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I spent a week on a cruise ship to Alaska, and while the Main Dining Room was disappointing, the specialty restaurants really impressed me

24 May 2024

Royal Caribbean's Quantum of the Seas has 20 restaurants, from a hot dog stand to an "Alice in Wonderland"-themed restaurant.


The namesake ship of the Quantum Class launched in 2014 and is one of the biggest cruise ships in the world sailing to Alaska. The Quantum Class is best known for bringing industry firsts like the North Star observation capsule and SeaPlex, a multipurpose venue that hosts activities like roller skating, bumper cars, and more. 

Having never sailed to Alaska or onboard a Quantum Class ship, I was looking forward to this trip for months! Plus, it would mark the first time my dad and I would cruise by ourselves, and nothing beats quality time with your parents. 

Though the main appeal of the cruise was visiting Alaska, I couldn't overlook all of the food onboard, as it remains an important aspect of the cruise experience. 

Read more: I went on a 7-night Alaska cruise and stayed in a windowless cabin for $1,900


From delicious specialty restaurants to quick meals at Café @ Two70, here's a breakdown of what I ate during my 7-night cruise on Quantum of the Seas. 

Jamie's Italian 


We started off our 7-night cruise with lunch at Jamie's. We, of course, had to start with the delicious garlic buns. We ate two when they were served and saved the other two to dip in our pasta sauce! 


We also got the truffle arancini, as well as the truffle burrata. You can never have too much truffle, right?

Out of the two, we both enjoyed the arancini more— the Béchamel sauce is to die for! 


For our main course, my father and I ordered the penne vodka arrabbiata. We both have pretty high spice tolerances, so we didn't find this dish all that spicy; however, the pasta tasted incredibly fresh! Looking back, I should have asked for some extra red pepper flakes. 


After some indulgent appetizers and pasta, I figured I should start the cruise with some greens. The rocket salad is delicious. Though simple, the aged balsamic is flavorful enough. It doesn't need a ton of toppings! 


The tiramisu was one of the best desserts I had all week, topped only by those at Wonderland at Chops Grille. Truthfully, I don't order the tiramisu in the Main Dining Room anymore because it doesn't compare! 


My dad ordered the brownie and said, "You know, a chocolate brownie and ice cream is always good!"

Main Dining Room - Welcome Aboard 


Overall, the Main Dining Room was a bit of a disappointment on our Quantum of the Seas cruise. Though nothing was truly horrible, there wasn't anything worth writing home about, either. 


I appreciated how chilled the shrimp cocktail was served, but the fried chicken was a letdown. Perhaps I'm just too picky when it comes to fried chicken having been born and raised in the South. 


I thought it lacked the crunch that true Southern fried chicken should have. That being said, my father and I thought that the honey Tabasco sauce was quite tasty.

Main Dining Room - French 


I was a bit surprised at how much I enjoyed the butternut squash soup. This isn't typically a dish I'd order; however, I wanted to try something new! It was creamy and tasted even better with sourdough bread! 


The seafood linguine was even more of a disappointment than the fried chicken. The seafood itself was good; however, the sauce was extremely bland and left much to be desired. 


It didn't take long for me to choose a dessert, as I'm a firm believer that you can never go wrong with apple cobbler. 

Though crumbles are technically a bit different, they're pretty similar, with the primary difference being that crumbles have a streusel topping, whereas cobblers have biscuit-like toppings. Either way, I love a warm fruity dessert with vanilla ice cream!

Main Dining Room - Breakfast


I've never been a fan of the Windjammer for breakfast. It's too chaotic and, usually, the quality of the food is just okay.


Thankfully, my dad feels the same way I do, so we began most mornings in the Main Dining Room. 


When it comes to breakfast, I typically don't order too much; I'd rather have a larger lunch or dinner! My go-to was the "Eggs Your Way," with hashbrowns and fruit. My dad got the hashbrowns a lot, too, and he said they were one of his favorite things on the ship. 


One day, I opted for the cheddar cheese grits, which were a bit disappointing. They were pretty bland, and the cheese wasn't shredded finely enough to melt well. 


On Mother's Day, we arrived at 9:00am for brunch, which featured an expanded menu compared to breakfast the rest of the week. Having lost my mother a few years ago, it's never an easy day; however, I try to make it special by ordering her favorite foods, one of which was eggs benedict. 


The ham wasn't my favorite, as it had a weird texture in my opinion, but the poached eggs and hollandaise sauce were great! I think she would have approved. 


And while it was still early in the morning, we ordered the Royal chocolate cake, which is exactly what my mom would have done! The size was perfect for a small sweet treat to kickstart our final day onboard the ship. 



On the first morning of our cruise, we ventured up to the Windjammer for a quick breakfast. 

After that, we decided it was best for us to wake up earlier and go to the Main Dining Room. The food itself was okay, but, personally, I don't like starting off my day at a crowded buffet! 


Before disembarking in Juneau, we had a quick lunch in the Windjammer, and this was our best meal in the buffet all week! 

They served Laksa, a noodle dish that's popular in Southeast Asia. My dad thought it was so delicious that he got a second bowl! 


I spiced mine up with a dash of sesame and chili oil. 

Though not bland by any means, I prefer for my meals to have a kick, and if there's a way to spice something up, I'm going to! Looking back, I should have added more chili oil than I did. 


We ate lunch in the Windjammer on the last day of the cruise, too. Everything was just okay, which is what I expected. We figured it would be a bit hard to mess up roasted vegetables and a salad bar! 


The most disappointing meal we had was dinner in the Windjammer. Personally, I thought the Asian dishes were too salty, and the Kung Pao Chicken sauce was too sweet. The stir-fry was alright, but the Laksa was much, much better. 

Solarium Bistro


On Day 5 of our cruise, we sailed through Endicott Arms en route to Dawes Glacier. Though we couldn't get extremely close to the glacier due to the abundance of icebergs, sailing through the majestic fjords was quite a site. 

We woke up around 5:15am to claim front-row seats in the Solarium by 5:45am and decided it was best to have breakfast at the Solarium Bistro, rather than venturing across the ship to the Windjammer or downstairs to the Main Dining Room and miss the view.

Café @ Two70


Café @ Two70 was our go-to spot for lunch the first couple of days. It's a great place to grab a quick sandwich or salad, as well as take in the amazing views from Two70. 

The quality of the food, however, did leave a bit to be desired. When I ordered the Reuben, it was placed under a panini press and still served cold; the cheese wasn't even melted! Similarly, my dad said his sandwich was in the microwave for too long. 


The Thai noodle salad was also a bit bland. It would have been a winner with just a little more flavor in the dressing.


The desserts, however, were wonderful. The coffee cream puff had a strong coffee flavor, which I loved, and the red velvet cake was moist with the creamiest buttercream! 


Learning from my first experience, I opted to skip the sandwiches and just get some roast beef the next day, which was a much better choice. 


Similarly, I crafted my own salad, which tasted fresher than the ones I had in the Windjammer! 


Again, the dessert was a home run. I could have eaten an unacceptable amount of these mudslide cookies!



My dad doesn't cruise as frequently as I do, and while he's been on Freedom and Oasis Class ships, he's never taken time to listen to the live music in the pub! 


He ended up loving it, and we enjoyed drinks in the Harp & Horn Pub most evenings. We loved the small food menu they had and tried a couple items during our 7-night cruise! 


Between the German pretzels, pulled pork nachos, and fried pickles, our favorite treat was the pretzels. 

They were incredibly soft and served with spicy mustard! In my opinion, the fried pickles had too much breading, which made them a bit hard to bite into. 



After returning from our excursion in Juneau, we opted for a quick and easy dinner at Sorrento's. We missed our traditional dining time in the Main Dining Room and weren't in the mood to deal with the crowds at the Windjammer. 

Honestly, Sorrento's has never been my favorite. As controversial as it sounds, I think Carnival and MSC Cruises have better pizza. For a quick meal or snack, though, it always hits the spot, especially with some crushed red pepper flakes. 

I went with two slices of cheese, whereas my dad wanted the veggie pizza. He said his slices were a bit cold, and after trying the cheese, he said he should have gotten them to begin with! 

Splash Away Cafe


Day 6 was spent at sea, and rather than return to the Windjammer or Café @ Two70°, we decided to try the specialty options at Splash Away Cafe. Though they had complimentary chicken tenders, mini hot dogs, and chocolate chip cookies, we were interested in the Asian dishes.


After ordering and receiving our food, we headed inside to sit at the Windjammer because it was too cold to eat on the pool deck! This ended up being quite advantageous, as we were near the soy and hot sauces, which were needed to add an extra kick to the dishes. 

Between the Kung Pao Chicken and Cantonese Shrimp Wonton Noodle Soup, we'd skip the chicken and just order the soup. Though far better than the Kung Pao Chicken my dad tried in the Windjammer, it still wasn't quite what you'd expect at a land-based Chinese restaurant. 



Having tried Wonderland on Symphony of the Seas last year, I was curious to see what my dad would think of this unique dining experience. He went into the meal with a few appetizers in mind, not knowing that the culinary guide would choose them for us! 


We were brought The Bird's Nest, Mad Hatter's Purple Potted Shrimp, Crispy Crab Cones, Liquid Lobster, Tomato Water, and Baby Vegetables in the Garden. 


The Crispy Crab Cones, Baby Vegetables in the Garden, and Tomato Water were new to me, and out of the three, I preferred the vegetables. The sauce drizzled on top was delicious, and each vegetable was perfectly tender. We finished just about everything on the plate, including the "dirt." 


For our entrée, my dad and I ordered The Rib "I" Luscious Short Rib, which, like the vegetables, was incredibly tender in its own way. 

The mashed potatoes were mouthwatering, too, with the tomatoes being some of the juiciest I've ever had. The only quarrel I had with the short rib was that the cut of meat contained a lot of fat that I had to cut around. 


The star of the entire meal, however, was dessert. When we sat down, my dad saw the table next to us being served desserts and wanted to skip to the end of the meal! To be fair, he's a man who loves his sweet treats. 


He wasn't disappointed, either. In fact, he loved the salted caramel ice cream so much that he asked for more! Our culinary guide even offered to bring him another chocolate orb because he could tell that he enjoyed it so much. 

Chops Grille


In addition to Jamie's and Wonderland, we ate at Chops Grille, Royal Caribbean's signature steakhouse. Since we were docked in Victoria, British Columbia on the last night of the cruise, this was our final dinner onboard Quantum of the Seas— we saved the best for last! 

I started with the jumbo shrimp cocktail, which was indeed jumbo. I appreciated that it was served over a bed of ice, so the shrimp were perfectly chilled. 


I was stuck between ordering the lobster bisque and goat cheese salad for my second course. 

In the end, I went with the bisque, mostly because I wanted to compare it to the bisque I had at The Porch on Celebrity Reflection a few weeks ago! Overall, they were pretty similar; however, I think the one at Chops was creamier with a stronger lobster flavor.


I appreciate that they offered a petit filet, as I don't think I would have been able to finish a 9oz cut of meat. My dad and I ordered our steaks medium; however, his came out slightly more cooked—  it was definitely closer to medium well. 

When thinking about the steak I had at Tuscan Grille on Celebrity Reflection, the one on Celebrity was the clear winner. However, the filet at Chops was still delicious and juicy. 


For our sides, we split the mashed potatoes and asparagus. 

While I loved both, I preferred the potatoes served with my short rib at Wonderland. The asparagus, however, were so tender! I could have eaten more than two of them. 


My dad ordered the warm chocolate cake for dessert, and while it sounded tempting, I went with the warm apple pie à la mode. He thought the cake was good, but he was a bigger fan of the orb served in Wonderland. 

My dessert was wonderful and the best I had on the ship! It wasn't served too warm, and the scoop of vanilla ice cream was the perfect size to complete the slice of pie. 

We pre-purchased our three specialty meals through Royal Caribbean's Cruise Planner, paying $137.42 per person for two dinners and one lunch


In addition, we spent close to $35 on snacks in the pub, as well as lunch at Splash Away Cafe. 

Though there was plenty of complimentary dining onboard Quantum of the Seas, we found it well worth the price to pay for a few specialty meals, especially Wonderland and Chops. 

Those sailing to Alaska will want to have some meals off the ship, too, especially if you love fresh seafood. 


We had some of the best crab legs of our lives at the Skagway Brewing Company (pictured above), though we'd skip the Crab House in Icy Strait Point. My dad loved the restaurant in Skagway so much that he purchased a t-shirt in the downstairs gift shop! 

Read more: Local’s guide of what to do in Skagway, Alaska

We had a wonderful dinner in Victoria, British Columbia, too. We disembarked the ship with no true plan in mind— we were going to wander the downtown area and see what we happened to stumble into. 

After my dad admired a large tree near the Parliament building, we continued to walk until we came across Bard & Banker. Not only was the building itself beautiful, but the food was delicious!, especially the parmesan brussel sprouts and prawn pesto linguine. 

I went on a 7-night cruise to Alaska. Here are 16 things that surprised me the most.

15 May 2024

Royal Caribbean's 2024 Alaska cruise season just began, and I took a week-long trip to experience it.

Elizabeth went to Alaska on a cruise

Growing up, my family exclusively cruised to the Caribbean, primarily on Royal Caribbean's Oasis Class. Having matured and wanting to see more of the world, I've started to broaden my horizons, which is why I booked a 7-night cruise to Alaska on Quantum of the Seas! 

Now that I've returned from the trip and settled back into my daily routine, I find myself missing the snow-capped mountains, lush greenery, and crisp air more than I thought I would! It was tough returning home to 75° weather in North Carolina. 

As with any cruise, however, it wasn't without its pros and cons. Here are 16 things that I loved and hated about my Alaska cruise aboard Quantum of the Seas. 

I hated the embarkation process


In the past, I've always arrived at the cruise terminal to be greeted by porters ready to assist me with my larger pieces of luggage. This wasn't the case in Seattle. After we got out of our Lyft, we were instructed to step to the side amidst a long line of passengers who had just disembarked. 

After that, there was little instruction regarding where to drop off our bags. One port employee told us to head inside the terminal; however, I thought that seemed strange. Turns out that it was his first day on the job and he wasn't too informed. 

As we made our way back towards the crowd, we saw a ton of suitcases condensed near a kiosk, so we figured that was probably where we needed to go. 

Read more: 30 cruise ship embarkation day do’s and don’ts


Rather than have porters readily available, guests checking in must drop their bags off themselves. If you happen to forget your luggage tags— don't worry! There's a kiosk with a port agent available to assist you. It, however, is separate from the line to drop off bags. 

Thankfully, the check-in process inside the terminal was much more organized. We were through security and on the ship in no time, even though we arrived about 45 minutes prior to our scheduled arrival appointment. 

Disembarkation was a complete 180. Though we didn't have a super early flight, we wanted to be off the ship relatively early, as I had to check a bag and didn't know how long the line at the airport would be. Initially, group 15 was estimated to be able to disembark around 8:40am; however, we were called while eating breakfast around 8:05! 

Read more: 15 Royal Caribbean boarding process tips


The only difficult part was figuring out where the rideshare pickup was. We saw one line and learned that it was for a shuttle to the rideshare area. Instead of waiting, we decided to take the short 5-minute walk and were en route to the airport in no time, arriving a little after 9:10am. 

I loved Two70 


Having sailed on Celebrity Ascent recently, Two70 reminded me of Eden. The floor-to-ceiling windows made it a great place to take in all of the amazing scenery while staying warm. Plus, guests don't have to leave for lunch, as the Café @ Two70 is just steps away. 

In addition to being a great place to relax, it hosted a lot of ship-sponsored activities, ranging from the sailaway party to Bingo, lectures, dance parties, original production shows, and more. If you're cruising on Quantum, there's a chance you'll visit Two70 at least once!

My dad and I grabbed a light lunch at Café at Two70 a few times throughout the cruise, and we enjoyed listening to a live band one evening after dinner. Starwater, the only show onboard requiring reservations, is also held in Two70, rather than the Royal Theater. 

I hated the virtual balcony


Truthfully, hated is a strong word. I didn't hate my cabin as much as I wished I had splurged on a balcony, especially considering my dad was tagging along. It was his first time staying in an interior room, and though he didn't mind the experience, he wouldn't cruise without a balcony again. 

When sailing somewhere as scenic as Alaska, having a balcony can truly make or break your experience. There were times we wished we had the ability to open up the door and step outside on our personal verandah, rather than getting dressed to sit on the upper decks. 

While I appreciated the virtual balcony more than a standard interior room, as I was able to see whether it was rainy or not before going outside, it's impossible to fully appreciate Alaska's beauty from a screen. 

Read more: I went on a 7-night Alaska cruise and stayed in a windowless cabin for $1,900. Here's what our 166-square-foot room was like

I loved RipCord by iFly


Royal Caribbean's Quantum Class ships are the only cruise ships in the world to feature a skydiving simulator. On port days, guests can take advantage of a complimentary one-minute flight, while a two-minute session on port days costs around $100 per person. 

Unsure if we'd like the experience or not, my dad and I didn't want to shell out $200 for the RipCord, so we booked an included session while the ship was docked in Icy Strait Point. To be honest, I'm surprised my dad was willing to do it! 

I got the hang of the basics pretty quickly, and while I thought it was a neat thing to do on a ship, I wouldn't have paid for it. There's an iFly center about 20 minutes from my apartment that charges $140 for four flights, which I think is a much better deal. If, however, your schedule allows you to take advantage of the complimentary sessions, I'd recommend giving it a shot! 

I hated the Windjammer


When it comes to cruise ship buffets, I tend to avoid them. They're usually way too crowded for my liking, and there are higher-quality options elsewhere on the ship. 

Overall, my dad and I agreed that the Windjammer onboard Quantum was probably our least favorite. My dad remarked how the quality of the buffet seemed to have gone downhill since his last cruise onboard Harmony of the Seas in 2018. 

There was only one dish that was particularly good, while everything else was slightly below average, in our opinion. Laksa, a noodle dish that's popular in Southeast Asia, was served one afternoon, and my dad thought it was so delicious he got a second bowl! 

Read more: 11 things you should never do at a cruise ship buffet

I loved sailaway


Having departed from Florida more times than I can count, bundling up for a chilly sailaway from Seattle was a welcomed change. In fact, since the sailaway party was held in Two70, the top decks were pretty empty.

I had no desire to watch passengers dance while the ship departed Washington, so my dad and I grabbed a drink from the pool bar and watched the skyline disappear. 

Sailing into the mountains was more enjoyable than listening to blasting music, which can be done on any cruise! 

I hated the unorganized shore excursions and long lines to disembark the ship


Our arrival into Icy Strait Point was slightly delayed due to the strong winds that we encountered en route from Seattle. By 12:00pm, passengers were getting a bit angsty, as they were ready to get off the ship. 

The line to get off the vessel snaked through the Royal Esplanade before we were cleared to disembark. Those who arrived after 12:45pm found themselves waiting past the pub. When we were finally cleared, it was almost like a scene from The Hunger Games

The only other disembarkation process I've seen that was more chaotic was on a cruise onboard Carnival Elation when we were waiting to tender to Half Moon Cay. 


The next day, we had a Royal Caribbean-sponsored excursion in Skagway. Our scheduled meeting time at the Royal Theater was 8:15am; however, when we arrived, we found a line that extended into the shopping area. 

As we were checking in, they began instructing passengers to leave the theater and descend to Deck 3, where we'd walk from the front of the ship to the aft's gangway. One passenger was distraught by this, claiming that there should have been a more centralized meeting point. 

As we made our way to the gangway, a mother and daughter tried to leave their cabin, only to be greeted by a hoard of guests! 

I loved the White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad, as well as Skagway in general


After the chaotic disembarkation process in Skagway, we boarded a train car for a three-hour ride along the White Pass & Yukon Route Railway. Though rainy and foggy, we didn't let the weather impact our excitement to ascend 3,000 feet up the summit. 

Everything from the greenery to the blanketing snowfall was pictureworthy. When packing for my Alaska cruise, I didn't expect to see so much snow. In fact, I've never seen that much snow in May! Though I'm sure the pass is equally beautiful in the latter half of the season, the snowfall made it seem more magical. 

I'd recommend sitting by either the front or back of the train car, as you're allowed outside when ascending and descending the mountain. Otherwise, you'll be walking back and forth quite a bit, as the best views were outside, especially when passing through the tunnels and seeing the train car snake around the track. 


When we arrived back in Skagway, we got off at the depot in town, rather than returning to the cruise terminal. Though we encountered the worst weather of the cruise while docked, we wanted to walk around the quaint town and find some delicious seafood for lunch. 

We stumbled upon the Skagway Brewing Company and decided to give it a shot, especially since my dad loves to try local beer. While the most expensive meal of our trip, coming in at around $200 for two people, it was worth every penny. 

Everything from the fresh crab legs to crab artichoke dip and cajun french fries was delicious! Plus, we had a great conversation with a local employee, who told us that she drives her children two hours into Canada for swim lessons since Skagway doesn't have a pool! 

Read more: Local’s guide of what to do in Juneau, Alaska

I hated Icy Strait Point


Again, hate is a strong word. It's hard to truly hate anything on a cruise, especially when sailing somewhere as beautiful as Alaska! 

Icy Strait Point has a lot to offer cruise passengers, from whale-watching tours to the world's largest ZipRider. If, however, you don't thoroughly research the port, you might be left disappointed. 

Looking back, we should have booked a whale-watching excursion in Icy Strait Point, visiting just Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau and having some time to explore the area around the port. Instead, we did both activities in a single day, opting to go off on our own while docked in Icy Strait Point. 


After a mediocre lunch at the Crab House, we purchased shuttle tickets to the nearby town of Hoonah. 

While it was neat to see how those in remote Alaska live (I can't imagine paying $50 for Kirkland brand K-Cups!), we heard other passengers rave about the excursions they took, whether they were booked through the cruise line or not. 

I loved Sonic Odyssey


Between Starwater and Sonic Odyssey, I'd recommend the latter in a heartbeat. While I didn't dislike Starwater by any means, it started off much slower. It didn't seem to captivate much of the audience until the female singer began her "Diamonds" cover. 

Sonic Odyssey, however, was interesting before it even began. It was hard to ignore the long harp stings that extended over the lower level of the Royal Theater. 

The Earth Harp was developed by William Close, and, according to our Cruise Director, there are only five individuals capable of playing it, one of which was on our cruise! 


Everything from the talented violinist to the wall of drums was entertaining, and the singers harmonized incredibly well. Truthfully, it was my favorite original production I've ever seen on a cruise ship! 

I hated that the North Star wasn't operational 


I knew that the North Star was out of commission before I boarded; however, that didn't completely eliminate the disappointment I felt as I passed the gigantic arm while walking on the top decks throughout the sailing. 

Supposedly, the North Star is out of commission for the entirety of the 2024 Alaska season, so those with later sailing dates shouldn't get their hopes up. 

While there are tons of other activities to do, being unable to ride the North Star, an amenity exclusive to Quantum Class ships, was a letdown, especially when sailing through Alaska.


I bet the views from the unique observation capsule would have been amazing, whether at sea or when docked in port! 

I loved sailing through Endicott Arm


I'm usually not the most pleasant morning person. Though I prefer mornings to nights, as I'm far more productive when the sun's out versus when it's dark, it takes a lot to get me up early.

However, when we were sailing through Endicott Arm, I only hit snooze once; I wasn't going to miss the breathtaking scenery of the fjords. Thankfully, and I mean THANKFULLY, there was coffee nearby in the Solarium, so I was able to caffeinate moments after leaving my cabin at 5:30am— there was no reason to hang out in the cabin when passing beautiful snow-capped mountains and icebergs. 

It was one of the most memorable mornings of the cruise. Neither my father nor I had seen an iceberg in person before that moment, and though we were only able to get a glimpse of Dawes Glacier, I can see why scenic cruising is just as appealing as thrilling shore excursions in Alaska. 

I hated that we weren't able to get too close to Dawes Glacier


Speaking of Dawes Glacier, we weren't able to get too close due to all the ice. Before the cruise, I knew this was a possibility, as Alaska is just now warming up after the winter. 

Considering that the base fare for our 7-night cruise was just $950 per person, including gratuities, I thought this was a fair compromise. Rather than sailing close to the Glacier, we cruised to Alaska relatively cheaply, putting more money towards add-ons like excursions and specialty restaurants. 

Still, like the North Star, I was optimistic and hoping that my gut feeling would be wrong and that we'd end up being able to approach Dawes Glacier. 

I loved the specialty restaurants onboard


Overall, I wasn't a fan of the included dining experience on Quantum of the Seas. Though nothing was inedible, there wasn't really anything worth writing home about, either. After two dinners in the Main Dining Room, I was grateful we had decided to pre-book two specialty restaurants, in addition to Jamie's Italian for lunch. 

From the juicy filet mignon at Chops Grille to the decadent desserts at Wonderland and fresh pasta at Jamie's, they were easily the best meals we had onboard. 

Growing up, we'd typically splurge on a single specialty dinner on our vacations; however, as I've matured and begun to cruise frequently without my dad and sister, I've started to appreciate specialty restaurants more. In fact, they're becoming more of a priority, as the main dining experience can become repetitive to frequent cruisers.


Out of the three we tried, Jamie's was our least favorite— it's hard to beat perfectly cut steaks, jumbo shrimp cocktails, and the unique experience at Wonderland. 

Read more: How does specialty dining work on Royal Caribbean?

I hated how everything closed on the last evening


As we pulled into Victoria, British Columbia, we noticed that the majority of bars began to close. Though we expected certain amenities, namely the casino and onboard shops, to close due to local regulations, I had never seen so many bars closed on the final night of the cruise, especially around 4:30/5:00pm! 

Having spent so much time in the Harp & Horn Pub listening to live music throughout the week, we were upset that the pub didn't reopen until 10:30pm. Knowing we had a long travel day ahead, we didn't feel like waiting, especially since the singer wasn't scheduled to perform. 

Note that if you're planning on doing any gambling, it's important that you check the Cruise Compass for times, as you don't want to miss the last chance to visit the cashier and receive your winnings! 


Likewise, those who want to do some last-minute shopping shouldn't bank on hitting up the shops late on the last night. Instead, prioritize purchasing all of your souvenirs early on the last day.

I loved seeing the Northern Lights


Seeing the Northern Lights is a bucket list item for many, and I was lucky enough to cross it off of mine during my cruise onboard Quantum of the Seas. As we sailed through the Inside Passage, we got a glimpse of the lights thanks to the extreme geomagnetic storm that made its way toward Earth. 

Though friends and family back in the continental United States saw the Nothern Lights, too, they didn't witness them illuminating the snow-capped mountains of Alaska, which was such a unique and once-in-a-lifetime sight. 

They were certainly worth staying up until 2:00am to see, even if I had been awake since 5:15am to take in all of the scenery of the Endicott Arm fjord. 

Read more: Photos of the Northern Lights from cruise ship passengers that dazzle at sea

I went on a 7-night Alaska cruise and stayed in a windowless cabin for $1,900. Here's what our 166-square-foot room was like.

10 May 2024

Having wanted to cross Alaska off my bucket list for a while, I booked a 7-night cruise aboard Quantum of the Seas sailing roundtrip from Seattle to the Last Frontier. 


18 of my 21 cruises have been to The Caribbean and Bahamas, so I was looking forward to exploring Alaska's rugged wilderness, even if I would be staying in the cheapest cabin onboard. 

With virtual balcony cabins first debuting on Quantum of the Seas, I was hopeful that I'd be able to experience some of Alaska's beauty from the comfort of my stateroom while allotting more money to add-ons like specialty dining and short excursions. 


In total, the fare came out to be $1,894.30 for my dad and me, including gratuities. Overall, I thought that was a fantastic deal for an Alaska cruise, despite it being at the beginning of the season. As neither of us had ever sailed on a Quantum Class ship, we were looking forward to this new experience together. 

The 166-square-foot stateroom was located on Deck 13 at the front of the ship. It was a bit difficult to find, as the hallway leading to the interior cabins was on the port side of the ship; however, the signs seemed to indicate that it was on the starboard side. 


Moreover, upon arrival, I was a bit disappointed to learn that we had been assigned a connecting stateroom. If you don't know the party in the adjoining room, it's always a gamble, as they can either be pleasant or obnoxious. 

The cabin was pretty noisy at times, from the creaking of the ship to what I believe was the television in the neighboring stateroom. One morning, I was awoken around 6:00am. In the end, however, it was a blessing in disguise, as I was able to take in some amazing views that I might have otherwise missed. 


Having launched in 2014, Quantum of the Seas is a newer ship, albeit not the newest. When the ship debuted, she was billed as the world's first "smart ship." 

In addition to features like the Bionic Bar and North Star observation capsule, modern technology was integrated into the cabin. You, for instance, have to inset your SeaPass card into a slot near the door to turn on the lights. 


With the bathroom found immediately to the right of the cabin's entrance, the vanity and dresser were located on the left past the connecting door. The desk was large enough, with five different charging options including two American plugs, two USB ports, and a single European outlet. 

I appreciated the small cubbies, too, which helped keep all of our cords organized throughout the week. However, I wish the ring light around the mirror was brighter. 


Perhaps the most surprising aspect of the vanity area was the kettle. I've stayed in interior staterooms on ships as new as Symphony of the Seas and have never seen one in my cabin before! 

Though I'm not a huge tea drinker (I prefer a strong cup of coffee!), this is certainly advantageous for those who want to warm up with a cup of tea after spending the day in Alaska's chilly climate. 


Underneath the kettle was a drawer that housed the hairdryer, as well as a single box of tissues. 

It was spacious enough to hold personal belongings, too, and this is where my dad and I kept our medications. 


The mini-fridge worked exceptionally well, keeping our Crown & Anchor welcome waters almost as cold as my refrigerator at home! 

The two adjustable shelves ensure that there's room to store other beverages, whether it's a bottle of wine or a pack of soda. 


The dresser's four drawers proved large enough to store some of our bulkier items and undergarments that we couldn't hang. 

Between the dresser and closet, we have plenty of storage for all our clothing. In fact, I don't think we would have struggled to comfortably organize everything if there was a third passenger in our cabin. 


My opinion, however, would change if it weren't for the two cabinets above the bed. 

These went unused during our cruise because of the other storage options that were a bit more accessible, but they could ease an overpacker's worries, especially if sailing with more than one other guest. 


As someone who prefers vacations to warmer climates, I definitely struggled to pack for my Alaska cruise. While I could say that I just wanted to be prepared, I think my checked suitcase (that came in at 47 pounds) and additional carry-on were a bit overboard. I didn't wear half of the sweaters that I brought! 

My dad, somehow, managed to bring a single carry-on suitcase and small duffle bag. At the airport, however, he did ask to throw a few articles of clothing into my luggage, as he figured I'd have some extra room, albeit not a lot! 


Beside the wardrobe was a single chair. Though I much prefer staterooms with a couch, it's always nice to have another seating option, so you aren't restricted to sitting on your bed during the day after returning from port. 

In reality, the chair became our go-to spot for throwing our coats and sweatshirts when we got back to our stateroom. 


When we arrived, the beds were placed together even though I requested for them to be separated. It was easy to fix, though. I scanned a QR code left in our cabin meant for housekeeping requests, and they were separated by the time we returned to the stateroom after enjoying some of the evening entertainment. 

Having the beds separated made the cabin feel a little more spacious, as it opened up a walkway in the center of the room. Plus, it would have been easier to utilize the overhead cabinets had we needed to. 


I found it a bit strange that there was only one outlet beside the bed. 

While I'm thankful that I was able to plug my phone in at night, there wasn't one on my dad's side, and he did not bring a cable long enough to reach from the vanity. 


There was nothing too surprising about the bathroom. It was a standard Royal Caribbean bathroom that featured the same amenities as other ships, including the body wash/shampoo hybrid. 

It had a darker aesthetic that complemented the deep blue hues present in the stateroom. However, it also felt bright and modern. 


I never struggle with storage in the bathroom because of my hanging toiletries organizer. As someone who uses more products than they probably need to, the bathroom would've felt more cluttered had I not brought it. 

My dad had enough space for his toiletries and cosmetics, and there was still an empty shelf for me to store my make-up bag! 


Whenever I cruise, I'm always hopeful that there'll be two shelves in the shower; however, that's rarely the case. Though minor, I feel it helps keep everything a tad more organized, and passengers aren't left having to swap out their products— from face wash to shampoo and conditioner, shaving cream, etc. 

Moreover, I typically chuckle whenever I see a handle in a cruise ship bathroom; however, the first day of our 7-night cruise was extremely rocky. I'm sure someone made use of it when getting ready that morning!


After sailing on Carnival Elation, I appreciate a clean showerhead more than usual. The one onboard Quantum of the Seas passed the test! 

Overall, the shower pressure was pretty average. I've had better and worse on a cruise ship; however, it was stronger than my shower at home, though that isn't too hard to beat. 


The most unique aspect of the cabin, of course, was the 80-inch virtual balcony. The floor-to-ceiling LED screen broadcasted real-time views of the ocean and ports of call into our cabin. And while you're supposed to be able to turn it on and off, we had some issues with the remote. 

Personally, I think calling it a virtual window is more accurate, as part of the appeal of a true balcony is being able to step outside. 


Even though nothing compares to a true balcony, the virtual balcony was a nice feature to have on an Alaska cruise— rather than leaving the stateroom to see what the weather was like, I could simply look at the screen to get an idea of whether it was super rainy or not! 

Overall, I enjoyed my virtual balcony stateroom onboard Quantum of the Seas. It was clean and outfitted with all the amenities I needed for a comfortable 7-night stay. 


Next time, however, I think I'd splurge on an actual balcony for a cruise to Alaska, or at least choose to pay for a stateroom that wasn't at the front of the ship. Honestly, a balcony would likely be a non-negotiable for a one-way sailing with more scenic cruising. 

Though my dad and I enjoyed our morning sailing through Endicott Arm in the Solarium, we would have preferred taking in the sights from a balcony, rather than crowding open windows for photographs. I was surprised at how rude some passengers were to others taking pictures in a public space! 


When it comes to the Caribbean, I don't mind saving money on an inside cabin, as I usually spend a lot of time lounging by the pool. There's not too much to look at either, though there's no denying the beauty of the deep blue sea. 

Moreover, there was more downtime than I had anticipated on my Alaska cruise, and I would have enjoyed sitting on a personal verandah to take in the sights.

Royal Caribbean cancels more Quantum of the Seas Alaska glacier viewings due to engine trouble

03 Aug 2022

More sailings on Quantum of the Seas will have to skip scheduled glacier visits in Alaska this season.

Guests booked on late August and some September Quantum of the Seas sailings received an email from Royal Caribbean on Wednesday informing them due to "a speed limitation caused by a technical issue with one of the ship’s engines", planned visits to Dawes Glacier have been cancelled.

This new round of itinerary changes are a follow-up on cancelled visits to the glaciers for some August sailings that Royal Caribbean cancelled last month.

Previously, the August 1, 8, and 15 Alaska cruise sailings were impacted.

Glacier in Alaska

As a result of the "technical issue with one of the ship's engines", Quantum will skip visits to Endicott Arm & Dawes Glacier and instead spend more time in Juneau, Alaska.

Quantum of the Seas is sailing 7-night Alaska cruises from Seattle.

Why the cancellation

Ovation of the Seas in Hubbard glacier

In the email to booked guests, Royal Caribbean said Quantum of the Seas has four engines, but one of them needs to be repaired.

"One requires some repair and there's a delay in receiving the parts needed. Additionally, another engine is schedule for routine maintenance soon, which means we'll have to reduce our overall speed."

"Our ships can safely sail in these kinds of situations at reduced speeds, and while we're working to expedite the repair process, the global supply chain issues that we're all experiencing are complication the situation."

Helicopter in Alaska

Royal Caribbean is offering onboard credit to guests booked as compensation for the change.

  • $75 USD for Interior and Ocean View staterooms
  • $100 USD for Balcony staterooms
  • $200 USD for Suites

Alternative ways to see a glacier

Mendenhall Glacier

While the glacier viewing at Dawes Glacier is not replaceable, there is still a way to see a glacier for anyone still booked on the cruise.

Juneau is home to Mendenhall Glacier, which can be accessed via helicopter, boat, or by driving to it by road to the Mendenhall Glacier Recreation Area.

Mendenhall Glacier is one of the most accessible glaciers in Alaska. 

Mendenhall Glacier

You could see it from many spots in the park, such as from Nugget Falls, a 377 foot waterfall located near Mendenhall Glacier.

There are also helicopter tours you can book for a guided walk on the glacier or a dog sledding excursion.

Additionally, there are boat and kayak shore excursions that can take you close to the glacier.

Read moreTop 10 things to do in Juneau, Alaska

Davidson Glacier

While in Skagway, there are more glacier viewing opportunities via shore excursions.

Helicopter tours leaving from Skagway generally visit either Chilkat Glacier or Denver Glacier. 

Upon landing on the glacier, most tours will either include a guided glacier hike or dog sledding expedition.

Read moreTop 10 things to do in Skagway, Alaska

Full letter

Here's a copy of the full letter Royal Caribbean sent.

Thanks to Dan Goodlife for sharing the email.

Royal Caribbean updates Quantum of the Seas engine trouble that requires skipping glacier viewings in August

03 Jul 2022

Royal Caribbean has updated the situation with Quantum of the Seas needing to slow its speed and skip Alaska glacier visits.

Earlier this week, guests booked on Quantum of the Seas on August sailings were sent an email to inform them that the ship would skip glacier viewings on their sailing.

Thus far, the August 1, 8, and 15 Alaska cruise sailings are impacted. Quantum of the Seas is sailing 7-night Alaska cruises from Seattle.

A new email was sent today to guests booked on Quantum of the Seas to update the situation as to why the change is necessary.

Royal Caribbean says the speed limitations are caused by a technical issue with one of the engines.

While that may sound alarming, the cruise line reminded guests the ship has four engines, and one of them requires repairs and the repair parts are delayed, "Quantum has four engines. One requires some repair and there's a delay in receiving the parts needed. Additionally, another engine is scheduled for routine maintenance soon, which means we'll have to reduce our overall speed during these sailings."

"While we're doing everything we can to expedite this, the global supply chain situation that we're all experiencing is further impacting the delay."

Royal Caribbean was sure to note the safety of the ship is not compromised, "Safety is always our top priority. Our ships can safely sail in these kinds of situations, just at reduced speeds."

Trying to make up for a missed glacier

Alaska Glacier viewing from Quantum Class ship

As to skipping a visit to Dawes Glacier, Royal Caribbean says they have tried to find an alternative but the logistics are not simple, "We've been working tirelessly to find a way to visit Endicott Arm & Dawes Glacier for your sailing, but this would result in drastically reduced port times."

"And given that there's always a risk of missing the Glacier due to weather, it's best to go with the surer option of keeping better times in port. The decision to modify our itinerary wasn't taken lightly."

"We've done everything possible to minimize the impact to your time with us and are sorry for the inconvenience."

Increased compensation

Royal Caribbean also included a change to the compensation for the change in itinerary.

First, the amount of onboard credit offered is now one full day of cruise fare paid, per person.

Any unused onboard credit will be available to be refunded back to your credit card.

Alaska glacier viewing

If not visiting the glacier causes someone to no longer want to sail, Royal Caribbean will allow them to cancel.

Guests have until July 17 to change their mind if they no longer want to sail and they can get a full refund, including non-refundable deposits and/or pre-paid amenities.

Guests will need to contact their travel agent to cancel, and should get a refund within 14 business days.

Royal Caribbean will also allow the refund amount to be moved to a different sailing.

Full letter

Here's a copy of the full letter Royal Caribbean sent.

Thanks to John Trivedi for sharing the email.

Quantum of the Seas will skip glacier viewing due to engine trouble

01 Jul 2022

Guests booked on Quantum of the Seas to Alaska this season will have to forgo scheduled glacier visits.

Royal Caribbean notified guests booked on Quantum of the Seas this season that due to "a speed limitation caused by a technical issue with one of the ship’s engines", planned visits to Dawes Glacier have been cancelled.

Thus far, the August 1, 8, and 15 cruises are impacted.

Dawes Glacier is famous for its 600 foot tall, half-mile wide active icecap. It's one of the major highlights of an Alaska cruise.

Royal Caribbean did not disclose what the engine issue is exactly.

Quantum of the Seas is sailing 7-night Alaska cruises from Seattle.

While the engine issue is not a major problem, it will require itineraries to be adjusted. Primarily, Royal Caribbean has adjusted some arrival and departure times in Alaska and British Columbia.

"As a result, we’ve replaced our visit to Skagway, Alaska with Ketchikan, Alaska on Wednesday, shifted our visit to Sitka, Alaska to Thursday, and we’ll no longer visit Endicott Arm & Dawes Glacier on Friday. We’re terribly sorry for any inconvenience caused by this, but the safety and comfort of our guests and crew is always our top priority."

Depending on the itinerary, times and ports of call are being adjusted, such as dropping Skagway or replacing it with Ketchikan.

The cruise line is offering compensation due to the loss of Endicott Arm & Dawes Glacier from the itinerary.

  • $75 USD for Interior and Ocean View staterooms
  • $100 USD for Balcony staterooms
  • $200 USD for Suites

If at the end of the cruise you there is a remaining amount left over, it will be refunded to the card on file.

Cruise ship propulsion problems not uncommon

While unsettling, engine problems are not unheard of in the industry.

In just the last few years, both Allure of the Seas and Oasis of the Seas had engine issues that restricted their speeds. Allure in particular had propulsion issues in 2019, 2017, and 2013.

Fellow Quantum Class ship Anthem of the Seas had an issue with her azipod in 2016.

It's important to note that a propulsion problem is not a safety concern for guests sailing.

Reader reaction

No one is ever happy when a scheduled port visit has to be dropped, and cruise fans shared their dismay on the RoyalCaribbeanBlog message boards.

smokeybandit wrote, "I wonder what the decision point was between cancelling a couple cruise to fix the issue vs. taking away one of the most sought after aspects of an Alaskan cruise and handing out OBC to just sail with a busted engine."

Tom Trudnowski thinks dropping a visit to the glacier removes the primary appeal of an Alaska cruise, "the only reason you pretty much book an Alaska cruise, is to cruise the inside passage and see the glaciers, everything else is secondary, if important at all."

D Alt recognized this issue as something that can happen to any sailing, "These things happen. Mechanical equipment needs repair from time to time and they can't always predict when something is going to break down."

Royal Caribbean updates: SpaceX, Singapore cancellations & more

03 Feb 2022

There's plenty of cruise news out there, and I have a fresh look at some of the bigger stories from this week.

There are smaller updates from across the fleet that I think are kind of interesting, neat, or otherwise good to know.

If you ever have a news tip, feel free to email it to [email protected] for possible inclusion in a future update!

Coast Guard investigating SpaceX launch scrub due to Harmony of the Seas

Harmony of the Seas 2020 Live Blog - Cruise Preview | Royal Caribbean Blog

A SpaceX cruise ship attempt to launch a rocket last weekend was cancelled due to Harmony of the Seas veering into the "exclusion zone", and now the United States Coast Guard is involved.

Prior to any SpaceX launch, there is an exclusion zone established so that no planes, ships, etc are able to enter the space, which adjoins against the second busiest cruise and shipping port in the country at Port Canaveral.

How to get from Orlando to Port Canaveral | Royal Caribbean Blog

Harmony of the Seas entered that zone, which cancelled the launch. SpaceX was able to launch the rocket the next day.

The Falcon 9 rocket was carrying an Italian satellite into orbit

U.S. Coast Guard spokesperson David Micallef confirmed that the Coast Guard will look into what happened, "Our primary concern is the safety of mariners at sea, and we will continue to work with our federal, state, and local port partners to ensure safe and navigable waterways."

Singapore cancels two Quantum of the Seas cruises due to Covid-19

Royal Caribbean extends Singapore season for Quantum of the Seas in 2021 | Royal Caribbean Blog

Two sailings on Quantum of the Seas from Singapore had to be cancelled due to Covid-19 cases among the crew.

According to the cruise line, 0.6% of the crew tested positive for Covid-19, and so the sailings were cancelled "in an abundance of caution."

The crew members that tested positive were immediately isolated. Close contacts were also quarantined and tested.

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

According to the Singapore Cruise Society, the affected sailings were the January 31, 2022 and February 3, 2022

The ship will under go a deep cleaning and disinfection during her time off.

Wonder of the Seas arrives in Cyprus

The newest and largest cruise ship in the world made a brief stop in Cyprus as it prepares to begin cruises.

Wonder of the Seas arrived in Limassol, Cyprus on January 31st in order to bring more crew members onboard.

Cyprus' Transport Minister Yiannis Karousos welcomed the ship upon her arrival, "The benefits for our economy and tourism are huge, when leading shipping companies dock in Cyprus. We welcome to the Port of Limassol the largest cruise ship in the world, the Wonder of the Seas of Royal Caribbean."

Wonder is now headed to Cadiz, Spain as a final stop before her transatlantic crossing to Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

The first sailing of Wonder of the Seas will be March 4, 2022.

Labadee sign painted

Labadee re-opened last week, and the sign that spells out the private destination's name has been repainted.

Prior to the pandemic, the letters had a colorful look to them, against a blue background.

Friday Photos | Royal Caribbean Blog

Royal Caribbean repainted the letters with a green background and a white floral motif.

Royal Caribbean also shared new aerial photos of Labadee.


Royal Caribbean trademarks "Accessory Place"

In January, Royal Caribbean Group trademarked the phrase "Accessory Place".

According to the paperwork filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the trademark is intended to cover the category of retail store services featuring jewelry.

Royal Caribbean announces new Singapore sailings on two cruise ships

28 Sep 2021

Royal Caribbean announced a new ship will sail from Singapore, as well as an extension of other cruises.

Singapore was the first place that Royal Caribbean International restarted sailing during the global cruise shutdown, and it remains a focus for the Asian cruise market as the rest of the region struggles to reopen.

Spectrum of the Seas will move to Singapore, beginning October 21, 2022.

She will sail 3- to 9-night sailings from Singapore, and her new sailings are available to book immediately.

Spectrum of the Seas joins Royal Caribbean's fleet following delivery ceremony | Royal Caribbean Blog

Spectrum of the Seas was designed for the Asian cruise market, and has been not offered any cruises since early 2020.

In addition, Royal Caribbean has extended Quantum of the Seas sailings yet again, this time offering more sailings from Singapore on Quantum through April 7, 2022.

Royal Caribbean to homeport Quantum of the Seas in Singapore in 2019-2020 | Royal Caribbean Blog

"We are thrilled to introduce a whole spectrum of new adventures with Spectrum of the Seas, which features groundbreaking escapades exclusively designed for the Asian market, a testament to Royal Caribbean’s confidence in the potential of the cruising industry in the region. We have seen a surge in repeat cruisers, as well as a significant number of new to cruise guests, and look forward to bringing the best of the Royal Caribbean experience to our guests," said Angie Stephen, vice president, Singapore, Royal Caribbean International.

"At the same time, we are excited to extend Quantum’s ultimate ocean getaways once again through early next year to continue catering to the strong demand for sailings from Singapore."

American biotech coronavirus vaccine shows positive results in early human trials | Royal Caribbean Blog

Another change for Singapore sailings is the requirement for passengers to be fully vaccinated.

In addition to robust onboard ventilation systems, enhanced cleaning and sanitization as well as having its crew vaccinated, the cruise line will also require all guests to be fully vaccinated for all new bookings made from October 1, 2021, and onwards.

What makes Spectrum of the Seas different

Spectrum of the Seas arrives in first Asian port | Royal Caribbean Blog

Spectrum of the Seas is not only a new ship to Singapore, she is one of the newest ships in the fleet.

Royal Caribbean designed the ship to be an innovator, that offers plenty of innovations and touches of eastern culture infused with the ship.

Here are some of the major things to do on Spectrum of the Seas:

Top 14 best free things to do on a Royal Caribbean cruise | Royal Caribbean Blog

  • Asia’s first Sky Pad, a virtual reality, bungee trampoline adventure
  • Royal Caribbean’s first and exclusive Suite Enclave, which features the exquisite Royal Suite Class Star, Sky and Sea accommodations in a private area supremely positioned at the forward end of the ship. Guests booked in these luxury suites have exclusive floor access, an elevator, private restaurants, and a dedicated lounge area.
  • Cutting-edge and transformative venues such as Two70. Boasting stunning 270-degree ocean views by day and transforming into a multidimensional theater by night, this transformative space flaunts six agile Roboscreens, breathtaking live performers and mind-bending aerialists to create unimaginable visuals. 
  • Star Moment, a lively and energetic karaoke venue where family and friends can belt out and sing like stars.
  • The signature two-level Ultimate Family Suite, an expansive, multiroom retreat complete with its own ensuite slide and cinema, which also doubles as a karaoke stage.
  • A bold lineup of signature activities, including the FlowRider surf simulator, the North Star, an all-glass capsule that ascends 300 feet above the ocean to deliver incomparable 360-degree views; and RipCord by iFly, the first sky diving experience at sea.
  • Nineteen distinct dining options serve up flavors from around the world, including Hot Pot, an authentic Chinese dining experience; Teppanyaki, a celebration of authentic oriental flavors cooked in Japan’s traditional teppanyaki style; and Sichuan Red, a new specialty dining experience tailored just for Spectrum, where diners can savour a bold tapestry of authentic spices and Sichuan flavours. Signature classics include imaginative cuisine at Wonderland, top-notch, aged beef at Chops Grille, and authentic rustic fare and handmade pasta at Jamie’s Italian.

Quantum of the Seas in Singapore drops back to more stringent Covid-19 protocols

21 Jul 2021

Singapore has raised its Covid-19 alert status, and the result is Royal Caribbean's cruise protocols for sailings from that country have to go back to being far more strict.

As a result of the government announcement, Quantum of the Seas sailings will revert to a lower capacity, along with other restrictions, such as no sit down dining options.

Our friends at Singapore Cruise Society shared the update Royal Caribbean is conveying to booked guests.

Singapore has raised its Covid-19 status to Phase 2 (Heightened Alert), which will apply to sailings beginning on July 22 and remain in effect until at least August 18.

Guests sailing on Quantum will have to take an antigen test prior to embarkation at the cruise terminal, in addition to the PCR test they are required to take in the days leading up to sailing.

Specifically, here are some of the major changes guests sailing on Quantum of the Seas from Singapore can expect: 

  • Reduced shipwide capacity of 25%
  • Group sizes of no more than two guests.
  • Guests from same household may travel in the same stateroom, but will be required to remain to a maximum of two per group while in public areas
  • Restaurants & bars will be closed, but the Main Dining Room menu will be available through room service. Guests will have to dine in their cabins.
  • Capacity for all life entertainment shows to be restricted to 50 guests.
  • Permitted onboard activities, such as those in SeaPlex, Activitity Zone & Pool Zone will continue to operate at reduced capacity.
  • Guests who pre-purchased dining and beverage packages will be refunded automatically.

Passengers booked on the July 22nd sailing of Quantum of the Seas have the option for a full refund if these new protocols are not to their liking. All other sailings going forward have the choice of a 100% future cruise credit.

This is not the first time Quantum of the Seas has had to adhere to heightened protocols from Singapore. Earlier this year, similar protocols were put into place.

In May 2021, Singapore announced it would move to Phase 2 when cases in the country spiked. In May and now, the changing ship protocols are not a result of any cases on the ship.

Throughout the pandemic, Singapore has taken an aggressive stance at trying to detect and isolate new cases.

The Government will review the measures in two weeks and adjust them based on the situation at that time, the Ministry of Health (MOH) added. 

Singapore opted not to differentiate between vaccinated and non-vaccinated people for this alert change, but will consider doing so when vaccination rates are higher or when the situation has stabilized

First look at Royal Caribbean's changes to Singapore cruises

17 May 2021

Royal Caribbean recently announced new tighter restrictions for cruises from Singapore due to a heightened alert in the country due to Covid-19.

The changes made to the onboard experience aboard Quantum of the Seas include less passengers onboard, as well as expanded social distancing and even changes to dining.

Many are curious what the experience is like, and if it still feels like a cruise vacation.

Our friends at the Singapore Cruise Society boarded Quantum of the Seas on Monday to share a sense of what things are like.

What changes have been made?

In a nutshell, Singapore has added stricter measures due to an increase in the spread of COVID-19.

The measures are in place between May 16 - June 13, and are meant to limit the spread of the virus.

On Quantum of the Seas, Royal Caribbean made changes to meet new government requirements:

  • Quantum of the Seas is set to sail at 25% occupancy capacity
  • Group sizes will be limited to two guests per cabin
  • Guest occupancy in public venues will be reduced accordingly, allowing for at least 16 square meters per guest, while theaters will be limited to 50 attendees for each show
  • Heightened limits will apply to all pools and hot tubs and also at SeaPlex
  • New takeaway options at dining establishments, and guests will also enjoy a wide range of choices for room service

These restrictions are temporary and all will return to normal once the government lifts the heightened alert status.

A look at the changes

There are about 500 passengers on this sailing to reflect the lower capacity.

Your menu you can use to order dinner.

Grab and go menu items at Cafe@Two70.

Tables are not available to eat at while in Cafe@Two70. Instead, guests take the food elsewhere to eat.

No self service beverages.

Social distancing at Cafe Promenade and Sorrentos.

Tables are available to sit at with up to 2 people per table, but guests cannot eat food or drink at the table.

Harp and Horn remains open for take outs. All Beverage Package and Dining Package were cancelled and refunded to guests.

Guests can sit and wait for their drinks to be prepared, but cannot drink in the bar.

Other bars have been re-purposed since they cannot be used as a sit down bar at this time.

Tables have been set up outside of staterooms for guests to leave plates and food they are done with, as well as pick up room service delivery.

Dinner is served via room service, including beverages.

Guests must preorder their meals for the next day by 8pm.

Beverage ordering list.

In-room movies are available to watch for free.

Cruise Compass and entertainment for the first day onboard.

Singapore Cruise Society is the leading cruising blog and community in Southeast Asia.

First started in 2014, Singapore Cruise Society has documented significant cruise happenings in Singapore. Since then, we have grown to be one of Asia's largest cruise-
centric blog and community, providing everything from cruise vacation experiences to the latest development in the cruise travel industry. Follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

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