At this point in my life, there isn’t much I do without consideration of my children. I arrange my schedule around them. I eat last. I worry. I fret. I do everything I can to enjoy the time I have with them. It’s not often that I have time to think about myself or what I would do in my leisure time. What’s leisure time again?
When I was sent on a media preview cruise on the brand new Royal Caribbean cruise ship, Quantum of the Seas, I knew it would be restorative as a mom to have time on my own. But when I boarded the Quantum of the Seas, I had a moment of wondering what I was to do with just myself? No kids to worry about. No lunches to pack. No searching for lost library books at the last minute.
First, things first. Quantum of the Seas has completely changed cruising starting even before you board. This ship has been touted as the world’s first Smart Ship. So what that translates into is more time for leisure and less time waiting. Download the Royal IQ app and check-in online and it will honestly take you minutes from the time you arrive at port to get to your stateroom. The entire plan of this ship is to cut down on that “waiting” and get you playing using technology.
Quantum of the Seas presented a challenge for me. How much can I pack in my two-night media tour when I was on my own? Considering my slight aversion to heights, would I try all that the Quantum of the Seas offered? Since I was away from my kids, I wanted to do everything I could to come home to them and tell them what adventures I had. And adventures were had during my time on Quantum of the Seas.
First stop was obviously iFly by RipCord. This simulated sky diving experience was amazing. Your instructors lead you and teach you how to safely enjoy your time flying. Flyers may be as young as three years old so your littlest daredevils can do this with you. I loved that the age limit was low because I know that when you are on the Quantum of the Seas, your kids wills see this and want to give it a try.
On Quantum of the Seas, the Seaplex is where many of you will spend family time, or your teens will want to hang out, or you’ll want to act like a kid. The Seaplex was designed to get the most active play within one area. The enclosed floor transforms from basketball courts to roller skating rinks and will turn it over to the bumper cars or allow for circus school to set up. I did attempt learning the flying trapeze and it has to be one of the most daring things I’ve ever done in my life. I may have had a slight panic attack on that high platform looking down but a crew member talked me into harnessing my courage and I did it! Surrounding the Seaplex are other activities like Xbox and ping pong tables. There’s even the Seaplex Dog House – a food truck right on the ship.
The North Star is another exclusive feature of the Quantum of the Seas. The North Star was modeled after the London Eye. It transports you up and over the actual sea while cruising. I just don’t know what to even compare the experience to because it is so unique and exhilarating that there’s nothing quite like it. Just being 300 ft. above sea level gives you an unforgettable moment and view.
Dynamic dining on Quantum of the Seas is revolutionary. It drops the traditional assigned seating and large dining atmosphere to give guests choices in dining rooms modeled more after restaurants each with a different theme. Additionally, there are options for specialty restaurants with celebrity chefs like Jamie Oliver and Devin Alexander. I personally love this idea because it gives you more flexibility and the option to ditch formal night. Although, if you love formal night, you can make reservations at The Grande, which is formal every night. I had the chance to eat at Izumi, a specialty Japanese restaurant and it was top notch dining. With 18 different restaurants on board, Quantum of the Seas has truly changed the way dining on cruise ships operates.
The options for rooms are also going to benefit families and even extended families traveling together. There are options for connecting suites allowing you family space but connectivity. Another cool thing about the indoor staterooms is that they have a virtual balcony. It actually streams a live feed of the view outside. Outside of the rooms, I have to say that the entire ship was inspiring and gorgeous. There is art everywhere. Royal Caribbean is known for the curated art on its ships. Quantum of the Seas had me looking up, around and stopping in my tracks for the art that adorns this ship.
Entertainment. Okay, let’s just say that I’ve been on one other cruise before and the entertainment was, well, blah. The Quantum of the Seas has again set the highest standard. Mama Mia! on the Quantum of the Seas will bring Broadway to the seas. The new show I watched was called Starwater and it was stunning. If you want a casual concert atmosphere with live music, visit the Music Hall. Any of these options are far and away better than what I have experienced in the past. Quantum of the Seas is setting the high standard in every category.
The question of what to do with myself on the cruise was answered in abundance. There was almost too much to tell and there were definitely things I couldn’t squeeze in during a two-night cruise. Anyone taking an adventure on Quantum of the Seas will have a wealth of relaxation, A+ dining, enjoyment and entertainment.
Thank you Royal Carribean for the invitation to attend the pre-inaugural cruise media tour. All opinions are my own.