This is my third time in a row to go cruise, previously I have done two cruises to nowhere with Dream Cruise and this time I am with Royal Caribbean – Quantum of the Sea. Since we can’t fly out from the country, seacation is the best way to getaway.
I have been a little addicted to cruises and yes I am not getting bored at all. After all, this is my first time with Quantum of the sea. I am so eager to check out all the things on the ship.
Swab test pre-departure and day of departure
3 days before our departure, we did our swab test, also known as PCR test at Raffles City Shopping Center, Level 2, Swissotel the Stamford. Guest of all ages traveling must undergo this test within 48 to 72 hours before boarding and obtain a negative result. The cost of the test is included in the cruise fare. Well, the test was uncomfortable but it was done in a split second. The medical staff will tell you to breathe through your mouth and just relax. Just follow their instruction and don’t get too panic.
On the day of departure, we had our second swab test at the terminal carpark. This is the ART test, Antigen Rapid test, slightly more comfortable than the first one at Raffles City. Only after the test result shown negative, you can then board the ship immediately.
Bring your own luggage
My advice to you is to bring your luggage with you to go through the Singapore custom and board the ship. That way you can change to your swimsuit immediately after you have boarded the ship. Dropping the luggage at the check-in counter, take time too and your luggage can only reach your room at night. Don’t worry, the walking distance is not very far from the terminal to your room.
Before your departure, you may want to download the Royal app and see if you wanted to subscribe for wifi, beverage packages, and unlimited dining. Usually, there are some promotions going on before you board the ship, you can see if you want to grab some of those. With the Royal app downloaded, you can have a rough preview of what are the activities on board.
We purchased some additional things as below:
- one VOOM Surf & Stream Internet Package – 1 Device – SGD 86.99 for 5 days 4 nights.
- Unlimited Dining Package – 157.76 x 3 adults = SGD 473.28
We didn’t go for the beverage package because we don’t really drink alcohol. However, you are allowed to bring in 2 bottles of wine per stateroom. Additional charges will be needed if you were to bring in your bottle of wine to the restaurant.
Unlimited Dining for specialty restaurant
In total there are 4 specialty restaurants during my sailing.
- Izumi – Japanese
- Jamie – Italian
- Chops Grille – Western
- Wonderland – Wonderland is an interesting restaurant, cuisine are beautifully designed and presents a visual feast.
If you do not want to pay additional for the unlimited dining package, there are still complimentary dining options.
These are some of the food we had from the specialty restaurants I will have a separate blog on the unlimited dining.
In total, we booked 7 meals (5days 4 nights) from the unlimited dining package. Once you board the ship, please go to the Guest service immediately to book the unlimited dining. You need to do it manually with the booking staff, you cannot book through the Royal apps.
Activities at seaplex
Once you board the ship, go to Seaplex to do your booking for the activities, such as k-pop dance, Xbox, basketball, bumper car. Many of these activities have limited space during pandemic situations so you need to go to the seaplex and ask the staff to do the booking manually. We were late and most of the booking was gone so we could not join any of the dance class. We only managed to book Xbox for an hour and the foosball, the mini soccer game. The arcade is also located at Deck 15.
If you have younger kids 3 to 11 years of age, then please pay attention to Adventure Ocean, which is the complimentary Kids Club. You can leave your kids there, then you can go enjoy the pool or other adult activities.
Bumper Car – Complimentary
Bumper cars only operated in the evening. During the day, the seaplex venue is for sport such as basketball competitions, k-pop dances, and others. During my sailing time, there is no skating and hockey. But I know there are roller skating and hockey before the pandemic. The bumper car only lasts for less than 5 mins.
Rules for bumper cars, kids must be 5 years old to ride and 8 years old to drive.
North Star – additional charges USD 20
North Star is the icon for Quantum of the Sea. This has additional charges to go up at USD 20 per person. You can book through the Royal apps. If you have decided to go up with North Star, please book immediately once you board the ship, else all the nice timing will be taken. You will be surprised that many guests are willing to pay to go up to take a look from the top. We didn’t book immediately when we board the ship on the first day, thinking that not many people will go up. But we were shocked we could not book through Royal apps because most slots are taken. Due to pandemics, they don’t allow many people to go up at one time.
Luckily, we went to check with the Guest service and they helped us book the only timing left that is 12 pm noon because most people are having lunch during that timing. Anyway, the ride only took about 10 mins. After that, we rush for lunch. No big deal.
View from the top from North Star
North Star is a jewel-shaped glass capsule that moves quite slowly and is it worth doing it? Well, I have to say at least once a life since you have already boarded the ship. The North Star elevates you high above the ship for that 360-degree view from the top. Is a small observation capsule, but is the winner of the Guinness World Record for the tallest viewing deck on the cruise ship. From the top, you can see the whole ship from the top including the blue ocean.
Quantum of the Sea – the ship history
Quantum of the Sea holds 16 decks, 2090 staterooms and hosts up to 4905 guests. But of course, due to the pandemic situation, there are capacity restrictions on the number of guests.
The ship was built in 2014, so pretty new and deployed to serve the Asian market. Previously, the ship was sailing in Shanghai China, so you will notice many crew members are from mainland China because this ship was serving the China market previously.
Photo package – Charged
One thing you will notice in the Quantum of the sea is many photographers walking around with their big cameras. You can purchase the photo package, which allows guests to take unlimited photographs. Now, it is worth it? Every day there are photoshoot sessions on the ship and you need to accommodate your timing with these photographers. If you do it every day, get dressed up before dinner and at a certain timing, it is worth it. If you don’t want to sacrifice your cruise activities time for the photo shooting, then you can pass this one. It is always cheaper to get the package before you board the ship.
To access your photo, you can go to Photo Gallery on Deck 5 and check through the computers there on the last night.
Stateroom with balcony view
This ship has over 2000 staterooms and we booked the balcony staterooms. It has one queen-size bed and one sofa bed, we have three adults here. The bathroom does not have a bathtub but a shower and toilet. Please remember to bring in your own shampoo and hair conditioner because they only provide the 3 in 1 soap for hair and body. The Hair Dryer is in the drawer.
There are a lot of storage spaces in the cabin so immediately unpack for the first day and put them inside the storage so to make more rooms. That way you won’t trip on the bulky suitcase.
Since it is an American cruise ship, the powerPoint is not the same as ours in Singapore. Please bring in the universal travel adapter along.
Mineral water is only provided on the first day, you may want to bring in your own water bottle for the top-up from the restaurant. Currently, all the water coolers are closed due to the pandemic situation.
You can give tipping to the staff who help you to make your bed and changing clean towels on day 1. No obligation to tip but it will make their day for sure.
The balcony stateroom is good for 3 guests, the best part of it was having our own private balcony. If you were to hang your wet swimsuit, please be careful of the wind, they might blow it away. You may want to bring in some hanging clips
Pools – Complimentary
When you are on a cruise ship, pools are the things you can’t miss. There are 3 sections, namely the Solarium which is for adults over 18 years only. Inside you find glass canopy and panoramic views.
- Charge for pools and jacuzzi – No, it is free
- How to book – Queue on the line, only swim for 10 min
- Tips – remember to go visit the adult-only pool which offers a breathtaking view overseeing the sea
Then the indoor pool and the outdoor pool. Indoor pool for people who wanted to avoid the direct sunlight and outdoor pool for people who wanted to suntan their body. The pool are quite deep, over 1.5m so you may want to get a life jacket for the kids, life jackets are available at the towels section.
Outdoor pool above and indoor pool below. Both have jacuzzi with warm water.
To enter the pool, you need to queue to get into the pool. No advance booking at all.
I queue for half an hour and only get to swim for 10 mins. Once the time is up, the lifeguard will call the whole batch to come up. Sames goes with the jacuzzi, only people within your group can enter the jacuzzi at one time with you, up to 4 pax.
Pretty tiring, to be honest, standing for almost about half an hour and just swim for 10 mins, you have not even properly warmed up yet.
Balero Club & Music Hall
You will get some free music in these areas, we watched some of the nicest entertaining here.
Please note this is only a small area so it is strictly first come first serve. Please make sure to be here 15 mins before to get your seat. Once it is full, they will not allow any guests to enter
How many bars are there in Quantum of the Seas?
There are about 11 bars in the Quantum of the Seas cruise ship. The pool bar on deck 14 serves the adjacent covered pool area.
North Star Bar is right below the North Star capsule, see below picture.
Bionic Bar -icon
This is one of the special features in Quantum of the Sea, to enter this bar, there is a line. Haha, due to pandemics, everywhere there is a line. At the Bionic Bar, you see two robotic bartenders who serve you the cocktails you ordered. Watch how fast the robotic bartenders shake and stir and mix up the drinks for you in 2 mins time. And yes, over 30 spirits and 21 mixers to choose from, the cocktail combination are endless.
Rock climbing – Complimentary
For rock climbing, remember to bring your own socks and they will provide you the shoes and harnesses. During my time, there is no helmet provided. My cap almost fell off.
There are different levels for each one to experience, either beginner or advance climber. Just follow the color of the grip and climb accordingly. Climbing the rock wall is free and no reservations are required. It opens from 9 am till 5 pm. The one tip I can provide you for rock climbing is, don’t look down when you are climbing. Look up instead of looking down.
- Charge – Fee
- How to book – Queue on the line
- Operating hour – 9 am to 5 pm
- Tips – Just look up at the colorful rocks and focus to reach the top to ring the bell, don’t look down especially for those who are afraid of height.
FlowRider – Complimentary
This is a surf simulator, it was my first time surfing on these harsh waves. Very challenging to surf on the high-speed water flow. I only got the chance to try for less than 5 mins. I think it usually lasts 10 min for each. This can be dangerous, so you may want to watch a short clip about how to ride on FlowRider shown on the tv in your cabin before that.
- Charges – Free
- How to book – stand on the line, first come first serve.
- Operating hour – 9 am to 5 pm
- What to wear – something tight at the top for ladies.
- Other tips – go get the towel to cover your head when you are on the line, very hot sun there and no shelter, you may sunburn.
- Other tips – watch how to surf on FlowRider on the Royal Caribbean introductory channel before you do this activity.
This activity is free but you need to queue for your turn. It took me 40 mins to stand under the hot sun. Go get the towel provided at the pool deck to cover your head when standing under the hot sun, no shades. Ladies, please make sure to wear something secure at the top, bikini won’t be a good idea for sure because the waves are very strong.
iFly – additional charges USD 40
This offers an indoor skydiving experience. Booking can be done via Royal apps or go to Guest service. It took less than 1 min for the fly, to be exact is about 45 seconds.
Food Review – Complimentary
Food is the major topic in the cruise ship. You can eat all day, some eat up to 8 meals a day.
Windjammer Marketplace is a buffet-style open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner which serves international cuisine. We had our breakfast here but didn’t have enough space after our dining at the specialty restaurants. The range is huge at Windjammer and I love their pastries and desserts. Don’t miss that.
The Windjammer Marketplace is located at deck 14, many of the seats and tables are located near the window so you will be able to enjoy the ocean view. Always go early so that you have the best seats and avoid the crowd. Go 15 mins early before the restaurant opens.
Sorrento’s – complimentary
This is a little pizza cafe place at deck 4 for you to get drinks, hot coffee, cakes, pastries, and pizza. Their pizza are really yummy and serving hot since the demand is high so all are freshly bake out from the oven. This place is open till late in the midnight.
Seaplex Doghouse – complimentary
There is a little eatery serving hotdogs at Doghouse in Seaplex. I didn’t have the opportunity to try out because I was too full from breakfast and lunch.
Royal Promenade (at Deck 4-5 connected with staircases)
High-end shopping and all the big names are located at Royal Promenade on deck 4 and 5.
You will find lots of massive chairs for guests to sit down and take pictures. Bars and restaurants and entertainment venues are here. It has some hip vibes here during the day and night.
Don’t forget to walk out of the cruise ship on deck 4 or 5 where you will see some lifeboats hanging at the side of this big cruise ship.
The Casino Royale is at Deck 3, some slot machines and table games open once the ship hits international waters. Guests must be at least 18 years of age to enter.
The Art Gallery is located at Deck 5 along the walkway between the Tia and Two70. It is managed by team of Park West collectors. I don’t know much about painting but it is an exposure to attend one of the auctions and see how they sell the paintings. Don’t worry, they are cheaper range of painting from USD40 to ten of thousands of dollars.
Painting Auction – Free to enter
Guests are welcome to sit and observe how the auction is done by Park West. Every group will be given a number. You can bid it by raising up your hand if you see something you like. It is quite interesting to watch how they make the sales.
Art appreciation – Free to enter
The lady below explained the background of this particular artist, called Thomas Kinkade, an American artist who just passed away few years ago. It is quite interesting to look at the painting and listen to the details explained by the lady. Is free, so why not, go sit down and listen and get inspired.
Vitality Fitness Center – Complimentary
The gym is fully booked when I wanted to check it out. I begged them to allow me to go in to have a peek. Wow, it was fully loaded with the latest weight systems and cardio equipment. And the ocean view is just amazing.
Since it was fully booked for the entire sailing day, I have no choice but to work out outdoor at the open deck near the pool area. Luckily I brought along an RMT rope to do some rope flow. You can also do some HIIT or animal flow or anything with bodyweight exercise at the open deck at 14 and 15.
My animal flow stunt. This is called a front kick. LOL
Running track on Quantum of the Seas
The running path is located at the higher deck, how long of the running track? Well, it is written on the wall. It is quite long, it surrounding the entire cruise ship.
I was quite surprised there are so many runners wake up early in the morning before sunrise. Guests are all very eager to exercise and get fit.
Live shows – Complimentary
We watched 3 shows altogether. Please do your booking immediately upon boarding the ship. Book the shows via the Royal apps. Go 15 min early so that you get good seats.
The show below took place at Two70, the show is called Starwater. Starwater explores the nature of human emotion through a fusion of live performance artistry and groundbreaking technology. Some of the highlights are the lady with a long huge white dress hanging up high in the air, singing very high notes. The other highlight was the beautiful violinist playing her 5 songs.
Magic show – the magician partner is just stunning, beautiful body.
I would say with the activities and entertainment, complimentary and accommodation inclusive, this is a great way to get away for a short holiday. During the day, you can spend your time at the pool, bars, some dance classes, or arcade. At night there are live entertainments with professional dancers and singers to perform for the guests. After the show, there are still music appreciation at a smaller venue, in bars or music hall where you can be more up close with the entertainers. The entertainment lasts till midnight, if you are a night owl, Quantum of the Sea is for you. Some of the jacuzzies open till 2 am in the morning. The only downside I could think of is probably this cruise ship caters more to English educated (ang moh pie) background, as most of the activities and music entertainment are done in English. Including the food choice, you can’t find your usual Chinese food or the nasi lemak for your breakfast. The choice range is more limited to western or international but their bakery pastry are top class. Well, you have to understand that Royal Caribbean is an American cruise. Luckily, there are many Chinese staff working at Quantum of the Seas are bilingual.
My biggest takeaway from this cruise experience was to have gotten the unlimited dining package at slightly over SGD 150 per person for the 4 nights. In total, we have 7 meals with specialty restaurants, serving the finest and authentic cuisine, from Japanese, Italian and western. It is a great idea to get the package before your cruise when they are having promotion sales. You can register on their website for the newsletter.
As for the activities in the pool, I would prefer to be done by booking in advance and not by standing in line. Guests wasted a lot of time by standing in line and the real swimming time is just 10 mins. It is quite tiring too to stand under the heat. Rather, I would suggest Royal Caribbean adopt the booking system, allowing guests to do their booking in advance. Each session should be 1 hour, that way guests don’t have to stand there to queue for each swim after 10 mins are up.
For FlowRider and rock climbing, the queuing system makes sense.
Overall, I enjoy very much with Quantum of the Seas and looking forward to exploring other cruise ships in the future. But then what I really hope is, the world opens up soon, that way I don’t have to keep doing cruises. LOL. To me, when you have no choice, you do cruise.