We boarded one of Royal Caribbean’s most ambitious class of ships which is headed for Australia. Here’s what to expect.
Australia will welcome two Quantum-class vessels in October 2023: Quantum of the Seas sailing from Brisbane and Ovation of the Seas sailing from Sydney.
For those keen on fly-cruising and sailing from Southeast Asia, the Quantum-Ultra class Spectrum of the Seas is currently based in Singapore, with itineraries to Port Klang and Phuket. From October, she visits Thailand as well.
Royal Caribbean’s Quantum class of vessels is all about high-tech features, exciting activities and state-of-the-art facilities.
Here’s what cruisers can expect.
Quantum-class ships feature 16 passenger-accessible decks, eight of which include balcony staterooms overlooking the ocean.
Ovation and Quantum of the Seas can hold 4,905 guests in total, as well as 1,500 crew. Both ships have a gross tonnage of 168,666.
As for Spectrum, she holds 5,622 guests and 1551 crew, with a gross tonnage of 169,379.
With the exception of Spectrum, Quantum-class vessels have a total of 2,094 staterooms: 1,571 balcony staterooms, 148 ocean-view staterooms, and 375 inside staterooms, 34 of which are wheelchair accessible.
All interior staterooms include floor-to-ceiling, 80-inch high-definition TV screens showing live views from the outside of the ship, dubbed a “Virtual Balcony”.
On average, staterooms on the Quantum class are nine percent larger than those on the preceding Oasis class.
Having stayed in balcony staterooms on both Quantum and Spectrum, I found them to be clean and well-appointed, with a modern design.
Spectrum of the Seas features the Ultimate Family Suite: a two-deck-high, expansive multi-room retreat complete with its own in-suite slide and cinema which also doubles as a karaoke stage. There’s also an air hockey table, table tennis and separate master suite with a luxurious spa-like bathroom where parents can retreat.
Also on Spectrum is the Suite Enclave: Royal Caribbean’s first and exclusive space for the Royal Suite Class Star, Sky and Sea accommodations in a private area, featuring exclusive floor access, an elevator, private restaurants and a dedicated lounge area.
Gold Suite guests have access to The Balcony, a private outdoor space offering the best views of the sunset, and The Boutique, which can be reserved for private shopping of fine watches and jewellery and wine tasting.
An exciting new feature on the Quantum-Class is RipCord by iFly.
The first skydiving experience at sea allows cruisers to experience the thrill of skydiving in a safe, controlled, simulated environment.
“Flying” takes place inside a 23-foot tall glass flight chamber, giving guests the chance to fly while taking in stunning ocean views.
Another new experience at sea is the North Star, a jewel-shaped glass observation capsule which takes guests to more than 300 feet above sea level. The capsule also rotates upwards and over the sides of the ship to provide 360-degree views of the surroundings.
Do note that on Asia sailings, both the North Star and iFly are chargeable and must be booked in advance.
The FlowRider, Royal Caribbean’s first surf simulator at sea, will also excite adventurous guests. Located right next to RipCord by iFly, guests can catch some waves by either boogie boarding or stand-up surfing.
Spectrum of the Seas also boasts Asia’s first virtual reality, bungee trampoline adventure at sea. Guests can strap in, don a headset and transport themselves to another time and planet. You might want to avoid this if you are prone to motion-sickness, or choose to do the bungee trampoline without the VR headset.
Cruisers will be enthralled by Two70, a revolutionary multi-level room. The venue is named for its 270-degree panoramic sea views through vast, floor-to-ceiling glass walls spanning almost three decks. In the evenings, the space transforms again, turning into a multimedia theatre featuring performances with robotic dancing screens, aerialists and much more.
If you fancy a good cocktail made by robots, you’ll also love the Bionic Bar. Guests can watch in awe as their drinks are made to order with precision and flair by two robotic bartenders. The menu spotlights classics and signature drinks, but you can also design your own cocktail or mocktail.
Another crowd-drawer is the SeaPlex – the largest indoor activity space at sea. This sporting and entertainment venue plays host to a large array of activities, including bumper cars, laser tag, escape room, roller skating, dance classes, archery and sporting tournaments.
Music lovers can also head on over to the Music Hall, the ultimate place to enjoy live band performances, DJs, theme night parties, billiards and more, all showcased in a state-of-the-art setting.
Other facilities on Quantum ships include a well-equipped Medical Centre, a rock-climbing wall, an outdoor movie screen, the Royal Theatre, an adults-only solarium, a casino, outdoor pools, indoor pools, a spa, fitness centre and an Adventure Ocean Kids’ Club.
The Quantum vessels also feature a wide array of dining experiences, including specialty dining such as:
- Wonderland: Imaginative cuisine where dishes are designed to present a visual feast. You’ll get to choose dishes based on five natural elements – Earth, Sea, Fire, Ice and Sun. If you love spice and smoky flavours, opt for something from the Fire section, like the Buffalo chicken eggs or the crispy prawn kataifi with Scotch bonnet pepper.
- Chops Grille: Quality, hand-cut steaks, with a revamped menu that brings contemporary flair to traditional steakhouse offerings.
- Jamie’s Italian: Homemade pastas, classic Italian mains and delicious desserts crafted by one of Britain’s most famous chefs.
- Izumi: Traditional Japanese cuisine such as sushi, udon and ramen.
- Sichuan Red: Designed exclusively for Spectrum of the Seas, this one features authentic spices and wow-worthy Asian-inspired flavours. Don’t miss out on the fried rice, wontons with spicy sauce and boiled fish.
- Teppanyaki: Another one just for Spectrum, Teppanyaki features authentic oriental flavors cooked in Japan’s traditional teppanyaki-style. Guests will see it all come together as an expert chef works right at the table. The service is excellent, and the steak, seafood and desserts are top-notch.