Brisbane is home for Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas and the decade-old big ship celebrated her inaugural sailing with a seven-day cruise to Vanuatu. Cruise Passenger was onboard – check our videos on Instagram.
Quantum of the Seas is known for being bold, innovative and cutting-edge. And she certainly lives up to her reputation.
She has everything for every age group and more importantly, every passenger is encouraged to let their inner child loose onboard and expand their horizons.
And there are plenty of horizons to expand. In the immortal words of the ship’s own write-up: “Max out your memory-making with first-at-sea feats like skydiving with Ripcord by iFly, catch a wave with the FlowRider surf simulator, or ascend 91 meters above sea level with the iconic North Star observation capsule.”
Here’s my take on a mighty new ship for Australia:
The activities on board are mind-blowing. This is why, when 4,900 passengers all make a b-line for the toys, a certain amount of chaos ensues.
This ship offers experiences that aren’t offered on any other class of ship (Ovation of the Seas in Sydney has similar fun machines). This means kids, kidults and just about everyone else wants to try them.
So be prepared. It took two hours to get to the front of the line and the poor man standing to my left was told to come back tomorrow as the ride was closing.
The rides cost USD$20 each but are free when the ship is in port. This poses a familiar dilemma: is the ship the destination, or should you be going on those tempting shore excursions to meet the locals?
On the iFly experience, the ride itself is clearly state of the art and it is seriously fun. My tummy muscles ached for two days afterward from laughing so hard were memory enough.
But you’re not allowed to take your phones or cameras with you, so be aware that the professional photographer is happy to sell you shots of yourself looking cross-eyed, while your face has been blasted by a jet engine with saliva flying in every direction at only USD$19 a shot.
Indoors, the big kid inside you (if you haven’t brought your own) will go to town with incredible live entertainment on offer. World-class stage shows such as Star Water and Sonic Odyssey will leave you spellbound. And the ship is bursting with live music, DJs, pool parties, dance classes, silent discos, karaoke, and nightclubs galore.
For a slightly slower pace (yes even Mum and Dad need some chill time) then there’s plenty to select from. Head straight to Vitality Spa for a plethora of delicious spa treatments, and be sure to book early for the steam room with heated day beds and views over the ocean. Or, grab your book and hit the pools and spas in the adults-only Solarium where you can also catch the best views of evening sunsets with a lovely cocktail delivered straight to your deck chair.
But be prepared again: the life-changing seaweed wrap costs USD$305. That aside, I did sneak in a hot stone massage that was really lovely, though it cost USD$250. If I wanted a bargain I could have scored a one-hour massage when we arrived in Vanuatu for roughly AUD$40.
The onboard gym gets a solid workout from passengers every day, which is a bonus considering how incredible the food options are.
Specialty dining including Jamie’s Italian, Izumi, and wonderland were all fun and peaceful compared to the main buffet and dining room, and the wait staff at each of these restaurants was fantastic.
Top tip: Pre-book all of these specialty dining experiences at the very first moment you step onboard the ship, or you’re likely to also find that they’re unavailable.
Oh and be warned, the main buffet closes its doors at 8:30 pm sharp, as the “Washy Washy” lady told us at the door, because “they run out of food”.
My stateroom is not a bad size. For all her technology, Quantum is a decade old, and Covid has removed the usual updates, so while I’m happy with the size it does look a little like a boardroom from the 1980s.
Don’t forget adapters as the plugs are made for the American market. Strangely there is no shampoo or conditioner and the soap pump is broken. But Henry, our room service butler, is extremely friendly and makes an effort to remember our names, which is a nice touch.
In all honesty, these cruises don’t break the bank, my stateroom was cozy and I did get a killer sunrise from our balcony, which was one of the highlights of the trip. Quantum of the Seas is a fabulous vessel for families, but to make it work you need to learn Rosie’s rules:
- Book everything
- Get a drinks package – beer starts at $9 a bottle and drinks are uphill from there
- Be patient
- Let your inner child take over
Quantum departures from the Brisbane International Terminal, and there has been a lot of debate about the industrial area surrounding the terminal. Indeed the journey to the ship may have you worried you’re headed the wrong way. But the ground staff at the terminal were amazing. Really genuine and friendly, throwing in plenty of humor as we waited in line.
And my last piece of advice: what you’ll end up paying at the end of your trip may be a little higher than you imagined. With all the temptations, that inner child may well break the budget.