In the movie business, a great movie is a tough act to follow. After all, once the awards have been handed out and the revenues tallied up, the question is inevitably asked: “What next?”
For Royal Caribbean International, the question of how to follow the massive Oasis of the Seas and her sister Allure of the Seas must have been a puzzling one. Not only were these ships bigger and with more frills than anything that had come before them but also had every feature that the design teams could think of. The twin vessels were highly acclaimed by the press and passengers alike, and turned heads in every single port of call.
In short, they were perfect.
But the cruise line that gave the world the innovative Sovereign of the Seas has never been one to sit back and rest on its laurels — which is where the brand-new Quantum of the Seas comes in. Revolutionary and trendsetting, she offers a big-ship cruise experience that certainly doesn’t fail to impress.
Two sister ships, Anthem of the Seas and Ovation of the Seas, provide cruisers with more options than ever before for those wanting to get a taste of this new breed of cruise ship.
Royal Caribbean adopted the tagline, “Prepare to Be Wowed,” for Quantum of the Seas, and it’s decidedly appropriate. Although not as large as Oasis of the Seas, Quantum of the Seas ushered in a number of features that had never been seen before aboard a cruise ship.
Perched high atop the ship next to the radar masts, The North Star is an almost London Eye-esque glass enclosed ball mounted on a hydraulic arm that can extend completely out over the port and starboard sides of the ship, some 300 feet above sea level. Surrounded by windows, it offers up some very spectacular, 360-degree views of the ocean and is, cleverly, available for private functions like weddings.
Quantum of the Seas also introduced the first sky-diving simulator at sea. Called RipCord by iFly, the simulator features high-powered fans that keeps guests aloft in a safe, controlled environment aboard the ship’s upper decks, conveniently within sight of the popular Flowrider surfing simulator located at the stern of Quantum of the Seas. Expect long lines for both of these revolutionary features.
Building on the theme of centralized attractions, the SeaPlex stands to change the way people view cruising as much as the Studio B Ice Rink did aboard Voyager of the Seas back in 1999. Designed to be the largest indoor active space at sea, the SeaPlex functions as a roller-skating rink by day and will come complete with a full-sized basketball court; table tennis, and a full-blown circus school. You’ll even be able to get something to re-energize yourself from the first food truck at sea.
At night, the area is transformed into a gigantic bumper-car arena. Yes, you read that right — Quantum of the Seas introduced the cruising world to the industry’s first seagoing bumper cars.
One of Quantum’s most revolutionary features simply has to be seen to be believed. A play-on-words on the term “360,” Two70 will be situated prominently at the aft end of Quantum of the Seas and will offer 270-degree panoramic views from a wall of overheight glass windows that wrap attractively around the port, aft and starboard sides of the ship. Royal Caribbean has designed this airy space to function as a giant living room gone to sea during the day. At night, however, the room transforms into a massive digital canvas with full-blown production numbers performed here that incorporate the industry’s most advanced special effects.
Synchronized to a thudding original soundtrack, it’s easily the most innovative and original entertainment at sea. If you hate those “Rod Stewart Songbook” compilation pieces that have been the staple of cruise ship performances for decades, you’ll salivate over the entertainment on offer at Two70.
The new vessel will feature plenty of the amenities and attractions that have made past Royal Caribbean ships so popular, including the Flowrider, Rock Climbing Walls, the DreamWorks Experience and the forward-facing Solarium concept introduced aboard Oasis of the Seas.
In addition to the standard oceanview and balcony staterooms that cruisers have come to know and love, Quantum of the Seas also boasts the trendsetting Royal Loft With Balcony accommodations: massive, two-story suites flanked by two-story high walls of glass looking out onto private balconies that are larger than most standard cruise ship staterooms. In addition, she was also the first to introduce the line’s Virtual Balcony concept: faux balconies featured in interior staterooms that feature high-definition LED screens linked to exterior cameras on the ship, for real-time views of the outdoors without those high balcony prices.
Two years after setting sail from New York City on her maiden voyage, Quantum of the Seas is still one of cruising’s hottest tickets — and Royal Caribbean is meeting that demand through sisters Anthem of the Seas and Ovation of the Seas.
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