Quantum of the Seas
Royal Caribbean's Quantum of the Seas is the newest cruise ship in the fleet and began offering her first cruises in November 2014.
- Our list of things we loved, hated and were surprised by on Quantum of the Seas
- American Icon Grill review
- Quantum of the Seas at night photo gallery
When you wake up onboard Royal Caribbean's Quantum of the Seas you will probably be wondering where you can get something to eat to start your day.
There are some obvious choices and there's also some other options less passengers visit too. Depending on what you're in the mood for, there's something for everyone.
The place most guests go is the buffet on deck 14 that offers a little of everything. The Windjammer is a Royal Caribbean staple and it also offers the widest selection of breakfast choices.
For families or just groups that can't all agree on one thing, this is the best option. There's so much to choose from and the omelette station is wonderful.
Given it's popularity, it's also commonly the most crowded, especially during the later breakfast hours. You will get what you want here but you may have to wait in line to get it.
American Icon Grill
For fans of the main dining room breakfast experience, American Icon Grill is the next best thing.
Having breakfast at the American Icon Grill means you will be seated at a table (sometimes with other guests) and order off a set breakfast menu.
What attracts most people to breakfast at the American Icon Grill is the table-service experience that is more formal than a buffet.
Just like the Windjammer, it can get busy here too.
For something "off the beaten path", try Devinly Decadence on Deck 14 near the Solarium. It's kind of like "American Icon Grill-light", with table-service breakfast but with less choices.
What we like about Devinly Decadence for breakfast is the fact it's often less busy than most other places but you can still get your table service option for a more relaxed breakfast.
If you're in a rush and just want something quick for breakfast, then run over to the Royal Esplanade and stop by Cafe Promenade.
Danishes, croissants and muffins are the kind of quick grab-and-go breakfast options available (along with a cup of coffee).
It's great if you're running off the ship for a shore excursion or just want something simple.
Rise & Dine Dreamworks Character Dining
Whether you have kids or you just enjoy the Dreamworks characters (or both), Royal Caribbean offers a breakfast with some of your favorite Dreamworks characters.
Located in Silk, this is just like breakfast at the American Icon Grill but with the company of characters.
Breakfast here is of the sit-down variety and you get a little entertainment to go with it. For kids, it's free but anyone over the age of 10 will have to pay a $10 fee.
The Cafe @ Two70
Perhaps one of the least-busy places to eat breakfast is the Cafe @ Two70. Since it's all the way at the end of the ship and not in a busy area of the ship during the morning hours, we've found The Cafe to be frequently uncrowded, even during peak times.
The menu here offers a little of everything, including a full bagel bar. There's also cereal, pastries, and some hot breakfast items.
The Cafe is the middle ground between the Windjammer and some of the quicker options. You will still get in and out pretty quickly but there's more variety than Cafe Promenade.
What's your favorite spot for breakast on Quantum of the Seas? Share it with us in the comments below!
Recently TechCrunch got a tour of the IT never center behind Royal Caribbean's Quantum of the Seas.
The tour looks at how Royal Caribbean manages to provide a 600 Mbps connection with a satellite and provide Wi-Fi access across the ship for everyone.
I'm happy to welcome back guest blogger Don & Heidi from EatSleepCruise.com! They've got another really interesting blog post to share with everyone today about what I consider to be one of the coolest features on any Royal Caribbean ship. Enjoy!
Inside cabins, by their nature, can sometimes feel claustrophobic. While we almost exclusively stay in interior cabins, as a cost saving mechanism, we admit, they do sometimes feel closed off from the rest of the cruise ship.
Royal Caribbean must have heard our pleas when designing the Quantum of the Seas. To enhance the experience in these interior cabins, and bring travelers one step closer to the ocean, this innovative ship offers “virtual balconies”.
Yes, those staying in interior cabins can now have a real time view of the outside world. These virtual balconies are really 80" 4K LED Sharp Aquos screens that pan floor to ceiling, and through the use of technology, project real time video and sound. There are even curtains on the side of screen to complete the effect.
What are these technological wonders like you ask? Well, we recently spent 8 days sailing on Quantum of the Seas and can give you a detailed description of our experiences with these new portals to the outside world.
Day 1-- Embarkation Day
Yes, the virtual balcony is on as soon as you enter your inside cabin. We stayed in room 10-207, portside. This meant that our virtual balcony was actually displaying the view from the starboard side of the ship. Getting on the ship at Cape Liberty, NJ, the view is not too spectacular. But, it was pretty cool to step into your cabin and be able to watch the action outside.
Day 2 and Day 3-- At Sea
Waking up to an ocean view is one of the reasons travelers love to cruise. Now with the virtual balconies, even those in an inside cabin can wake up to the waves in the ocean and the sun. It was our first full sea day that we appreciated the resolution of these screens; the colors of the ocean and sky were crystal clear. It was also great to wake up and get a feel for the weather outside. On Day 3, our second full day at sea, we were able to tell that the weather was much nicer than on Day 2.
Day 4-- San Juan, Puerto Rico
Seeing the Port from your virtual balcony is really quite impressive. The 4K, high definition view gives you a level of detail that is eerily life-like. When we arrived to San Juan, on day 4, there were already two ships in port, and it felt like we could reach out and touch them on our virtual balcony. What was even more amazing was getting to see one of those ships, the NCL Gem, sail away. This is something we would have normally missed on a typical inside cabin, but we were able to experience everything via our virtual balcony.
The virtual balconies are always on (if you so choose), so even at night there is something for you to see. During the overnight we had on Day 4, we got to witness the other ship in port, the HAL Westerdam, turn on its exterior lights at dusk. With the resolution of these screens, you can actually see people walking around the other ship.
Day 5-- San Juan, Puerto Rico
It’s a new dawn, a new ship, and we are feeling good. This morning, we awoke early to see that Disney Fantasy was parked where the NCL Gem had been yesterday. HAL Eurodam also pulled in to port a while later. None of these changes would have been apparent to us if it weren’t for the virtual balcony, or a trip to the top deck.
Day 6-- Labadee, Haiti
Seeing another ship sail away is one thing, but watching the real time sail-in to a port from the virtual balcony is an entirely different experience. During this cruise, we got to watch Quantum of the Seas dock in Labadee, and it was quite the show. We were able to get a few minutes of the sail in on video. While the video does not do it justice, it does give you a sense of how “real time” the displays are as you are able to see the ship’s position in relation to the land as she is being docked.
It was not until day 6 that we learned there is a remote control to turn the virtual balcony on and off. All along, we had been treating the virtual balcony like a real balcony and pulling the curtains closed at nighttime to block the view. But, it was here on day 6, when we returned from Labadee, that we first heard sound. Yes, the virtual balconies have sound, at least when it works. When we arrived back in our room after our outing in Labadee, we could still hear the music from the performers on the dock. After sailaway, we could also hear the sounds of the ocean.
At this point, we realized it might be difficult to sleep now, so we asked our stateroom attendant if there was a way to turn off the sound. Apparently, we were missing our remote control all long that allows you to control the images and sound, a simple on/off and mute function.
Days 7 and 8-- At Sea
On Day 7, we slept in a bit, but when we awoke, we turned on the virtual balcony and were greeted with beautiful sunshine and the sound of the waves. The sound really gives the virtual balcony a much more authentic and realistic experience. Later that day, we returned to this beautiful moonlight night, but noticed that our sound was no longer working. Guess the technology hasn’t been perfected yet.
Day 9-- Disembarkation
Like all good things, they must come to an end. Even when arriving back at port, to begin the trek home, the Quantum of the Seas virtual balconies were there to show us what it was like outside, complete with a trace snow cover. Even though this was our good-bye, the virtual balcony was now ready to greet some new guests and provide real-time views for those more economical cruisers!
While I would not replace the virtual balcony for a real balcony, if you are looking to save some money when sailing on a Quantum class ship, the virtual balconies are a really nice enhancement. We are not sure that we would pay more for a virtual balcony, if there were additional costs down the line, but for the time being, these high tech additions make your cruise more enjoyable and are a definite WOW. We are sailing on Anthem of the Seas in 2016, and we are looking forward to our virtual balcony views on that new ship!
We've received reports that Royal Caribbean CEO Michael Bayley announced to a group of travel agents aboard Freedom of the Seas that the company's ambitious Dynamic Dining program will be augmented with a new rotational dining program.
Under the new program, guests will dine at different complimentary restaurants each night of their cruise based on their rotational schedule. At each restaurant, guests will have the same wait staff and table mates each evening.
The new rotational dining program will begin with Anthem of the Seas, but there is no indication yet if it will spread to Quantum of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas and/or Allure of the Seas.
Back in March 2014, Royal Caribbean had previously announced its Quantum-class cruise ships would usher in a radically new dining program called Dynamic Dining, where there would be no main dining room and instead would offer a combination of complimentary and specialty restaurants for guests to choose from.
Then in August 2014, Royal Caribbean announced Dynamic Dining would spread to Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas.
When Quantum of the Seas launched in November 2014, there were a great deal of negative reports from cruisers that Dynamic Dining was troubled by long lones and poor service. Then in December, Royal Caribbean postponed Dynamic Dining on Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas indefinitely.
If the reports are true, it appears the flow of negative reviews online and to Royal Caribbean have forced the company to try something different from Dynamic Dining that is more like traditional dining.
UPDATE: Video of Royal Caribbean CEO Michael Bayley announcing the rotational dining option called "Classic".
Video by Gina Smythe
Royal Caribbean's newest ship, Quantum of the Seas, has a lot to see and do but as Royal Caribbean fans know there's always tips and tricks to getting the most out of your cruise.
We present here a list of our best Quantum of the Seas secrets to help you have a better time. Enjoy!
Best uncrowded spot for breakfast: Cafe @ Two70
If the Windjammer or American Icon Grill is just too crowded for your taste, a lesser known breakfast spot to check out is the Cafe @ Two70. It rarely fills up like the other places and offers some tasty options too!
Least crowds for North Star: port days
North Star is always in demand so lines seem to be long all the time but if you want to check it out without the long line, try to go on North Star on port days.
In addition to there being less people onboard to compete with on port days, when Quantum of the Seas is in port, North Star has more limited movement and can only go up and down and not over the side of the ship like it does on sea days. Because of this, the North Star rides are shorter and thus, the lines will move faster.
Best spot for sailaway: bridge wings
Leaving Cape Liberty will result in a crowded pool deck because of the amazing views of New York City and the surrounding area. If you want a less crowded spot, check out the bridge wings, which are accessible from the Solarium on either side at the very front.
Best spot for sailaway for suite guests: Suite sun deck
If you're lucky enough to be in a suite, there's a special sun deck that is accessible from the pool deck just for suite guests. It's usually empty and offers great views of the Verazanno Bridge and New York City.
Best day for bumper cars: embarkation day
Just like the pools and hot tub, the bumper cars have the shortest line on embarkation day. Head there on your first day onboard to be able to smash into your fellow guests without a long line.
Book RipCord online in advance
As you might imagine, lots of passengers want to check out RipCord by iFly because it's the kind of experience lots want to try. Royal Caribbean allows you to book in advance complimentary sessions so you don't have to worry about long lines.
Try to make reservations early in your cruise, so you can get in before others who have not signed up to reserve times.
Speaking of iFly, you cannot bring a camera into iFly, so if you don't want to spend money on buying photos, make sure someone in your party not scheduled to fly at the same time is available to take pictures.
You need your SeaPass card in port (even with a WOWband)
Royal Caribbean's new RFID bracelets, WOWbands, are pretty nifty but when your ship is in port, you will need to bring your SeaPass card too to use as proof of being a current cruise guests to return to the ship.
Catch the RoboShows on sea days
The amazing new robotic screens in Two70 will start performing on sea days starting at 12:30pm on the hour (more shows at 1:30pm, 2:30pm, etc). These are fun to watch, especially when the weather outside is not so great.
Discover some hidden gems onboard
It's easy to overlook these rooms, but the Library (rear of Two70) and The Workshop (an arts and crafts room) on deck 6 are two nifty little locations.
Easiest place to get a drink: Michael's Genuine Pub
If you just want a quick drink without any crowds, try Michael's Genuine Pub in the Royal Esplanade for a quiet spot with quick service.
Best spot for deck chairs: Near the FlowRider
Getting a deck chair on sea days when the sun is shining is never an easy task, especially at the height of the day. A good spot to snag a deck chair are on the back of the ship, port side. You will find it's a good spot to grab a chair and catch some rays, even late in the day.
Use the Coca-Cola FreeStyle Machines
If you get any soda package, you can use the Coca-Cola FreeStyle machines. There are three of them: Sorentos (deck 4), Windjammer (Deck 14), and SeaPlex (Deck 15).
Best time for Bionic Bar: Later afternoon on sea days
We think the Bionic Bar is a bit of a gimmick but there's no denying it is a really cool concept. If you want to be able to "belly up to the (bionic) bar", try for late afternoon on sea days. There will be less people around before the bar starts to get crowded again at night.
Last night Royal Caribbean rolled out new menus to four of its complimentary restaurants onboard.
Reports from cruisers aboard Quantum of the Seas this week say that new menus debuted at Chic, The Grande, Silk and American Icon Grill.
There's speculation that these menu changes are part of a new effort to improve the Dynamic Dining experience overall. Just last week Royal Caribbean dropped the cover charge at Devinly Decadence to add more complimentary restaurant capacity.
Credit to Debra Hirsh and Daniel VanDam for the photos of the new menus.
Quantum Experience Advisor, Genevieve Gorder, is back today with a new webisode as she steps onboard the newly launched Quantum of the Seas for the first time and marvel’s at the spaces she helped design.
Cruise fans can now explore Royal Caribbean's Quantum of the Seas without leaving home thanks to Google's Street View.
By using Google Maps Business View, anyone can take a 360-degree tour of Royal Caribbean's newest ship, thanks to over 20,000 still images that were taken aboard the ship over the course of five days.
The virtual tour of Quantum of the Seas covers various spaces across the decks of the massive ship, including the SeaPlex, North Star, Gym, Solarium, all of the restaurants, kids clubs and even select staterooms.
This is the second Royal Caribbean ship to get the Google Street View coverage. Royal Caribbean initially partnered with Google Maps Business View for Allure of the Seas back in July 2014.
You can tour Quantum of the Seas with Google Street View right here.
Royal Caribbean has dropped the cover charge for passengers who wish to dine at Devinly Decadence aboard Quantum of the Seas.
The move adds another complimentary restaurant to the options guests can choose from within the new Dynamic Dining program.
Devinly Decadence is the restaurant created by "Biggest Loser" chef Devin Alexander, where all dishes in the restaurant are 500 calories are less. It's located in the Solarium.
Prior to the change, Royal Caribbean charged cruisers $15 per person for lunch and $25 for dinner.
There's speculation that this change was done to increase available options for complimentary restaurants on Quantum of the Seas and hopefully reduce the waits across all complimentary restaurants, which have had reports of long lines during dinner time.
Royal Caribbean's Quantum of the Seas has a lot of different staterooms to choose from and today, we will look at the Grand Suite with Balcony (GS) stateroom to give you an idea of what to expect if you book this category.
On our Quantum of the Seas cruise, we had a chance to see the Grand Suite while on a stateroom tour. Like all staterooms on Quantum of the Seas, entry to the room is by RFID scanner, which is above the door handle.
The Grand Suite is essentially two main rooms, a living room and a bedroom. The Grand Suite measures 351 square feet in size and can sleep up to four people.
You will walk into the living room area, which has a full sized sofa and some chairs that are position perfectly to watch television. The sofa does open up to a double bed.
There's a small writing desk that features electrical and USB outlets too.
Connecting to the stateroom is the bedroom, with two twin beds that convert to a Royal King, measuring 72.5 inches wide by 82 inches long, and separate dressing area with entrance to bathroom.
Also in the bedroom is a closet.
The bathroom is much larger and fuller than other bathrooms in stateroom categories below the Grand Suite, and offers a tun, two sinks and a second entrance to the living room.
Marble and mosaics are a big decor motif for the bathroom and just like all suites, there's a lot more space to enjoy here.
Of course, no suite is complete without a balcony and the Grand Suite features a 109 square foot balcony with seating and private dining area.