2nd November 2014
RCI’s newest ship, ‘Quantum of the Seas’ departed Southampton this evening, bound for her home-port of Cape Liberty, New Jersey.
Quantum is carrying her first fare paying passengers on this 8 day transatlantic crossing.
So what has all the fuss been about?
Quite simply Royal Caribbean have got the reputation of delivering the industries most amazingly designed ships. In recent decades, each new design of ship has been state-of-the-art and often a ‘game changer’.
The pinnacle of their achievement was when the world’s biggest cruise ship, ‘Oasis of the Seas’ entered service in October 2009.
Oasis’s design is probably almost impossible to top with current technology, so RCI made sure that their next ship ‘Quantum’, would be a completely different animal. Firstly she is smaller than Oasis and designed for cooler climates. Gone are many of the big ‘Wow’ spaces, which used to be RCI’s trademark, in comes ‘Dynamic Dining’ and a whole host of technology.
The Secret Ship
‘Quantum of The Seas’ must have been the most secret cruise ship ever built by any cruise line. Only during the past few days have images and full details of her facilities started to become available, mainly from visiting press and not always from RCI.
Quantum’s original project name was ‘Sunshine’, I still have no idea why? Anyone?
The End of my Coverage
I have probably spent over two years writing about Quantum and speculating about her facilities (and giving RCI lots of free publicity). My guesses were often wrong.
No one predicted the ‘North star’ observation pod. No one expected ‘Dynamic Dining’, until early booked passengers were told that they could not book an early or late sitting, then we began to wonder.
‘Dynamic Dining’ is of course a very fundamental change for RCI and not without risk. It will change the design of every RCI ship from now on and will probably be retro-fitted to all of their older tonnage too.
My invitation to visit the ship was obviously lost in the post. Like you, I will rely on passenger reviews to provide the final pieces to the jigsaw. Here are my questions for those that will be on-board:
1) The facilities for youngsters look great, but what does the ship have to offer adults?
2) How does the ‘Royal Esplanade’ differ/feel compared to a ‘Royal Promenade’?
3) Having multiple dining options leaves a lot less room for ‘wow’ spaces (like the Royal Viking Crown, Central Park, Studio B, Royal Prom. tall atriums etc.). How does this affect the ships ‘feel’.
4) Does Dynamic Dining work?
5) It all that technology just silly gimmicks or real enhancements?
6) The ‘BIG’ question is does Quantum feel like an RCI ship or has their product morphed in NCL, feeling more like Breakaway and Getaway?
NY – Enjoy your new ship!