruise lines. It took about 10 minutes in total to check in and get onto the ship. The ship is absolutely magnificent. The layout is superb. So simple to get around. No getting lost, ever. Nothing every felt crowded. The artwork is simply spectacular. Everywhere you look there is something new and amazing to see. My cabin, a standard balcony was so well laid out. Felt very roomy. The bed near the balcony which was nice and left lots of room to move around. Two closets, lots, of drawer space. Tv recessed so takes up no room. Large balcony compared to some of the other new-builds we have been on. The public rooms, in particular the 270 and the Music Hall are truly unbelievable. In addition, the huge solarium was a wonderful place to relax plus has a healthy smoothie bar. The food was delicious. We ate in Wonderland, which was one of the best and most unique dining experiences of my life. Also Silk, gorgeous decor, great service, delicious food. We ate in Chic. Service was fair at best but the food was wonderful. We had breakfast once at Devinly Decadence. Very yummy healthy food and not crowded. Other breakfasts and lunches were at the Windjammer which I found to be a great experience. So so many choices and very well laid out. Did not feel crowded at all. And plenty of seating. Never had to search for a table. Lots everywhere. Of course we also ate at the Cafe 270, Cafe Promenade and Sorrentos for snacks. Did a whole lot of eating in 3 days! The Bionic Bar was very cool and seemed to always draw a crowd. I did the IFly and loved it. They give you and appt time so no wait. We went on the Northstar and waited an hour but the next day they were giving out appt times so no one had to wait. The Northstar was a really fun experience. Do it!! Did the bumper cars the first day when there was no wait and got to stay on to do it twice! Really fun! The entertainment was top notch. Especially Mamma Mia! What talent! We went back the next day to watch the last half hour again because it was so amazing. The live bands were great, all the entertainment we saw including an A Cappella group and the piano players were wonderful. Starwater was pretty strange but very impressive. I spent alot of time in the casino which was only really crowded and smoky from about 10PM. Some really cool slots including a 3D one that was mesmerizing. I really do not understand the negative reviews of the ship. Everything worked well for us. No issues at all. Our wow bands worked fine and were really convenient. The staff everywhere was so friendly and courteous. Bottom line, we loved the ship!!! Read Less
Sail Date: November 2014
We went on a 3-night sampler cruise out of Bayonne, NJ. This was a short getaway for my wife and I (millennial age) to check out this magnificent ship. Our overall impression is that the ship was amazing and we are excited to go on a ... Read More
We went on a 3-night sampler cruise out of Bayonne, NJ. This was a short getaway for my wife and I (millennial age) to check out this magnificent ship. Our overall impression is that the ship was amazing and we are excited to go on a Quantum class ship again in the near future! The check-in process was simple. A staff member greeted us as we entered the terminal, checked our set-sail pass and passport and we then proceeded directly through security (a process that totaled 5 minutes at most!). We were then seated in a holding area of the terminal until our boarding time was called. We arrived early, so this wait was about 20 minutes for us until our 10:45 boarding time was called (on-time). Once on the ship we were amazed by everything we saw. Our plan was to head directly to the seaplex to hop on the bumper cars, but we kept getting distracted by the beauty of the ship along the way. Walking through the esplanade, going to 270, we just kept stopping to take pictures! Once at the seaplex we hopped right on the bumper cars (no wait) and then proceeded to the windjammer for lunch. We checked in our room after 1:00 when they said the rooms would be ready. We had an interior virtual balcony room. We had the lowest cabin category yet the room was spacious. We were most impressed by the size of the bathrooms compared to other cruise ships. The showers in particular were very classy with a nice glass door and a little more space. The only thing with the room that was a little disappointing was the virtual balcony. We were excited about this feature however it was frozen for a little over a day and at night time it becomes useless since it turns into a black screen. Otherwise, the virtual balcony did add a feature that other interior rooms lack, and that is the ability to see what is going on outside (however, we're hardly in our room). Highlights of the rest of our trip included: - There are two indoor pool areas which made the 30 degree temperature outside seem like an afterthought. The solarium (adult pool area) was very warm and simply beautiful. The indoor main pool area had a Caribbean style band playing and a bar that was open. A great feature about these indoor areas is that even on windy/cold/rainy days, the pool is still a great option! - The seaplex was exceptional! The variety of activities kept us going back there throughout the day. Bumper cars, roller skating, trapeze school, xbox stations, and the hot dog house provided a lot of entertainment and refreshment. - The shows were excellent, highlighted by Starwater (a must see!). Mama Mia was also very good. - We were skeptical about the dynamic dining concept since we thoroughly enjoyed the traditional dining style. However, we were quite impressed. We ate at Silk (wonderful appetizers), Grande (enjoyed the entree), and American Icon (superb service from our waiter). While reservations can be a hassle, we took the time before departure to reserve our dining times and we were sat right away. I even changed a reservation to an earlier time for American Icon, again no issues. - Cafe 270 was a pleasant surprise. On other royal caribbean vessels we usually ate at the windjammer for both breakfast and lunch because we enjoy the variety. However, on this cruise we found ourselves eating at Cafe 270 because of the simple, light meal options (salad, soup, sandwiches). Plus the advantage of eating in 270 which has great views of the ocean and very comfortable seating. - For debarkation, we were off the ship in 10 minutes as well! (although sad) A few (small) complaints: - When we first arrived to our room, our key didn't work and we had to go to guest services for a new one. - Our dining experience was excellent, however wait times between the entree and dessert could be improved. - We waited 2 hours to ride the north star. It seems as if Royal Caribbean has started making adjustments as I have heard they are now using a reservation system for this attraction. I would like to point out that others who have written complaints about this ship is that many of the issues are fixable and have already been addressed. This is a brand new cruise ship, it's going to have growing pains, but don't let these pains keep you from experiencing a ship of a lifetime. There is a vast array of things to do, lots of food and great entertainment. I highly recommend Quantum of the Seas and I look forward to cruising on her (or her sister Anthem) many times in the future! Read Less
Sail Date: November 2014
This ship does not have dining rooms so you have to book restaurants in advance. We booked one free restaurant and two of the extra charge restaurants.(Jamie Oliver Italian and Chops Steak). The Italian restaurant seated us about a half ... Read More
This ship does not have dining rooms so you have to book restaurants in advance. We booked one free restaurant and two of the extra charge restaurants.(Jamie Oliver Italian and Chops Steak). The Italian restaurant seated us about a half hour after our appointment time and the service was very slow. At Chops our meal lasted two and a half hours due to a one hour delay in getting our main courses out of the kitchen. Another table had a three hour dinner and another table simply left before dessert because their waiter disappeared.. Obviously the kitchen had problems but the head chef was seen in the hallway chatting and laughing with friends during this time. Obviously if you are booked for a show these dining time deficiencies will be a problem. The food (when it came) was excellent. As opposed to other ships I had been on this ship did not offer a mens locker room with sauna and steam room unless you took a spa package for $30 a day. My disappointments with the comfort of the sleeping arrangement are detailed below. There was a serious lack of facilities for dancing other than latin dancing or disco at designated hours. Satisfactions The entertainment was spectacular and the extras such as the bumper cars were a lot of fun. The boarding and departure procedures were superior.   Read Less
Sail Date: November 2014
I wish I had a nickel for every time I caught myself saying "WOW" while exploring the ship after boarding. Before our cruise, we saw all the pictures and read all the information provided by CruiseCritic members on the boards. ... Read More
I wish I had a nickel for every time I caught myself saying "WOW" while exploring the ship after boarding. Before our cruise, we saw all the pictures and read all the information provided by CruiseCritic members on the boards. We followed the construction, float-out, sea trials, and the live reports from the Trans-Atlantic crossing. The pictures do not do it justice. It is so much nicer when you see it in person. Even as we drove up to the terminal in Bayonne and saw our first view of Felicia, the magenta Bear standing guard at the Seaplex entrance, we were "Wowed". We arrived 30 minutes before boarding started and went through luggage drop-off, check-in, and security in less than 3 minutes. It all worked as promised. It could have taken less time if we did not stop to take some pictures. The ship decor is elegant. No bright colors, lots of artwork, well done. Dynamic Dining worked out well. We made the reservations in May, shortly after they were opened. Dinner at American Icon Grill, Grande (twice), Silk, and Chic. Grande was our favorite with Silk a close second. Jamie's Italian was a real gem. We did it for lunch and the meal was wonderful. As good as any Italian restaurant in North Jersey (real Italians - ask Tony Soprano). The pulled pork sliders at Michael's Genuine Pub are not to be missed, along with his Genuine Home Brew. Also, do not miss the Kummelweck sandwiches in Cafe270. Did the Bumper Cars and Northstar. Both were great. Got lucky with Northstar and got there shortly after it started. Only waited 30 minutes. Since then, they implemented a ticket (fastpass?) system to avoid the long lines. They announced on Friday that the tickets would be available starting at 9 AM Saturday morning. Arriving just before 9 (to go on it a second time) the line for the tickets stretched nearly to the bow! Talking to a Northstar crew member around noon, she said people started lining up at 7:30 and all 500 tickets went fast. The line now was only about 10 people long (they take 14 per trip) and she pointed to a standby line where there were a few people waiting to fill unused spaces. Did not try the iFly or the Flowrider but there were some hardy individuals using the Flowrider. The shows on-board were absolutely fabulous! We saw Mama Mia twice! Mama Mia was the full Broadway production with identical sets and costumes. The cast was great. If we saw this on Broadway, the seats would have cost $300 each. Danielle Black, who plays Sophie, is a rising star with a fantastic singing voice. In fact, all the cast members were fantastic. Could not ask for a better performance. We also saw Starwater twice. It is a show somewhat like a combination of Cirque and song and dance. Hard to describe but very entertaining. It takes place in Two70, and uses the 18 projectors on the window screens along with the robo screens. Get there early to get a seat where you can see the show floor. The technology worked well, even though some crew members appeared to struggle some times. The Bionic Bar drinks were free as they worked the bugs out of the software. The robot bartenders were entertaining and they mixed strong drinks. We did not purchase an internet package but used the free Royal IQ App to view our schedules, reservations, and track our luggage along the way. There were a few loose ends and rough edges around, and if you were about after midnight, you would see the technicians out fixing and repairing. There was one elevator that seemed to have a mind of its own and changed directions before getting to the right floor. The elevators also have weight sensors and they will bypass people waiting if there is no room left. The LCD screen in the elevator displays a little red icon when the elevator is full. The RFID wrist bands were a real convenience. Better than expected. You can swim with them on. No need to even bring your SeaPass card to the pool. Doing the B2B, we did not have to get off the ship between cruises, and were invited to a consecutive cruiser luncheon in the American Icon Grill. There were about 100 people there. Don't know what else to add. Loved the ship, the technology, the food, and the shows. The only real complaint was having to get off when the cruise was over. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2014
This review for the Quantum of the Seas is based on the 2-night sampler cruise, November 21-23. Admittedly, 2 nights is not enough time to fairly evaluate all of the pros and cons of this ship. But it is sufficient enough to at least get a ... Read More
This review for the Quantum of the Seas is based on the 2-night sampler cruise, November 21-23. Admittedly, 2 nights is not enough time to fairly evaluate all of the pros and cons of this ship. But it is sufficient enough to at least get a sense for the vessel, the crew and what to expect on a longer cruise. Overall, despite the ship being new and beautiful, my wife and I left after the 2 nights still waiting to be wow’d. The crew seems to be struggling at times with the technology, and Royal Caribbean has a number of issues to resolve regarding long lines, the reservation process, and the dissemination of incorrect information. BAYONNE CRUISE SHIP TERMINAL Normally we cruise from Manhattan, so leaving from Bayonne, NJ was a new experience. Getting to the terminal is relatively easy from points west via I-78. I recommend reviewing directions on line before you drive, especially to look at the “street view” perspective to have an idea of what the roads look like after exiting the 2 toll booths in order to know whether to bear left or right. There are also several videos on You Tube showing the drive, which are helpful with familiarizing yourself with the roads. Note: the map view on Mapquest is not as current as the map view on Google Maps. There has been an extension of Pulaski Street in recent years, which makes it easier than following the given map directions (or road signs). The Mapquest directions require you to access 440 from Pulaski Street at a controlled intersection, then exit off of 440 onto Goldsborough Drive a mile or so later at a 2nd controlled intersection. In reality, if you look at a new map, you can take Pulaski Street directly to Port Terminal Blvd and avoid 440 altogether. This is what we did. Although the approach to the cruise ship terminal makes the area appear quite sketchy (even the comedian onboard joked about the area around the terminal being rough), the parking at the terminal was easy and has the appearance of being secure. There is ample parking at the terminal, in several gated parking lots. Parking is $19/day. Shuttle buses will carry you the short distance from the parking lot to the curb at the terminal so that you do not need to walk along the busy road. Newspaper articles indicate that a 900-car parking garage will be built at the terminal, but it is not there yet. For us, from the time we entered the terminal to the time we walked aboard the ship was only about 15 minutes. This is definitely quicker than at the Manhattan piers, but it was not well organized. There were no queues to direct us from one point to the next, so three different times we needed to ask “Where do we go next?” Since we had no checked luggage, from the curb we were directed inside and told to look for someone in a blue Royal Caribbean shirt holding an iPad to check us in. None were available as they were all helping other guests. So we were told we could go through security first and check-in on the other side. Once through security, when we asked, we were again instructed to look for someone in a blue Royal Caribbean shirt holding an iPad. Again, they were all busy. So we had to mill around one of them and wait, the way you might wait in a circle around an administrator while on a college tour, hoping he turns in your direction next. Check in was relatively quick, but I would think it would be easier for the staff to work from a podium rather than doing everything on a pad where they are juggling scanning your sea pass, your passport, and (in some cases we saw) taking a photo if the passenger had not already uploaded one on line. Once our check-in was completed we were directed to go to the “gate attendant” next, who would check our validated sea pass and let us pass through to the gangway. We found it strange that no one was trying to shepherd us over to the wall for an embarkation photo, so we wandered over there first, instead of going to the gate attendant, and asked if we could have our picture taken. They photographer obliged, took our cabin number, and we then proceeded through the gate, up the gangway, and onto the ship where we were greeted by … no one. Again, this just seemed strange to us, having sailed several times before and remember having someone, anyone, greeting you and giving you some general directions. I would give the boarding process 4 stars. It was quick, but not efficient. CABIN REVIEW Since we were only on a 2-night cruise, and this was late November in New Jersey, we did not feel the need to book a balcony stateroom. Instead, we reserved an ocean view cabin on deck 3. When we found our cabin our key cards were waiting for us in an envelope outside the door. Inside, on the bed, were our RFID bracelets. The room was immaculate and spacious. Perhaps it appeared larger since we usually have a balcony, that takes away some of the space; I cannot be sure without seeing one of the balcony cabins. As other reviewers have noted, you need to insert your key card in a slot inside the cabin, on the bulkhead adjacent to the door, to activate the lights. This is also where the thermostat is located. Our cabin was set at 73, which was too warm for us as normally our thermostat is set at 58 for the entire winter, but that is just a matter of personal taste. I mention it only because the high temps tend to dry out the air in the cabin, and consequently in ones sinuses, if you spend any time in your room. The cabin contained a rather large closet with two coat-hanger bars, one high and the other low. This closet was more than sufficient for our luggage, clothes, and winter coats. A second closet contains about a half-dozen cubby-holes and the personal room safe. There is also a pair of drawers below this closet. A small desk with a chair on the opposite wall contains several more drawers as well as the room’s refrigerator. Interestingly, the refrigerator has a personal 4-digit lock on it, just like the room safe. The bed is large, but our mattress was much too hard; it was not as comfortable as beds we have slept in on other ships. That could simple be a matter of this ship being so new and the mattresses having not yet been broken in. At the foot of the bed is a large, wall mounted, flat screen TV. The window in the ocean view cabin is sufficiently large, but unfortunately ours was so caked with salt on the outside (probably from rough seas and a lot of spray on the previous voyage) that visibility through it was greatly diminished. The bathroom was roomy, with a stall shower large enough for two, and all of the typical plumbing. Shower gel, shampoo, conditioner and soap are provided, but these are individual tubes rather than a wall mounted unit within the shower. I would give the cabin 5 stars. It was clean, roomy, and well laid out. THE SHIP: FIRST IMPRESSIONS The ship itself is gorgeous. Walking through it reveals much in the way of funky art, bustling thoroughfares, and quiet nooks and corners. Everything was clean and new; hopefully the crew can keep it looking that way. The soaring aft elevators, with butterflies on the walls and a transparent floor up on deck 15, gives the ship a sense of majesty that is missing on other new ships such as the Norwegian Breakaway. At no time did the Quantum of the Seas ever feel crowded to me, even with the fact that it was too cold on deck for most passengers to remain outside so they had to be walking around in here, somewhere. The central area of the ship, the Royal Esplande, had the feel of an upscale mall. This may be a theme common to RCCL ships and enjoyed by loyal Royal Caribbean passengers, but for me it was not an asset. Being in that mall-like atmosphere, much of it without windows, I did not feel connected to the ship or to the sea. And the fact that virtually none of the stores held any interest for my wife or me to stop and browse, we usually just walked through this section of the ship to get from point A to point B. Perhaps the two most elegant aspects of the ship are fore and aft. The Solarium, in the bow of the ship, was marvelous. On this cruise it was quiet and relaxing, though I can imagine it being much noisier on cruises to warmer climates. The Two-70, in the stern of the ship, is a multi-story café filled with succulents and surrounded by windows. It, too, would be a great escape place on a longer voyage. Unfortunately, other than the Solarium or the Gym, there is no public space on the outside of the ship from which to view foreward. Likewise, other than a small seating area adjacent to the Windjammer buffet area, there is no public outside area from which to view aft. There is also no place, other than the jogging track, on which to walk laps around the outside of the ship. I suspect the jogging track, which circles the pools and is, itself, encircled by lounge chairs, is not a quiet location when there are many passengers on deck. I would give the ship itself 4 stars. There is a lot to see, and a lot of places to just walk around and explore. But in many respects it fails to connect the passenger with the ocean, which is really the purpose of taking a cruise in the first place. THE SHIP: TECHNOLOGY When and if it works, this will be a positive. Restaurant servers take all orders on electronic tablets. Guest Services employees also use electronic tablets to answer questions. The problem is that everything requires reservations, and these often take way too long standing in line to make. I tried to make as many reservations in advance, on-line, as I could. But often the RCCL reservation system was “on vacation”, as its error message proclaimed, or stated that reservations needed to be made onboard rather than in advance, on the internet. Perhaps Type-B personalities are OK with this, but a strong Type-A personality will find this to be exasperating. As an example of the lines, when we first boarded (and after we had left our luggage in our cabin) we went to get something to eat. The restaurants such as American Icon and Chic had lines in front of them, so we got on line thinking it was to sit down. We quickly discovered that these lines were for passengers trying to book seating reservations for that night. There were no restaurants serving lunch; only the buffet in Windjammer. This was not clearly conveyed, and could have been avoided by more information up front. As an example of a technical problem, the night I went down to the gift store to pick up a few things, none of the registers were working. All merchandise had to be manually written on a paper invoice, passengers had to present their key card to identify themselves as their RFID bracelets did not include their name or room number, and tax was manually calculated. (Yes, Royal Caribbean said that since they were not in International waters, they needed charged New York sales tax, despite us being in the ocean, sailing south towards Virginia. On top of this, the clerk somehow calculated $46 tax on a $38 purchase and thought nothing about it being wrong until I brought it to his attention. He then had to rewrite the entire receipt.) An interesting tech feature is that the photo gallery on the Quantum is all digital. The ship does not print reams of photos, most of which are not purchased and therefore destroyed after each voyage. Instead, everything is digital. You can view the pictures they take on one of the many screens in the gallery and then select which ones you want printed; no waste. I was curious, however, as to why the photo gallery was empty of any passengers on this cruise. The attendant told me that because the ship was not in International waters they were not permitted to take and sell any photos onboard (hence the reason no one was taking pictures at every table in the dining rooms). I asked about the embarkation photo that we had taken and he found it in the system using our room number (apparently only a few people had one taken) and gave it to us complimentary. So that was the one, and only, perk we received from sailing on one of the pre-inaugural cruises to nowhere. I would give the ship’s technology 3 stars. I am sure it will get better, once all of the kinks are worked out and the crew gets used to it. I am also certain that RCCL will data mine the Big Data information they collect from their RFID bracelets and make changes to make a more pleasurable experience for all of their guests. But on this cruise, the technology got in the way and may have even stressed some crewmembers out to the point that they were more focused on their tablets than on the passenger asking them a question. ACTIVITIES On deck, there is an abundance of unique activities. In addition to Flow Rider, there are Bumper Cars, the simulated Sky Diving experience, and North Star. Unfortunately, on this cruise there were lines for everything and everything booked up before we could try anything. iFly, for example, was never open for reservation on-line, but was booked solid by the time we even got down there to inquire about reservations. That was extremely disappointing in regards to North Star. I had made my reservation on this ship more than a year in advance, and the one thing I wanted to do was to go up the arm to take some pictures of the ship. Yet at every turn there was an issue and misinformation provided by the crew. At first there was simply a long line, but no reservations needed. Then it was put in the flyer left in the cabin that tickets would be required the next day. Guest Services apparently did not get this memo for when I went there bright and early they still said no reservations were required. On deck, however, there was a line that stretched to the bow. This was not the line to get on North Star; it was the line to get a ticket to come back later to get on. And the most galling thing of all was that when the end of the line finally got up to where they were giving out tickets (actually, a blue circular sticker of some sort), the person in charge announced “I only have 16 left”. At that point, there were probably still 50 people waiting in line who had been there all along. There was no apology from the person giving out tickets to those who did not get one, nor was there what I would call an “empowered decision” by that person or someone in the crew to give the remaining 35 people a ticket and say, “OK, this is a 2 night cruise, this is the last day of the cruise, these people have waited in line, we’re going to keep North Star open an extra hour today to accommodate everyone.” That, in my opinion, was poor information, poor planning, poor execution and poor customer satisfaction. I would give the ship’s activities, on this cruise, 1 star. Surely that will improve, too, but not until Royal Caribbean figures out an equitable way to handle reservations. Perhaps they might want to ask Disney for some help with crowd management. ENTERTAINMENT There are 3 main attractions on this ship as far as I am concerned: Sonic Odyssey, Star Water, and Mama Mia. The first of these, Sonic Odyssey, features something known as the Earth Harp. This instrument, which, uses the natural acoustics of the room was developed by a contestant on the TV show America’s Got Talent. Unfortunately, its performance was not previewed on our cruise. When I asked Guest Services about it they simply said that the show was still in production. It would have been nice had RCCL mentioned this on their web site BEFORE the cruise, for those of us who wanted to experience it, but again communication is not Royal Caribbean’s strong suit. The second of the shows, Star Water, is a mess. Plain and simple, Royal Caribbean might want its guests to say WOW, but after seeing this show it was another 3-letter acronym beginning with “W” that came to mind. Since the reservations for this show were not an option on-line, and it was also booked solid from the moment we stepped aboard, my wife and I had to wait in the standby line for a half-hour. When we were allowed inside, one entire section was empty but being held for Gold Card Members, or whatever. So we had to stand in back. Eventually, once the show started, this vacant section was opened so that passengers who were standing could sit. My question is, why is RCCL reserving a section of the room for Gold passengers who waited in line without reservations? Star Water is a 1 hour show without focus, without a theme, and without hope. That is my opinion, which was shared by some of the other passengers I spoke with while on board. Only one person I talked with loved it, but they also admitted it was the first cruise they had ever been on and the first show on a cruise they had ever seen. My guess is that they did not have a lot to compare it against. The best I can do to describe the production is to say that it is sort of blues, interpretative dance, and 20s music rolled together. The venue of Two-70 is great; don’t get me wrong. The technology is intriguing. But the production did not do the venue or the technology justice. I knew there was something wrong with the show when I found myself being more interested watching the giant jellyfish on the screens than the performers. Star Water is not high energy; nor is it something memorable. It began with a production that sounded like they might be warming up to do a Madonna song (Vogue), but all they did was sing the single line, “Strike a pose”. Next it looked like maybe they were going to do a James Bond theme song, but again, all they did was sing the same single line, “Diamonds are Forever”, over and over, without ever completing the song. It was…. bad. I judge a cruise ship performance based on how I felt during, and after it, and whether I would want to see it a second time. I honestly have to say that I regret seeing this one even once, as it took an hour away that I could have spent elsewhere on the ship. Fortunately, the third show was Mama Mia, and it was phenomenal. You need to be a fan of Broadway musicals to enjoy it, and it does not hurt to enjoy the music of ABBA. But if you are, this was a great experience and 2 ½ hours well spent. Judging from the standing ovation given at the end of the show, I would say most of the audience felt the same way. My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed this musical and would definitely have seen it again, had we the opportunity. I would give the ship’s entertainment, on this cruise, 2 stars. That is because Sonic Odyssey was not shown, Star Water was a 0, and Mama Mia was a 5. Again, just my opinion. DINING Dining on the Quantum of the Seas was a mess. It is sort of sad to say that the best food, and the best service, was at the buffet in Windjammer. But that is the truth. I called up weeks prior to the cruise to try to make my restaurant reservations. For the first night I selected Silk, based on the menu shown on-line. I was told that there are no reservations before 7 PM because the ship was leaving at 8 PM, the muster drill was an hour before departure, and the restaurants would not open until after the muster drill. Well, this was totally wrong as the muster drill was about 4 or 4:30 and the restaurant opened at 5:30. There was no line at 5:30 so my wife and I walked right up, right in, and were seated at a table for 2 immediately, without reservations. That was a pleasant surprise. The fact that the menu we were handed not only did not match what was on line, but did not match what was on the onboard TV screens, was disappointing. Usually I have a hard time deciding what to select from a cruise menu because so much looks good. On this cruise, it was the opposite. Most items did not sound appealing so it was hard to select something. I had the Sake Salmon, which was good, while my wife had the Hibachi beef and said it was so tough it was not edible. The desserts were not good. For the first time ever, I actually left a restaurant on a cruise still feeling hungry. The second night we ate at Grande. Why had reservations for 8:15 and wound up standing in the same, single line as folks who did not have a reservation. Go figure. The food here was definitely better than at Silk the night before, but the service was slow and the portions seemed abnormally small. (i.e., the lobster tails entrée are smaller than the prawns appetizer.) Unless you like getting dressed up for dinner, it is not worth bringing the suit or gown onboard just for this. Somehow, however, I suspect that most loyal RCCL passengers do enjoy playing dress-up. For breakfast and lunch we ate at the American Icon. This was a fiasco. Service was painfully slow and not organized. As an example, for breakfast my wife and I each ordered tea, juice, a menu item and a side. Our tea came, but was the wrong kind (no big deal). The main item came 10 minutes later, by which time we had finished our tea. About two-thirds of the way through eating the main item, the side finally came. And the juice? That did not come until we were finished eating and getting ready to get up and leave. For lunch it was a similar scenario, but this time with dessert not coming until 23 minutes after we ordered it. (Yes, I timed this one.) When asked where dessert was, all our server said was that it was very confused in the kitchen. Perhaps I would not have minded had the food been great, but it was just…. meh. Now, Windjammer was good. They were crowded, so finding a table for 2 took a little bit of scouting out, but the food was fine, with a nice assortment and variety. Had I been on this ship for a 7 night cruise, my guess is I would have wound up in Windjammer for several meals simply to avoid the menu and service in the restaurants. I should note that there appeared to be few places on board at which one could to get a late, midnight snack. That was disappointing. I would give the ship’s dining, on this cruise, 2 stars. If this is typical of Royal Caribbean’s fleet wide menu, it needs some serious work. THE CREW We did not have a lot of interaction with the crew on this cruise. For one, there was not an officer to be seen. For two, most of the crew members we saw (other than the room stewards) had their faces buried in their electronic tablets. Perhaps this voyage was part of the shake down trips used as a stress test for the crew. If so, they failed as it seemed any crewmember we passed was deeply absorbed in their own issues. I am not asking for much, really. But at very least, when I ask a question and preface it by saying that the last person just told me something that was incorrect, be apologetic and give me the correct information. This did not happen on this trip. I would give the ship’s crew, on this cruise, 1 star. I would also make the suggestion that they need to maintain a little more eye contact with the passenger standing in front of them, and a little less on the electronic device in their hand. MISINFORMATION OMG, the problems here were legion. I cannot even get into all of them, other than to say that they began MONTHS before we even left, with the RCCL website not functioning, getting emails from RCCL that say “Book your entertainment now”, yet then giving you links that say “Oops, our site is on vacation”, and RCCL phone representatives giving completely erroneous information. The previous cited example of the Northstar first not needing reservations, then needing reservations, is just the tip of the iceberg. It goes much deeper. Even simple things like asking the hostess in front of American Icon, “what time is breakfast tomorrow” and being told “7:30”, then showing up at 7:30 only to be told “We don’t open till 8 am”, without so much as an apology. Just getting on the ship was another example. My ticket instructed me that boarding would not be before 2:30. When I called to confirm, I was told that I should not arrive at the pier any earlier than 2:00. We decided to hedge our bets in case there was a lot of traffic, and arrived at 1:30. Not only was one parking lot already completely filled, but there were a ton of people already onboard. Why? Because apparently boarding actually began as early as 10:45 AM! That was why all of the reservations were taken by the time we got there “early”. Here is just one more. Before sailing, while on the phone with RCCL, I asked if the Duty Free shop would be open. I was told certainly, it would be. Yet on the cruise, they had signs in the Duty Free shop that said “No Liquor & Tobacco Sales due to Inaugural Cruise. Thank you for your understanding”. This was extremely disappointing and should have been mentioned somewhere on line in the information about this particular cruise. I asked why there was no liquor bottles being sold and was told that it was because we were not cruising in international waters. (This was the same reason given for why the embarkation photos were free and why they were charging NY tax on souvenirs.) Yet, at the end of the cruise, when we were all given custom forms to fill out, I asked why. I was told it was because we had technically left the country by sailing offshore in international waters. Huh? Someone needs to get their story straight. If we were in international waters, why no duty free sales? And if we were not in international waters, why the custom forms when we docked? I don’t generally have to pass through customs and declare my purchases when travelling from one state to another. Finally, to be picky, on the drive to the cruise terminal I heard an ad on the radio for the Quantum of the Seas. I thought it was quite a coincidence since that was where I was heading, so I paid attention. At the end of the commercial they proudly proclaimed, “Now sailing from New York!” Um, RCCL, check a map. Bayonne is in New Jersey, not New York, and it rather insulting to us New Jersey residents to hear such things being said. The Quantum of the Seas sails from NEW JERSEY. For the lack of correct information both prior to and throughout the cruise, I give 0 stars. DISEMBARKATION Leaving the ship was super-fast. We had breakfast in Windjammer at 6 AM, took one last stroll around the deck to see the NYC Skyline and the harbor, then grabbed our bags and walked off shortly before 7 AM. No lines, no waiting. We were in our car and heading back to the turnpike within about 10 minutes. CONCLUSION The bottom line is this, if you are a loyal Royal Caribbean customer you will probably love this ship and have a great time on her. This was our first experience with RCCL, wanting to give them a try, experience the new ship first hand, and also try sailing from New Jersey instead of Manhattan. The Bayonne experience was good; fast and easy. The new ship is gorgeous, no question. The staff, and RCCL itself, hmmm – that is where I find much fault. We went in with the perception that RCCL was supposed to be a cut above some of the other cruise lines, but left with the feeling that they are not. The problem is that they think that they are. Overall, it is questionable whether I would sail on RCCL again. It would depend on the destination, the price, and what alternative options I have. Personally, for my money, I am sticking with Norwegian Cruise Lines.   Read Less
Sail Date: November 2014
Just off the 2 night sampler in Bayonne. For background I am a Diamond member - mid 40's - living in Bayonne. Took the weekend trip with my 20 year old nephew as the interior guarantee was $1000 for the cabin but then we got upgraded ... Read More
Just off the 2 night sampler in Bayonne. For background I am a Diamond member - mid 40's - living in Bayonne. Took the weekend trip with my 20 year old nephew as the interior guarantee was $1000 for the cabin but then we got upgraded to a Balcony Obstructed view at no charge. Overall ..nice new ship, upgraded and luxurious details, the stylish decor makes it feel very much like an upscale shopping mall/ resort. First - I would not pay for a DO balcony -- the lifeboat covers all the glass area and you can only see out across the horizon. Second - the outside smoking area on the side of the ship means you get wind blown smoke when sitting on the balcony. Smoking in the casino area also means the place reeks of it ...then it floats upward to the open staircase area on the 2 upper decks where the stores are. There is talk they will ban smoking in the casino but it has not happened on this trip. Windjammer went upscale in appearance .. the fresh baked breads and cookies are a major draw. The food, .. lots of curries and asian inspired flavors not to my liking but you can get a salad or sandwich and be happy. Kudos to the hand washing station when you walk in ... sinks with soap and water vs just using Purell station. Tried Icon for lunch and it was ok - nothing special Tried Seaplex hot dog and it was flavorful. Cafe 270 is beautiful and easy to grab a freshly made salad or sandwich vs buffet at Windjammer. I plan to eat more meals here on my Feb cruise. I did not try to make dinner reservations anywhere but it seemed to be a pain ....between that and the reservations for shows there were long lines, technology frustrations and to me it just seemed annoying to have to plan and plan vs just showing up when you felt like it. As this was only a 2 night cruise I did not want to be hassled with it.....same for ifly and northstar...too many people and too short a time. Solarium is amazing - beautiful and serene ...was enjoying the hot tub until people came along with their small children to sit in the tub with them ... really ? sign says 16 or older for the ENTIRE area. I got up and left as there was no one around to complain to...being a 2 night cruise I felt it better to just walk away then confront them. I hope they police the area more on the longer cruises.. i don't need to hear kid noise when I am trying to chill. Lots of small venues throughout the ship to explore and enjoy or just sit and people watch. Overall it was a nice weekend away and now I have an overview for my Feb trip. Being in Bayonne means there were no travel hassles..got off ship by 7 and took taxi.   Read Less
Sail Date: November 2014
My wife and I recently sailed on this beautiful new ship for a three night "sampler cruise to nowhere". Arrival and parking was a breeze. Inside the terminal it was a little crazy, agents standing all over with tablets. There ... Read More
My wife and I recently sailed on this beautiful new ship for a three night "sampler cruise to nowhere". Arrival and parking was a breeze. Inside the terminal it was a little crazy, agents standing all over with tablets. There were a few traditional stands also. It went ok but we were there very early, 10:30. I imagine with lots of people it would be chaos. We were able to get into our cabin at12:30. We were on deck 11 with a balcony. The hallways seem narrower than on other ships. Our room was nicely laid out, but again it was narrow. There is no table in front of the couch. If there had been, the room would have been very small. The person sleeping on the window side of the bed will find it difficult to maneuver between the drapes and bed. The restroom was great and the shower was roomy. The room service menu continues to be reduced, especially complementary items. Our mini bar was not stocked until the last evening of the cruise. A sewer smell in our cabin was handled quickly on day two after calling maintenance. The elevators were never all working at the same time. It was all rather odd. You would press up and suddenly end up going down or stopping on floors not pressed. We ended up changing elevators a couple of times. RCI is really pushing technology, meaning buy their internet package. We found we could accomplish just as much by using the cabin TV or going to Guest Services and using their tablets. Speaking of TV, the channels in the cabins are very limited. Free movies are no longer an option, however the movies for a fee have greatly increased. That seems to be a very common theme. Many many things and options which used to be free are no longer. Much has changed since my first cruise 10 years ago. We went to Vintages the wine bar and the first two wines we requested were not available. The server said only about 60% of the wine was on board. We also experienced this in Wonderland, one of the premium dining venues. Shopping was a disappointment due to no alcohol being for sale. The store was fully stocked however they could not sell. When we booked we paid full price, but we certainly felt RCI was treating this as a discount, test run. If that was the case they should have affected lower prices. On day two we attended a travel agent seminar with RCI executives, including the COO. During this question answer session an executive said the staff are trained to ask guests about food allergies, we were never asked. They also stated a guest can always request standard items not found on the menu, such as grilled chicken, steak, etc. At dinner that night in American Icon I requested the steak on the menu outside the venue and on the TV menu. I was told it was no longer available and had been replaced. I asked for any type of steak and was told there was none available. I was not even asked what I would like in place of a steak. We told a supervisor about the seminar and statements made by RCI executives, yet no response and no steak. We were able to get on Northstar after a two hour wait. RCI should look for a better way to manage the line and prevent last minute line jumping. Maybe pass out numbers to people when they come up. We enjoyed Northstar, but on a normal cruise in warm weather probably not worth two hours. The ship does not offer a complementary venue offering hamburgers, french fries and hot dogs on the pool deck as you traditionally find. The complementary venue has been replaced by Johnny Rockets, for a fee. Not only a fee but a 15% gratuity on your milkshake. Mamma Mia was fantastic. The comedian was great, the show in 270, Starwater, was visually stunning however the performance was disjointed. The performers were great and derserve a better platform to feature their talents. Spa is huge and very professional.   Read Less
Sail Date: November 2014
The Quantum of the Seas, while the 3rd largest cruise ship, did not have the overwhelming sense of scale that the Oasis class ships have. It had the intimate feel of a much smaller ship. On my cruise, which was the first paid cruise after ... Read More
The Quantum of the Seas, while the 3rd largest cruise ship, did not have the overwhelming sense of scale that the Oasis class ships have. It had the intimate feel of a much smaller ship. On my cruise, which was the first paid cruise after the TA, there were many technical issues: Northstar's lines were so long, that I never made it to this feature. Also, it broke down often. The Bionic Bar's POS system was buggy, and couldn't read most passengers' sea passes or wow bands. Also, we watched it do its entertaining bit--the two robots danced--and then one of the robots immediately after crashed into equipment and broke it, and then died. There were a lot of issues with Internet, which is touted as the fastest of any ship. On a 3-night cruise, with the highest end internet package, we didn't have useable service in our Grand Suite until the 2nd night. But technical issues can all be worked out. The biggest issue was 2nd-hand cigarette smoke from the Casino. The ship is laid out to have a large stairwell going from the deck 4 esplanade to the casino. Smoke from the casino could be smelled on every part of the 2-deck esplanade. Also, in two restaurants on Deck 3, Chic and The Grand. There was no way a non-smoker could avoid it.   Read Less
Sail Date: November 2014
I sailed with my family aboard the Quantum of the Seas, sampler cruise, for 2 nights. Since the ship was not stopping at any ports, the whole reason was to "sample" the ship. Unfortunately my family and I could not do much ... Read More
I sailed with my family aboard the Quantum of the Seas, sampler cruise, for 2 nights. Since the ship was not stopping at any ports, the whole reason was to "sample" the ship. Unfortunately my family and I could not do much sampling. However, I will start with the "pros". I was upgraded to a balcony room, which was nice. Did not get to really use the balcony as it was a frigid 32 degrees and windy most of the time, but still nice. The room was spacious and toiletries were provided. The staff was very friendly and accommodating for the most part, especially in the restaurants and bars. The ship itself is beautiful and huge. Inside cabins had really cool virtual balconies that displayed a high def projections of the ocean in real time. Bionic Bar- the best part of the ship. Robots make the drinks after you order through an iPad. A fun novelty to watch and a cool futuristic bar to hang out in. The spa was awesome and received an amazing deep tissue massage. Ok, now for the cons: The elevators was ALWAYS full and numerous times a few were out of service. Here is my biggest issue. As I mentioned this cruise was to sample the ship and all it had to offer. Skydiving simulator, North Star, bumper cars, shows, restaurants, etc. On Friday, the first day of the cruise, I went to guest services to find out if I could make a reservation for the sky dive simulator (iFly) and was told I could not and to just go there and wait on line. When I did go there and try to wait on line the next day, we were informed that it was sold out and that we needed tickets. No one mentioned needing tickets. The same for the North Star, also sold out because tickets were required. There was nothing that said anything about having to reserve tickets, nor did any employees make this clear. It also was not stated on the itinerary that was left in the cabin. Therefore, we were not able to "sample" these activities. Restaurants also were always booked and it was near impossible to get a reservation. Bumper cars? Get in line, for about half the day. Coffee, get in line again. Lines, lines, lines, everywhere. If your clothes are wrinkled, you have one option- send them out to get pressed. $18 and 5 hours later for 3 items my clothing came back still wrinkled. There is no iron in the room. I was also told I was not allowed to use my own hair dryer and had to use the one provided (a tiny travel sized one that would have taken half the day to dry my long hair). Seating areas along cafe's and bars were always covered in dirty dishes and glasses. Nothing was ever cleaned up, and I found myself eating amongst lunches and beverages of those who came before me. This was actually pretty gross. Shows were sold out before I even boarded. I had tried to make reservations through the website a couple of weeks in advance, but nothing was close to being available. Food in the restaurants always came lukewarm. All in all, I really did not get to sample much on this ship, except 2 restaurants, some fancy hot chocolate, part of a show, and a massage. Too many people, and way too crowded. These mega ships may seem amazing however, keep in mind you may be one of over 4,000, therefore you will not get to experience all the ship has to offer.   Read Less
Sail Date: November 2014
Let me start by saying that I loved this ship. I loved the layout, the activities, and the location of all the venues. The pool area is large and the kiddie pool is adjacent to the adult pool, which is nice for both adults and children. ... Read More
Let me start by saying that I loved this ship. I loved the layout, the activities, and the location of all the venues. The pool area is large and the kiddie pool is adjacent to the adult pool, which is nice for both adults and children. There are many choices for breakfast and lunch other than the Windjammer Buffet (deck 14) located on decks 4 and 5. Our balcony cabin was comfortable and the storage space was phenomenal. Here's the rub: We did experience severe delays in service in both the American Icon Grill and Chic. I have never seen a waiter take our drink order, our food order, bus the table, and delivery the food. We spend 2 hours at each restaurants and didn't stay for dessert in either place because we were just too tired of sitting. The choice of menus in each were limited and I would recommend skipping the American Icon Grill altogether. The food is cafeteria-worthy. It was annoying that I could get a particular glass of wine at one restaurant and not at the another. Our tv was not interactive and froze every time we pressed a button. The Sea-Plex on deck 15 is amazing and the bumper cars fun, fun, fun. I guess they will have to work out the kinks, but overall I would recommend this ship. Just be aware that dinner is an adventure!!! Read Less
Sail Date: November 2014
Fantastic: wifi - It's amazingly fast everywhere and I couldn't get over how well it worked. The wrist bands than allow you to shop, drink, and open your cabin doors , get into shows etc. I mean you get a cabin key and you simply ... Read More
Fantastic: wifi - It's amazingly fast everywhere and I couldn't get over how well it worked. The wrist bands than allow you to shop, drink, and open your cabin doors , get into shows etc. I mean you get a cabin key and you simply have to tap it to the lock to open but you also get wristbands that do the same thing. Truly game changing two70- It's a lounge it's a lobby it's a show place I don't know what to call it but it's flippin amazing! I could sit in here all day and read lounge drink, chat , I can't say enough about this room. PS the DJ in here that played at night was SO GOOD! The show they do in here- hard to describe but saw it twice it was THAT good! Mama Mia- No watered down Version here this is the whole enchilada complete with an intermission- think of it this way you booked a cruise and got tickets to a hot Broadway show as well. Yes, it's that good! Cabins- Really nice and comfy and tons of storage - well done! Pretty Decent: Food- Overall I was pretty impressed, Had a great meal in silk- ( Get the Asian Flank Steak)- Loved the hot cookies at the Windjammer- nice touch- Was impressed with the buffet in general. Lots of for fee places to eat but trust me- you'll never go hungry. Loved the Starbucks like venue outside 270- Just OK:No Main dining room- I kind of miss that and if leaving a show you will have to wait to check in at your restaurant. BE SURE TO BOOK RESERVATIONS IN ADVANCE. The public spaces are amazing. Now I'm totally pumped for Anthem! Read Less
Sail Date: November 2014
Quantum of the Seas: B2B Sampler Cruises 18-23 November 2014 In my opinion Quantum is an amazing and very beautiful ship. I was a bit scared after reading some very negative reviews, but I take things like reviews with a grain of salt. ... Read More
Quantum of the Seas: B2B Sampler Cruises 18-23 November 2014 In my opinion Quantum is an amazing and very beautiful ship. I was a bit scared after reading some very negative reviews, but I take things like reviews with a grain of salt. So, despite some not so pleasant reviews from the maiden voyage, I remained extremely excited and optimistic. And I must say Quantum did not disappoint. Pictures do not do her justice. The minute she came into sight, with Felicia Bear standing proud next to the Sea Plex I knew that any fears were unfounded. She stood majestic and grand next to the new Cape Liberty. The décor is very elegant, sleek and carries the futuristic theme well. It is made for relaxation. The brown, blue and silver tones are lovely. The furnishings, a Danish Modern style, also convey the theme. They do not look cheap at all to me. They are not tropical or festive, but that is not what I expected from this ship. Although I can see the Royal connection, it is not like any other Royal ship, so those people that expect such may be disappointed. Quantum…this changes everything… Things worked very smoothly for us, from embarkation, to dining and show reservations, to on board activities, B2B transfer to disembarkation. That being said, the ship is a technological marvel and still experiencing some growing pains. We had a few minor problems. And I am listing them so you can see how minor they were. They made no difference at all in our cruise enjoyment. •WOW bands worked less than more in the shops, although we had no problem with room access •The B2B switch was a bit confusing and no one seemed to know how it would work, because it changes all the time. BUT it did go relatively smooth even though they put all our cards and bands in the room and none on the door, LOL. •I like dynamic dining in concept very much but the menus are a bit limited in each venue. I only eat shellfish and not regular fish. There were no shell fish entrees in Chic, American Icon, or Silk and my choices were a bit limited in terms of chicken or vegetarian. I found something every night, but it could be difficult on longer cruises. •There was no plain cream cheese in Café Two70 and my husband likes a bagel with plain cream cheese for breakfast. He does not do flavors. •No towel animals, not a one. I love them and missed them. •No Royal IQ for Android Embarkation/Cape Liberty: We live 35 minutes from the port, so this was really easy and nice not to have to fly. Cape Liberty is definitely improved. The new terminal is not elegant, but it is functional. The parking deck is not built but parking is convenient right across the street. We took the shuttle when we arrived, but it is just as easy to walk across the street. When we arrived, they did not ask if we wanted to check our luggage and just waived us in the building, so this took us more time as we had to back ourselves through check point and into front of building to check our luggage. It only took us an extra 10 minutes so it was not a big issue. They should ask when you arrive rather than just waive people in. Other than that minor issue, check in was quick and smooth. They have guest service people with tablets to check people in. They do have a few counters but we used an agent that was walking around. It took less than 10 minutes. We were early so waiting until they called diamond boarding, but that was not long either. It is nice that they you can get right on the ship via escalator and gangway now. All in all embarkation at Cape Liberty is very quick for Quantum. We arrived at 10:15 and were on the ship by 11:00am. Bravo to the hard working Cape Liberty staff and Royal. This is a new terminal and process and everyone worked hard to make it as pain free as possible. RoyalIQ: Not available for android yet, unfortunately. We didn’t use it on the ship since I had all the shows and dining booked before arriving. RFID: There is a card on the door that can be used prior to rooms being opened and then another card and wristbands were in the cabin. The bands are still not perfected. They rarely worked in the shops, and we had to use our cards or if they did not work either they wrote a check. This is one of the few things they we had any consistent issue with. It was not a big issue, just a tiny annoyance. I am sure it will be worked out with time. Royal Esplanade/Via: I liked the look and feel of the Esplanade. It is more intimate feeling than the royal promenade, but have the same character but on two levels rather than one large space. Some old favorites like the Shop, Port Merchants, Sorrento’s, Guest Relations, Café Promenade. There are more high end shops. For me these were a waste. I don’t go on a cruise to buy expensive jewelry or handbags, or clothes. Not a big deal, we just walked passed them. I would like the Shop to be bigger. It seemed like the most popular shop with the least amount of space.The Via is gorgeous elegant space. I love the beige and pale green tone, the beautiful sculpture and the comfy chairs along the windows. Very nicely done. I love all the places to relax on Quantum. Two70: This is fabulous space. There are so many comfortable seating areas with a view to die for. It is nice to be able to get food from the café and sit and relax in Two70 to eat. It is very popular place to hang to out. A definite winner. SeaPlex: A fun place. We loved the bumper cars. We saw people roller skating, playing basket ball, playing ping pong, air hockey and video games. A great, fun indoor space. We did not see the circus school in action. North Star: One word, incredible. The view was breathtaking. It goes up very smoothly; it was not scary at all for me. It feels very secure. They were having technical issues, I think due the hydraulic fluid not being designed for cold weather. It is just something else that needs to work itself out. We got to go on it and it was great though. Yes, the lines were long due to the issues they were facing, but for us they were very fare. We waited on line and while we were on line it has issues and stopped for the day. They took our names and put us on wait list for the next day. The thing is you have to be willing to wait it out and not walk off if it stops. Wait till they take names. We got on the second run the very next day. I know it was cold and the lines were long, I was cold and tired, but there is a lot of technology here. Give them a break, it is all new stuff. It needs to be beta tested. I’m ok with it. I got on, it was amazing, I’m happy. IFly: It looked very cool and we signed up for the last day, but under estimated the time for the All Access Tour so missed our slot. People we talked to said it was great fun and not all that hard. You just have to stay relaxed and don’t tense up. Guess we have to go back. : ) Vitality at Sea Spa/Gym: I had a nice facial and my husband a Swedish massage. Both were nice. It is typical cruise spa, although they did not give us the option of using other facilities such as sauna or steam room like they did on other ships. No pressure to buy products which was nice. Gym is nicely appointed and I love having the treadmills along the large windows. I missed the windows on Oasis. Glad to see they are back. Seems to be plenty of equipment and it was not overly crowded even at 7am in the morning, which is usually prime time. Pools: Outdoor: Loved the look of the outdoor pools. It was too cold to use them, but they are very well done. I love the main pool that has the chairs in the water. The H2O zone is cool with a zero entry pool and also a current pool. The outdoor movie screen is very cool. I think it looks fine on the side. The area is bigger in person than it looks in pictures. Indoor: This is great space. Plenty of chairs and well laid out. Again, love the chairs in the water. It is warm, but not as warm as the solarium Solarium: This is my favorite place on the entire ship. It is drop dead gorgeous. I love the multi-level pools and the huge hot tubs. There are so many lovely areas to sit and relax. It reminds me of Oasis but nicer. Oasis Solarium on steroids! It is just breathtaking when it is lit up at night. Dynamic Dining Overview: I actually like the concept very much. It feels more like an elegant hotel than a cruise banquet. I can see people that like the banquet idea and having the same wait staff for the entire cruise, not liking it as much, but for me the concept worked. We asked for a table for two every night, but most nights ended up chatting with our neighbors. We socialized more with dynamic dining than on a traditional dining cruise. On traditional cruises we always asked for a big table and ended up a alone. This time we ended up talking to our neighbors most nights. People just seemed more sociable. I feel like the social experience is not as forced and people are more relaxed and talkative. The only thing I was not totally happy with was the entrée selection in the “free” restaurants. I felt they were limited. I eat mostly shell fish, chicken and vegetarian. I don’t eat regular fish. Every “free” restaurant offered 2-3 regular fish dishes, chicken, beef and vegetarian. No shell fish entrée at all. So every night I was stuck with only 2 selections and if I did not care for the way chicken or pasta was prepared it left me wanting. The food all tasted excellent, it is just the limited selection that concerns me. I know there are alternative menus in all venues, but I have never before had to resort to asking for one and this is my 11th cruise with RCI. American Icon: I like the décor and general theme of the restaurant. The appetizers were excellent. I had the Ruben turnover and my husband had the clam chowder and we both loved our choices. I did find the entrée selection lacking in this venue. I don’t eat fish so I was left with fried chicken (which I don’t care for), turkey (which is not my favorite) or fettuccini (a bit heavy for me). I went with fettuccini, and it was tasty, but I felt like I was forced it into it, by lack of choice. My husband had turkey and it was good. The desserts were excellent. We did not return here for dinner due to lack of entrée choice. We did eat breakfast here one day. It is important to note they stop serving breakfast at 9:30am. Chic: My favorite of the three “free” restaurants that we ate at. The décor is light and pleasant. I loved the crab cake appetizer and the chicken dish and prime rib were outstanding. For me it had the best selection of entrées Silk: We ate in Silk the first night. It is PanAsian cuisine. The décor is lovely and exotic. I really liked it. My husband is traditionalist so it was a stretch for him. The appetizers were outstanding. I had a shrimp appetizer that was amazing. My chicken dish was Indian and very delicious too. My husband had Hibachi Steak that was good too. Café Two70: This is a great place to grab a quick bite. We liked having breakfast here. Here is where I get my café mocha. I like it better than from Starbucks. Our only complaint is that they only had flavored cream cheese and my husband likes plain. Johnny Rockets: Johnny Rockets has changed its concept for the Quantum of the Seas. It is now an 'a la carte' take away restaurant. While they still have table seating, they do not offer table service. Orders are placed at the counter and taken by the guest, cafeteria style. Although I missed the table service a bit, I honestly felt it was a better dining alternative for us. The only thing I did not like was the outdoor seating, since it was cold we could not use it. Windjammer: The Windjammer is another standard item on Royal Caribbean. It is very much like every other Windjammer. Did not have trouble getting a seat even during busy times. There was always something toward the back, even if the front was full. For lunch, they have a Mediterranean station, Pan Asian, grill, salads, hot entrees, a small selection of pre-made sandwiches, fruit, desserts and the best cookies anywhere. I absolutely love Royal Caribbean cookies. Patisserie: Starbucks is located here. They also have candy, macaroons, pastry and cupcakes. All items here are for charge. Dreamworks Character Breakfast: We did this the second day and it was great fun, even without children. We were seated with a big family with two young children. After a brief awkwardness we all relaxed and had a blast. They do a nice job with the Dreamworks experience in my opinion. For the breakfast each character comes out, does a little dance and then everyone gets to have a picture with each. We had three, Shrek, Fiona and PussNBoots (my favorite so I was a happy camper). There were also Characters in the Esplanade frequently. They are there but not intrusive. Very nicely done. D2Balcony: This was my first time not in a suite and I was a little nervous. The cabin was fine. It was extremely well laid out with lots of storage. I pack heavy and we had no trouble with our clothing. We were in 11172 and 12164 and had the bed by the door arrangement. We also did two cabin crawls and I don’t think there is a rationale to whether where the bed/couch are located. At least we could not see a pattern. The bath was also very functional. I like the curved shower door. Although the shower has a couple of chrome shelves, be advised the slats are very far apart and smaller items (razors, small bar soap) fall through often. The shave bar is a nice touch. I liked the furnishing and room colors. Soothing and again simple and elegant to match futuristic theme. The balcony was a nice size and because we were on the edge of the bump was larger and one side. There were two chairs with foot stools and a small table. Note: You can not only use your key card or a credit card in the light switch by door, but any flat object that fits will keep lights working. Shows: This is the area that Royal Caribbean really stands out. They are heads above anyone else. Mama Mia!: This was the full length Broadway version and absolutely fantastic. It was the best show I have ever seen anywhere on land or sea. The acting, music, choreography was all top notch. The cast were phenomenal. At the end the entire audience was on our feet singing and dancing. It is not to be missed. Starwater: Another winner. The special effects were just amazing. The costumes, the acting, the acrobatics all add up to a great show. Bars/Diamond Club: The Bionic Bar looked very cool, but unfortunately it is another area where some of the kinks need to be worked out. It was working on and off. It was very cool to watch when it was working. I will definitely try it the next time we are on board. The Schooner Bar is always very popular. The Music Hall had tribute bands and the décor and atmosphere look very cool. There are pool tables on the second floor. It is also the overflow room for the Diamond Club next door. That was nice because the Diamond Club is nice but too small for the number of Diamond guests and it gets very crowded in the evening. All Access Tour: This was my favorite part of the entire trip. Getting to see the inner workings of this amazing ship, was a real treat. It was well worth the money we paid for the tour. We saw the kitchens, storage areas, recycling, laundry, control room, bow (crew deck), crew galley and night clubs, and my favorite the bridge. The captain is such a sociable gentlemen. He made time to speak with us, answer our questions and even take pictures. He is approachable and witty. We received champagne and mimosas at the crew bar and got nice commemorative gifts. Seeing how hard the crew works and all they have to deal with and how much pride they take in what they do has given me new appreciation for this ship and its crew. It was such a great tour. Summary: Quantum is an amazing and beautiful ship with a hard working crew. I love everything about it, even Felicia Bear! We had a great time! I would love to go back, but not sure we have time before it leaves for Canada. I am looking forward to her sister Anthem.   Read Less

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