Quantum of The Seas a Techno Delight

I just returned from two short nights on the new Quantum of the Seas by Royal Caribbean. This is their first “smart ship” at sea and it is a technophile’s dream. From robotic bar tenders to virtual staterooms, cruisers will marvel over the many high-tech features on this ship.

Quantum of the SeasThe Quantum of the Seas is not Royal Caribbean’s biggest ship, although it is still considered a “mass market” vessel carrying over 4,000 passengers with 2,000 staterooms.  While the size is impressive, it is the technology that you’ll notice the most.

The ship offers true high speed Internet.  You can stream your favorite movies or do Facetime video chats with your loved ones at home.  There is even an app you can download on your smart phone to track your luggage, view your dining options, browse the available entertainment and all sorts of other fun and helpful things.

RFIDWhen you arrive at the cruise terminal to check in, in addition to getting a standard Seapass card, they’ll hand you a waterproof RFID wristband (Radio-frequency identification device) to wear.  This essentially replaces your Seapass, allowing you to open your cabin and use it to pay for any on board purchase.  It looks nice and fashionable too!

20141122_130641While the inside staterooms still lack a view, on this ship they come with “virtual balcony’s” that project live video of the sea outside, as if you were looking through your own real windows.  That is a very nice development indeed.

For those who love luxury, The Quantum offers state of the art suites and so-called “loft suites” ranging in size from 350 to 1,600 square feet.  The larger suites can comfortably accommodate up to eight.

There are other fun new shipboard experiences on The Quantum of the Seas like bumper cars, roller-skating, a trapeze workshop, a gigantic Xbox entertainment center, and a full-sized basketball court. Most of them are housed in the soaring, multi-purpose SeaPlex sports center, which may attract people who have never visited a sports court before.

Just outside the sports center you’ll find a climbing wall, a surf simulator, and even a skydiving simulator called Ripcord by iFly.

20141122_162620As if that were not enough, the amazing North Star observation arm will take you more than 300 feet above the ship, offering a genuinely thrilling 15-minute 360° view of both the ship and the sea. It’s an audience-pleasing first for a cruise line that has been offering firsts for decades.

Dining is also game changer on this ship.  Instead of one big dining room, The Quantum of the Seas introduced “dynamic dining” with four separate rooms; each with it’s own character and menu.  While these dining rooms are included at no additional charge, there are several specialty-dining venues with new and unique culinary experiences (surcharges apply).

One cautionary note:  if you prefer to eat where you want, when you want and with whom they want, it’s wise to reservations ahead of your cruise, rather than taking your chances at sea.  I chose to dine in Jamie’s Italian by Jaime Oliver and loved the ambiance and of course, getting to taste some of his dishes.

20141122_223134For entertainment, The Quantum of the Seas introduced an entirely new experience called Two70. This completely interactive venue is hands-down, the most technologically advanced space of its kind at sea. The name comes from the 270-degree view off the stern of the ship provided by the 30 foot inclined glass panels that make up the back of the room. You’ll be blown away by the combination of visuals, both live and animated, provided by several robotic LCD screens.  This is IMAX on steroids!

The Quantum of the Seas is a fantastic experience for cruise-lovers who need to stay connected, love technology, yet are comfortable with pre-planning their vacation days.  With such a large vessel, planning ahead is a critical part of making it an enjoyable adventure.

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