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Quantum of the Seas

Royal Caribbean cancels Quantum of the Seas 2021 Alaska season

In:
21Jan2021

The first casualty of the Alaska 2021 cruise season will be Quantum of the Seas.

Guests who had cruises booked on Quantum of the Seas for Alaska cruises in 2021 received an email that the cruise ship will not leave Singapore to go to Alaska as planned.

This affects scheduled Quantum of the Seas sailings between April 25- October 14, 2021.

This decision does not affect Alaska sailings on Ovation, Serenade, and Radiance of the Seas, as Royal Caribbean continues to work closely with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and government authorities in North America.

Instead, Quantum of the Seas will remain in the Asia-Pacific region.

A Royal Caribbean spokeswoman said, "Because of the success Quantum’s had, we made the decision to keep the ship in the Asia-Pacific region for the 2021 summer season and cancel her Alaska season."

Sailings on Quantum of the Seas to Alaska, including the transpacific sailing, have been cancelled. This includes Quantum’s Hawaii sailing, departing Vancouver on October 4th, 2021, and her Transpacific sailing, departing Honolulu on October 14th, 2021.

Royal Caribbean apologized to guests for having to make this change, "We’re terribly sorry for the impact to your vacation. Our primary goal continues to be a seamless and healthy return to service; we’re hyper-focused on welcoming you back!"

Back in March 2020, Royal Caribbean announced Quantum of the Seas would sail to Alaska in 2021 for the first time.

She was scheduled to sail from Seattle and offer mostly 7-night Alaska Glacier cruises between May and October.

Like all cancelled cruises during the global health crisis, Royal Caribbean is offering a series of compensation choices:

Lift & Shift: On or before February 4, 2021, move to a 2022 sailing onboard Quantum of the Seas departing within 1-week of the original sail date and your cruise fare/promotion is protected.

125% Future Cruise Credit: To account for the inconvenience this has caused, guests are eligible for a 125% Future Cruise Credit (FCC) based on your total cruise fare paid to book and cruise by October 31st, 2022.

Similar 2022 Hawaii and Transpacific sailings will open for sale in the coming months.

This will be automatically issued on or before February 19, 2021 if no other option is selected.

Refund: If you prefer a cash refund, you can do so by requesting this option on-or-before March 31, 2021.

You can expect their refund to the original form of payment within 45 days from the cancellation date. 

If you redeemed a Cruise with Confidence Future Cruise Credit on an impacted sailing and would now prefer a refund instead, Royal Caribbean will process this request in the amount of any new funds paid above the original certificate and, in turn, will reinstate the Cruise with Confidence FCC for future use.

Cruise Planner Purchases: If you had purchased any cruise add-ons, such as shore excursions, drink packages, wifi and more, you could opt to convert your Cruise Planner purchases  to an Onboard Credit valued at 125% of the total amount paid. This offer expires on February 4, 2021.

Quantum of the Seas ends sailing 7 hours early due to non-covid medical issue

In:
21Jan2021

Don't worry, a cruise ship did not end its sailing because of that.

Royal Caribbean's Quantum of the Seas returned back to Singapore a few hours early after a passenger became ill due to an non-covid medical issue.

The Straits Times reports the Royal Caribbean cruise ship headed back to port 7 hours early, "due to a medical condition unrelated to Covid-19".

An announcement onboard Quantum of the Seas informed all passengers they would be concluding the sailing earlier than expected, and the ship would be back in port by 8pm local time.  

The ship was scheduled to return to conclude the sailing at 6am.

Royal Caribbean said the guest was taken to a hospital in Singapore immediately for medical treatment.

Guests experiencing medical issues not related to the current global health crisis were not uncommon on cruise ships in the past.

The medical staff onboard can triage many issues, but if the condition requires additional care, that guest is disembarked at the next port.

Quantum of the Seas is engaged in a series of "cruises to nowhere" from Singapore, which are limited to only residents of Singapore and have no port stops.

This is the second time a Quantum of the Seas cruise ended its sailing early, following a false positive test for Covid on a December sailing.

The man was on one of the cruises to no where on Quantum of the Seas when he complained to the ship's medical staff that he was not feeling well.  He was given a PCR test onboard and it came back positive for COVID-19.

After further tests on land, neither the 83-year-old man, nor anyone else onboard Quantum of the Seas, was actually positive.

Since then, Quantum of the Seas has been sailing successfully without any incidents.

Spotted: Royal Caribbean changes complimentary drinks offering on Quantum of the Seas

In:
08Jan2021

Royal Caribbean has been making changes to its only cruise ship sailing right now, including one that now affects one of the most popular customer loyalty perks.

A guest sailing on Quantum of the Seas received a letter in their stateroom informing the Diamond Plus guest that the complimentary drinks offered each night will be conducted in a different manner.

Y.C. Tan shared a photo of the letter from the Loyalty Ambassador on Quantum of the Seas that listed a change to how guests can get complimentary drinks as part of the Crown and Anchor Society.

Redeeming these are easy - simply provide your SeaPass Card at the time of purchase and the benefits will automatically be applied. You can now redeem your drink vouches all day at any bar.

Read more: Quantum of the Seas live blog posts

Instead of Diamond, Diamond Plus, or Pinnacle guests going to the Diamond Lounge to receive their drinks each evening, they can enjoy four or five drinks per day, per person anywhere and anytime throughout the day.

  • Diamond guests get 4 drinks per day
  • Diamond Plus get 5 drinks per day
  • It is not clear how many Pinnacle guests get

The complimentary drinks are not limited to the Diamond drink menu, but just like a drink package must not exceed a value of above $12. Specialty coffee is allowed as well. 

You also have the option of paying the difference if a drink is above the $12 individual drink limit.

It is unclear if this change will be replicated across Royal Caribbean's fleet of ships once they restart sailings, or this is a change just for Quantum of the Seas in Singapore.

Royal Caribbean's policies have always been different for Asia sailings compared to North American or European cruises, although with the current global health crisis, all policies are subject to change in order to encourage social distancing and best practices.

Read more5 ways to save money on drinks if you are not buying a Royal Caribbean drink package

Mixed thoughts from cruisers

Anytime there is any change to Royal Caribbean's customer loyalty program, there are plenty of strong opinions all around.

Most people seemed okay with the change within the context of social distancing, but are concerned this may be a temporary change that remains in place.

Read more9 Royal Caribbean Cocktails You Need To Know About

Aaron Lewis described this concern in his comment, "I think a lot of these changes are in fact because of Covid. My fear is that once companies learn new ways of doing business, things will never go back to the way they were."

Susan Westfall likes the change for the flexibility it provides, "What I like about this is that you can get drinks anywhere and any time of the day. We are Diamond Plus and usually stop by the lounge for a pre-dinner glass of wine, and have never used all three drinks available to us. However, there have been times when a tropical-type drink by the pool would have been nice. I would have no problem with this change."

Vance Lewis thinks it would be a bad decision to make this a permanent change because it would cut at the cruise line's profitable drink package sales, "For some reason I don’t think that they will keep some of these new changes around permanently because it would decrease the number of drink packages they would sell. If you’re getting four or five free drinks, why get the drink package at all?"

More information

Photos: Royal Caribbean cruise ship celebrates Christmas at sea

In:
25Dec2020

Merry Christmas! While most of us are unable to be on a Royal Caribbean cruise this year, I wanted to share a look at some of the Christmas fun aboard the only cruise ship in the fleet sailing right now.

Quantum of the Seas is sailing a 4-night "cruise to nowhere" from Singapore, and the ship is celebrating Christmas at sea. Our friends at Singapore Cruise Society are onboard and shared photos of the goings on during the holiday.

Royal Caribbean decorates its ships quite nicely for the holidays, and each ship has a different look and feel for this special time of the year.

Christmas decorative fruit in the Windjammer

Santa meeting guests in Two70

Read moreHow Royal Caribbean celebrates Christmas and New Years holidays on its cruise ships

More Christmas desserts in the Windjammer

Special Christmas cocktails

Crew hosting trivia with santa hats on

Tonight's Christmas dinner menu in the main dining room

All the crew members getting into the Christmas spirit

Be sure to follow along with our live blog going on this week from Quantum of the Seas!

Royal Caribbean cruise ship restarts cruises after false positive scare

In:
14Dec2020

Royal Caribbean's first cruise ship to restart operations is back in service and offering cruises again after almost a week of being idle.

Quantum of the Seas departed the Marina Bay Cruise Centre to restart operations following a false positive test that temporarily shut her back down.

Last week, a passenger on Quantum of the Seas took a covid test onboard after not feeling well, and in an abundance of caution, the ship returned to port immediately and cancelled its next scheduled sailing.

After three tests in Singapore, it turned out the original positive test onboard was incorrect and the virus was never a threat on that sailing.

The 83-year-old man's original sample was retested and came back negative on Wednesday. A second fresh sample was tested and also found to be negative.

Quantum of the Seas has resumed her short "cruises to nowhere" from Singapore, offering 3- and 4- night cruises to residents of Singapore only.

Royal Caribbean Group Chairman and CEO Richard Fain celebrated the rapid response from both the ship crew and the Singaporean government during the false alarm.

"The protocols and collaboration with the Singaporean authorities resulted in swift containment of any potential covid threat, some guest inconvenience, and a recognition that working together our cruises can operate and deliver great experiences."

Safe cruise strategy

In order to offer cruises in a safe manner, Royal Caribbean came up with sweeping changes to its ship that would facilitate all the necessary new protocols.

These multilayered health and safety measures were created based on science, data driven and developed with expert guidance from the Healthy Sail Panel, Royal Caribbean Group’s Head of Public Health and Chief Medical Officer and the Singapore Ministry of Health. 

Quantum of the Seas has a reduced capacity onboard, and has implemented mandatory universal testing during embarkation and debarkation, and enforced mask wearing, physical distancing and enhanced cleaning practices across the ship, among other required practices.

New to the cruise experience is Royal Caribbean’s Tracelet, a custom wearable required for all guests and crew on board Quantum of the Seas. The technology helps monitor physical distancing and the cruise line’s contract tracing procedures.  

For a healthier and safer adventure for all, guests and crew must wear masks on board and during signature experiences.

Watch: Santa goes surfing on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship

In:
14Dec2020

The holiday spirit is spreading around the world, including on Royal Caribbean's cruise ships.

Over the weekend, Santa took a minute to hang ten and try his luck out surfing on Quantum of the Seas.

Video from onboard the first Royal Caribbean cruise ship to restart operations has Santa showing off his surfing skills on the back of Quantum of the Seas, with his elves cheering him on.

Nick Weir is the Senior Vice President of Entertainment for Royal Caribbean and shared the video to give a sneek peak of the rehearsals happening onboard.

Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley shared the video saying, "Santa and his elves have boarded Quantum and we are ready to sail!"

The FlowRider surf simulator is one of the signature activities on Quantum of the Seas, and it is available on many cruise ships in Royal Caribbean's fleet.

Quantum of the Seas recently restarted cruises in Singapore with "cruises to nowhere" that are limited to residents of Singapore and are just 3- and 4-night sailings.

It turns out there was no Covid on that Royal Caribbean cruise ship to nowhere

In:
10Dec2020

Singapore's Health Ministry of Health has confirmed the cruise passenger on Royal Caribbean's Quantum of the Seas did not actually have COVID-19, despite testing positive for it onboard.

The National Public Health Laboratory conducted three different tests on the 83-year-old passenger after he returned to Singapore and all of those tests came back negative.

In the last and final test, the sample came back negative after two Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests also came back negative.

"The sample taken from the individual this morning came back negative for the virus. This follows two Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests conducted yesterday by NPHL, one on a re-test of his original sample, and the other on a fresh sample taken yesterday, which had also come back negative," the health ministry said in its daily preliminary update of Covid-19 cases in the city-state.

"We have rescinded the Quarantine Orders of his close contacts, who had earlier been placed on quarantine as a precautionary measure while investigations were ongoing," the health ministry added in its statement.

The man was on one of the cruises to no where on Quantum of the Seas when he complained to the ship's medical staff that he was not feeling well.  He was given a PCR test onboard and it came back positive for COVID-19.

As a result, the ship turned around and ended its cruise a day early.

Once back on land, the man was transported to a local hospital where his first two tests came back negative.  Today's final test confirmed the news.

Royal Caribbean issued a statement thanking the Singaporean government for their swift action:

"We welcome this news and we wish our guest a speedy return to health."

"We appreciate the guidance of the government and we will continue to work with them to refine our protocols, which are designed to protect the health and safety of our guests, crew and the Singapore community."

Even before Singapore conducted its tests, Royal Caribbean cancelled the next scheduled sailing in order to give the entire crew a new PCR test, as well as deep clean the ship.

Quantum of the Seas will resume cruises will continue as planned with the next scheduled sailing.

Two COVID-19 retests of Royal Caribbean passenger come back negative

In:
09Dec2020

The passenger who tested positive for COVID-19 on Royal Caribbean's Quantum of the Seas has had two follow-up tests in Singapore and both tests have come back negative.

UPDATE: The passenger has tested negative in three different tests

Singapore's Ministry of Health said in two different tests, the results have been negative for COVID-19.  A third test is planned.

Quantum of the Seas had her cruise cut short once a 83-year-old passenger reported not feeling well to ship medical staff and a mandatory polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test came back as positive for COVID-19.

The ministry said the laboratory will conduct another test on Thursday to confirm if the passenger does indeed have COVID-19.

"An 83 year-old male Singaporean on board Royal Caribbean International’s Quantum of the Seas tested positive for COVID-19 infection this morning, and was immediately isolated. He had reported to the medical centre with diarrhoea, and as part of the protocols was tested for COVID-19 using the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test equipment on board the ship. His original sample has since been re-tested at the National Public Health Laboratory (NPHL), and has come back negative for COVID-19 infection. A second fresh sample tested by NPHL has also come back negative. NPHL will conduct another test tomorrow to confirm his COVID-19 status."

Once Quantum of the Seas returned to Singapore, Singapore Tourism Board Director of Cruise confirmed the passenger was evacuated off the ship and taken to a hospital for further testing. 

As a precautionary measure, all the identified close contacts of the case have been isolated.

As part of the routine post-arrival protocols, all passengers will undergo mandatory COVID-19 testing before they are allowed to leave the terminal at Marina Bay Cruise Centre. 

Royal Caribbean has already cancelled its next sailing of Quantum of the Seas, which was scheduled to depart on Thursday.

Rapid tests are notorious for false positives. Earlier this summer, 12 TUI Cruise crew members tested positive for COVID-19, but follow-up tests showed those same crew tested negative.

New health protocols working as intended

While the suspected case of coronavirus may end up being a false positive, nonetheless, Royal Caribbean's new protocols have demonstrated it can work well.

In coordination with the Singaporean government, a "robust, tiered response plan" went into effect to not only isolate any one who may have come in contact with the patient, but also provide a means to get guests off the ship safely and quickly.

In a statement, Royal Caribbean emphasized the importance of these new rules, "That we were able to quickly identify this single case and take immediate action is a sign that the system is working as it was designed to do."

Photos: Quantum of the Seas returns to Singapore following positive COVID test

In:
09Dec2020

Royal Caribbean's Quantum of the Seas returned to Singapore after one passenger onboard tested positive for COVID-19.

UPDATE: The passenger has tested negative in three different tests

An 83-year-old passenger has been identified as the passenger that reported not feeling well to the ship's medical staff.

Singapore Tourism Board Director Annie Chang told the Associated Press that the passenger complained of diarrhea.

In addition, that passenger had been tested prior to boarding Quantum of the Seas.

Royal Caribbean said in a statement that the passenger was isolated, and other crew members and guests who had close contact were isolated and tested.

Quantum of the Seas returned to the Marina Bay Cruise Centre in Singapore, and was eventually cleared to disembark passengers after 7:30pm local time.

Our friends at Singapore Cruise Society shared photos of Quantum of the Seas arriving back in Singapore.

Guests began disembarking off Quantum of the Seas in groups, and all will undergo an Antigen Rapid Test before returning home.

According to the Singapore Cruise Society, Royal Caribbean will cancel the next scheduled sailing of Quantum of the Seas, which is a 4-night sailing departing on December 10.

Once the positive test onboard had been reported, the ship's captain asked passengers to remain in their staterooms "in an abundance of caution".

The ship's return and ability to disembark passengers without a lengthy quarantine onboard is a testament to both Royal Caribbean's onboard protocols, as well as its agreement with the Singaporean government.

"That we were able to quickly identify this single case and take immediate action is a sign that the system is working as it was designed to do," the cruise line said in a statement.

Royal Caribbean's enhanced health protocols catch positive COVID-19 case on cruise ship

In:
08Dec2020

A positive case of Coronavirus has been identified and isolated aboard the only Royal Caribbean cruise ship in operation.

UPDATE: The passenger has tested negative in three different tests

Cruise Critic is reporting a positive case of COVID-19 has been identified on Quantum of the Seas and as a result, the ship is headed back to Singapore as part of the government's protocols.

In addition, Royal Caribbean has isolated and quarantined the guests and crew that had close contact with the guest, per the cruise line's protocols.

Royal Caribbean confirmed the case and issued a statement regarding what is happening.

One guest aboard Quantum of the Seas tested positive for coronavirus after checking in with our medical team.

We identified and isolated all guests and crew who had close contact with this guest, and each of those individuals have subsequently tested negative for the virus.

The ship is returning to port today in accordance with government protocols, and will debark guests after a review of contact tracing is completed.

We are in communication with the Singapore government, and appreciate their guidance as we work together to protect the health and safety of our guests and crew.

We worked closely with the government to develop a thorough system that tests and monitors all guests and crew and follows public health best practices. That we were able to quickly identify this single case and take immediate action is a sign that the system is working as it was designed to do.

Quantum of the Seas resumed cruises last week, offering short cruises from Singapore and only to residents of Singapore.

Quantum of the Seas is equipped  with upgraded medical facilities where rapid SARS-CoV-2 tests can be conducted onboard to provide rapid, accurate onsite RT-PCR testing with results in under an hour, alongside a multitude of other evaluative tests. 

In addition, every guest on the ship is wearing either a contact tracing token or utilizing a contact tracing app to identify exactly who may have come in contact with someone that tests positive.

Multi-tiered plan to mitigate risks

Early on, Royal Caribbean said its plans had to accept risk and acknowledge there are no guarantees.

One of the co-chairmen of the Healthy Sail Panel's co-chairmen, Governor Mike Leavitt, talked about the realities of planning new policies and procedures with realistic expectations.

When Royal Caribbean Group and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings created the Healthy Sail Panel, they had to recognize nothing in society is every completely safe, and you have to accept that risk before crafting a response for it.

"We put together this combination not just because of their subject matter expertise, but because they have had long experience in evaluating ideas and being able to come to an understanding that there's no place in our society that you can say is absolutely 100 percent safe."

"We all manage risks every day, whether we're walking across the street or opening a package of food. There's some kind of risk involved in all of that."

"The idea isn't that we can eliminate all of that. The idea is we can manage it and understanding that perspective and recognizing that it requires judgment to do this well."

Response plan

Royal Caribbean developed a plan to respond to a scenario such as this, and coordinated these plans with the Singaporean government.

According to Royal Caribbean's health protocols, in the event a guest tests positive for COVID-19, a "robust, tiered response plan" goes into effect.

The tiers increase protocols and vigilance onboard while providing transparent updates to guests the whole way.

In partnership with local authorities, Royal Caribbean has developed transport protocols to ensure we can get guests home safely. 

In fact, Royal Caribbean identified early that being "stuck" in quarantine on a cruise ship was not something any guest wanted, and a result, Royal Caribbean has developed transport agreements with local authorities in a situation like this to get everyone home safely.

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