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Quantum of the Seas seen from the North Star (Image: Trevor Templeman)

Just Back From Royal Caribbean's Quantum of the Seas: Hits, Misses And a Little Bit of Luck

Quantum of the Seas seen from the North Star (Image: Trevor Templeman)
Tiana Templeman

Mar 16, 2023

Read time
5 min read

With two Royal Caribbean Quantum Class ships sailing in our region for the first time this season, we were keen to try the newest addition to the local fleet, Quantum of the Seas. As it sails out of Brisbane, we could finally board a mega-ship at our home port and were out on deck sipping a refreshing cocktail 90 minutes after we left home. The perfect start to a long weekend cruise!

On our four-night round-trip sailing on Quantum of the Seas up the Queensland coast to Airlie Beach in the Whitsundays, we were reminded of the many things we love about sailing on these fun-packed Quantum class ships. We also discovered there had been a few changes onboard Royal Caribbean's Quantum class ships sailing in our region post-COVID.

Some of these were passenger pleasers, like a more efficient muster drill process and an improved Royal Caribbean app with better functionality; others were less welcome, particularly for the families and budget-conscious cruisers on our sailing. Having a great cruise on Quantum of the Seas is easy, but it also involves some advance planning and a little bit of luck.

Quantum of the Seas -- Hits

Fun in the sun on Quantum of the Seas in the Whitsundays (credit Trevor Templeman)

Quantum of the Seas Has Good Passenger Flow And Room to Move

Quantum of the Seas carries more than 4,000 passengers at full capacity, but it seldom feels like it. The ship is easy to get around, it’s rare to have to wait long for a lift, and the Royal Esplanade is ideal for leisurely strolling without having to fight your way through crowds. This thoroughfare lined with bars and cafés is also great for people watching throughout the day.

Quantum of the Seas Has a Good Choice of Breakfast Venues, Minus the Crush

Dining is similarly well managed, particularly at breakfast, with multiple complimentary cafes and dining venues taking the pressure of the Windjammer Marketplace. With options ranging from a quick grab-and-go pastry along the Esplanade to breakfast burritos, yoghurt parfaits and freshly toasted bagels at Two70 Café, or something more substantial at the Main Dining Room, you’re spared from the usual cruise ship crush at the breakfast buffet.

Quantum of the Seas Has Plenty of Indoor And Outdoor Space

Lining up for the bumper cars on Quantum of the Seas (Image: Tiana Templeman)

The SeaPlex on Deck 15 is a huge, versatile space that hosts everything from basketball matches and archery tournaments to roller skating and dodgem cars. On the level above, you’ll find ping pong tournaments and an Xbox gaming area with big screen TVs. In the evening, Two70 is transformed from a great spot to read and relax and enjoy sweeping sea views to a high-tech performance space. Passengers can also challenge themselves with the Royal Society of Puzzles, a brain-bending game where cruisers work together to try and ‘escape’ from a room by solving puzzles and finding clues.

Quantum of the Seas' Entertainment is First Rate

From the contemporary Starwater show in Two70 to Sonic Odyssey in the main theatre and the band in the Music Room who packed the dance floor, Quantum of the Seas is packed with quality entertainment options with high production values. Along with the usual pianists and a guitarist singing easy-listening classics in the Harp & Horn Pub, you’ll find a few surprises in the music venues around the ship, like a funky violinist who played classical favourites and contemporary cover versions of popular songs while wearing a floor-length cocktail dress and matching Doc Martins.

Quantum of the Seas Has Spacious, Well Appointed Cabins

Whether you’re on a tight budget or feel like a splurge, the cabins on Quantum of the Seas are spacious. If you book an inside cabin, a large floor-to-ceiling flat-screen HDTV provides real-time views of what you'd see if you had a veranda. Two-thirds of the cabins have a balcony, and many have a fold-out couch to accommodate an extra passenger. There are also single and multi-level suites, many of which have wraparound balconies. Amenities are also expanded with suites receiving access to Coastal Kitchen, an exclusive suite-only restaurant. Other benefits, which vary by suite category, can include a concierge, unlimited specialty dining and internet access, complimentary drinks and gratuities and VIP access to shows and activities. Based on our cruise, the latter would be particularly useful, particularly if you’ve opted for a shorter itinerary as we did.

Quantum of the Seas -- Misses

On deck fun and riding the North Star on Quantum of the Seas (Image: Tiana Templeman)

Some Activities on Quantum of the Seas Are No Longer Free

Australians who sailed on sister ship Ovation of the Seas pre-COVID will remember that activities like the North Star viewing capsule and iFly Skydiving Simulator used to be free. This is no longer the case except on port days. You’ll need to either get in (really, really) quick for one of the free slots when these are released the night before or pay US$19 and US$29, respectively.

On the upside, if you do opt for the paid option, they're worth the spend and more comprehensive than the free 'taster' sessions available on port days. For example, on the North Star, you’ll travel out over the ocean on both sides of the ship instead of just going up and down. The paid iFly session includes two rides instead of one, and there are fewer people in the class so you get more instructor time and don’t have to wait as long for your turn in the wind tunnel.

Activities Bookings Often Come Down to Luck on Quantum of the Seas

Booking the complimentary iFly and North Star sessions and other free activities like roller skating required Ninja-like speed on our short sailing, which only had one port day. We had no luck getting an iFly session, despite constantly refreshing the app, but we did manage to score a free ride on the North Star when we checked back later. Persistence can pay off if you keep refreshing the app, as sometimes additional sessions are added at random times of the day (and night), so don’t give up!

Final Thoughts on Quantum of the Seas

Passengers enjoying the sunset on Quantum of the Seas North Star (Photo: Tiana Templeman)

We had a ball on Quantum of the Seas and wouldn’t hesitate to sail on this ship again, despite the change in the pricing structure and booking process for some activities. Even if you don’t get lucky with the iFly or North Star, there’s plenty of other free fun to be had, like dance classes and riding the dodgem cars and the FlowRider, which operate on a first-in-line basis. When you do score one of the coveted free bookings, it feels like you’ve won the Lotto and makes your experience even sweeter.

Updated March 16, 2023
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