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Quantum of the Seas 2015 pre-cruise blog

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Pre-cruise report #1 from the Quantum of the seas.

Quantum of the Seas January 24, 2015

“Prepare to be wowed” is one of the Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines’ slogans and never has it been more true than right now, as Linda and I enjoy our first day at sea aboard the newly built Quantum of the Seas. You are in for a treat. Of course, being blog #1, this could all change but our initial reactions are “wow”.

For those of you who don’t know, Linda and I nearly always travel on a ship the week before a poker cruise to meet the department heads, with whom we’ll be dealing, and try out the different venues and enjoy the entertainment so that we best know what to suggest. While most everything is amazing there are times we’ll find things to stay away from. This hasn’t been the case yet, nor do we expect it to be. Taking a FAM (short for familiarization) trip is a tough job, but someone has to do it!

We arrived at the cruise ship terminal about 2:30 p.m. and were aboard the ship within 10 minutes. We are told the “sweet spot” for arrival is right then but be sure you’re here by 3:00 at the latest. It was impressive. We enjoyed a late check-out from the Newark Hilton Airport Hotel and took Uber to the pier quite easily. Uber was about half the price quoted for a taxi. Something to think about…
Check out the skyline as we leave the port -

NJ portThe weather in New Jersey was mild for the season, but the forecast for a storm coming in this week caused the Captain to cancel our first port of San Juan, Puerto Rico. Of course, Linda and I hope that the weather improves for our guests but another day of poker wouldn’t break our hearts! :) The seas are very rough and the Captain decided immediately upon departure to hug the coast and stay near shore, to avoid the huge swells. It’s still rough and Linda is appropriately taking her Bonine so we’re finding the rocking pretty cool.

The ship continues to amaze us and we’ve only scratched the surface. Today, I took my complimentary “I-fly” experience and loved every minute of it. Well, actually I should say I enjoyed the entire one minute of it. It’s short but it’s intense and fun. We didn’t know this going in, but you only get one free ride. Additional ones are quite pricey. Just so you know…. I’m hoping they let me use Linda’s “one minute”, but regardless, I’ll get another ride the week I cruise with you all!

The Quantum of the Seas is an electronic marvel. There is a “bionic bar” with robots mixing the drinks. See it here - Passengers can wear a wrist strap instead of carrying a room key. That said, it does come with restrictions. You MUST have your actual card key to board or reboard the ship and certain “amenities” require the actual card so that your rewards level may be seen by your bar staff or other personnel. That said, being able to “fob” your way into your stateroom is very cool. There are some kinks but they’re working them out.

Our first night, we dined at a pay restaurant called Jamie’s Italian. It certainly doesn’t sound Italian but it was amazing. dessertWe shared several starters, small plates, and entrees. When their homemade sorbet wasn’t available (it wasn’t up to their high standards, so they chose not to serve it), I was disappointed. The manager heard of my disappointment and came to our table and invited us to visit later in the week for our fresh fruit/homemade sorbet. We’re excited to do that, although today we overslept. Also, he’s a good looking, tall, handsome guy wearing Levi’s. What’s not to return for? But I digress.

Another bit of good news, depending on how you look at it: no formal nights! That’s right! Now, there is a little bit of a hitch. There is one dining room among the “free” destinations that is formal each night. That means a jacket, at a minimum, for men. There will be suits and tuxes there so do what you feel best about doing. The many pay restaurants appear to be diverse and look awesome. We are on our way now to experience one. More to come!

We enjoyed the opening night performance of “Mama Mia” and were royally “wowed” by the production. The show was spectacular and it plays many times during the week. It was as good as the production we saw on Broadway several years ago.

another Mama Mia video -

Tonight it’s cancelled due to an illness, but they will perform two shows tomorrow. They’re tougher than I! The seas continue to be very rough, but we are expecting smoother sailing during our cruise February 2 with you guys. I took a video off our balcony to show you what black skies and big swells look like! Rough seas - Just tonight after the comedy show of Phil Tag, one of our favorite cruise directors - Ken Rush - said that within the next day the worst of the storms would be gone and that it will be smooth sailing ahead. By your boarding date, February 2, it’ll be all great!

Linda and I overate into a stupor tonight at the “fee applied” restaurant Wonderland and continue to be impressed by the innovate additions to the RCCL brand. This meal, while way too much food, was truly unique and amazing. We look forward to seeing each of you soon and plan to send out a few more blogs during this 10 day sailing as we try out all the beautiful Quantum has to offer.

Great news! We awoke today (Sunday) to blue skies and much calmer seas.

Until we “sail” again,

Jan Fisher

Jan Fisher

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