Written by on Tuesday May 19, 2015
First things first, the Quantum-fleet is all about innovation, technology and firsts for cruising. With that in mind, the embarkation of our two-day pre-inaugural sailing was something which I have never experienced at a cruise port. We were greeted by Royal Caribbean International crewmembers tooled with iPads, a quick scan of our boarding pass and a look at our passport and we were soon sailing, making our way through security, again no queues. Once through security, we went through a couple more checks but within minutes we were looking around at the vast atrium on board the magnificent Anthem of the Seas.
First impressions were space, light and tastefully adorned with pieces of art. Being the third largest ship in the world this is quite an impressive feat. With a totally new design, the huge atrium looking up 12 plus decks, showcasing chandeliers, winding stair cases, flowers giving off wonderful aromas, it’s elegant and glamourous rolled into one; I was very impressed.
We were then shown the way to our cabin by the ever helpful cabin stewards, our cabin 7242 was a D2 deluxe balcony in a forward position. On entering, we were greeted by a spacious cabin offering a large double bed as well as a sofa and a doorway leading out to our balcony which was large enough to comfortably fit two deck chairs and a table. The cabin itself was decorated elegantly and for guests own convenience was supplied with tea making facilities, a mini bar, hair dryer and power points in both USA and European standards. Plenty of wardrobe space especially if you are on a longer voyage this will come in handy.
As we were on the pre-inaugural sailing we were also invited to the naming ceremony which was an honour to be a part of. With the use of LED wristbands the creators managed to involve every single member of the audience in the official naming of the Anthem of the Seas.
Choice and freedom is what cruising on a Quantum-class ship is all about, and no more so than with their new concept “Dynamic Dining”. Now an important factor to note, is that dynamic dining is not complete freedom of choice. What they have done is taken four of the eighteen restaurants on board to dedicate to dynamic dining. So on night one, we had a card in our room advising us which restaurant we were eating in that night which was aptly named ‘Chic’. The restaurant was so classy, with decor in cream and gold with beautiful furnishings that emphasised the feeling that we were actually in a speciality restaurant. Our menu was slightly different from that of a normal sailing in that they allowed us to sample dishes from each of the four dynamic dining restaurants. The choice of cuisine available to us was elegant and contemporary with dishes such as Maryland Crab Cakes from American Icon, and Vietnamese Sea Bass from Silk. Outside the four main restaurants, guests can choose to dine in one of the speciality restaurants and on our second day we took the opportunity to do a Cuisine tour at lunch time, where we could go to each of the restaurants and sample a dish on the menu. This was a great opportunity to experience each of the restaurants from liquid olives in Wonderland to Tapas in Jamie’s Italian Kitchen.
Technology is also at the heart of the ship’s operations. With new innovative features such as electronic key cards in the form of wristbands and the famous Bionic bar which is another first for cruise ships. However the piece de resistance in terms of technology was the expansive space which is Cafe270. During the day the space is used as a chill out area which has a bistro style coffee shop, however at night time this transforms into a virtual simulation style show area. We watched Spectra’s Cabaret which was an edgy avant-garde style show with quirky music, aerialists and musicians complemented by video and digital scenery making for one of the most spectacular shows at sea.
Further innovative features also present on this ship were the Ripcord by iFly which is a skydiving simulator and luckily our head of cruise sales Leigh Collis was invited for a go. The Flowrider simulator which features on many of the Royal ships and a firm favourite with families, as well as the rock climbing wall was also present on this ship.
A great message which was often spread whilst we were on board was that this Quantum-class of ship was designed for those who don’t necessary enjoy cruising. These ships give holidaymakers of all ages every possible experience on a cruise ship that they can have on a land based holiday.
Another firm favourite which features on many of the Royal ship is the Royal Esplanade which for all intent and purposes is a busy shopping street with restaurants, bars, coffee shops and high end fashion boutiques that you would expect to find in Barcelona, Paris or Madrid. This is a great area to spend some time on sea days, as you get to experience the atmosphere and hustle of your fellow guests enjoying the facilities available. After dinner we made our way to the central promenade where there were a choice of bars available, from ‘Michaels Genuine Pub’ which had a vast menu of ales and beers as well as your run of the mill drinks. Another nice spot for an after dinner drink was Boleros which was a swanky Brazilian style jazz lounge serving elaborate cocktails, our favourite was the Coconut Mojito.
What we had started to notice at this point was the exceptional level of service on board. Every crew member from cabin stewards to waiters were interested in knowing how we were enjoying our day so far and always with a smile and a kind face, it was very clear that they would go above and beyond the call of duty to make our stay pleasurable.
Steph Micklethwaite, Sales Manager