We took a 3-night cruise to nowhere onboard Quantum of the Seas before it ended its voyage in Singapore. It was our first time taking a Royal Caribbean cruise and also our first time taking a cruise to nowhere i.e. without any port of call.
Initially, I was quite concerned about taking a cruise holiday with all the COVID rules and restrictions still in place but overall, this Royal Caribbean cruise turned out well.?
Before the COVID-19 outbreak, we used to cruise yearly with Princess Cruises, which had set a very high benchmark for service and quality. This Royal Caribbean cruise didn’t surpass our expectations as we felt Princess Cruises did better in some aspects but nonetheless, we still had an enjoyable getaway.
New to Princess Cruises?
It’s a pity Princess Cruises has cancelled their Winter 2022 sailing in Singapore. Hopefully they will resume it next year.
Spectrum of the Seas vs Quantum of the Seas
As for Royal Caribbean, Spectrum of the Seas is the only ship that is currently sailing from Singapore since Quantum of the Seas left. Both ships are sister ships that are similar in size and capacity but with some different features or attractions on board. Spectrum is a newer ship, built in 2019 whereas Quantum was built in 2014.
Now let’s take a look at the Quantum of the Seas in detail and see how our entire experience was like.
What A Deal!
My hubby subscribed to the Royal Caribbean e-newsletter in order to receive any deals and special offers they might have. He came across a discounted fare for Balcony Class cabin via an EDM sent 6 months prior to our sail date. Of course, we couldn’t miss it. Had to book it straightaway. Paid just under S$1k for two of us including taxes and gratuities. Not bad!
Online check-in via the Royal Caribbean app opened 45 days prior to the sail date. We were very lucky to book the first time slot for onsite check-in at 12pm.
|Departs at 8.30pm
|Arrives at 6.00am
If you are able to book the earliest check-in time like us, it just means you’ll have more time on the ship. More importantly, it gives you early access to the Royal Caribbean app so you can make all the necessary bookings at your preferred dates/timings.
Compulsory Pre-Cruise Testing
According to Royal Caribbean website, all guests, regardless of age or vaccination status, would have to undergo a professionally supervised rapid antigen test on boarding day and receive a negative result before being allowed to board the ship. This is to be done at your own expense.
Due to the fluidity of the COVID situation, rules are always changing from time to time so depending on when you’re taking the cruise, you’ll be informed accordingly on what needs to be done prior to the cruise.
For our cruise, we did our test (it was FOC as it was before the change of rules) at Raffles City Convention Centre about one hour prior to our boarding time. The whole process was very well organised and it didn’t take us long (just half an hour) to complete the test and receive the result. We then made our way to Marina Bay Cruise Centre.
We reached MBCC around 11.45am and had to join in the queue at the entrance of the building as doors only opened at 12pm sharp. Staff would then check our ART results to make sure we did receive negative results, otherwise we would not be allowed entry/boarding.
After we went through security check, we each received a colour card which would tell you which colour zone to wait at. Thereafter, people started boarding in batches according to the colour zone.
Just before we boarded the ship, we were told that the rooms would only be ready by 2pm so we headed straight to Windjammer Marketplace on Level 14 for lunch. At the same time, we started booking activities and making restaurant reservations via the Royal Caribbean app.
When we were done with lunch, we reported at our Muster Station for a short safety briefing before heading to our cabin.
Accommodation / Cabin
All room cards were left outside the respective cabins which was a weird way to do so though it was ‘hassle-free’ and contactless. But it also meant strangers could just enter our cabin without us knowing.
We booked the Ocean View Stateroom with Balcony and was allocated cabin room 13662 on Deck 13. This cabin was located near mid-ship so it was really easy to get around without having to walk from one end of the ship to the other.
The room was approximately 198 sq ft in size with a 55 sq ft balcony. Pretty spacious for a cruise ship cabin.
They had a sitting area with sofa. Lots of storage space around. A mini safe was hidden in the cupboard next to the bed for you to store your valuables. Writing desk that doubled up as a dressing table. A hairdryer was in one of the drawers next to the desk.
Standard U.S. plug fittings so please bring along your travel adaptor.
Minibar with kettle, mugs, tea bags and instant coffee sachets. Two bottles of drinking water that would be replenished daily. If you need more water throughout the day, you can head over to the cafe or buffet restaurant and get a couple of glasses of iced water and bring back to your room. Alternatively, bring along water bottles so you can get them filled up.
Two twin beds that converted to a Royal King. The mattresses were sunken in the middle so they weren’t very comfortable to sleep in. Time to replace the mattresses, Royal Caribbean!
Bring your toiletries
Bathroom with shower. A 2-in-1 hair & body wash dispenser was provided in the shower area. There was also a piece of soap for washing of hands by the wash basin. Other than these, there weren’t any other toiletries so you’d have to bring your own stuff like toothbrushes, toothpaste, face wash, etc.
Comfy lounge chairs in the balcony
There was a protruding ‘shelter’ on top so couldn’t get direct sunlight into the balcony – no chance of sunbathing. But still nice to chill out there, watch the sea and enjoy the breeze.
Partition boards separating all the balconies
Do note there is no 100% privacy in the balcony as you can easily pop your head over your neighbour’s balcony and also hear whatever conversations that are going on. So please do not head out to the balcony in your birthday suit or belt out songs like nobody’s business, lol!
We took the Voom Surf Internet Package for 1 device at S$51.37 i.e. only one device can be used at any one time. Hence if you have 2 or more persons in your travelling group, you’d have to take turns to access. If you can live without internet for few days, I would suggest not taking up the internet package. The WiFi access is really rubbish no matter where we are located in the ship, even in our own cabin. It was super slow and unstable. Ok for quick checking of email or messaging but if you’re thinking of watching YouTube, Tiktok or playing games, then forget about it.
Exploring the Quantum of the Seas
Now let’s take a little tour around the ship and check out some of their notable attractions and features.
North Star (additional charges)
Up for some sight-seeing 300 feet above the sea? You can enjoy a 360-degree view on the North Star. Seriously, what’s there to see from the capsule up there? Especially at night when it’s all dark? ?
FlowRider Surf Simulator
Try riding the waves on the FlowRider, which was one of the two most popular activities onboard. This always had a long queue.
And rock climbing was the next most popular activity onboard. It was quite fun to see people scaling the walls.
Swimming Pools & Jacuzzis
Ample number of indoor and outdoor pools. Lots of loungers around if you want to sunbathe or catch a nap. Don’t forget to take a rejuvenating dip in the hot tub too. I noticed the hot tubs were mostly unused at night so anytime after dinner would probably be the best time for a soak.
We liked the Solarium best as this pool area was meant for adults only hence it was more quiet and private. As it was perfectly positioned at the front of the ship, you’d get a great view of the sea too.
Very small arcade with few machines. OLD. DATED. BORING. ?♀️
Games & Quizzes
Was fun joining in some of the trivias, quizzes and games. Could really improve our general knowledge at those sessions. I even won a medal for having the second highest score in one of the quizzes, lol. But my only gripe was that there was too much overlapping of events. Either the popular quizzes were held at the same time in different venues. Or the timing of the next one would be too early and we wouldn’t get to the location in time because the one we were in hadn’t ended. Poor planning, really.
For the music lovers
Endless options throughout the day from live bands, guitar & vocal entertainment to violin & piano recitals and more. All of these were held in various locations around the ship, mainly at the bars and Music Hall.
Catch their original productions and watch special performances
We did watch most of the shows and performances. However, it wouldn’t be a loss if we were to miss any. None were that spectacular or memorable.
Hadn’t taken a bumper car ride for a long, long time so we really had fun here. Tried chasing my hubby but ended up bumping into other people real hard a couple of times, oops. Too bad each session was so short. I could play this forever, hahaha.
Maybe the passengers who cruised with us weren’t really the gambling type so the table games were generally quiet and inactive. I spent a fair bit of time playing jackpot just for fun and yep, lost all my money, lol.
Other features and attractions worth mentioning
Experience the thrill of indoor sky-diving at the Ripcord by iFly (additional charges).
Play sports or games like table tennis, foosball, Xbox with your family or friends at the SeaPlex indoor activity centre.
Hit the gym at the fitness centre. Extremely important if you’re eating like 6 meals a day, lol!
I love that they had a outdoor running track at the SeaPlex Sports Deck on Deck 15 so I could keep up with my daily night running. Each lap was about 553m so doing a 5k or 10k would not be a problem.
And if you’re in the mood to splurge…
Deck 4 is like a little shopping mall with a curated selection of international brands and boutiques where you can buy leather goods, timepieces, fine jewellery, beauty products and more. It’s duty-free shopping so you don’t have to pay taxes.
And when you’re done with your retail therapy, you can head over to the Vitality Spa for a pampering spa treatment!
Stay tuned for Part 2 of this Royal Caribbean cruise review post in which I will share more about our dining experience on the ship.
To be continued…