Quantum of the Seas Restaurants
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As Quantum of the Seas has figured out the likes and dislikes of its Chinese base, the onboard offerings have changed. Gone is Johnny Rockets, replaced by a noodle bar. Likewise, the usual Michael's Pub is now the Harp & Horn, which -- despite its British name -- offers Chinese bar food favorites like whole grilled fish and chicken feet. The Solarium Bistro has become the Hot Pot and the signature restaurant Wonderland is now called Da Dong Wonderland, offering a nine-course gourmet meal from a Michelin-starred Chinese chef.
Asian food does dominate on Quantum of the Seas, particularly in the Windjammer Buffet, and there aren't that many options for those who don't like those flavors. The quality in the complimentary restaurants was a tad better than what we've seen elsewhere on Royal Caribbean; still, foodies will want to pay extra for better meals. Westerners excited to eat Chinese food on the ship may be disappointed in the spice and flavor levels of the complimentary venues; we found ourselves reaching for the chili sauce to amp things up a notch.
Be aware that Chinese dining habits are slightly different from what you might be used to. Most passengers on our cruise ate early, preferring to get there as soon as the venue opened (lines for the main dining rooms began forming 15 minutes before they opened). If you dislike crowds and want a more leisurely service, go on the late side. Many Chinese also like to order almost immediately, without taking time for drinks or perusing the menu; you might also be surprised at the abrupt tone some passengers take with waiters in the main dining room.
The dress code is fairly casual, though shorts aren't permitted. One thing we appreciated were the constant reminders for handwashing and hygiene. A sink has been built at the entrance of Windjammers and passengers are funneled there by an attendant. Customs do differ in China, and so we recommend that you use hand sanitizer frequently and open restroom doors with a paper towel.
Royal Caribbean fans will be happy to see favorites such as pizza at Sorrento's and pastries at Cafe Promenade. Chops and Jamie's are also onboard and provide a welcome change from Asian food.
Passengers looking for a little higher-end experience or wanting to try something completely new have several additional-fee options. Overall, the quality of food at the upcharge restaurants is better than you'll get at the included restaurants. Reservations are recommended for all sit-down fee dining, although the Western restaurants have more availability than the Asian ones.
If you expect to dine at a number of the sit-down alternative restaurants, you can save some money by booking online ahead of your cruise. If you book three restaurants, you get a 20 percent discount, four gets you a 25 percent break and five reservations will save you 30 percent. Packages onboard will also save you money. All specialty restaurant prices incur an additional 18 percent charge for gratuity.
All restaurants, free or fee, can accommodate dietary restrictions. Waiters asked us when we sat down about restrictions and requests; once such notes are made, all waiters at all restaurants have access to that information and can ensure your dietary needs are met.