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Quantum Cruise Review – part 3/3 – our cruise experience

Quantum Cruise Review – part 3/3 – our cruise experience

…continued from “Quantum Cruise Review – part 2/3”

ARRIVAL
When we arrived in Bayonne, the new terminal building was impressive. Curbside luggage check-in went quickly and smoothly and we went inside. RC check-in attendants were easy to find and they complete the check-in process in less than five minutes. We put our carry on bag through a security scanner belt similar to the ones at airports and found ourselves waiting in a large group of passengers who had also arrived early. The ship was not quite ready to board. We discovered that handicapped would be allowed through the gate first and when they did let us through, we used the elevator to move upstairs, down a long hallway and then across the “sky bridge” onto Quantum. Our first impression of the ship was of nicely detailed interior decorating and information panels that directed us up the elevators to WindJammer in search of lunch. And there was art everywhere! Inside the column of elevators is a huge mural of butterflies.

Butterflies in elevator column

Butterflies in elevator column

Once we got up to WindJammer, we found a great view of the harbor and skyline.

NY harbor and skyline

NY harbor and skyline

SERVICE
The service offered by crew aboard the ship was mostly excellent. Crew members frequently went out of their way to help or to find an answer that they didn’t know. They would often drop whatever they were working on to help us, and when they were doing something they could not leave, they would find another crew member who could help us. Of course, there were a few exceptions to this, but the overall service level was superb!

The service really stood out in the restaurants. Our servers went out of their way to explains menu items we were not familiar with and also to research our questions about gluten-free options that were often not on the menu. They would go ask and come back to tell us the chef said that item could be served without the sauce to make it gluten-free or at times that it could not be altered well and we should choose another item. We were very impressed with both the level of knowledge and the willingness to help.

Here is our stateroom attendant, Carolina, from Brazil:

Carolina

Carolina

Carolina was a perfect example of the crew service level on Quantum. She was usually working hard when we saw her in the corridor, but would always take at least a moment to smile at us and chat for longer if she could. And, she kept our stateroom in spotless order.

TECHNOLOGY (and other details)
State of the art technology is embedded everywhere on Quantum. Tablets are used for check-in at the terminal building, for restaurant servers taking orders, for reservations, excursions and photos.

Large monitors in every elevator foyer double as motion enabled artwork until you touch it and then it serves as a self-guided touchscreen information bank.

Information touchscreens in elevator foyers

Information touchscreens in elevator foyers

Each elevator has a floor panel that is changed every morning to the current day of the week.

Elevator "day of the week"

Elevator “day of the week”

The main entrance to the WindJammer buffet restaurant offered both a hand washing station and hand sanitizer gel dispensers, usually with a crew member stationed there to remind everyone to “wash up”.

WindJammer hand washing station

WindJammer hand washing station

The TV in our stateroom kept us up to date with our position and weather information.

Ship position map on TV

Ship position map on TV

Our handicapped accessible stateroom included automatic door opening pads which were quite helpful in holding open the heavy door while negotiating the wheelchair through it. There were also similar door control pads throughout most of the ship.

GLITCHES AND PROBLEMS

We used the dining reservation system on the RC web page to book our restaurant seatings as soon as it was available (several months before our sail date) and had constant problems with it. Sometimes, it would not show reservations that had been made previously. Usually, when we called RC, they would tell us the reservations were still there but just not showing on the web page at the moment. It was difficult or impossible to make some changes to reservations and also to add others to our party. In the end, even this was quite frustrating, once we were on the ship, we had no problems and were always able to get in where we wanted to eat, if we showed up early at 5:30.

The TV in our stateroom had some very helpful information on it, including the location of the ship and some basic weather information, but it often seemed to have a mind of it’s own. Eventually, we noticed that RC seems to be using Windows software to supply the feed to the cabins.

Most handicapped access worked well, but in order to get to the hot tubs on the lower level of the Solarium without using stairs, it is necessary to go down to deck 13, then move all the way forward through the narrow cabin corridors to get to a ramp up to the Solarium. When the corridors are empty, this is not a problem, but many times, the attendants had supply carts and other working materials parked in the corridors and it was quite a task to move things out of the way to get a wheelchair past them.

Two handicapped elevators were not working: the one to Northstar and the one to the Surf-rider and I-Fly levels. We were told that they functioned but had not yet been inspected and issued a license to operate.

GENERAL OBSERVATIONS

  • The ship never seemed crowded
  • There was often music playing in the background in open spaces
  • The attention to detail was impressive
  • The artwork was amazing
  • There were comfortable lounge areas everywhere
Art sculptures on the wall in the enclosed pool area

Art sculptures on the wall in the enclosed pool area

Wall sculpture in the enclosed pool area

Wall sculpture in the enclosed pool area

PORTS
Port Canaveral offers day trips to Cocoa Beach, the islands and waterways nearby, Kennedy Space Center and all the attractions of Orlando. The day we were there, our lifeboats decided to perform some practice maneuvers.

Lifeboat maneuvers

Lifeboat maneuvers

Nassau in the Bahamas is a busy port for cruise ships and also has a large resort called Atlantis.

Cruise ships at Nassau

Cruise ships at Nassau

The Atlantis resort

The Atlantis resort

It wouldn’t be the Bahamas if we didn’t see at least one horse wearing a hat.

Horse with a hat

Horse with a hat

Over on Paradise Island, we found some remnants from a 14th century French monastery that have been rebuilt in a garden known as the Cloisters.

The Cloisters

The Cloisters

The Cloisters

The Cloisters

The Cloisters

The Cloisters

The Cloisters

The Cloisters

The Cloisters

The Cloisters

DEPARTURE

Leaving Quantum was a bittersweet experience. We wanted to stay longer and experience more. The departure instructions were handled well by the crew, issuing luggage tags and explaining how it would work. And it worked almost flawlessly. Despite brief waits in long lines of passengers strung out across the esplanade, the lines moved briskly and smoothly and soon we found ourselves walking back across the sky bridge and into the NJ terminal. There, unfortunately, we had to wait for forty minutes for all the luggage to arrive before we were allowed to retrieve our bags. We dubbed the lady who kept insisting the wait was for our own safety, “the wicked witch of the east” and exchanged a few scowls with the burly security guard who backed her up. But once we had our bags, it only took a few minutes to scurry through customs and out into the pickup area.

CONCLUSION
Like quantum mechanics, the Quantum of the Seas is an enigma to some, fading in and out of their expectations like a probability equation. But it’s really not that mysterious. The point of being on a cruise ship is being on a cruise ship, on the ocean. If you want to eat at fine restaurants, stay on land. If you want to drive bumper cars, or play video games, stay at home. If you want to drink or party or gamble, there are places to do that. But none of those places have sunrises or sunsets at sea, or offer the ability to spend hours just gazing at the ocean sliding by the ship and tumbling into the wake off over the horizon. Everything else the ship has to offer is extra and the extras offered by Quantum are over the top amazing.

Sunset somewhere in the Bahamas

Sunset somewhere in the Bahamas

Ships wake into infinity

Ships wake into infinity

Mostly the ship seems to exhibit a class and grace that is difficult to describe and not easy to forget. It’s found in the artwork in the stairways, the attention to details in tiles and lights and ceilings, the variety and comfort of lounge areas, and all the glass in 270 and the Solarium.
These things also are reflected in the personal care offered by the crew and staff aboard Quantum.

Quantum flotation ring

Quantum flotation ring

Finally, these well made videos cover some corners of the ship that our review may have missed. ENJOY!


RETURN TO:
QUANTUM CRUISE REVIEW – PART 1/3
QUANTUM CRUISE REVIEW – PART 2/3

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