Sunday, December 15, 2019

6D5N Cruise on Royal Caribbean Quantum of the seas - Part 1

The year 2019 is coming to an end. I managed to go for another cruise holiday this time with Royal Caribbean's Quantum class ship, Quantum of the Seas. It is the first time this ship is home ported in Singapore until April 2020 next year and the ship will be here for another season probably starting end 2020 again. Previously, Royal Caribbean has its older fleet of ship in Singapore such as Voyager of the seas or Mariner of the seas.

Last year, I went for a shorter cruise trip on-board Genting Dream cruise and it was a really relaxing and good trip. You can read my previous post on my Genting Dream's cruise here. I liked the trip so much that this year I decided to go again with my family for a longer cruise trip on a different ship. Royal Caribbean cruise is more catered to those who like western offerings as the food, shows and activities are more towards western choices. Genting dream on the other hand is more catered to Asians. The 6D5N trip covers Port Klang (KL), Penang and Phuket. I will review the ship on all aspects in this post.

Day 1 - Embarkation day

On day 1, the ship was due to depart Marina Bay Cruise Centre at 5pm but we could get on the ship as early as 10am. I did all the check in online and my appointment was  scheduled at 10:30am. I reached the cruise terminal slightly before 10:30am and went straight to the departure gate.

There were people every where and it was quite a chaos but everything still went rather in order as they have lots of staff at the cruise terminal to direct the crowd. I was supposed to check in my luggage but somehow missed the luggage drop of point and ended up having to drag my luggage along all the way up the ship. Check in was rather fast, they just needed our set sail pass and passport and used their ipad to scan on our documents and off we go. They lead us to the waiting area where everyone is separated by colors to wait for our turn to board the ship. I waited about 1 hour then we were directed to board the ship.

Our room was not ready at 11:30am when we boarded the ship. It was only ready at 1pm so we went to Windjammer market place, which is a buffet area for lunch. There were plenty of seats at that time. Crowds started to come in after 12pm. The food offerings were good and food is always available as they refill it very fast when its left about 20%.

Balcony Stateroom

After lunch, we went to our room. For this cruise, I booked a balcony stateroom. The room was relatively big and it looks totally new and clean. They cleaned the room twice every day so it always looked fresh when we came back to our rooms. 

View from the balcony

Time to explore the ship

There are plenty of things to do on the ship. Quantum class ships are the 3rd largest fleet among Royal Caribbean's many ships. Quantum of the seas can fit a maximum of 4,905 passengers and is 348 meters in length compared to 3,840 passengers and 311 meters for Voyager of the seas. However, the ship doesn't feel really big as compared to the Genting Dream which I went to. 

Quantum of the seas just completed a multi million dollar refurbishment in Nov 2019 so everything in the ship looks very new and clean. The ship has a technology theme and the design inside is sleek and elegant, giving it the luxurious feel. 

Outdoor running track

Outdoor pool area

The North Star

Outdoor lounge area

Solarium pool

Bumper cars on a ship
Fine dining dinner on the ship every night

The dinner setting on this ship is fine dining every night. It consist of appetizers, entrees and desserts.  For Quantum of the Seas, instead of the usual Royal Caribbean main dining room, this ship has 4 dining rooms with the same restaurant. You can choose either traditional dining where you will be assigned 2 timeslots either 5:30pm or 8:30pm for dinner or the MyTime dining where you can reserve your own dining timeslot from 6:30pm to 9pm. I went for MyTime dining and booked my dinner timings on cruise planner 1 month before. I see long queues outside for those who did not make reservations so its advisable to book all your dining in advance. Here's the menu for the first night:

The menu changes every night which is a good thing. Food is good with occasional misses as sometimes the meat is too dry and hard. 80% of the time the food is great. Service is exceptional in the dining rooms and the waiters are friendly and try to make you feel at home. They try to assign you to the same waiters/waitress every night so you get personalised service. For my family, we were assigned the same waiters most of the time and they could remember us. 

Bay Scallop Gratin

Slow Roasted Prime Rib

Classic Fish & Chips

Hazelnut Chocolate Cake

Key Lime Pie

Apple Blossom A La Mode

Pear & Blueberry Cobbler
The food was exceptionally good for the first day. Everything we ordered was cooked to perfection. 

Day 2 - Port Klang, Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

On day 2, we reached Port Klang. It was a distance away from KL so we did not get off the ship but enjoyed the facilities on the ship itself. Buffet breakfast is provided everyday at Windjammer marketplace or Solarium Bistro. You can also opt for breakfast in the main dining room, order room service where continental breakfast is complimentary or go to Cafe@Two70 for small bites. 

The most relaxing place on Quantum of the Seas is the Solarium. It is an adult only pool area with hot tubs, a terrace pool and good views of the sea. It was quiet on day 2 morning when I went there as probably not many people know of the existence of this place yet. Solarium was open to suite guests only when the ship was sailing out of China. Its good that they decided to open to everyone when the ship came to Singapore. 

Starwater Show

In the evening, we went to watch the starwater show just before dinner at Jamie's Italian which is a specialty restaurant on the ship by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver. Starwater show has to be booked because there are limited seats available. I booked 2 days before my cruise date on the cruise planner to secure my slots. 

Starwater show is the anchor show on Quantum of the Seas so its a must watch if you're on this cruise. Its more of a technology show with robotic screens, great visuals, combined with singing and aerobics. However, I couldn't really appreciate the show as there is not much story line to the whole production. Genting Dream's voyage of a lovers dream production was much better in comparison.

Specialty dining at Jamie's Italian

After the show, we went to Jamie's Italian for dinner. It cost USD $40 per person to dine here on top of the cruise price which we already paid. The restaurant setting is casual with an Italian feel. 

Entrance to the restaurant

Inside the restaurant

Here's the menu of the restaurant and we could order anything we wanted with no limits:

For starters, we ordered the baked chestnut mushroom and the famous cured meat plank. The baked chestnut mushroom is really good with juicy mushrooms topped with mozzarella cheese and a crispy bread. It was quite a big portion, good for sharing. The cured meat plank was good too. I liked how the meat was seasoned and it tasted really fresh. Quite a unique dish which I have never tried before in this kind of presentation. 

Baked Chestnut Mushroom

Cured Meat Plank
For mains, we ordered 2 pastas, one pork and one lamb chops. 

The first starter is the famous prawn linguine. All their pasta are handmade fresh everyday so its guaranteed freshness. The prawns in this dish was very fresh too. The sauce was quite unique with some spiciness in it. I really liked their pasta. The springiness was really good and its different from the pastas I ate before at any other places.  
The famous prawn linguine

The next pasta is the truffle tagliatelle. Similarly, the pasta is really fresh and the sauce was good as well with good amount of truffle and cheese in it. If you like cream based pastas, this is the dish to try.

Truffle Tagliatelle
The next main we ordered is the slow roasted porchetta. This is a pork belly stuffed with garlic, chili and herbs. Its quite a unique dish and the pork belly was good if you liked some fattiness of it. However, the skin was too hard and it was impossible to cut it even with a knife so it was difficult to chew as well. Other than that, the pork belly is really juicy and tasted good!
Slow Roasted Porchetta
 The next main was the lamb chops. It tasted good just like other lamb chops I've ate before outside.
Lamb Chops
Overall, the dining at Jamie's Italian is good. If you were to choose to dine there, I would recommend going for the pastas as its really good as compared to the other dishes. Too bad my stomach couldn't fill in more if not I would have ordered more pastas to try. 

Lastly, its desserts. We ordered everything on the menu and it came on a plank. Presentation looked really good. Some of it were too sweet for me though. 

After dinner, there was another show to watch called sequins & feathers. This is a glitz and glamour musical and its quite worth to watch. 

That's the end of day 2. Will continue the rest of the days in part 2 of the post. 

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  1. Hey, first time taking cruise next year. If i want to disembark with my family at Penang and Phuket, do I need to pay extra to disembark or it's already included in the fee?

    1. Hi Sebastian,

      There's no fees for disembark at Penang and Phuket. You can get off the ship and go free and easy or sign up for shore excursion from Royal Caribbean for extra fee.

  2. Hi I was on the same cruise with my family too. Enjoyed ourselves. We also didn’t disembark at KL. Agree with most of what you reviewed :) we were assigned the 830 pm dining which was not a good time. Loved the immersive experience of starwater show but yes I didn’t get the storyline too.

    1. Hi there,

      Wow what a coincidence we were on the same cruise. We might have cross path. Haha.

    2. Yes yes we might have haha ! I saw someone with a camera on full height tripod stand at windjammer one of the days , could that be you ?
      Anyway it’s Really a small world or singapore - my brother bumped into his former colleague , my sister in law met one of her friends , my sister bumped into her jC classmates on the cruise. Scary ! Looking forward to part 2 of your review. :) .

    3. Haha i didn't use tripod stand. I saw the same person you mentioned too. Might be another blogger. Lol

      The cruise could fit 4900 people but wherever i walk i seem to bump into the same few people i saw over the past few days.

  3. Hey I went on the same ship and the Solarium was my fav too. Wish I had discovered it earlier on my first day though Haha!

    But there was so much to see, do and eat on board and not to mention we got out to see penang and Phuket. Very good trip. And I miss the hot tubs of the solarium every day!

    PS when was your sailing date? Mine was Nov 25th.

    1. Hi Lisa,

      Yes the solarium was so relaxing. I went there 3 times. Mine was on the 9th Dec.

    2. Hello, do you both happen to know if we are allowed to bring back onboard fresh fruits and non-commercially packed foods (e.g. fresh produce/dry foods in a supermarket plastic bag) from the ports of call? I will be sailing 4N Penang & Phuket next year, and hoping to bring some some Malaysian and Thai produce... Any tips would be appreciated!! Thanks!!

    3. Hi smm,

      I bought dried mangoes which was sealed and could bring back to Singapore. A person infront of me was holding a cup of fresh mangoes and the ship security said she will not be able to bring it up the ship and have to finish it before going in. I reckon any fresh produce is not allowed on the ship. They have very tight security and have metal detectors as well as xray machines set up for everyone to go through before boarding the ship again.

    4. Thanks so much for the tip!! I'll keep that in mind!!
      Looking forward to part II of your review! :)

    5. Yes fresh produce not allowed. Even cooked food. We tried bring some food for our fren whom did not go to shore cos of movement difficulties and was rejected by the crew. Totally professional lot, they suggested to us finishing the food or get the fren down to the deck to eat it outsidebthe ship.but it was all too hassle. So do note, no outside cooked food, fresh produce allowed. Save urself the hassle and time.

  4. Hi ,what is the best time for dinner in order not crash with any show. Could you please share with me for each day activity in cruise and dinner Manu for each day if available...... Thanks

    1. Hi,

      The shows they always have 2 timings one at around 730pm or 8pm and another at 930pm or 10pm. Starwater for my cruise was at 625pm and another at 825pm.

      I had 630pm dinner and managed to catch all the shows. Unfortunately i did not take picture of the cruise planner to show you the activities. You can use the Royal Caribbean app and select any cruise date sailing now and you will be able to see the activities and timing as well as the menu for each day.

  5. Do you have to pay for Northstar and ifly?

    1. Hi Xinwei,

      Yes have to pay for northstar and ifly. Its 8USD for northstar and 39USD for ifly.

    2. Tks. Was on the same boat 2 yrs back and I don't have to pay. But I heard from my friend that they are now charging... Going again next Yr. Thanks for the heads up.

    3. Ya heard last time was free and it was still on dynamic dining. Now its on the traditional or mytime dining where the menu in all 4 main dining rooms are the same.

      Even though they charge for northstar, it was still fully booked. I did book northstar for second day but unfortunately the weather was bad so i couldn't take the ride and they didn't have other slots from 3rd to 5th day to reschedule for me.

  6. Hi i understand Northstar is chargeable now onboard Quantum. So can i reserve my slot on boarding day at the ship reception counter if i did not use the RCL cruise planner online before setting off? Am i allow to reserve more than one slot in different day of my entire cruise trip? Thanks and hear from you soon.

    1. Hi,

      Yes you can reserve north star on first day at music hall. Be sure to go there early because the slots get taken up quite fast. Need to pay for every slot you reserved.

  7. Can I please check if your itinerary was sponsored by the cruise?

    1. My cruise fare was not sponsored. I paid out of my own pocket for the trip.

  8. Hi. Did you purchase "The Key" for this cruise? Wondering if it's really worth it. Thanks

    1. Hi,

      I didn't purchase the key for my cruise. If you need wifi for everyone in your group, then its worth it because wifi is already more than half of the key cost. If not, i wouldn't think its really worth it.

  9. Part 2 of my post is up! Read it here: