Spectrum of the Seas, the 25th ship in the Royal Caribbean fleet, is the world’s first Quantum Ultra ship. Based in Shanghai, it will offer roundtrip itineraries to Japan, and is the most expensive vessel purpose-built for the Chinese market.
The glittering naming ceremony, held off the coast of Shanghai this month, had Chinese travel agents and media agog at the two godparents --- Chinese film and pop stars, Xiaoming Huang and Angelababy, who are also husband and wife and akin to royalty in their own country.
Slightly bigger than Quantum-class ships, including Ovation of the Seas, which is based in Australia every summer, the 169,377-GRT Spectrum of the Seas has many of the same features, along with a few extras. Here are some of the differences offered by this new ship.
1. Restaurants showcase popular local flavours.
Sichuan Red: Specialising in Sichuan cuisine, which is known for its lashings of garlic, chilli and Sichuan pepper, this is Royal Caribbean’s nod to authentic Chinese food. Located on the Royal Esplanade on Deck 4, the restaurant has an elegant feel with banquette and table-and-chair dining, under lotus-shaped light-fittings. It’s a great place to share dishes, especially the huge Alaskan crab and the famous Kung Pao chicken, with your family or friends. While touted as hot and spicy, the delicious dishes won’t faze Australians who are used to eating a variety of Asian cuisines. Pricing is a la carte.
Hot Pot: This speciality eatery behind the Windjammer Café on Deck 14 is unique to Royal Caribbean ships cruising in Asia. Hot Pot (which is also the name of a style of cooking, called Steamboat in some Chinese communities) is more casual spot for sharing food. Two diners, sitting opposite each other, share a bubbling pot of stock, into which they place raw ingredients such as meats, seafood and vegetables, and then cook it themselves. It’s a fun and delicious way to spend a couple of hours.
Wonder of the Seas Construction Update: Sea Trials
Wonder of the Seas Completes Sea Trials
Here's What It's Like Onboard the First Large Cruise Ship to Alaska in 21 Months
Perfect Day at CocoCay: Here's How We Spent 2 DAYS at Royal Caribbean's Private Island
Freedom of the Seas: What's It Like Onboard a Test Cruise? (Cruise Critic & Royal Caribbean Blog
Live From Adventure of the Seas: What's the Same, What's Different and What's Better?
Here's What We Packed For Our Royal Caribbean Cruise (June 2021)
Celebrity to Restart from U.S. Homeport, PLUS Royal Caribbean Given Green Light for Test Cruises!
Odyssey of the Seas -- From Steel Cutting to Delivery 2021
Video Of Odyssey Of The Seas Conveyance March 2021
Royal Caribbean Group Announces E-muster, Keyless Cabin Check-in And Other App Improvements
Royal Caribbean Odyssey Of The Seas Steel Cutting At Meyer Werft
Shipyard Tour: Royal Caribbean’s Symphony Of The Seas Gets Its Finishing Touches -- Video
Harmony Of The Seas Video Tour – Inside Look At One Of Royal Caribbean’s Most Popular Cruise Ships
Symphony Of The Seas Video Tour
Royal Caribbean’s Spectrum Of The Seas Celebrates Keel Laying
Sea Beyond: An Innovative Cruise Experience By Royal Caribbean
Sneak Peak At Symphony Of The Seas
What’s Your Size? Royal Caribbean's Oasis Class Vs. Majesty Of The Seas - Video
Royal Caribbean's Oasis Of The Seas Photo Tour
Spectrum Of The Seas Steel Cutting At Meyer Werft
Royal Caribbean's Enchantment Of The Seas Highlights
Harvest Caye Cruise Port Video Tour
Photo Tour of Royal Caribbean's Allure Of The Seas
What It Means To Be Loyal To Royal
7 Can’t-Miss Experiences on Allure Of The Seas
Video Tour of Allure Of The Seas' Bars
Harmony Of The Seas Youth Place
Harmony Of The Seas Pool And Sports Zone
Harmony Of The Seas Central Park On Royal Caribbean International
Harmony Of The Seas Boardwalk
Harmony Of The Seas Entertainment Place
Harmony Of The Seas Royal Promenade
Harmony Of The Seas Vitality Spa And Fitness Center
Perfect Storm Water Slides On Harmony Of The Seas
Cruise Critic Tours Harmony Of The Seas
Harmony Of The Seas Cabins - Video Tour - Cruise Critic
Cruise Critic Tours Harmony Of The Seas
Greased Lightnin': Royal Caribbean Brings Another Broadway Hit
Plunging Into Adventure On The Tallest Slide At Sea: Royal Caribbean Reveals 10-Story Ultimate Abyss
Cruise Critic Flowrider On Royal Caribbean's Freedom Of The Seas
Cruise Critic Tours Anthem of the Seas
Anthem Of The Seas Welcomes Gigi The Giraffe
Oasis Of The Seas Flowrider - Cruise Critic Goes Surfing
Oasis Of The Seas Jazz On 4 Performance
Oasis Of The Seas Royal Promenade (2009)
Oasis Of The Seas Royal Promenade Parade (2009)
Oasis Of The Seas Carousel In Action (2009)
Oasis Of The Seas Ship Tour -- Main Dining Room (2009)
Teppanyaki: Chefs at this Japanese restaurant cook meals on an iron cooktop, known as a teppan, while putting on a performance to boot. Also known as ‘hibachi’, this style of cooking sometimes takes place in Royal Caribbean’s Izumi restaurant, but this is the line’s first self-styled teppanyaki venue.
Noodle Bar: While there are noodles bars on other Quantum ships, this one is in the expanded Grand Windjammer Marketplace. It features fresh noodles and chef demonstrations.
Leaf and Bean: Head here for traditional Chinese teas, modern bubble teas and the unusual Cheese Tea (green or black tea, with or without milk, topped with a foamy layer of milk and cream cheese and sprinkled with salt).
Splashaway Cafe: This brightly-coloured casual eatery adjacent to the kids’ pool area (Splashaway Bay) on Deck 14, serves breakfast and lunch.
Main Dining Room: Spectrum’s MDR is one big restaurant spread over three levels, with seating for 1,844 people, rather than Ovation’s four separate restaurants with different names. This is a beautiful space, with a stunning gold sculpture dangling between floors.
2. Entertainment includes new shows and karaoke.
Three new productions, with plenty of acrobatic and special effects, have been designed for the Chinese market.
Showgirl! Past. Present. Future: Staged in the Royal Theatre is a dance spectacular of Las Vegas proportions with a twist. Girls wearing bejewelled and beaded body suits topped with feathered head-wear dance with men in white top hats and tails, and later through a series of costume and set changes morph into can-can girls in Paris. According to Nick Weir, the line’s Vice President of Entertainment, there are more girls on stage on Spectrum than in the famous Moulin Rouge. The final dance sequence is a high-wire, leather-clad frolic and the best of the three production shows.
Silk Road: An extravaganza that tells the story of the famous route through dance, drumming, aerial tricks and an amazing contortionist, performed in the fantastic two-level Two70 theatre at the aft of decks 5 and 6.
Effectors: Royal Caribbean’s take on cartoon superheros uses four Effectors (a play on the term ‘special effects’) to represent a type of effect such as Pixel or Reverb, who are out to save the world through song, dance and drones.
Sing Out Loud: A night out on an Asian ship is not complete without karaoke. Star Moment, the first ‘mega karaoke bar’ to debut on Royal Caribbean’s ships, is chicly decorated with silver furniture.
3. Sky Pad is the craziest ride onboard.
Spectrum of the Seas features all the fun attractions of Ovation and Quantum but has added Sky Pad, which combines inverse bungee with trampolining. At the aft of Deck 16, the action takes place in a big, yellow, space-age ball where passengers in harnesses jump on trampolines while wearing virtual reality headsets. (This ride is also found on Independence of the Seas and Mariner of the Seas.)
4. These suites are among the best at sea.
Ultimate Family Suite: This is the only one of its kind – a two-storey, colourful mini-theme park suite that sleeps 11. It’s large enough to fit mum, dad, the kids and grandparents. Children (and adults) will love the orange slide connecting both floors, the floor-to-ceiling LEGO wall, air-hockey table, movie cinema, popcorn-making machine and wraparound balcony with a hot tub.
Exclusive Suite Club: Another first is the separate area for suite guests on Decks 13 to 16, accessed via a private elevator. There are 36 Golden and 106 Silver suites; each category with its own dining room and lounge. Gold guests have a private balcony at the bow of the ship; The Boutique is for private shopping and wine tastings; and the Golden Room is for VIP high-rollers.
5. Retail therapy comes with labels.
The Chinese are well-known for their love of designer brands, as is reflected in the shops onboard. Spectrum is the first Royal ship to carry Marc Jacobs and Titoni of Switzerland. Other stores include Tiffany’s and Bvlgari (also found on Quantum of the Seas).