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Quantum Cruise Review – part 2/3 – life on the ship

Quantum Cruise Review – part 2/3 – life on the ship

…continued from “Quantum Cruise Review – part 1/3”

STATEROOM

Our stateroom was comfortable and nicely designed. There was a sofa beside the bed with indirect lighting and some storage cabinets above it.

Stateroom sofa

Stateroom sofa

The bed was comfortable and had small lamps on each side.

Stateroom - the bed

Stateroom – the bed

When our stateroom attendant cleaned the room, she also left us presents of towels folded into different animal shapes, including this turkey for Thanksgiving.

Stateroom - towel animals

Stateroom – towel animals

There was a bureau with drawers and LCD TV above it, a small table and chair, and two small closet like cabinets for hanging up clothes.

The virtual balcony is an 80” LCD screen in interior staterooms that displays a picture from a camera mounted on the side of the ship. What you see on the screen is essentially what you would see if you had a real balcony in that spot. When you pull into ports, you can watch the scenery slide by from your inside cabin. The screen has a balcony hand railing superimposed over the image. It has curtains on either side that can be drawn over the screen. Another passenger told us that there were remotes that could be used to turn the image off or control the sound. We never confirmed that and simply drew the curtains when we didn’t want the light from the screen in the room.

Virtual balcony

Virtual balcony

The bathroom was also nicely designed and quite functional.

We decided to decorate our door with a variety of magnets.

Door magnets

Door magnets

Our stateroom was designated as handicapped accessible and we found it to fulfill that designation well. Entry into the cabin door was easy with the wheelchair and a power actuated door with a switch made exiting also easy, even though the door was heavy. The roll-in shower worked well and there was enough room to navigate the wheelchair from one side of the bed to the other.

RESTAURANTS
Royal Caribbean is moving away from the Main Dining Room concept and replacing it with a cluster of restaurants that offer more options. This is known as “Dynamic Dining” and has stirred some controversy.

There is a list of “complementary” eating choices that incur no additional cost once you are on the ship, and then there are also some “pay extra” choices.

The complementary choices include:
WindJammer buffet
Grande restaurant
Chic restaurant
American Icon restaurant
the Solarium Bistro
Cafe 270
Cafe Promenade
also (we did not try): Silk, Sorrentos pizza

The pay extra options include:
Jamie’s Italian restaurant
Chops restaurant
Wonderland restaurant
Michael’s Pub
also (we did not try): Izumi, Devinely Decadence, La Patisserie, Hot Dog truck

Our Favorites:

    • WindJammer Buffet – As we entered WindJammer, we found a bakery that was amazing, with a wide variety of breads and baked goods including scrumptious looking deserts.
      WindJammer bakery

      WindJammer bakery

      WindJammer bakery

      WindJammer bakery

      WindJammer offered a wide variety of selections.

      WindJammer buffet selection

      WindJammer buffet selection

      WindJammer offers some scenic viewpoints.

      WindJammer scenic seating

      WindJammer scenic seating

      And like the rest of the ship, Windjammer used some nice touches to give a sense of style.

      WindJammer style

      WindJammer style

      If the weather is nice, you can sit outside overlooking the stern of the ship.

      WindJammer fantail section

      WindJammer fantail section

    • Cafe 270 – is adjacent to 270 and is the home of the Kummelweck roast beef sandwich on Quantum.
      Cafe 270 Kummelweck

      Cafe 270 Kummelweck

      They also have many other good hot and cold sandwiches.

      Cafe 270 sandwiches

      Cafe 270 sandwiches

      And salads too.

      Cafe 270 salads

      Cafe 270 salads

    • Chops restaurant is a pay extra restaurant, but at $35 per person extra, it is a good deal. We enjoyed eating there so much, we went back for a second trip. The filet mignon was excellent! They serve a variety of side dishes family style to be shared by the entire table, including giant gruyere tater tots, truffled corn, mushrooms, sauteed spinach, mashed potatoes and asparagus. The appetizers and deserts were top notch and the coffee was outstanding, with service to match.
    • Michael’s Pub is also a pay extra place and it may have the best ambiance on the ship. It was semi-dark and cozy and comfortable, with good service. They don’t serve meals, just beer and some other drinks and we enjoyed a wide variety of appetizers and snacks and nearly made an entire meal out of them. Here’s a picture of Michael’s hiding behind the two story tall Christmas tree out on the Esplanade.
Michael's Pub and the Christmas tree

Michael’s Pub and the Christmas tree

The reservation system was problematic before the cruise and we were not able to cancel some pre-made reservations on the screen in our cabin, but that turned out to be no problem. When we decided to change where we wanted to eat, we just showed up at 5:30 when the restaurant opened and we were always seated promptly. It also seemed quite practical to mimic the old Main Dining Room mode of eating if you don’t like the Dynamic Dining. We ate twice at Grande and were seated at the same table each time and had the same server. It should be fairly simple to ask the restaurant to arrange such a seating and the staff went out of their way to accommodate requests. We thoroughly enjoyed the options presented by Dynamic Dining. Once they get the wrinkles out of the reservation system, it will be great.

Most of the restaurants had a variety of gluten-free options, sometimes not listed on the menus, but the serving staff was usually quite knowledgeable in this area and very helpful. They would often check with the kitchen and chefs to see if some component of a particular dish could be left out to exclude wheat and gluten ingredients. All of the eating places we sampled had some form of gluten-free bread. The bakery at WindJammer had gluten-free snickerdoodle cookies at lunchtime and the Solarium Bistro served gluten-free pancakes, bagels and english muffins for breakfast.

ENTERTAINMENT
Venues:

  • 270 is named for the panoramic 270 degree view that it offers at the stern of the ship.
    270

    270

    It is not possible to get the entire view into a single, simple picture. In the center is a complex stage and a piano, and off to the right side is a bar (beneath the huge lighted panel) and a staircase to the mezzanine.

    270 piano and bar

    270 piano and bar

    On the far left side, there is a tall swing with a lighted seat.

    270 swing

    270 swing

    When needed, a gantry lowers into place six giant robotic screens that can turn and move while they play video.

    270 - robot screens

    270 – robot screens

    Here are the screens in action:

    270 robot screens1

    270 robot screens1

    270 robot screens2

    270 robot screens2

    270 robot screens3

    270 robot screens3

    270 robot screens4

    270 robot screens4

    It’s worth repeating that the views from 270 are spectacular!

    270 view

    270 view

    270 view

    270 view

  • Royal Theater – a cozy double decker theater with comfortable seating and good views even from the back.

    Royal Theater

    Royal Theater

  • Music Hall – a small two story place perfect for stage bands, dancing, bingo and even a passenger-based rendition of “Thriller” by Michael Jackson.
    "Thriller" in the music hall

    “Thriller” in the music hall

    Here’s the two story tall fabulous multi-colored chandelier in Music Hall – when it was all blue.

    Music Hall - blue chandelier

    Music Hall – blue chandelier

  • MAMA MIA – we were not permitted to take pictures during the show, but it was awesome. They delivered the entire musical in the theater, just as it’s done on Broadway, with a mini-orchestra doing all the music live, good vocals by the singers and excellent choreography and dancing.

    STARWATER – delivered in 270, this show made amazing use of hidden stage facilities, raising and lowering parts of the stage floor, suspending trapeze artists from the high ceiling and much more. And of course they made good use of the giant screen behind the performers.

    Starwater performance in 270

    Starwater performance in 270

    More Starwater in 270

    More Starwater in 270

SPORTS

CONTINUE WITH PART 3/3 – OUR CRUISE

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