29 Royal Caribbean Quantum of the Seas Transatlantic Cruise Reviews

How to ruin a great ship, add lots of dinning rooms, charge extra for most, add more reservations, provide lousy service, call it dynamic dinning. Be aware menus repeat after only a few days in the complimentary dining rooms. ... Read More
How to ruin a great ship, add lots of dinning rooms, charge extra for most, add more reservations, provide lousy service, call it dynamic dinning. Be aware menus repeat after only a few days in the complimentary dining rooms. Entertainment, Mamma Mia, reservation was not available when we finally got out of the dining room, so we missed that performance. The other two main shows were not worth the price of admission, which was included. However, all the other acts were of the standard we had come to expect from RCCL, excellent. A great mixture of activities with excellent equipment and knowledgeable staff. Guest relations staff were hopeless and not very personable. Buffet food was quantity not quality. Staff were not organized, area was not very clean, tables would sit for some time before being cleared. Beverage gratuities have increased to 18%, and at least half the waiters we encountered would be over tipped at 5%. This is not what I have grown to expect at Royal Caribbean, I hope Celebrity is not going down the same path. Time for a change in management at RCCL. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
This is a brand new, very sophisticated ship. Some things work really well and some don't. Unsurprisingly the most impressive bright spots I recall involve crew members doing a particularly good job. The technology never really shined ... Read More
This is a brand new, very sophisticated ship. Some things work really well and some don't. Unsurprisingly the most impressive bright spots I recall involve crew members doing a particularly good job. The technology never really shined and it never felt like it was making my life better (I am a tech guy from Silicon Valley, btw) but was acutely tuned to making more money for RC. Bright spots: -The cabin was great. Intelligently designed, comfortable and a pleasure to be in. -The outside dinning area on the fantail was rarely crowded and offered wonderful views. -The adults-mostly Solarium was a favorite hang out. -Watching "the Hobbit" on the giant screen, bundled up from the cold with the swimming pool water crashing from a light roll was remarkably fun and totally memorable. -Having a multitude of things I could do and almost none I had to do. -A proactive approach to encouraging everyone to wash their hands - the single most effective action to prevent spread of norovirus or other illnesses. -Hot Spice!, the Caribbean and reggae band. These guys were seriously good performers. Dark spots: -The drink package options were confusing on the website and confusing to bartenders. There were different interpretations in different places. -The supposed 'high-speed" internet wasn't but was expensive, slow and the source of the most complaints I heard. -The app they want you to use for everything is worthless. -The difference in food quality between the Windjammer cafeteria and the complementary restaurants was minimal. Service at those restaurants was very uneven and it was nearly impossible to get a second glass of wine before your entree appears. We didn't try any of the for fee places because, frankly, I live in San Francisco and can walk 3 blocks for better restaurants than they have. I'm not going on a cruise for the food. Total ripoffs: Beware the cell phone service that magically appears when you are at sea. Without giving you the option to decline you are connected to an ATT plan and if someone happens to call you it's billed @ $6/min. I wanted to take this cruise because it was a way to sail across the Atlantic for the start of a long trip in Spain. For that it was great and memorable. I discovered I'm an outlier in the cruise community though. For most people I talked with the cruise itself is the destination. I found RC obtuse to deal with prior to boarding and never felt like I got good information or advice about decisions like the drink packages. Most folks I encountered on board were veteran cruisers and more familiar with the ins and outs of the game. I was not which left me unaware of much more I could have taken advantage of and at a loss to even know what to look for. Finally, I wish we could have spent more than a few hours at each of the ports we visited. I'm not much impressed with Royal Caribbean even though I hear they are one of the best in the business. They seem to severely limit the authority of their on-board officers and managers to actually manage the operation and to be highly concerned with maximizing the per-passenger revenue. The fact I keep coming back to that point illustrates it's persistent presence. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
We went on transatlantic cruise from NJ to Barcelona and it was perfect. It was my 31st cruise, 9th on RCl. Don’t believe bad reviews, it is amazing ship. If you are looking for traditional dining, you will be disappointed, but you are ... Read More
We went on transatlantic cruise from NJ to Barcelona and it was perfect. It was my 31st cruise, 9th on RCl. Don’t believe bad reviews, it is amazing ship. If you are looking for traditional dining, you will be disappointed, but you are adventurous and willing to try different restaurants, you will love it. The variety of choices for dinner is excellent. In 11 days we did not have a bad meal, no matter which restaurant we went to. The best was Wonderland-it was amazing and unique experience and definitely worth paying for. We did all our reservation 2 month ahead from home, but any time we needed to change it on the ship, it was not a problem. We changed time a few times, change the restaurants and never had any issues on the ship. The service was pretty good, a little bit slow, especially in Coastal kitchen restaurant. Any restaurant we went to dinner it took about 2 hours to have dinner. If you want fast dinner, just go to Windjammers. The entertainment was great. Mama Mia show was the best! While we were at sea, we had afternoon show as well. The cruise director Dreu was wonderful, very entertaining and very funny. The only strange thing was they did not have Welcome aboard show or farewell show, which we usually enjoy on other cruises. We had a room all the way forward #10504 and it was great. Very spacious with a huge window from floor to ceiling (felt like a skylight), plenty of storage space and closet space. The bathroom decent size with excellent flexible shower. The bionic bar was very interesting and unique. The North Star and I-fly are amazing. The line on North Star could be very long, but if you go early or on sea days, you can get to ride within 20-30 minutes. It is great view and nice experience. For I-fly you have to make reservation, but I managed to go 2 times on different days and it was very unique experience. The music venues are very nice and offer different types of music from Latino to Jazz and classical music. The ports of call were very nice and shore excursions from the ship were reasonably priced and very good and we had very good tour guides in every port. The Caves in Palma de Majorca was the best tour of all we took. Overall it was wonderful cruise and we really enjoyed it. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
I was on the maiden voyage and it was a "Wow" experience all right, but not what USA Today reported in today's glowing review. From the 2-3 hour wait to get on the ship due to the total technological breakdown of ... Read More
I was on the maiden voyage and it was a "Wow" experience all right, but not what USA Today reported in today's glowing review. From the 2-3 hour wait to get on the ship due to the total technological breakdown of Royal's high-tech "Smart Check-In" system, to the double-booking of our room, the failure to deliver luggage, the malfunctioning of almost every single aspect of the ship itself (the safes and fridges that couldn't be unlocked, the always out-of-service elevators, the ovens and toasters and Coke machines and ice cream machines that worked sporadically, the room air conditioning that couldn't be controlled, the new "smart" technology that made dinners last for hours, the long lines for every single thing on the ship), the piles of construction materials on our balcony and throughout the ship, and the hour and 1/2 disembarking process, this cruise was an unequivocal catastrophe. You expect some things to go wrong on any voyage, but not for most things to go wrong. Even before the cruise, hours were spent trying to get reservations for the new Dynamic Dining program, only for them to be lost before we boarded. Nothing I'm reporting was unusual: we heard story after story of similar - and worse - experiences from other passengers. The next-to-last paragraph in this article is laughable at best and quite the opposite of what happened on the maiden voyage. To give Royal their due, Quantum is undeniably beautiful. The crew, understaffed as they were, was hardworking and patient. Royal refunded a proportion of each stateroom's cost and all charges for the wifi that didn't work, and they offered a 25% future cruise discount. It was the least they could do after putting thousands of passengers on a ship that was not ready to sail. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
The Quantum is a beautiful ship with some awesome built in amenities. The seats in the Royal Theater have vents along the backs to help keep the temperature comfortable throughout. All the different cabins we visited had well-distributed ... Read More
The Quantum is a beautiful ship with some awesome built in amenities. The seats in the Royal Theater have vents along the backs to help keep the temperature comfortable throughout. All the different cabins we visited had well-distributed vents above the cabinetry and intakes distributed below. Although we stayed in one of the less expensive cabins - an oceanview - we did not feel RCI cut the built in amenities in our room. As I have posted elsewhere, there are even hooks in the shower for your scrubbies and back scrubbers. The makeup mirror over the little desk/makeup table has wonderful lighting for doing your makeup. We got to see quite a selection of other cabins, and I have to say every one was as wonderful as the last. For those wondering about the Junior Suites, there are at least two layouts and we were impressed by both. The real jewels of this ship are the staff. I can't say enough about our room steward, Ryan, for taking excellent care of our 3rd floor cabin. If you go to Silk, ask for Nemeesh. He provided such an excellent experience, it became our favorite restaurant on the ship. The only issues we had on the Quantum had to do with the technology. Matters improved as the week progressed. Our check into the ship took a check in clerk, a supervisor, and an IT specialist. Despite all this, it took only 45 minutes from leaving the Holiday Inn to walk to the ship before we were seated on board, glass of wine in hand!   Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
We had a great time on this cruise, the ship is beautiful and the staterooms very well appointed . When we booked we knew this was going to be a maiden voyage and that RCI would have only just have taken over the ship, we expected there ... Read More
We had a great time on this cruise, the ship is beautiful and the staterooms very well appointed . When we booked we knew this was going to be a maiden voyage and that RCI would have only just have taken over the ship, we expected there to be issues and challenges so we had a open mind from the start as to what was likely to happen. Looking at other reviews here it appears some guests had not thought about any of this. Yes there were a number of issues,some more annoying than others, but in our opinion nothing which impacted our enjoyment of the trip. We had a couple of days and nights of 'motion in the ocean' but we were in the North Atlantic in November and this must be expected. The 3 sunny and warm days were a bonus we never expected. There were a lot of people on board who did nothing but complain, we heard the following for example: Why are there no soup spoons in the windjammer? The ship is too big I have to walk too far from my stateroom to the restaurants? No ice cream. We also met lots of other very nice people who like us expected issues and were just getting on with having a good time. We thought the food was excellent in the majority of restaurants, we dined in The Grand - excellent , Chic - very good , American Icon - OK, Silk - OK, Jamie's - excellent. Due to the problems with the reservation system we gave up trying to reserve and ate in the Windjammer on the other evenings which was very good. We were not impressed with the Dynamic dining system and prefer the Any Time dining option as we like to eat when we want to eating not have to plan in advance. The 270 cafe was great at lunch time, the beef sliders were delicious. The drinks voucher system for Diamond and above worked well but in the main we visited the Diamond lounge in the evenings going into the Overflow Music Hall, there were over 1000 diamond and above onboard. Mamma Mia was excellent worthy of the West End, we saw the American singer who was also very good but did not go to any other theatre shows, Starwater in 270 was very different and very unique. The crew were lovely and we're learning about the ship as we were, we got the impression that in certain areas, especially the Windjammer, they were very understaffed. We loved the solarium and indoor pool for relaxing during the day. I tried the IFLY which was fun and something I would have never done on land. The bumper cars were great fun and we did them a few times. North Star was also an experience we enjoyed, and yes there were long queues. The deck party on arrival at New York was amazing to see almost all the ships company and guests on deck enjoying the early morning arrival. We felt the compensation of 25 % of what we paid for the cruise plus the OBC of 300 USD were and very nice bonus for the minor issues we faced. We had a great time and believe that once everything settles down and the issues get ironed out Quantum will be a superb ship Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
Sailed the maiden Voyage of QUANTUM and enjoyed the trip overall. The seas were quite rough through most of the cruise with winds reaching up to 90 MPH on some days (and nights). There were quite a few seasick passengers and crew, but by ... Read More
Sailed the maiden Voyage of QUANTUM and enjoyed the trip overall. The seas were quite rough through most of the cruise with winds reaching up to 90 MPH on some days (and nights). There were quite a few seasick passengers and crew, but by wearing the elastic wristbands we were able to avoid discomfort. The Quantum preformed admirably and took the rough seas with ease (seas were over 25 feet) with a minimum of pitch and roll. Embarkation was not pleasant, although I made a pain of myself and got the attention of customer service and was whisked into the ship in 30 minutes. It was very confused at the pier (so much so that RC gave everyone a $300.00 cabin credit) We had our "SETSAIL" PASS all pre-done with pics and everything, but there was no direction or announcements so everyone went every which way. Once on the ship we found our balcony cabin on Deck 10 roomy and comfortable. The bathroom was large with a good size shower and amenities. Entertainment was above board with Momma Mia and a night with Earl Turner. The ship was beautiful, the crew good (although sometimes they seemed lost), the food excellent, but the internet and drink packages much too expensive. (The internet and wifi didn't work as advertised so all money to purchase this option was refunded).. What was complicated? You had to book your restaurants in advance on the internet. Some passengers waited until they were on board and then showed up any old time they pleased. The lines were long and no one cared until you made some noise. Shows and special attractions also had to be booked ahead of time. Why, are they making things so difficult? I booked a cruise so I wouldn't be bothered, now I have more chores to do. I hope they go back to just assigning tables with early and late dining and simplify this mess. Disembarkation was no better. It took two hours to finally get off the ship, with another 1700 passengers to go at 10:30 AM. With all this we would sail this wonderful ship again. Now that we know the ropes it should be easier to navigate the troubles. Royal Caribbean has a great ship here, they just need to adjsut some bugs and get it running properly. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
Check-in was a free for all at southampton with staff with i-pads being surrounded by people trying to get aboard. but we got aboard within 30mins with no problems. The positives were- all the staff who were very helpful and worked very ... Read More
Check-in was a free for all at southampton with staff with i-pads being surrounded by people trying to get aboard. but we got aboard within 30mins with no problems. The positives were- all the staff who were very helpful and worked very hard. The cabins were big and clean and our balcony was big enough. The facilities were very good The gym was wll equipped, This is our 6th cruise, The activities were excellent (rip cord, trapeze, flow rider etc) The shows were very good, i also enjoyed the guest acts music hall had great entertainment The negatives were- poor check-in free wi-fi advertised when you have to pay for it queueing for anything that can't be pre-booked, -we queued for 3 1/2 hours for north star, but was amazing when we eventually got on . We queued for 40 mins for bumper cars but they all ran out of charge before we got to ride them, then queues were even longer every other night lack of vegetarian options bionic bar didn't work most nights and when it did work there was a 20min wait the 15% added to the drinks package after you bought it was a shock (maybe because i'm british but i wasn't told about it until i read my statement) also after buying the drinks package there was a number of drinks that weren't included so had to ask any time i wanted a different drink in a different bar Overall this was a very good cruise which could be great if the issues raised are addressed, as the ship was really very good and staff were excellent   Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
Even the future cruise discount and $300 onboard credit can't make up for the many failures of the maiden voyage. It took over an hour of standing to get checked in and same to get off. The highly anticipated and much publicized high ... Read More
Even the future cruise discount and $300 onboard credit can't make up for the many failures of the maiden voyage. It took over an hour of standing to get checked in and same to get off. The highly anticipated and much publicized high tech capabilities was a low tech bust. The Robotic Bar seldom worked, the Internet was slow if you could get on it, the cabin thermostat was frozen, the bumper cars were out of order, wait lines standing in the cold fir three hours inky to have it close down (twice) before you could get on--no reservation system, first come first serve, the poor dining service as orders lost with computer failures, poor service so dinners lasted hours, no fun activities until last day, boxes unpacked--two days to find toothpaste to buy for $6--poor design of ship so will not accommodate Quest, Love and Marriage etc. and on and on. Best thing on ship was Mama Mia which was flawless. Other entertainment was okay except one "comedian" who was offensive to gays and Asians. This was a total bust. We had a constant knocking from what we think was poor seal on balcony door but who knows--reported multiple times and never fixed. Had to sleep with balcony door open to eliminate house and get some sleep. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
First, let me start out by saying I was not expecting a problem free cruise. I knew that this was a maiden voyage and there could be hiccups, but this ship was not ready for passengers. Embarcation: This actually started out great. We ... Read More
First, let me start out by saying I was not expecting a problem free cruise. I knew that this was a maiden voyage and there could be hiccups, but this ship was not ready for passengers. Embarcation: This actually started out great. We stayed in a Jr Suite so we were in group A with no appointment time. We grabbed a cab from our Hotel at about 10:30 and were at the pier 15 minutes later. We went through the Suite line for security and then were dumped into the big waiting room. We didnt see many people checking passengers in and were wondering what to do, but luckily a very insistent and persistent woman near me, grabbed an employee and demanded to be checked in right away. I decided to stand in line behind her since she seemed to get attention. As she was getting checked in, they were calling the boarding for first Passengers. It only took a few minutes to complete checking her in, and we were also checked in quickly. My photo was OK, but my partners was not, and he had to have a new one. Anyway, we were quickly on the ship, so at the point, things were going well for us We went straight to our cabin and grabbed our cards and wrist bands and everything was going well. Our steward stopped by to make sure we found the bands. We then went up to Windjammer for lunch. First problem encountered was no tea or Lemonade. The employees didnt think there would be any. But that was just a minor bump. We had our lunch and explored the rest of the ship. Everything went well that afternoon. We ended up going to the seaplex and we were in the second round of the bumper cars. We went out to the NorthStar and we were in the first group of passengers to go up that afternoon. We went over to RipCord and ended up getting with the final group before the muster drill. All was going very well Muster drill went off without a hitch. They didnt show that video this time, i guess they changed things again. That night for dinner, we ate at American Icon. When we showed up, we were told that we would need to be sitted with another couple. Not what I was hoping for, but they turned out to be nice people. It was at that dinner, that I started to hear that things did not go so well for other people. They were telling us about all the problems that they had during embarkation and problems in the pier, etc. This was news to us as everything had gone mostly smooth so far. The Cruise On morning two we showed up at the Meet and Mingle which was very nice. It was something to see the room so packed. The ship staff was all there and were good about apologizing for all the problems that had occurred (again for us, at that point we didnt have problems). They mentioned that we would be getting an OBC and a future credit, which was all great news. It was also announced that the weather was too rough and that the Mamma Mia performances were being postponed. I know that the Cruise line cant affect the weather, and I don't blame them for any of that, but it did make it harder to enjoy some other things. I also got what I think was a mild case of seasickness and didnt have much appetite for much of day 3 or 4. Overall, the Dynamic Dining was OK. I was dissappointed though because I thought that there was too much emphasis on seafood. 4 of the 7 Silk entrees were seafood, half of the Chic entrees were seafood. I really wasnt in the mood for seafood, so i felt my options were limited. Overall, they also felt short staffed. This was not the customer service I was used to. Unfortunately, they also seemed to be out of a lot of the items that they had listed on the menus. Very frustrating The Specialty dining was very good. The Halibut (the seafood i did want) at Wonderland was amazing. The Pub board at Michaels was very nice. The food at Jamies Italian was really good (with great service) and the steak at Chops was the best I have had in a long time. Bar Service was just so-so. They were probably out of more items than they had in stock. When you went to order most of their specialty cocktails, it was usually answered with a response that they couldnt make that as they didnt have the ingredients. I understand that this was the maiden voyage, but they did a very poor job of stocking the ship. The internet was a joke. It was nearly impossible to ever get connected to the wi-fi to even try to log on from our cabin (we were deck 13 by rear elevators). The few times we could connect, it was too slow to do anything. Overall, the internet access was so horrible that they credited everyone on the ship for all internet packages for the whole week. I know I have seen some comments on here about how people had great luck, but I didnt meet anyone on board who had good access. The IT systems were a mess. on Day 3, they seemed to have tried something which wiped out a bunch of my dining reservations from my planner. When I went to guest services, they pulled out a hard printed copy that showed the reservations were still there in the restaurant system, they just werent in the Royal iQ planner. The ship also seems to have quite a few mechanical problems. There were usually 2 elevators out on each side of the rear elevators most of the cruise, and not just during bad weather. I did get stuck in the elevator for about 15 minutes during one of the breakdowns. I know a lot of people were complaining that the climate control was not working in their cabins, but it did seem to work in ours when I tried it. When I tried to do the bumper cars a second time, they had a lot of problems. None of the cars were holding a charge very long and over 7 groups they dropped from 8 cars down to 2 cars and then it was just too sad to try and continue with just 2 bumper cars so they had to cancel the rest of the session. I was very unimpressed with the Royal Theater. It seems to be too small, and the sight lines from the balcony are terrible. During Mamma Mia we could only see about half the stage. We have actually already seen the show before so I used this to mostly enjoy the music. Two70 is one exception. This area really is something special. I greatly enjoyed the Starwater show and it is something very unique at sea. The area is also very nice during the day when all the windows are opened up. I think that this is going to be a highlight of the ship As for the Northstar, I am very glad I got to do it in Southampton. I know that some people waiting in line over 3 hours to do it during the week, and I know that some others never got a chance. I am also glad I got to do the Bumper cars that first day while most people were still boarding, otherwise I probably never would have been able to do them either I was also a bit disappointed with the onboard activities. We had 2 cruise directors onboard and there was a lot less going on this sailing than on my previous Transatlantics. There was no Quest show, no Love and marriage show, etc. Overall, just a lot less activities Disembarking This was only my second time at Port Liberty, but like the last time, it was chaos. We were in a very early group (10) and we scheduled to start leaving the ship from 7:45 to 8. Well, it seemed that half of the ship self-disembarked which may have messed things up. Anyway, we were called from the Two70 at about 8:40, so I was thinking that maybe we wouldnt be too late. However, we stood on the ship by exit for a good 10-15 minutes, Then we stood on the gangway for a good 10-15 minutes. Then we were held up before the luggage hall for another 10-15 minutes, so it was after 9:30 before we even got to the line for CPB. When we left the building, there was chaos outside too. Nobody seemed to know where to direct anyone. There was a very long time for taxis, but the dispatcher seemed to have abandoned her post. It was about 9:50 and I was starting to get nervous as we had an 11:50 flight. I ended up buying spots on a Royal run shuttle that got us to the airport by about 10:20. I really don't see myself wanting to ever sail out of Port Liberty again. Overall: The ship is pretty and the new items are neat, but this was really more than a shakedown cruise. The ship was not yet ready for passengers. I am glad that Royal compenstated us, and I will be putting my future cruise credit to use next year, but I think it will be a long time before I trust Royal to sail on a new ship   Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
From WOW - The build-up - to UGH - The reality, starting off with the problems of online booking for dining etc and the horrific check-in at Southampton - to WOW - Entertainment incl Mama Mia, the iFly and North Star - to UGH - the ... Read More
From WOW - The build-up - to UGH - The reality, starting off with the problems of online booking for dining etc and the horrific check-in at Southampton - to WOW - Entertainment incl Mama Mia, the iFly and North Star - to UGH - the problems inc lack of response from the Guest Relations (the door between the balconies - the door was repaired (so it could be locked and stop slamming all the time) - after 4 visits and 1 phone call on day 5! - no sugar free ice cream. The list goes on and on. The final straw was that we had booked the Manhattan Tour with airport drop off and when we received the tickets the enclosed letter informed us that if we wanted to do that tour we would have to carry our own luggage off the ship at 7.30am. After checking this 'advice' was confirmed by the Shore Excursions Manager as well as the Hotel Director. After having been away from home for 10 weeks and my wife recovering from spinal surgery that was not an option. A phone call from the Shore Excursions Manager told me to carry our own luggage or cancel the transfer! We cancelled the transfer. This was the most frustrating cruise I have ever been on and the first and only time I have looked forward to disembarking from a cruise ship. This is not the first Maiden Voyage that we have sailed on - the last one was very smooth and well organized. While technology is fine (when it works) I do hope the RCCL will bring back the concept of looking after their passengers on the Quantum of the Seas and not leave everything to the WOW factor of technology. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
We are back from a fantastic cruise on the Quantum of the Seas! This was cruise #23 for me. We've sailed on all the major lines before RCL, Celebrity, Carnival, Disney, Norwegian, Princess, MSC and HAL. We've also done an ... Read More
We are back from a fantastic cruise on the Quantum of the Seas! This was cruise #23 for me. We've sailed on all the major lines before RCL, Celebrity, Carnival, Disney, Norwegian, Princess, MSC and HAL. We've also done an inaugural before on Oasis. I had hoped to start writing this review earlier but the day after we got back my check engine light came on. As I feared, it turned out to be my transmission. One of the few parts remaining that GM has not recalled/replaced on my Enclave. Grrrrrrrrr! At any rate, it’s been a chaotic & expensive return home. This was our annual girl’s trip. So my two daughters, 2 & 7, my mom and I left our DH’s behind and flew across the pond. Was the maiden voyage of Quantum a flawless sailing? No way! There were lots of little things that didn’t go according to plan. Some were RCL’s fault, some were not. However, I applaud Royal for daring to elevate cruising to another level again and again. The things that happened were irritations, not large enough to ruin my cruise. Nor would I be dissuaded from taking another maiden voyage in the future. Once the kinks are worked out Quantum will definitely be a ship to contend with. Pre-cruise We flew in 4 days early for a pre-cruise stay in London. None of us had ever been to London before and we wanted to see as much as possible. We landed at London Heathrow and took the Underground to the hotel. It took nearly two hours from the time we departed the airport to arrive at the hotel. We booked Park Plaza County Hall London. A nice hotel, excellent service, however, a bit overpriced IMO. The location was great adjacent to the Waterloo station, near 2 HO HO stops. Stores, restaurants and Big Ben/Houses of Parliament are within walking distance. The hotel treats kids like royalty. This was one of the main reasons I choose this facility over the nicer, sister property next door, Park Plaza Westminster Bridge. PP County Hall had daily activities, movies, pizza making etc. for the kids. Delivered them candy treats at bed time. They also gave out Park Plaza bucks – hotel dollars that kids could redeem for ice cream, juice, popcorn and other treats. We did sooo much sightseeing. We started really early in the morning and went late into the evening. Unfortunately we kept missing the timeframe to redeem the PP bucks. I told the hotel manager and he prepared huge treat boxes for each of my girls. The hotel also has laundry facilities for its guests to use. This helped reduce the amount of clothing we had to bring. Several times we had to ask for additional hand towels, maid service was at our door before we even got off the phone. As I said…..excellent service. London was awesome! We used the HOHO to get around while we were there. We went to the Tower Bridge, passed Traflgar square, the Marble Arches, Tower of London, The Shard, London Bridge and a few other places. We went to Buckingham Palace and watched the Changing of the Guards. I heard so many times that the Changing of the Guard was a waste of time. We didn’t think so. After all it is a quintessential London thing to do. Just like the fish and chips we had. We spent time at Oxford Circus doing a little shopping. We stopped by Hamley’s, the worlds’ oldest toy store. It’s probably one of the largest too. This is a kid fantasy land. There are seven stories of toys and games, many of which are on display for them to touch and play with. I literally had to extract my kids once it was time to leave. We could have stayed there at least half of a day if I had let them. The toys were pricey though. I felt sure I could have bought some of that stuff far cheaper on Amazon. We also took a day trip to Paris while were there. At an unearthly hour of the morning we went to St. Pancreas and took the first train to Paris. I hadn’t been to Paris in about 20 years so it was great to be there again. We used the HO HO there as well and drove by the Louvre, Notre Dame, Arc D Triumphe, and the River Seine. We chose to spend our time primarily at the Eiffel Tower. I wanted to have tea party there with my girls on the front lawn. Which we did. Afterwards, we went to Musee de Branly. This is more African/Asian art and sculpture. I think this is such an underrated museum. I really enjoyed it. Glad I choose this one over the more popular Louvre. Afterwards, we had time to grab a couple of souvenirs and it was time to make our return to Gare De Nord train station. Is it possible to see all of Paris in a day…no. That wasn’t our goal though. I wanted to take my girls to the Eiffel Tower and give my mom an overview of the city. That was very doable in one day. Southhampton – The next day it was time to make our trip to Southhampton. We booked an excursion through International Friends/The London Toolkit. We were picked up at our hotel promptly at 7:30am. We stopped by several other hotels and the airport to pick up other passengers. Then we stopped for a restroom/coffee break. Finally we were off to Stonehenge. I can see why Stonehenge is one of the “Wonders of the World”. Well worth a visit there. Of course you can’t climb/touch the stones but you can circle it 360 degrees. We spent about an hour and a half there and then we continued on to Southhampton. We also drove through the town of Salisbury. About an hour later we arrived at the cruise ship terminal were most passengers got off. There were several Quantum cruisers on the tour with us and the bus driver agreed to drop the rest of us at our hotels. We booked the Novotel Southhampton because the Holiday Inn was booked solid. The Holiday Inn is literally at the gate of the cruise ship terminal. It doesn’t get any closer than that. However, where we stayed was still very close. I loved the location. We were next door to McDonalds and TGI Fridays, a drug store, shopping mall and a shopping center. It was easy to pick up the last minute cruising items we needed and kill a pre-cruise evening. When I woke up the next morning I could see the Quantum from our hotel room window. The taxi queues were about 45 min to an hour wait. So we decided to walk to the cruise ship terminal. It was a challenge though, only because we had a lot of luggage to manage. We were so excited though that FINALLY Quantum was only minutes away. Embarkation- One hot mess! This was definitely the most chaotic embarkation ever for us. We arrived at the pier around 12:30. We walked right up to the luggage check in area. We had to get new luggage tags because we were upgraded at the last minute (wooohoooo). This process took only a few minutes. Then we walked over to a little old lady who separated us into different lines to go through security. This is where the fun began. We stood for about 15 minutes because they had paused security screenings. Apparently the line on the other side was so backed up they couldn’t let anyone else through. Once the security screening resumed we were through in about 5 minutes. That was pretty uneventful. Next, it was off to the traditional check- in lines. I thought we didn’t have to do this anymore if you completed everything online and uploaded the photos? Nope, the only part that appeared different was that they had regular lines to stand in and they had staff members randomly scattered throughout the room with tablets. The tablet lines were shorter. We walked up to a tablet toting, staff member and he checked us in. He retook 2 of the photos we uploaded and checked our passports. He asked us whether we had traveled to Africa (Ebola screening) and whether we had signs of illness (norovirus screening).  Then he told us we could board. Great….but we were sent to another line. No one seemed to have a clue what was going on. Some people got boarding numbers, some people didn’t. Some people were sitting (unnecessarily) waiting for their boarding numbers to be called. Some were lumped together outside the door. We were in the line outside the door which turned out to be the correct one. We took our embarkation photo. Then it was off to another line. Apparently the gangplank had too many people and we had to be held there for a few minutes. Once we got on the ship security stopped us to take our photos. Why?? Why oh why did I go through the trouble of uploading photos pre-cruise only to have more taken? Really? I’m thinking it took about an hour or so to board. This wouldn’t have been a bad if my expectations weren’t set for the 10-15 minutes from arrival to the ship that they boasted about. In Royals defense, I think it was so messy in part due to the disregard of embarkation times. We were late and missed ours. A few people I spoke with didn’t even realize they had been given embarkation times. So it did seem like everyone chose to arrive at the pier at the same time. That said there was definitely room for improvement here. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Ship- Fortunately the chaos was quickly forgotten as soon as I set foot on the vessel. Finally after over a year of waiting we are on the Quantum! She is beautiful. Muted and modern, you can tell that attention was paid to even the smallest of details. There were a few visible signs of things under construction, a pile of stuff under a tarp next to the indoor pool. Some machinery in a corner here and there, for the most part though she is finished. Cabin- We booked an ocean view cabin originally, however, there was a huge price drop a couple of months before sailing that was irresistible to me. So we downgraded to a category Z inside guarantee. Imagine our huge surprise when a few weeks before sailing we were upgraded to category D balcony (9124). Huge upgrade….. thanks RCL! Of course cabins were ready when we boarded. We did go straight to our cabin to set our stuff down. As we had heard, there was one sailing card on the outside of the door. Wow bands and remaining cards were inside. I didn’t use the app to track my luggage. I couldn’t even find the app in the app store to download to my Android. Nevertheless half of our luggage arrived about 2 hours after we boarded. The other half came during dinner. I was impressed with all of the storage/cubbies and overhead bins. There was definitely ample room to put all of our stuff away, including the kid clutter. We were able to stuff the stroller between the dresser and the balcony door. I liked the cabin layout which felt more spacious even though I’m not sure it was actually any larger than the cabins we normally have. I loved the child safety lock on the balcony door. Due to safety concerns, I typically avoid balcony cabins when I am sailing with my kids but RCL thought of me. You could simply pull to engage and even my seven year old couldn’t reach it. The front door was another story though. My 2yr old could easily turn the door and pull it open by herself. The fridge still had the directions in it (ahhh the new ship thrill). It was empty, hadn’t been stocked yet. This was great because there was plenty of space to stow the water, juice and soda we brought onboard. The mini safes were fine, however, they may want to make them larger. Since they are encouraging everyone to bring their technology onboard, a safe large enough to stow your laptop would have been great. The directions to the safe left out the part where you should hit the star key first. The directions just said the number and then the pound sign. We were told that the safes automatically lock down after an incorrect entry to protect from people trying to figure out the combination. The only problem with this…it is easy to do this on accident. There were so many calls from others who were locked out of their safe that we waited a day and half for a locksmith. (Another irritation ) Wow Bands- Thumbs up to the wow bands…free . Prior to sailing I thought this was a solution to a problem that no one had. However, once I used them I thought they were great. It was really great to not need a lanyard/pouch or anything. It was also really great to be able to swipe the band to pay for items in stores, drinks, photos etc. Kids Club Kid’s Club was a positive experience overall. There were 150 kids on our sailing. Royal Babies and Tots was a disappointment. They were not functioning yet. They had 3 events scheduled each day but the room wasn't completed and you must stay with the tots/infants. No sitters were available for this sailing from what I was told. The toy check out wasn't available yet either. The toys didn't arrive in Southhampton as scheduled. There is an awesome play area that is open for all ages. It is unsupervised play space, so parents must stay. Brilliant idea! Basically consists of a climbing structure, sliding board, toys and mats. Both of my girls have really enjoyed playing here. It is open 24/7. My 7 year old was in the Explorers group (There were only 12 kids who signed up). They combined ages 6-11yrs for this sailing. DD really had fun. Several times she didn't want to leave when I came to pick her up. Even though there weren't a lot of kids they still kept them busy. The Science lab wasn't open yet and the room that is for the 9-11yrs is being used for media and electronics equipment. The staff has been wonderful despite all the hiccups. Another great advantage of the Wow band, I could swipe it to pick my kid up. No more signing in and out. My photo pops up in the tablet of the counselor. They can instantly tell if I am who I say I am. You can also add the photos of additional people who are authorized to pick up your kids. AWESOME safety feature! Another new thing with the kids program is the addition of more family activities to the schedule. Twice a day there was an activity in the kids club that you could come and do with your children (all ages together). One day we made bracelets/necklaces of beads, we sculpted pottery (my priceless work of art was left behind as an example to show future cruisers stop by and visit my masterpiece.) we painted, there were egg races, family scavenger hunts etc. It was great to have activities that we could do as a family. I do have copies of the kids’ activities schedule I will try to scan them later. They said that for the next sailing all of the facilities are supposed to be ready. I'm not certain I believe that though. At any rate, there is still tons of stuff for the kids to do. Weather- We were in for it this cruise. The first few days we tossed and turned so much that many were seasick. I was puking again like I had morning sickness. I know TMI. I haven’t gotten sick since my first cruise so I was very surprised that the motion was as bad as it was. I wonder if it was just the weather or were transatlantics always this rough. Once the sea stabilized, we had a few days of mild weather upper 60’s or so. Then we were back to being tossed around again. We were on Deck 9. There was one day when looked out the window and saw swells of water so large it looked like a wall of water. Definitely worse seas than I have experienced on any of my cruises. Food- Overall, I think food quality improved a notch with this class. Typically I find cruise desserts to look really nice and taste really bland. Not so this cruise. There were quite a few desserts that appealed to my non-chocolate eating self. I think I ate a few dozen cookies they were AWESOME. Fresh baked in the Windjammer. I found myself wondering whether I stumbled into Subway. Did they stash Otis Spunkmeyer onboard somewhere? There were different, delicious, flavors every day. I really liked Dynamic Dining. Changing food types was nice. If I had any complaint at all it was the length of time between courses. Since wait staff have many tables who are on different courses. Sometimes I felt like we were forgotten about as they moved on to whomever had just been sat. There were several days where we made reservations (pre-cruise) but there were others were we just showed up waited 5-10 minutes and were seated. The frustration came with Wonderland. I wanted to book (pre-cruise) it the first night however, the only time left was 9pm, didn’t want to eat that late. I thought once we boarded there might be additional times available, but when we went by they said they were out of slots before the ship set sail. Book early if you want to be sure of getting a place. I spoke with someone who said that additional slots were available in your cabin if you booked by TV. I didn’t think to try that. Note to parents- most of these places did NOT have kid’s meals. You had to order from the adult menu. Even a few that did have a “kids menu”, in actuality it was just a few items from the adult menu. For the parents of a finicky child …be warned. Also some of the menus had changed from what RCL said on their website. I was disappointed to find a few items that I was eager to try pre-cruise, absent from the final menu. Chic was good. So was the service. We walked up with no reservation and were sat within 10 minutes. We had the Baby Lettuce Salad, Catalan Shrimp, Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes, Grilled Lamb T Bone, Pan Roasted Australian Barramundi. I remember enjoying my crab cake and the salad but the rest is a blur. American Icon Grill- The most disappointing. I wanted to try this place more than any of the others. The menu was most appealing but the food taste was the least appealing. I was raised a southern girl. If you put greens, macaroni and cheese and fried chicken on your menu, you better come with it…..they didn’t. We went back a second time at lunch hoping it would be better but it wasn’t. The Grande- It was good, but once was enough. They do have lobster on the menu though. Solarium Bistro- We ate here one day for lunch. Good. We got to meet Celebrity chef Devin in the flesh. She was out mingling with her guests. If you have eaten at Seasons 52 before you know this concept. They have great tasting meals under 500 calories. Desserts –tiny portions that are less than 150 cal. Salad dressing was phenomenal. She said they made it from scratch. Free to eat here for lunch, fee for dinner. Silk was our favorite of the free restaurants. We ate there twice because we liked it so much. We loved the couples that were seated next to us. Great ambience, great service, didn’t wait as long between courses. Seaplex hotdogs –Lots of different style hot dogs but it was just so-so. Café 270 –Ate here for lunch one day. Love the salad station-(Think Doc Greens) choose your greens/and your toppings and dressing and they mix it. There were sandwiches hot/cold and soups also. It was hard to find seating here though, many watching the cast rehearse, reading etc. Johnny Rockets – Same as the others. There are great milkshakes and good burgers. Jamie’s Italian was really good. We ate there for lunch. The lunch menu is the same as the dinner menu with the exception of 2 extra pasta dishes. It’s $15 pp for lunch, my 7yr old was charged $8. Under 3yrs is free. This is one of the few restaurants that had a true kid’s meal. The kid’s meal is given to them in a viewfinder. So they have the toy to play with the entire time and can see pictures of the dinner options to choose from. Micheal’s Genuine Pub – The food is a la carte. I had a midnight snack here one night. The menu is a la carte. I had some really good chili & lime wings. Windjammer- Thumbs down to the Vitality drinks. The juice/lemonade alternative for this cruise was not good. So glad I bought juice and soda on board. There were great fruit smoothies available near the pancakes at breakfast. Lots of different food stations so crowds were never really a problem. They had the typical Windjammer variety. Did I mention the awesome cookies? You MUST eat some! Entertainment- RCL raised their game with the entertainment. Starwater was awesome! It was visually stunning. The best show I’ve seen at sea hands down. A little bit of Cirque, which we loved. Loved the background changes on the screen, loved the interaction with all the technology. Come early to get a good seat. The robotic arms that changed were awesome. This is a must see. We went to see it twice. My 7 yr old and 2 yr old were captivated the entire time. Mama Mia- So sad we didn’t get to see this. Everyone I spoke with had very favorable things to say. The day we were scheduled to see it, it was cancelled due to the weather. The next day it showed it conflicted with other things we had planned. So we missed it. I fly- I LOVE I fly! I took my first flight in Orlando earlier this year and I couldn’t wait to get another chance to do this. If you have ever been to an Ifly location it operates the exact same way. The first 1 minute flight per person is free (3yrs and up). Additional flights$49pp I let my 7yr old fly too. The look of sheer joy on her face was something I will not soon forget. She loved it more than I did. Definitely don’t miss your chance to do this. I did sign up the day before. They said they took walk ups but only if there was space available. Roller skating is for ages 3 years and up. There was no cost. You must wear helmets. Knee pads/elbow pads are optional. Skating at times was quite a challenge. Especially until you get use to compensating for the motion of the ship. We watched quite a few collisions. I heard there were a few broken arms and other minor injuries during the cruise. I’m not surprised. When the ship rocked, you were tilted to whatever side the ship was. Stopping was difficult due to the extra momentum. Roller skating was offered once a day but the times changed. Typically they were 2-3 hour sessions. You can skate for as long as you want provided they don’t run out of skates for other guests. Then they will ask you give up your skates if you have been skating awhile. I didn’t see or hear of that happening during our cruise. Bumper cars There is no sign up necessary. Sometimes the wait times were about 30 minutes or so. Ages 8+ could ride alone in the bumper car. Ages 3- 8, minimum of 42” could ride with a parent. Under age 3 couldn’t ride at all. This was great fun. They will have to figure out the battery situation though. In the beginning there were 10-12 cars operating. Then the cars would die off one by one until there were only 3-4 cars able to operate. We always went right at the start time when the maximum number of cars were available. Circus school/Trapeze school. This is not a school at all. It’s just a chance to swing from a trapeze. I believe this was offered daily between 9-11am. This is lots of fun, but a bit scary climbing the very tall, wobbly, ladder. I think we waited about an hour. Don’t go right before closing. They usually have to cut the line early to make sure everyone gets a chance. No sign ups for this. First come first served. Minimum age is 6yrs old. The maximum weight is about 220lbs. He said that they may have to adjust it downward. It seemed to be an approximation. North Star – This was probably the biggest aggravation for me. I never did get to ride. We passed it several times and there was always a long wait. Wait times averaged about 2 hours. I did hear of guests who waited as long as 4 hours to ride. I thought this was ridiculous. I refused to waste so much of my precious vacation time waiting in line. The one time I caught the line when it wasn’t too long of a wait. 30 minutes into waiting a thunderstorm came and they shut it down. I couldn’t believe that they didn’t go to a sign-up system after the first day of long waits. I spoke with one couple who got stuck in the North Star. They were up there about 45 minutes and had to have the machine cranked down manually. I did hear rave reviews from the people who were actually patient enough to wait. Bionic Bar - So cool! I watched many drinks as they were made. I even created my own non-alcoholic drink out of a combination of juices. Someone asked how the machine knew you were of legal drinking age….Wow band or sail and sign has your age information encoded in it. They spent a lot of time trying to get the robots working properly so it was frequently down. However, when it was up they gave away free drinks so that the robots could practice. It was definitely worth a trip there to watch this. There was always a crowd here. Kids Water Play area/Wave Pool – This is great fun for the little ones. Only for the potty trained. Yes, the weather was chilly. I think our warmest day only touched 70 degrees, however, my kids would not have allowed us to debark without a chance test the wave pool. Kids Indoor Pool- So glad there is an indoor pool for kids on this vessel. My kids spent a lot of time here. I was a bit surprised that we were always the only ones. Again, only for the potty trained. The water was about 1ft deep. One big plus the hot tubs are adjacent to the kid pool. Mom and Dad can safely soak and watch while the kids play. The Gym- I did get to exercise a few times while I was on Quantum. There were a lot of treadmills. It was never very crowded when I used the gym. I saw an area for spin classes. There was also a sunken area for yoga and other classes. There were plenty of free weights and other equipment. The Zumba classes seemed pretty popular another thing I never got to. Photo gallery- The Wow band was a great feature here too. The photographers swipe your band before they take your photo. Just swipe the computer screen and all your pictures pop up. You can purchase prints or digital negatives for $20 each. There were packages available. It was great to have the option of purchasing the negatives. I bought a few negatives. When I got home and played the CD there were thumbnails of all the photos that were taken the entire cruise. The photos I purchased were unlocked but there was the option of purchasing additional, locked photos that I hadn’t gotten. This was another very nice touch. Casino- I did get to the Casino once while we were on Quantum. It was your typical casino. I did notice a TON of smoking though. I do wish at least one side could be smoke free. Pricey Internet packages- They were reluctant to give out any pricing, when I went on I could see why. Discount coupons varied I guess based on whether you are gold, platinum etc. I’m platinum, had a 15% of coupon so the prices (before the coupon is applied is a follows) $225.95 unlimited the entire cruise for 2 devices @ a time. $189 unlimited the entire cruise for 1 device @ a time. The daily plan 55.95 for 24 hrs of continuous usage 1 device at a time. Then there was the $29.95 1hr plan 60 minutes could be used throughout the entire cruise (1 device). I had issues with the internet with the first package I bought. (Another irritation) I went to the service desk to complain and they refunded my money. I was also advised to try and Skype in the middle of the night (yes, that is what she said) if I wanted to get through. For all the hoopla about the improved internet…..we didn’t see it. RCL apologized profusely and the rest of the week any internet package I purchased was free. I was able to Skype but I got a better connection in the middle of the night. Cruise critic party-It’s always great to meet the people you have corresponded with. The Meet and Mingle was the largest ever I think, close to 400 registered. We did get some freebies and got to meet a lot of RCL corporate and Cruise Critic staff. The Cabin Crawl was awesome. I finally got to see a gorgeous Loft suite. The Virtual Balcony cabin was really cool too. Movies- There were free movies on demand in your stateroom. -22 Jump street, A Most Wanted Man, America, Begin Again, Blended, Blue Ruin, Canopy, Captain America, Deliver us from evil, Think Like a Man Too, Dinosaur 13, Bear, Draft Day, Earth to Echo, Godzilla,Edge of Tommorow,Life After Beth, Life of Crime, Maleficient, Mom’s Night out, Obvious Child,Rage, Reclaim Take What’s Yours, Repentance, School Dance, Sex Tape, Short Term 12, Snow piercer, Step Up All In, Supermensch, Tammy, Teenage, The Amazing Spider Man 2 The Dog, The Expendables 3, The Fruit hunters, Immigrant, Racing Adventure, The Purge Anarchy, The Rover , We are the Best,Whitewash,Under the Electric Sky, A fighting Man,A Million Ways to Die in the West Debarkation- This was far more orderly than embarkation. There were super long lines to get off the ship. I was glad we had booked the RCL transfer to the airport. They walked us straight off the ship. We still had to wait in a long line for customs but that was much better than the lines to debark. Post cruise Manhattan tour/airport transfer. I would guess this tour lasted about 3-4 hours. We did just get the highlights of Manhattan. I was disappointed we didn’t get to stop anywhere for souvenirs. We stopped twice for a restroom break at the NBC building and a park that had a great view of the statue of liberty. We drove by many of Manhattans best attractions, 911 memorial, Madison Square Gardens, Central Park, Trump Plaza, 5th Avenue, The stock exchange, Soho and we passed near the Empire State Bldg. I wished we would have had more time in NY. Whew! I think I have just about covered everything we did. It was a really great cruise. Despite the seasickness, I’d sail again tomorrow if I had the chance. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
There were glitches getting on the ship but it was to be expected since we were the first revenue passengers. Once on the ship it was amazing. Very elegantly beautifully designed with a lot of smart technology. Some of it was still in ... Read More
There were glitches getting on the ship but it was to be expected since we were the first revenue passengers. Once on the ship it was amazing. Very elegantly beautifully designed with a lot of smart technology. Some of it was still in trail mode but it will be amazing when all the bugs are worked out. Royal did however reward us well for the little glitches, $300.00 OBC and 25% of our fare in a future cruise credit, free drinks the first night, most speciality dining was comped, and if you bought the internet package that was refunded too. Dynamic Dining was awesome a wonderful change for RCCL. Wonderland was by far my favorite speciality dining, the food and service was amazing. Silk was my second favorite, the food and service there was just as good. Chic followed by American Icon were my next favorites. I was very surprised how fast the service was in American Icon. Devenly Decandence was a complete waste of space on the ship. The food was awful, she was so full of herself that she was the only one that mattered. I watched her the next day berate a bartender at great length in front of his crew and us guests because she wanted space in the galley freezer for her Pineapples. Really with all the exec's on that cruise she could have shown some professionalism and addressed her concerns to management and not harass a very hard working bartender. Jamies wasn't really much better. They were out of Ribeye and instead of just saying they were out the server made up this story about how the chef thought the quality was not good enough.It is to my understanding that chef worked for Jamies. But I am sure that a Royal Caribbean chef would never let anything on the ship that is not of top quality. We never got our main entree. From talking to a manager that works for Jamies I got the feeling that he was there to transform Royal's crew to something better and that Royal really didn't know how to do it right. Really I don't understand why they have either of those places when Royal Caribbean has the most amazing head Chef Neil Gallagher. For years he has given us wonderful menu's, wonderful dining options, and now Wonderland. When Royal already has the best why did they look elsewhere. 270, the room, the shows, and the wonderful bartenders in there who could ask for more. 270 is the most amazing place on the ship. Music Hall was a whole lot of fun also. Michaels Pub I found the same vibe as I did with Jamies and Devin's there too it seemed like they were there to make sure Royal does it right. But for 3 days I went in there sat at the bar and for 3 days bartender's looked at me didn't greet me and they were too busy to give me a drink. So I find myself once again saying Royal already does it right, the pubs on all the other ships are 1000 times better than Michaels. I really found that on this cruise it was the best of the best of Royal Caribbean's staff to make sure we had a great time. I was very impressed at how much Royal rolled out the red carpet for the meet and mingle on this sailing. That by far was the most impressive fun meet and mingle I had ever had the pleasure of going to. I was so totally impressed with Quantum of the seas that after being home 3 days I rebooked for the November 23 sailing. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
We were so excited to be the first on this Maiden Voyage on Quantum of the Seas. We were so excited about this long waited trip. We booked one balcony and one inside virtual cabin they are on same deck only 10 cabins away so we could take ... Read More
We were so excited to be the first on this Maiden Voyage on Quantum of the Seas. We were so excited about this long waited trip. We booked one balcony and one inside virtual cabin they are on same deck only 10 cabins away so we could take turn to take care of our 84 years old mom and 80 years old aunt. On embankment day I checked online again, everything was set, same cabins, nothing changed. We took the National express bus from London to Southampton, it was such a fun trip with stunning fall foliage views of the country side south of London. As the bus turned to the last stop at Southampton the driver pointed to us the Quantum of the Seas ship sitting at the port. Everyone on the bus were QT cruisers so we all yelled out loud "she is a beauty". Check in was such a mess. Many people already talked about it so let me move on. When we got to our cabins, the balcony was okay with cards in the envelope and wrist band found on the table. My brother and I went to the second cabin and found out someone already in there. We went down stair to customer service waited in a long line then after 1/2 hour wait we talked to someone. She told us that our cabin were moved to different deck. I was disappointed since I need to be close to my mom but they said nothing they could do. We went to the new cabin (deck 10 front ship while my mom cabin was deck 8 back ship), found no card. So we went back to service desk again, waited for 45 mins (the line kept getting longer) then the lady made new key for us. I raised my concern about our bags as they were al tagged with old cabin number, she assured me that "your bags will arrive at the new cabin, trust me". Well, it was not the case. The bags went to old cabin. It was not a good start but we tried to put it behind us. The ship is beautiful, elegant, spacious. I love the artworks. The lunch buffet was excellent with so many choices. The drill was messy as we gathered at one restaurants like a sardines in a can and we actually didn't see much of the demonstration. Our first dining was at the silk, it was okay, some good some bad depends on personal taste. But I found the menu is very limited. Mama Mia was a first grade show. it was so good. Starwater was also good but it was not nearly as good as blue planet from Allure of the Seas. The most talk about 270 is just okay to me. Although all the computerized, robotic visual effect is stunning, I believe they all were overdone to the point that I don't appreciate the beauty of it anymore. They were unreal to me. second and third days the seas were rough. One night I walked around the ship and it was so empty. I guessed many people stayed in their cabins struggling with the seasick? Fortunately, the weather were much better the following days. The energy was back on with full of activities. In general, there are good and not so good but I understand that problems for the very first trip is unavoidable. Overall it was a good trip, not as good as I expected. I would grade it a B may be B plus. I love the artworks, don't care about the robot bartender, the Ipad check in at embarkment and at customer desk. The 270 has too much technology which I found too mechanical and lack of soul. The service, depending on which one was good and bad. Our rom service guys were excellent. Most staffs were friendly and they tried their best to provide good service. They always smiled to you, asked you how were your days even we just walked by them or saw them in the hall way, so that is a big plus. EXCEPT ONE ASIAN GUY (we are all Asians) who worked for the collectible art section close to the 270, he was not friendly to us. We walked by him 3,4 or more times every day and not once he said hello or smiled to us. One time I looked directly to him with a smile and he turned his face away. I asked my brother and he said the same thing. Asian guy was rude to Asians? why? Now last but not least: the dynamic dining, in my opinion is not good. I found that we in fact had lesser choice when you already in the restaurant you choose to dine. I missed the traditional dining with the bond with the dining staffs, the neighbored diners that you see every evening. I would love to go back to Quantum of the Seas only if they bring back the traditional dining. The new dynamic dining is not for me and I HATE IT. I know it is not going to happen so until then so long Quantum of the Seas.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
RCI were far from professional with the rushed entry into service of Quantum. Having experienced Norwegian Getaway’s Trans-Atlantic maiden in January the differences we’re clear for all on board to see & experience. Meyer Werft, ... Read More
RCI were far from professional with the rushed entry into service of Quantum. Having experienced Norwegian Getaway’s Trans-Atlantic maiden in January the differences we’re clear for all on board to see & experience. Meyer Werft, staff on board quietly and openly admitted the Quantum was rushed & not fully serviceable, one worker wishing not ot named or quoted said Meyer would have preferred to finish her in situ. How so you ask, well firstly Getaway sailed with approx twelve hundred guests, clearly identifying the risks of a fairly new crew with a newish class, it worked well without queues or bumping into everyone else, in fact a perfect learning curve for everyone including the army of contractors that were debugging the vessel. The RCI approach was more bullish most would say greedy with little regard for its customers on a vessel that was more challenging for its constructor. So they on its maiden the decision was to fill it almost to capacity &proceed with the ambitious entry into service schedule with a vessel that was not fit for purpose, hardly professional. Cruising is a relaxation for us, we wish to escape, Phones, E-mail & everything bad the internet has become, sadly those who demand these feature were mostly disappointed for the cruise duration. I can’t recall queuing to the degree I did on Quantum ever, Embarkation, disembarkation, customer services, for numerous cabin problems six times, basic cabin housekeeping essentials, daily accounting errors thirty one in total, duplication of statement entries eight in total, had we not monitored our daily account entries we would have had account overcharging of £767.40 or $1200 over eight days. I just wonder how many didn't check & were ripped off. The early identification that all was not well with Vessel, Crew, Passengers, Rooms, Systems, Technology, Food, Room TV & Media & Entertainment conjured up a RCI sorry of £192/$300 state room credit, whilst pacifying those who saw it as a sweetener, the more aware saw it as a tragic acknowledgement from RCI for a dismal mistake that really did not cover the ordeal everyone suffered. The usual twenty five percent of a future RCI cruise made its appearance, but by then the damage was already done…… Later sweeteners followed in the form of flexible or none existent bar charging then suddenly all Films & Porn viewing becoming free of charge, this remained for the cruise duration. I paid for the expensive AI drinks package, which under better seas conditions would be worthwhile, however to maximise on the value your would need to be an alcoholic. The Spa Suite was a feature we paid dearly for, the facilities were poor & mostly not available due to so many people using the facility. Our view is nine ceramic hot lounge beds a wet Sauna & dry Sauna and a shower cubicle hardly constitute or make a Spa-Suite, its a rip-off so best avoided Weather can’t be controlled & the N Atlantic mid winter is no place for a ship with a bottom like a barge to be. I rather enjoyed everything the N Atlantic threw at her, pitching was as expected but she did role, a lot. During a presentation on the last Sunday the skipper shrugged off the rolling, claiming a four degree of role is within design expectations, it may well be, whilst I don't mind clinging to the bed, indeed is quite good fun, most didn’t enjoy it. The manner in which the skipper put down the person who posed the question was not in the least professional. I can tell you the Norwegian Getaway on its TA encountered higher winds and shorter, deeper & longer swells came through its TA providing a far more comfortable ride. This has become a bit of a diatribe, so I won’t mention fine detail of the total failing of the WoW Experience, Dynamic Dining, Waste of space Magenta Bears, Poor Menus offering food that did not meet the mark, Useless Technology, Failing Robot Bars, Smashed 270 upper light areas caused by Rubbish Robot Screen technology, N Star queues for nearly three hours, No Ice Cream, (this is a US Vessel) The disaster that is Windjammer, filthy, Queues for every restaurant, every night, whilst fifty percent of covers remained unoccupied, pre-booking that meant nothing in reality. Importantly the fact RCI tried to cover many points but failed dismally through sheer greed and inexperience. She may be heading to the Caribbean & later the Far East; one can only imagine without change that those markets are less discerning.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
We started our journey with a night in The Holiday Inn, Southampton, which was right next to the cruise entrance. Great hotel and perfect location for Southampton Port. We boarded Quantum on the Sunday, very excited about the sidewalk to ... Read More
We started our journey with a night in The Holiday Inn, Southampton, which was right next to the cruise entrance. Great hotel and perfect location for Southampton Port. We boarded Quantum on the Sunday, very excited about the sidewalk to ship in 10 minutes. It took us 50 minutes to board. There did not appear to be many staff in the cruise terminal checking people in. It seemed like a long process as staff were getting used to using the hand held tablets. Once we were on the ship we headed straight up to the cabin to collect our sea pass cards, but we could not access the cabins untill 1pm. So, unsure what to do without a sea pass card we went to explore the ship (we later found out that you use your set sail pass until you get your sea pass. We went up to top deck and were immediately wowed by the North Star and pool area. We then headed down to the Royal Esplande where we were once again wowed. It's a beautiful space with new shops and beautiful artwork. We continued to look around the ship taking in the beautiful art all around. One of the areas that I thought gave us the most wow factor was 270. A gorgeous area to sit and relax in the day with stunning views out of the glass windows. We had lunch in here from the cafe 270 where we had the roast beef sliders. It was great! We then headed back up to our cabin, where my sea pass card was outside. We went in, and fell in love with the room. We had a category D7 balcony, which was very spacious with plenty of storage space. On the bed was one wow band. For some reason my husband had not had a sea pass card or wow band delivered. So it was off to queue up at Guest Services. They tried to tell us that his card and wow band were in the cabin, which they definitely were not. Other guests also said that they had theirs missing. We had the card reprinted and were asked to come back later for the wow band. We decided to go and get a drink, so we headed up to the sky bar where we were told drinks were complimentary until 5pm. Following this it was time for Muster Drill so we headed to Jamie's where we were stationed. There were far too many people in this area to be comfortable. It filled up pretty quick, seats and standing, and still they were trying to cram everyone into the space, it was pretty uncomfortable. Prior to leaving we had booked restaurants, from complimentary to paid so that we could get a feel of the dynamic dining. And I must say that on the whole, we loved it! We enjoyed the variety of the restaurants, and were able to change times on the ship to better suit us. The food was of a good standard everywhere we ate, however some the service left a lot to be desired. In Jamie's our waiter didn't appear to notice that a couple sat next to us were on their third course when we had only had a starter, and they had came in after us. Somehow the order had got lost in the technology. The food we had was good, but we only had the starter and main course before leaving as we had been in there quite some time by then! We also ate at chops, where the food was ok but the location is terrible. It is right above the music hall and all we could hear was a dull thumping noise and feel vibrations through our feet, seats and table. Not the quiet place we have been to before. When we mentioned this to the head waiter he just shrugged his shoulders and said there was nothing he could do. Wonderland was amazing, we had a great waitress who got us to try things that we might not have ordered on our own, and if we didn't like it, it was ok as we could just order something different. Out of the complimentary restaurants, American Icon was probably my favourite. We had great service and food was great too. We tended to have breakfast at cafe 270, they have great egg muffins! And lunch we generally used the windjammer which always had a good selection. After the first couple of days the alcohol supply seemed low, and there were many cocktails that I couldn't have due to not having the ingrediants for them. This was disappointing, especially as we had paid for the premium package so that we could sample the newer ones. The bionic bar was amazing to watch when it was working!! There were always tech guys with it to try and sort out the problems. Mama Mia was amazing, fantasti. I would have watched it again if I could!! Star water was ok, not quite my thing but my husband enjoyed it. One of the highlights was arriving into Cape Liberty. Royal threw a great party up on deck from 04.30 am!! It was lots of fun. Disembarkation was slow, but not Royal's fault as port authority stopped people disembarking. Once we did get off we headed to find our transfer to a day hotel before flying back that evening. We walked down the walkway where there was holes in the walkway covered with wood and cemented down. My husband walked on the edge of one and fell through it. Not a good end to the holiday, but luckily wasn't seriously hurt, just a couple of scrapes. We waited for our transfer to leave, it took about another hour before we finally set off. We got to the Doubletree by Hilton, which was a beautiful hotel. We learnt there that our transfer to the airport would be by the free shuttle from the hotel, not actually from Royal Caribbean, which I was a little unsure of as our paperwork said all transfers were by Royal Caribbean. However it worked well and before we knew it we were flying home. There was definite ups and downs to be expected by a maiden voyage. But one of the highlights of this trip is the friendships I have made from this cruise, and this, for me, has made up for any let downs by Royal Caribbean. I would still go back and do this cruise again. And I will sail with Royal again, they certainly have the wow factors for your holiday!! Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
I have to report that unfortunately this is the worst cruise I have ever taken (and this was #77). There were SO many problems on this maiden voyage/transatlantic cruise that I can't believe that we actually made it across the ... Read More
I have to report that unfortunately this is the worst cruise I have ever taken (and this was #77). There were SO many problems on this maiden voyage/transatlantic cruise that I can't believe that we actually made it across the Atlantic! Where to begin? Check in at the pier was a joke. There were a bunch of clueless people running around with IPads that tried to check people in. There was no rhyme or reason to finding a line to stand in to get checked in. When I found a line and stood in it for awhile and finally got to the check-in person their IPad would die and I would have to wait until they got a new IPad or look for a different check-in line to stand in. It took 1.5 hours to get on the ship. The food was the worst that I have ever had on a ship, except for Jamie's Italian, which had the best meal I had on the ship. Food & service was excellent there. Chops no longer has creme brule for dessert which was always very good. Dynamic Dining is the worst concept ever and I will never sail on another Royal Caribbean ship that only offers that option. I much prefer traditional dining with the same waiter, assistant waiter and tablemates for the entire voyage. If Royal Caribbean insists on continuing Dynamic Dining, they should turn one of the free restaurants, preferably the largest one, back into a traditional dining room for those who like the traditional dining and their own waitstaff for the entire cruise. There was very little choice on any menu for me. What happened to the menus of yore, with 2 or 3 soups, a couple of salads, lots of appetizers, the always available and spa dishes and more? I could rarely even find one soup on the menu of any of the free restaurants. Royal Caribbean has cut WAY back on the quality of the food as well as the variety of dishes available in any restaurants. Not good RCI! Service in all of the free dining rooms was below poor. There are no longer any assistant waiters and the service was AWFUL and SLOW. There is TOO much to do for the waiter by him/herself. It took a LONG time to get water, bread, tables cleaned off, etc. I walked out of breakfast at Americam Icon after waiting over an hour for french toast. Ridiculous! Royal needs to bring back assistant waiters to help the waiters and make the service run more smoothily and to get things done & food served in a timely manner. Plus the waiters had to use IPads to take food orders, so that took 3 times as long as usual to order. You can ask to share a table in the free restaurants (except for Coastal Kitchen) and most of my tablemates at the shared dining tables were very nice. There was a severe lack of staff to clean off table in the Windjammer and Cafe 270. It was hard to find a clean table to sit at. The Windjammer served awful food with a poor selection. The different food "pods" are too close together and the entire restaurant is very congested during breakfast and lunch. There is also no longer any of the good lemonade that used to be served in the Windjammer during lunch and dinner on all of the other ships. Now all you can get is tasteless flavored waters. The scrambled eggs are powdered. You need to go to an omlet stataion and order fried or scrambled eggs to get real eggs. The chef in American Icon does not know how to make eggs benedict or hollandaise sauce. I was able to order them one day and that was a huge mistake. The eggs were undercooked, there was no Canadian bacon and the hollandaise sauce was awful. It tasted nothing like hollandaise. The creme cheese for the bagels in the 270 Cafe ( a nice place to eat lightly, by the way) was extremely runny but the bagels (packaged, not freshly made) are soft and tasty, even with runny creme cheese! The drinks in the bars were extremely overpriced and there were very few, if any, cocktail waiters or waitresses in any bar to get you a drink. One of the huge issues (to me anyway) was the air conditioning on the ship. The indoor public areas of the ship were way too hot the entire cruise. One of the Miami executives said that she knew the ship was too warm but it would take awhile for the aircon to adjust and work well. The worst problem? In the cabins the thermostat is LOCKED at 71.2 degrees Farenheight. You can only make the room warmer, not cooler. Since I had an inside cabin I was unable to even open my balcony door for air. The room was as hot & stuffy as a sauna. Perhaps some people like sleeping in a hot bedroom but I am not one of those. It took me 3 days and many visits to worthless Guest Services to get my thermostat adjusted. However, the maintenance person adjusted it too low to 66.5 so my cabin was freezing. I asked my useless cabin stewardess numerous times to get somebody back to my cabin and up the temp to 68.5. That never happened so I slept in a icebox instead of a sauna and acaught a bad cold as a result of that. If I had touched my thermostat it would have jumped back to 71.2 and I knew that I would never be able to get anybody back to my cabin to lower it again. Royal Caribbean needs to UNLOCK ALL CABIN THERMOSTATS! When you come into your cabin you have to put your cabin in a slot by the door to turn on the lights and the aircon. I put my AARP card in the slot and left it there the entire cruise which worked well in keeping the aircon and lights on. Although I did turn off my lights when I left the cabin. I understand that any card with a mag strip will work. Fortunately I was not one of the many passengers who had problems with their dining and/or show reservations. Of course, if you want to change anything (like a dining venue or show) that is impossible to to unless you 1st cancel the show/restaurant that you want to change. And if what you want to change to is not available, you have lost your original reservation and will never get it back. There has to be a way to check and see if a venue is available without having to cancel what you already have. 3 people at Guest Services told me that could not be done. Ridiculous! For all of the problems that I perceived on the cruise, there were a few high points: Mamma Mia and Starwater shows were AMAZING and should not be missed. The 270 lounge (where Starwater plays) is a great venue for relaxing and hanging out. Plus the Cafe 270 is not bad. It is sort of like the Park Cafe on Allure & Oasis with the good roast beef sandwiches. The casino took my momey but I enjoyed my time there and visitng my money daily to say hello. The artwork around the ship is quirky and gorgeous and unusual. You never know what you will see around the corner on a new wall you are walking by. My favorite? An amazing big blue sculpture of eyeballs outside of the Windjammer by the elevators. They actually blink at you! And the funny animals on the walls of the elevators. I tried the RipCord once and that was enough. But a lot of people did it more than once and would do it again.. The line for the Northstar (even at 9AM) was hours long (1 woman waited 4 hours!!) so I did not bother with it. I understand that in the future reservations for Northstar will be required which is a very good idea. The seas were rough but did not bother me. I met many very nice people from all over the world. The cabin showers were largerr than many other ships and had plenty of hot water. I think all the passengers realized that we were the paying guinea pigs and that there could be some hiccups. The $300 per person onboard credit was a nice surprise and fair for all of the problems that many people (myself included) experienced. I booked this cruise in May 2013 the day that reservations opened. I was a faithful reader of our cruise's roll call and the anticipation of waiting for Nov 2 to come was high. This cruise did not live up to my expectations and I do not think that I will ever take a maiden voyage again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
This was my ninth cruise, my fourth on Royal Caribbean lines. Can't say that the embarkation process went smoothly but my companion acted like he owned the place and proceeded to a short line (we also did not stand in the long luggage ... Read More
This was my ninth cruise, my fourth on Royal Caribbean lines. Can't say that the embarkation process went smoothly but my companion acted like he owned the place and proceeded to a short line (we also did not stand in the long luggage line outside the terminal but carried our luggage through the entire steps of admittance and security). In essence, the embarkation was totally surprising, given the number of embarking and disembarking ships abroad. The first couple of days, food in the Windjammer Buffet was fresh, but later not only the too small space and the competition for food, utensils, & seating made the unattractive place tasteless but the same food the following day seemed reheated. The ethnic foods and the vegetables could be appetizing as well as different. Most mornings we spent sunbathing, lounging, and reading with an occasional u-serve ice cream from the Taylor machine by the pool. This multi-leveled place forward entered through Deck 14, the sunny Solarium, was the best place to hang out for us oldsters. There is no dedicated library on the ship, as what's called a Library shares an ell with some computers and card players as well as with the control booth for the 270 venue. Not least of all, it's dark because unmovable drapes covered the multistoried windows. Not many complimentary lunch options here except for snack bars and Windjammer. I truly do miss the elegantly served breakfast, lunch, and dinner served on traditional seagoing cruises. Unhappily from my economic perspective, Royal Caribbean is cutting back on services especially to standard-room guests. The complimentary part of the room-service menu was minimal, its entrée being wrap sandwiches (maybe the ones from 270); nevertheless they weren't available, being replaced by overcooked chicken fingers and french fries. Unfortunately, I'd previously spent half of the gifted $300 onboard credit for the Thermal Spa access so didn't try the speciality venues for meals. The Thermal Spa didn't have many amenities besides the heated Thai tables, 2 saunas, and 1 rain shower, all unisex, besides the separate men's & women's dressing/shower rooms. Apparently there are no complimentary saunas on the Quantum. Be sure to bring a bathing suit. No one seemed to clean the tables between guests, not to mention restocking towels. We didn't get to try any of the amenities from Mamma Mia to Northstar because of lines, hours, confusion about changes in time. This ship overall was not my idea of a sailing vacation. There were rules for everything from who could eat where and at what time to arbitrary admittances into the shows. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
We expected some teething problems on a maiden voyage using new technology and were not disappointed. However the Operations VP Laura Posta was on board and played a true starring role. She fronted up and awarded every stateroom 300 ... Read More
We expected some teething problems on a maiden voyage using new technology and were not disappointed. However the Operations VP Laura Posta was on board and played a true starring role. She fronted up and awarded every stateroom 300 dollars on the second day.......no reluctance just decisive leadership which was well appreciated by all the guests. We had arrived at noon on Sunday to embark to encounters new embarkation system......not desks but mobile attendants with laptops dotted around and impromptu queues everywhere.......super idea on paper but total chaos in practice. A cross between a rugby scrum and a party game......back to the drawing board on this one methinks. Onto the ship and no specific welcome or sail away given it was a maiden voyage but nevertheless still really exciting to explore the new ship and to compare itwiththeIndependance of theSeas which we usedregularly. To be honest itisnotaswowaship as wehadexpected.....there are some good things and some which are over hyped or that are disappointing. We are in a superior balcony cabin and found it less comfortable than those on the IOS but with a better shower room set up. The bed is large but maybe too large as there is only about a foot between it and the wall with the to as my bruised shins testify. The layout of the ship is very logical but the Esplanade is less interesting than the Promenade on IOS and the shops far less interesting with very high end jewellery outlets in the majority.......possibly with the Chinese market in mind when the ship moves there next year. Dynamic dining is an interesting concept and the booking seems to work well but it is like going toa different set menu restaurant each night and one misses the regular interaction without table waiters and an ever hanging menu. After saying that's shave had some really excellent food atChops Grill, the ChefsTable and at Devnly Decadence and at Izumi. Not sure I would like the variance on a two week cruise or if taking children on a cruise.. As to such things as the pod, seaplex, free fall flying etc .....possibly hype over substance and subject to long queues whilst servicing very few guests. As yet to be fair they have not sorted out many elements of the new technology but even then one doubts that the concepts are really practical. So all in all a bit like the parsons egg......good in parts and still sorting out its teething problems. To be honest if I had thechoiceof a two week cruise on this or the IOS, I would choose the latter .   Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
Yes, let’s start with the ship herself. She is not a RCI ship in look or feel, she has the stunning class, style, décor and charisma of an X ship (namely the Solstice class). From the stylish two tier shopping area, to the soft ... Read More
Yes, let’s start with the ship herself. She is not a RCI ship in look or feel, she has the stunning class, style, décor and charisma of an X ship (namely the Solstice class). From the stylish two tier shopping area, to the soft furnishings, to the way the elevator lights changed colour to announce they had arrived at your floor, to no Bingo announcements, to the bathroom with the large shower, and the ladies leg shaving bar, to the balcony furniture with the footstool, to the covered solarium... I could go on and on but I think you get the picture. Now this is not a problem for me as I love Celebrity cruises and their ships, but people who have not done their research may have a bit of a shock. I know that Quantum herself is off to the far East but when Anthem sails out of the UK next year I suspect that the ‘tattoo and football shirt crowd’ who are used to the Independence in British waters may have a bit of a shock. Perhaps this design is a conscious effort by RCI to ‘up’ the brand and the clientele they attract. And the prices of the cruises of course as Anthem next year from Southampton is extortionate! So to the crossing itself. On arrival at Southampton our luggage was quickly tagged with the new tracking bar code bag tags. I was disappointed to see that the peeled off bit was just dropped on the ground though – so at the end of the day there would be approximately 8000 pieces of peeled paper floating in the English wind! It took me about 30minutes from ‘kerb to ship’ so a long way short of the promised 10 minutes; but I was sensible enough to realise that a new ship would have a few ‘glitches’. Many people claimed it took them several hours to check in. I had downloaded the Royal IQ app but apparently I had no luggage registered. Would I spend 8 days with no change of clothes?? The check in process was slightly chaotic with the InterCruise staff standing with iPads so there were many wavy bending lines. A few weeks prior to the cruise the completed online check in details had been lost; of course those of us on CC were alerted to this and resubmitted the info; but many of course did not realise this which aggravated the delay. On board after the initial WOW feeling and rushing around to take pictures to be posted on FaceBook before she sailed; the word spread that the enigmatic wine machines in the Vintages wine bar was dispensing free wine - Vintages has never been so busy! In fact they were free all week ( a fact I failed to notice!). Then all drinks were free at all bars until 9pm that night. This was the start of the extent of the effort that RCI went to; to keep us all ‘happy’. It has been posted that they gave us $300 per cabin in OBC which was refundable if you did not spend it; and a 25% FCC. They also refunded the internet packages, and all movies in the cabins were free for the duration too. RCI went above and beyond IMHO. In addition to the above there were also gifts almost every night (although I notice on ungrateful person had his commemorative book for sale on eBay in the UK within minutes of it being left on their bed!). So onto the cruise itself….. The first day was not good. Many were seasick as the weather was very rough. After that the weather was glorious for the remainder of the crossing. We had an emergency stop in the Azores for a medical evacuation. So, let’s get down to the changes. Dynamic Dining – I love it and cannot imaging going back to the Main Dining Room concept again. There are 4 restaurants to choose from; I had made previous reservations on line but to be honest there was no need to do this unless you wanted a specific restaurant on a specific date/time as there was just one line for those who wished to dine –booked or not. This does need to be ironed out and there should be 2 lines. Each of the 4 restaurants has its own kitchen and its own cuisine. The food in all was excellent with the biggest compliment (surprisingly IMO) going to Silk. You must have the chocolate desserts in Silk and Chic. You must avoid the peanut butter cheesecake in Silk and the Red Velvet cheesecake in Chops. I do not actually think there is a need to dine in the specialty restaurants as there is such a variety of menu in the ‘free’ restaurants that you can dine on a rotation basis through the 4 and not repeat your choices (apart from the chocolate desserts in Silk and Chic of course …!) Johnny Rockets was a disappointment as it was not a proper restaurant but more like a takeaway stand. I never saw them do any business all week. By all accounts Wonderland was sublime. We did dine at Chops and it was very good (better than our meal the previous month in Chops on Oasis). Much has been said about the Grande restaurant and the RCI website mentions that it is “formal night every night.” Unfortunately, as many of us suspected, this was not enforced. It was such a shame to see approximately 90% of people dressed ‘properly’ (and yes there were many ball gowns and tuxedos on board) and then there were gentlemen who were in short shirt sleeves and no tie. One big bad mark against RCI for not enforcing the dress code. The line for Grande was also the longest ever night. To me this meant that people liked ‘dressing up’; and perhaps they should keep the formal night concept throughout the ship? Around and about: There were so many comfy chairs, where you could curl up with a good book (or that should be kindle..who reads a book these days), there was so much to look at. The 270 area was simply stunning, such a versatile use of space both day and night. To be honest there were not as many activities on during the day as I thought there would be. It was almost as if the Cruise Compass was produced with wide spaces between each activity/event to make it look as if there was more on! And things kept changing. My next big bad black mark goes to the Casino. This was basically smoker’s corner – it was impossible to breathe in there; and smokers did not stay to the smoking section – they were smoking everywhere. It was horrid. And the smell of smoke floated up the stairs to the Royal Esplanade….and even worse; along the corridors where you were waiting in line for dinner at the restaurants on the same level. Design failure. If they have to allow smoking indoors (and there was a perfectly good outside, covered area designated for smokers) then there should either be doors on the casino so it cannot escape. Better still, stop allowing smoking indoors. Rant over. Royal Esplanade and Via. I dislike the Royal Promenade; I think it has as much ambiance as a shoe box; so I loved the 2 tier elegant flow of the RE and Via. Very like the 2 tier flow on board X. And there were even ‘Xs’s’ in the window decoration….. Shops on board were high end; Bulgari and Cartier, a good selection of Omega and Tag watches, and a Michael Kors shop. There were no $10 Bijoux Ternier bags or the inch of gold offerings. Entertainment –There was a charming violinist called Analiza Ching who was on Britains Got Talent and a hypnotist called Christopher Carress. The CD was pretty useless IMHO. The full production of Mamma Mia was outstanding. Starwater was just weird. I never saw the robo-screens working in 270. We did not have the Gatsby show, or Sonic Odyssey, or Wink or the Mamma Mia after show party. No reason was given.. The Music Hall venue hosted live bands - the 80s band and Archie’s band Horizon were good. The Diamond Lounge joined the Music Hall and the overflow from the DL sat in the Music Hall. The DL was open 5.00 – 8.30pm on the crossing. The DL hostess never walked around or introduced herself so I do not even know her name . Seaplex to me was strange. It had odd opening hours and it always seemed to be under utilised. Cabins – the cabins seemed bigger: longer and with a much larger balcony than usual. The cabins followed the same alternate formula as on X – that is one has the bed by the balcony, then the next has the sofa by the balcony. As already mentioned the bathroom was very X. There was no clothes line in the shower but there was a little hook. The shower was on a pole which could be moved up and down. The shower itself was huge (very X…) with a large curved door that opened outwards, giving even more room. There is no more ‘gloop’ but rather little bottles of shampoo and bars of soap. There were wardrobes built around the bed, one long and one shorter with 2 deep drawers. There was a huge flat screen TV which pulled out so you could watch it from the sofa; there were 2 chairs with foot rests on the balcony. . I could not find a balcony light. There were no nets at the window so if you were getting dressed in port you would need to pull the curtains. The hairdryer is in the drawer of the dresser. On our cruise the mini bar was empty. There are plugs for both US and European plugs and there were also 2 USB ports. The power did NOT have to be on (via the card in the light control) in order for items to charge via the USBs. The décor was taupe and blue. There was also a power socket by the bed. We were on deck 13, upgraded from an inside virtual balcony (like so many others). A good position with only slight noise when they were moving the chairs in the morning in the solarium above. But at the very end of the corridor was a (very heavy) door that led straight into the Solarium which was handy. The room service menu seemed to be smaller than usual, and there is now an additional charge for hot items at breakfast - so if you want eggs/bacon etc they cost $3.95 per item. Movies were free all week (because so many people were seasick.) They seemed to be pretty current offerings like Maleficent. Solarium – take the covered solarium on Oasis and then add the covered solarium on Solstice and put them together to give 2 large solarium areas. Perfect for cold weather cruising. This does mean that the outside pool area was rather small should you have perfect weather. I guess you cannot have everything. I just loved the Solarium area. Always plenty of chairs, they have a multi-level plunge pool and several Jacuzzis in the front 2-level solarium and then a larger pool in the second area. Again, artfully done with plants, statues, and wonderful furniture. Unfortunately the covered round rattan chair would not fit into my suitcase. Other bits There is a very large pink bear. Why? Because they can. There is sky diving. Why? Because they can. There is a pod that rises 300 ft above the ship and then swings out 90o over the side. Why? Because they can. There are dodgem cars, a circus school, roller skating. Why? Because they can. Because of the weather North Star was not ‘flying’ as much as she could. I waited in line for about 40 mins and I was one pod-load (she takes around 15 each trip) from boarding and it was cancelled due to the weather. The next time I waited about 50 mins and got on. Where on earth can you soar above the Atlantic and get such a unique view of the ship. I think it must be beautiful to do this in the Caribbean whilst sailing between the islands. I do suggest that they take bookings for this though to negate the long wait times. I also did the iFly. To be honest I didn’t like it very much but I can say I have done it. They take bookings and it was a very smooth slick operation. Again around 12 to a group and then at the end your instructor shows you how it should be done. I just loved the Bionic Bar. Yes it wasn't working as smoothly as it should - but that meant drinks were free whenever I went (hic). They were so cute, especially when they 'shook' the drinks! Moaners and groaners Goodness it was like the ship of complainers. .People seemed to be wanting to out do each other with their complaints. They were finding fault when there was nothing wrong – like the man who was shouting at the GR lady that there were ‘no shops on board’ and he couldn’t buy toothpaste. Strangely enough I found the toothpaste in the General Store. My take on this is that RCI were overly generous with their early OBC and FCC offers and people then were of the mindset of ‘what else can I get out of them if I try enough’. I was ashamed of the behaviour of some of my fellow cruisers. Anyone with a modicum of intelligence would know that there were bound to be a few hiccups when they chose to sail on a ship that was 2 days old RCI went above and beyond in my opinion. All wifi charges were refunded, in addition to the OBC and FCC. On the final morning we were all up early for the spectacular sail into NY. It was a beautiful clear still morning…..New York themed tunes were blasting out; champagne was served, North Star was flying…I think many shed a tear at the sight. What a great way to end. So, in summary: Oasis met Solstice and they had a baby called Quantum. I personally had no issues at all with boarding times, service, food, or anything else that people are complaining about. My two ‘black marks’ are regarding smoking in the casino and not enforcing the dress code in Grande. Both of these can be easily rectified by RCI management. She is a beauty, and one of the best cruises I have taken. Would I cruise Quantum again? Yes, you bet……! Thank you for reading.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
Unlike other reviewers, the check-in went very quickly, but we arrived at 1.30, and most of the problems were then over. Our cabin was an inside with a virtual balcony. As it was a transatlantic, it was nothing more than ocean after ... Read More
Unlike other reviewers, the check-in went very quickly, but we arrived at 1.30, and most of the problems were then over. Our cabin was an inside with a virtual balcony. As it was a transatlantic, it was nothing more than ocean after ocean, and it finally actually annoyed me, so switched it off and closed the curtain. The cabin was extremely quiet, and bathroom and storage is much improved and appreciated. The cabin temperature seemed to be locked in at 71,2 F, but it never actually cooled down to that. It was difficult to get someone to look at it since the maiden voyage was flogged with so many other issues that personnel were busy with, but finally we were able to cool the cabin down. Dining, the royal IQ app crashed everyday for extended periods of time, which only added confusion to the matter. In all complimentary restaurants, the desserts were not at all appealing. In the American Icon, 2 of their 5 desserts have peanut butter mousse in them... most deserts left me with one word, "WHY?" who thought of such a dessert, and why did they put this on the menu? Best meat was the prime rib in Chic, but for the rest, I was not impressed with Chic, and didn't go back. I did like the Grande, and Silk was a pleasant surprise. Our waiter brought every appetizer out and made it like Dim Sum, which was spectacular. It also had the best dessert, the strawberry mouse with some pound cake thing. Windjammer was a tired scene after the first day, while I usually love the Windjammer. I understood the ship wasn't properly provisioned, so maybe after this first sailing they will bring it back up to standard. It took them until day 4 until half and half appeared, and 5 days until the Ranch dressing appeared and honey for tea. Sour cream for baked potatoes finally showed up on day 6. Ice cream in the Windjammer never made an appearance... My favorite eating venue was Cafe 270. Can't fault anything on the food, only the processes, very inefficient and inexperienced restaurant personnel meant I avoided it at busy times, so I timed it carefully and enjoyed it thoroughly. In general restaurant personnel appeared to be mostly inexperienced. Mama Mia was the bomb. Solarium spectacular. Stateroom attendant was so-so, and not up to the standard I'm used to RCI. Internet was evidently not up to snuff, when we got within the shoreline of the states, it started working, and it was decent and fast, not spectacular. Inside furnishing and feel, very modern and art deco like, a break from tradition, and extremely well done. Everything was good, but as I mention in the title, it seemed to be a classy 8 cylinder vehicle that couldn't manage to hit on more than 6 cylinders at anyone time. The cruise was good, I enjoyed myself and got a lot of rest, and let irritations of the working go, but in the same breath, I wasn't wowed like I am accustomed to by RCI. I considering booking it May when she sails back to Europe, if only to see if they managed to worked out the seemingly endless operational faults and if the personnel is more experienced. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
This, at first, is going to sound like a negative review, but make no mistake, in spite of the numerous glitches, the Quantum of the Seas is an amazing ship and the much-hyped “WOW” is an understatement. My wife and I are experienced ... Read More
This, at first, is going to sound like a negative review, but make no mistake, in spite of the numerous glitches, the Quantum of the Seas is an amazing ship and the much-hyped “WOW” is an understatement. My wife and I are experienced cruisers, (this is cruise number 30) in our late 50’s who have been looking forward to this cruise for a year. I have followed its construction and we could hardly wait to get aboard. While writing this review in my head before actually putting pen to paper, I contemplated ignoring the numerous glitches that overwhelmed many of us. These glitches, however annoying and irritating, do not affect how future cruisers will sail. They are a product of a brand new ship with all sorts of never-before-seen technology. Bugs in the systems are to be expected. If I don’t mention them, perhaps my review would be trivialized as invalid, as though my head were in the sand. We experienced all sorts of problems; embarkation was a disaster. Nothing close to the scan and walk-on as touted. It took over an hour to get on-board. But when you get on this ship, it will not be out of Southampton, a terminal clearly unready to handle this. Our luggage was missing for 11 hours. The Luggage tracking system didn’t work so well. The robot bartenders at the Bionic Bar didn’t work so well either, but they didn’t charge you for drinks. These will both be super-cool when the bugs are worked out, by the time you’re on board. The POS system on board was sometimes down, so if you went to buy something they sometimes could not and did not charge you. The heralded “wristbands” were not in the room like they were supposed to be, you had to get them from Guest Relations. Even getting a room key was a challenge! Ours wasn’t where it was supposed to be. The queue at the Guest Relations Desk was often outrageously long, certainly indicating even more problems that we did not personally experience. I admit that the first day on this ship was easily the most trying day on board any ship, any cruise line, any time, anywhere. I didn’t have my head in the sand. There were many issues, but I know RCCL very well and I am therefore certain that this is all very short-lived. Even before boarding, we had already booked a second voyage on this ship for February. We are certain that by then, the bugs will long be squashed and we will sail into beautiful Caribbean weather. On Day 2 , we received a very nice letter from RCCL apologizing for the catastrophes of the previous day as well as compensating us monetarily in a way that I and virtually every other passenger that we encountered, considered to be more than fair. I’m done with the negatives. Dinner the first night was at Silk. A stunning meal, not to be missed. The dining room is spectacular. Dynamic Dining is an interesting twist on the typical cruise dining format. There has always been a main dining room with an ever-changing menu. We would always visit the dining room early in the afternoon to get a glimpse of that evening’s menu. If it was not particularly appealing to us, we would opt for a different dining venue, perhaps a for-fee dining experience that evening. The restaurants on-board the Quantum always have the same menu. But this works perfectly. If you’re up for Asian, Silk is the choice and it’s better than if the MDR had Asian fare on a particular night. In that case, they would probably have a couple of Asian preparations, or oriental twists on basic items. Not so at Silk. You are immersed in Asian culture, complete with elaborate and lavish décor. An amazing experience, not to be missed. We attended the premier of the Starwater show. Words cannot describe this show. Interestingly, we were warned about possible technological hiccups before the show started and there were none. This show is far beyond what words can describe. If this show were on land, a ticket would cost $150-$200. I apologize for being at a loss for words to describe this show. All I can say: See it!! WOW! On the morning of Day 2, we had breakfast at the Marketplace (lido deck buffet). It was very good. Then we walked around evaluating our other choices for the rest of the week. Celebrity chef Devin Alexander has a great place on Deck 14. Finally some imaginative choices for breakfast! Furthermore, she was on board and it was a pleasure to meet her and chat for a bit…and buy her cookbook. We had a few choices for lunch. The marketplace had a great selection of food. It looked great, but we ate at Jamie’s Italian for this meal. Is it ok to say “WOW” again? What a great meal and great atmosphere! Cruise ships seem to have become less about the food over the past few years. I understand that. Not everyone is about fancy dining; some people are just “meat and potatoes” people. But for us, the food aboard this ship is heaven on earth. Inspired, imaginative and creative. Wonderland is actual proof of this; great service, stunning cuisine. The food comes to you a bit faster than I prefer, but they tell you that this is how the kitchen operates. It’s a bit unusual, but you certainly cannot claim slow service. Still, the meal takes two hours and it is amazing. The Music Hall is a terrific live band venue. A group called Horizon – clearly aimed at our baby-boomer demographic - is excellent as was the Beatles cover band, Beatle Maniacs. We had lunch at the Marketplace on Tuesday after sleeping in. I was amazed at how good the food was! Especially the prime rib! I think that I had a pound of it! Dinner at the Grande – the formal dining room – was a bit disappointing on 2 levels. First of all, it is very surprising to me that formal isn’t formal. I admit that dressing for dinner isn’t for everybody, but if you go to a formal event, men wear tuxedos. Sorry folks, suit and tie is semi-formal, not formal, and a tee-shirt and jeans… really? If it is a formal dining room, enforce the rules. If it isn’t, that’s fine too, just don’t pretend. I would have bet that the servers would be in formal attire. Nope. Well dressed, yes, but not formal. Secondly, the food, while good, isn’t over the top. I really expected more. This venue features Lobster Bisque, Beef Tenderloin and Lobster Thermidor. It is equivalent to formal night on a regular cruise ship. The good news however, is that this is a free restaurant, meaning that you can have Maine lobster for free, every night, on the Quantum of the Seas. That’s not so bad! The Music Hall is a terrific concert venue. The feel is entirely different than the standard band-that-plays-in-the-room-that-also-does-comedy-and-bingo room. Great stage, great layout. It took until Wednesday for the ocean to calm down. It had been very rough seas for the first few days. No worries as far as you’re concerned as the Caribbean will be relatively smooth. We had dinner at the American Icon restaurant on Wednesday night. If you aren’t an adventurous diner, this will be your favorite….turkey dinner, steak dinner, mac & cheese. This dining room has gorgeous murals of American scenery like the Grand Canyon and Yosemite. A word about our room steward… When I have read negative reviews on Cruise Critic, it seems that even the worst reviews by the most critical critics still say that their room steward was great. We had a room steward that always cleaned our room and threw in the occasional towel animal, but that’s it. If I were to somehow sequence every room steward that we’ve ever had from best to worst, he would be the worst, not because he did anything wrong, but because he didn’t do anything extra. It was a bit odd. In the past, on any line, the stewards always tried to be part of your vacation by doing just a little bit extra, even if its just remembering your name or opening your door for you. If he is the “worst”, its hardly because he was bad, just noticeably different and somewhat invisible. In his defense, when we got to the pier, we found that we had been upgraded from an inside cabin (we wanted to check out the virtual balcony) to a balcony stateroom. He didn’t get any information about us. He had no idea that we were Emerald level and that we were therefore entitled to certain gifts and amenities. He felt that he was blindsided a bit. Regardless, this did not affect our time on the Quantum in any way. We were in room 7602. This is a balcony stateroom that is the largest and best room we’ve ever had, complete with more closet space and storage than we have ever seen. The prospect of land-speed internet access was an exciting feature, but it wasn’t what I expected – at least not yet. That said, it is much faster and much less expensive than Wi-Fi on any other ship. It is supposed to be fast enough to stream video, FaceTime and apps…no way (yet). It was often down and never close to that fast, but, it is much faster than free hotel Internet access and probably 100 times faster than regular cruise ship Wi-Fi which is around dial-up speed. As for the cost…maybe when it is 100% reliable the cost will be much higher, but with my Emerald discount (maybe 10-15%?) it cost $161 for continuous connection – unlimited Internet access. That buys about 5-6 hours on other ships. Very cool. The Chef’s Table was excellent, but by no means the best we’ve experienced. I liked it more when it was an exclusive event. Carnival does a better job, surprisingly enough, with their unique settings (we’ve has the meal in the disco on the Miracle and in the kitchen on the Dream) and integrated entertainment. The Quantum has a separate room for the Chef’s Table, and they have it nightly. It seems to have lost its exclusivity. It comes highly recommended (we have done about 10 of them on 4 different lines), but I can’t be sure that I would do it again on RCCL and it is not the top dining experience on the Quantum. Wonderland probably is, but all dining experiences have been very good to excellent. Having breakfast in the American Icon dining room was great. The selection is a cut above the standard breakfast fare and the service was very fast. You probably don’t go on a cruise ship to shop – at least not to shop the shops on board – but it is definitely worth mentioning that the stores on board are very upscale: Cartier, Bvlgari and many more, not to mention the “standard” upscale stores that sell fine jewelry and fine watches. I don’t board to buy a $15,000 watch, but its nice to know that you can and its fun to look. My wife and I do enjoy the theater and Las Vegas shows, but have never seen Mama Mia! until now and I can tell you that it is easily the best show on any ship, presented in uncut, unedited Broadway style over 2 ½ hours. Great story, great cast, great performance and a great venue. And the seats would easily cost $150-$200 on land. We saw it twice, for free. And the same goes for Starwater…twice, not $200, free. The new best reason to cruise. We enjoy being in beautiful surroundings, and I can assure you that the Quantum is the most beautiful ship ever built. It is far from a gaudy beauty, it is an elegant and sophisticated beauty. Every room is stunning in its own way. We think that the NCL Breakaway is beautiful, as is the Carnival Breeze. This ship tops both of those, and that isn’t an easy feat. Looking ahead at what the Quantum of the Seas is poised to offer; cutting edge technology, spectacular shows, food choices that range from the most basic (the catering truck in the Seaplex, pizza at Sorento’s) to the sophisticated (imaginative cuisine at Wonderland), this is the ship of dreams. We helped to put the finishing touches on her as she transforms from the Lady in Waiting to the most magnificent of sailing vessels. This was the first voyage, by the first ship in a new class of ships. It was not ready for prime time. There were over 100 IT professionals on board to fix the glitches, on the fly. You could see the progress that they were making every day. Things that didn’t work yesterday, worked on the next day. Did this ruin our time? Absolutely not! We feel as though we helped to build her and are proud to have been among the first to sail on the greatest ship on earth. We are already booked to return on February 2nd. That should say it all.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
We are in our early 60s, Diamond members, and usually take three to four cruises per year on Celebrity or RCL. Our trip began with two nights in London where we walked and walked and walked since the weather was perfect and we hoped to see ... Read More
We are in our early 60s, Diamond members, and usually take three to four cruises per year on Celebrity or RCL. Our trip began with two nights in London where we walked and walked and walked since the weather was perfect and we hoped to see as much as possible on foot. After taking the early buss to Southampton, we eagerly and patiently awaiting our turn to get onboard this magnificent new ship while listening to people angrily complain about the chaotic embarkation process. Imagine our surprise when we received a letter the next day saying we would be compensated with a $300.00 OBC, along with a 25%PP FCC for RCL's failure to provide their promised "high tech" embarkation. We felt blessed that RCL would do this and looked forward to the rest of the cruise believing it would provide a WOW experience as promised. What a disappointment this trip was. I can truly say if this had been our first cruise, I don't believe we would ever cruise again. The food in the Windjammer was inconsistent. For two days my husband was told they had no cream for coffee. Ice and water machines were located in an inconvenient place, toast was made by one person feeding in single slices, eggs cooked to order took 10 minutes, and tables were frequently left uncleared. We did enjoy dining in Silk and American Icon Grill along with the cafe at 270 but 270 also ran out of certain items towards the end of the trip. We did enjoy seeing Mama Mia, it is not to be missed. Starwater was amazing..we saw it twice but the other "guest entertainers" were average. There was not much else to do during the day: one lecture by the captain, the usual trivia and dance instruction but no live music anywhere on the ship until after 5:30pm. I can understand this during a port intensive cruise but this was a TA. Parts of the ship were stunning, especially on deck 5 leading to the back room, 270 where Starwater is performed. I found other parts to be dark and gloomy with no view of the outside sea. Quantum was not the ship for me but I'm sure others may love it. That's the beauty of cruising. There is something for everyone.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
This is our 4th TransAtlantic and our first inaugural cruise. We went with an open mind and a good amount of patience as we did not expect everything to be smooth. We were not disappointed as things definitely did not go smooth. It all ... Read More
This is our 4th TransAtlantic and our first inaugural cruise. We went with an open mind and a good amount of patience as we did not expect everything to be smooth. We were not disappointed as things definitely did not go smooth. It all started with the weather as we had several days of rocking and rolling. The ship seemed to take it all well but the poor weather cancelled or postponed a lot of activities. First what we liked: The ship is generally finished and shows well. It is well laid out much like the Solstice class ships for the sister brand Celebrity. It handles the crowds well. Stateroom: We had a D3 balcony on deck 13. It was roomy with lots of storage space and a nice bathroom. The shower set-up is one of the best I've experienced in over 15 cruises. The balcony was a good size and had two chairs, footstools and a small table. One negative is the HVAC system could not be controlled well from the room. We and others were all complaining that we could not lower temp below 71.6 degrees. This may be a start-up issue but RCL will need to address before warm and muggy Caribbean. Deck 13 is below pool deck and had some noise issues. For more quiet, I would book a cabin deck 12 or below. Crown and Anchor: New on this ship was that the loaded daily drinks for the various Crown and Anchor levels (We got 3 per day for Diamond) on you cruise card/wrist band. This allowed you to get a drink at the various bars without having to go to a specific lounge at 5PM. Soda Card Upgrade: They had the new Coke Product machines throughout the boat so if you had the glass that went with the soda package you could go up to the machines at anytime and avoid the bars just to get a soda. Big Big improvement. Of interest is that the machines would only give out drinks to the package glass. How it could figure that out I will never know. Momma Mia: Fantastic full production. Jamies Italian: Of the 18 or so food outlets, this was the one that stood out. Very good and tasty Italian fare. TWO70 Venue: Think IMAX meets Cirque del sole with a sprinkling of Robots, add in great sound with singers and dancers and you have a wonderfully unique venue and shows. When it all works. Some first cruise up and downs but this will be a fan favorite of this ship and has great upside. Ships Staff: Everyone was pleasant and tried hard to make it all work with a smile as they were learning the new technology on the fly. Final Highlight: Coming into NYC at dawn on final day with fire boats spraying water as we go past Statue of Liberty while Frank Sinatra was singing New York New York. What could be finer!! NYC skyline at dawn was breathtaking. What needs work: Dynamic Dining: There is no main dinning room so in that way cruising on the Quantum IS different. I would definitely recommend booking on line before you board as you will find the good outlets with no availability once on board. This new approach makes co-ordinating reservations with friends difficult. Especially friends you meet on board. The venue themselves all seemed nicely designed but the food all seemed to taste the same from place to place. Also the menu options, at least on this cruise, were somewhat limited. The one exception was Jamies Italian which was excellent. Coastal Kitchen, RCL's version of Celebrities "Bleu" is for suite guests and pinnacle level guests only. Unlike "Bleu", the menu is the same every day which is a negative. Also Jr. Suite customers can only eat dinner while the upper level suite and Pinnacle guests could also eat breakfast and lunch in the venue. I suspect this will change over time. High Tech nature of ship: The Quantum is a leading edge technology ship. When it works, much of it has the desired WOW factor. But on its first cruise it did not all work and when it doesn't work, the whole experience breaks down. So for the next few cruises everyone needs to keep this in mind and have patience as they work out the bugs. Examples of breakdown on this cruise were iPad breakdowns and learning curves when checking in, lost dinner reservations, Bionic bar breakdowns, one of the TWO70 experience robots broke, and the Northstar did get stuck one day stranding some people for a short period. TranAtlantic Entertainment: In comparison to previous TA's on RCL and Celebrity, daytime activities were minimal and I actually found myself bored on a couple of days. No midday shows, no midday movies, no Talent show, Quest, Liars club, cooking demos,pool games etc. The live music options were generally limited to after 5. No guitar player or atrium live music to enjoy the day. Evening shows and performers were fine and even great in Two70 and Momma Mia but for a TA it needed more. We did not do the skydive simulator, flowrider or the bumper cars but heard generally good reviews of those features. The Seaplex is a full sized gym and will offer many guests lots of enjoyment. Final Comment: The new terminal at Cape Liberty is finished and worked well. Plenty of cabs and shared rides to Newark. By carrying luggage ourselves off the boat we were at Newark and thru security by 9:30AM. So all in all, not the best TA we have taken but the weather certainly contributed to that. In general, RCL should be credited for trying new ideas. I am sure they will work out the bugs but it might take a few cruises.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
Let's start off with an important caveat: This was the maiden voyage of Quantum so some of the things that happened on our cruise will hopefully not be indicitative of the new Quantum class product. I feel it only fair to point this ... Read More
Let's start off with an important caveat: This was the maiden voyage of Quantum so some of the things that happened on our cruise will hopefully not be indicitative of the new Quantum class product. I feel it only fair to point this out from the start in order to provide a balanced and fair review. Ok, let's get going... Appearance: This ship is visually WOW inside, especially when you compare it (as you naturally would) to every other Royal Caribbean ship in the fleet. There are the Royal touches that make you know what brand you are sailing with but then there are so many new elements which make you feel they have created a hybrid company between Royal and Celebrity. I can honestly say that this makes it the perfect combination of Celebrity style and finesse and Royal activity and excitement and we love this new era of sailing. The inside spaces have been carefully considered and there is a real shift of feel as you move about the ship. I especially loved the transition between the Via and the Esplanade. The feeling of serenity as you walk through the "empty space" with the butterflies and calming music is really well constructed. I have seen several comments about the lack of Viking Crown in the design and how un-Royal it felt--I could not disagree more. The design is crisp, well constructed and misses nothing through the lack of Viking Crown lounge. Art: Quantum has more art that you could ever hope to see in one cruise and some of it is incredibly creative, bold and clever. There is the obvious big pink bear, which provides for the best photo backdrop ever on a ship through to the flower eyes as you enter the Windjammer (keeping an eye on the number of times you go in and eat even more food am sure!) to the butterflies adorning the Via and down towards two70. Different things would catch your eye each time and I was really pleased to see such a great connection between the art and the spaces. Entertainment & Activities: I simply cannot begin to describe how two70 takes theatre and socialising space to a new level. As a concept it is so simple but so cleverly put together. It was always busy, even during rehearsals and testing and a great space to watch the roll of the ship as we sailed through the choppy North Atlantic in November--maybe a little overwhelming at times and a cocktail or two needed to calm the nerves, or make them worse perhaps! The view out of the back with the several storey windows is superb and mesmerising. Then....wow oh wow...comes Starwater. As someone with training in the theatre I literally couldn't contain my excitement when we saw Starwater for the first (and mostly the second) time. The robo screens and the soft porn at sea cast were jaw-droppingly good. Sadly, the second time we saw it with some friends the screeens weren't working which really does affect the levels of interaction in the show but it was still performed to such a high standard. We realised at the end of the cruise that only once did we go and see something in the theatre--very unusual for us. This was of course Mamma Mia, which again was superbly put together and worth the wait after the sea caused postponed shows. Two70 and the Music Hall were definately the spaces of choice and changed how we usually spend time on a ship. The Music Hall is a really nice addition and much better concept that the usual large lounge space Royal have for entertainment. The 80's nights were so much fun and all good intentions to be in bed early were thrown out of the window thanks to the excellent tribute band. Our most frequented spot on the ship though (apart from the Diamond lounge and Pool Bar!) was the Sea Plex--we love it. Although the bumper cars were on the shy and tired side--not wanting to charge apparently--we did get to experience them twice during the cruise and we had such a giggle on them. Such a mad idea for a cruise ship but I am a big fan of crazy ideas so bring it on! We watched some of the circus skills stuff but never participated as we were alway en route to somewhere else, or in need of a hot dog at the back--yum yum!! Outside of the Seaplex is even more excitement with the rockwall, Flowrider and i-Fly. The first two are old hat for Royal but still nice to see. The latter however is simply a must-do activity when on board--so much so we did it twice, nearly three times had the weather not got rough again. The team leading the i-fly were superb and clearly loved their jobs, making it so much more enjoyable for everyone. The nerves quickly fluttered away when you are in the chamber being manhandled by the fittest men you could ever hope to fly with! The North Star...yeah...what more to say--cherry picker in the sky. Queued three hours, only because it had to be done but not really worth it. Novelty of it was fun but wouldn't rush to do it again. I nearly forgot to mention the Bionic Bar--well it didn't work on the Maiden voyage, but thanks for the free testing cocktails Makr Shakr team :)! We even created a new dining venue during these tests--the Bionic Bar Buffet and very nice it was (thanks Sorrentos) whilst sneaking in another multi-coloured freebie. I am looking forward to the Bionic Bar being fully functional and hope it does work! Dining: Ok, so this is a big change for Royal and there are good and bad points to it, some of which we put down to it being the maiden voyage but some of it we feel needs changing. Silk is a-ma-zing and we cancelled Jamie's Italian in order to join friends to eat there again on the final night. Chic and the Grande equally great but American Icon needs some work. The menu is odd (think Windjammer style but not as hot--yes, even more luke warm than the usual Windjammer food!) and for us just didn't work. We heard others saying similar things. Devinly Decadance is a great change to the Solarium Bistro and we loved the relaxed atmosphere it had, alongside some amazingly tasty food. Will definately be booking to go back on our next Quantum adventure in May. Then we come to Wonderland--if you have friends on board then do Wonderland as a group. We (somehow--thanks Alice/Helena!!) managed to eat there twice as a group and getting a whole load of dishes to share was fab. I want to say the food is simply out of this world, but it really isn't. It is just really well-prepared and presented food. The decor and staff (especially Helena, Oliver and Rudy) are what make it and we had two of the best meals ever thanks to them. We will never forget the Big B!! Cabin: These cabins are bigger, obviously in relative terms being a cruise, and look so much crisper. We were uber excited about being the first paid passengers and the first people to sleep in the bed (ok, we knew we weren't really but we like pretending!) but we got into our room and there was a half drunk bottle of wine in our fridge and the bathroom wasn't clean--not a great start. This was sorted promptly though but still shouldn't have happened on the first cruise. We also had an issue with the balcony partition which took two days to resolve (Guest Services are just as useless in the main on this ship as they always were--no point dwelling on this as Royal never does anything about empowering Guest Services to do anything!). Once sorted this gave us a great cabin, in a great location but the first two days were frustrating to say the least--also resulting in us having to sleep in another (unfinished) cabin on the first night after much complaining. I need to shut up now but there is so much more I could say about this cruise and this ship but let's not bore you all to sleep. I should of course leave something for a follow up review in May! The ship, when completely finished, will be stunning. As I am sure you can see from other reviews of the maiden voyage, there were lots of things that went wrong, but hey Royal Caribbean who are known for having rubbish technology have launched a ship that is full of it from top to bottom--something was clearly going to go wrong!! Being seasoned cruisers we knew things were going wrong--it was a maiden voyage peeps--and it made for a more memorable cruise, especially given the gifts in return!! The fabulous crew on board also made up for the mistakes and broken bits. We booked the transatlantic back to Europe next May and are taking some friends who have never been on a cruise before. I want to go now--this ship really does change everything...bring it on! Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
Quantum of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.5
Dining 3.5 3.1
Entertainment 4.0 3.9
Public Rooms 5.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.0
Family 4.0 4.0
Enrichment 3.0 3.2
Service 5.0 3.6
Value For Money 4.0 3.1
Rates 3.0 N/A

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