Monday, January 26, 2015

Review, Photo and Videos

Here you will find a review of my Southern caribbean Cruise onboard the beautiful Quantum of the Seas from January 11, 2015 to january 23, 2015
#RoyalWOW.

Follow the cruise day by day - departure from Cape Liberty, Bayonne and back again - oldest post is last in the review
The cruise did start in Cape Liberty, New Jersey, After 2 days at sea we did visit Labadee in Haiti; San Juan in Puerto Rico; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; Fort de France in MartiniqueBridgetown in Barbados; Basseterre St. Kitts; and then 3 days at sea, back to Cape Liberty, New Jersey.

See VIDEO POSTCARD intro video with links to other video postcardor the 12 minutes cruise video: Quantum of the Seas Southern caribbean Cruise Review
Link to Play List at Youtube. 

Link to Review at Cruise Critic:  Quantum of the Seas, new and exciting. 


A 12 minutes review video: 
 

Below posts with pictures, short videos and review from the cruise.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

My Cruise Review

The positive stories about Quantum of the Seas have been a bit rare. If not everything is as usual, it's not good! However, the reviews are starting to be more positive

Quantum of the Seas is a gift to us being positive about trying something new and exciting based on today's technology.
We have been at two Cruises with Quantum of the Seas for a total of 20 days. At the 12 Nights Southern Caribbean Cruise from Cape Liberty, Bayonne, January 11, 2015. and also on the 8 Nights November Transatlantic Maiden Voyage from Southampton, UK, November 2, 2014 to Cape Liberty, Bayonne.


We acknowledge, that there are things that can be done better, but our very clear impression is, that work is in progress with the problems, and many of the problems we experienced at the TA Maiden Voyage has now been solved.

To introduce something new - to be the pioneer is always risky, but daring to risk is very brave. If no one dares nothing new happens.

The cabins are lovely, the service in the cabins as always top notch, the internet now works perfectly (free on this trip) and we streamed TV and were on Facetime with family at home. 


two70, A living room by day, Two70° transforms to an entertainment center by night, seamlessly blending live performances with cutting-edge visual technology, highlighted by six ABB RoboScreens® attached to a gantry above the main stage. 
Impressive shows, especially Mamma Mia, Sonic Odyssey and Starwater, 

The VIA, and Royal Esplanade - nice decor, stylish and modern design.
 

Are you innovative set, we highly recommend a holiday with Quantum of the Seas.
Read the posts from the indidual days of the cruise below.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Video Postcards


Dynamic Dining, Quantum of the Seas

There are no set dining times, no assigned seats, no required formal nights. But one restaurant where formal attire is required.
You can make table reservation for all evenings prior to the cruise - and change your reservations when onboard.


However, you can also wait and do all reservations on board, when you have more detailed information about activities and shows - or just show up when you want to dine.
We had not booked tables in the restaurants before the cruise (some problems with the reservation system). Most reservations were made ​​with Royal iQ App as well as some at the entrance to the restaurant.

Most evenings we did get the time which suited us, and we saw no queues at the entrances to the restaurants. Basically, we really liked the concept Dynamic Dining - being able to choose from several restaurants and could choose the time that best suits. All restaurants have many dishes to choose from and every night is an extra 'daily menu' embedded in the menu card.


There are still challenges to Dynamic Dining to function optimally - management's focus should be on getting the reservation system work better. So will the restaurants' capacity also be better utilized, and it will spread to more satisfied employees and therefore happy guests.
 
I'll recommend to make reservations for the more popular restaurants like Wonderland and Silk (picture) - For Grande and American Icon Grill it's not necessary. If you want a table for only two there were short waiting time, but if sharing a table with others, no waiting time.
Reservations can be done at the entrance to any of the restaurants, or using the free Royal iQ app for iPhone or iPad.


There is five complimentary, full-service main restaurants, and five specialty dining options available for an additional charge and additional cafe's and bistro's. See the list of all restaurants below (click on Read More...)

Link to videos: 
Dining Restaurants, Quantum of the Seas
Windjammer Marketplace
Wonderland Restaurant
Quantum Class Restaurants, Tour of 


VIDEO POSTCARDS - Youtube Play List

Youtube play list with all videos from the cruise

Friday, January 23, 2015

Day 13 - Arrival Cape Liberty

At 6am we were back to Cape Liberty. 8am we left our cabin. We did have luggage tag #3 and could depart at 7:45 am. Since our flight to Copenhage departed at 5.30pm, we had plenty of time. No hurry to get off the ship.
We got breakfast in the Windjammer Cafe.
Then sat in the Music Hall and read untill last call..
At 10:10am it was the end of the cruise, and we had to go out in the cold New Jersey weather.
It went exceptionally fast to get out from the ship, find our suitcases, and through immigration - less than 20 minutes!

We took a shuttle bus to the airport at 10:40am and due to heavy traffic out of Cape Liberty Cruise Port we arrived to Newark airport at 11:30am
At 15:30 SK910 was ready for departure to Copenhagen. Just after departure we flew over Manhattan (picture), At 6:40am saturday morning  we landed in Copenhagen Airport after a excellent holiday.


See the video: Quantum of the Seas Southern caribbean Cruise Review

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Temperatures at Sea and in the Caribbean

Here is the temperature for the days at Sea in January from Cape Liberty to and from the Caribbean islands.
Day 2 and 12 a bit chilly, while Day 3 was fine. Day 12 was cold!

The actual temperatures are:
Day 1- Cape Liberty: 23 F;


At Sea:
Day 2: 68 F; Day 3: 80 F
Day 10: 73 F; Day 11: 75 F and Day 12: 60 F.

Day 13 - Cape Liberty: 20 F
The picture is from Day 2 - enjoying the sun at the balcony

This is the temperatures and weather conditions for the entire cruise in fahrenheit and celsius

Day 12 - At Sea

Now we can feel, that we have come further north. It is no longer 'sun deck weather'. 60 F and quite windy at the deck and balcony.
After breakfast, we were reading, did some shopping and in fitness etc.
In the afternoon we were a little around the ship, and a little more reading.



Unfortunately, there were also some suitcases to be packed. The suitcases should be left outside the cabin already 10pm, so we choose to pack before we went for the show and dinner.
  

We had booked the show - Sonic Odyssey, a fantastic show in sound, color, dancing and singing.
The white colored cylinders on the photo,are  drums, The artists playing the drums hung on the back wall.
After the show we got dinner in Silk - another night of Asian food, but really good.

Cruise Compass and Daily Planner

I have attached the Cruise Compass cover pages from Day 1 - a lot of the information at the Cover Page is repeated - please ask if you need specifdic information

CRUISE COMPASS Cover Page
Page 1 - Page 2 & 3 - Page 4

CRUISE COMPASS -  DAILY PLANNER
For each day of the cruise:

Day 1  -  Day 2  -  Day 3  -  Day 4 Day 5Day 6

Day 7  -  Day 8 Day 9  -  Day 10 Day 11Day 12

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Day 11 - At Sea - the Bridge

The weather was nice and we could still sit on the balcony. After breakfast, we were reading at the balcony.
At 11:30am we had an invitation to visit the bridge. A picture from the bridge.

 
After lunch we had an agreement with the Loyality & Cruise Team at Crown & Anchor for a discussion on future cruise option - they had 1-2-3 deals with Celebrity Cruises, so we were tempted and ordered a cruise in February 2016 with good perks.

Time for a drink and dinner at our favorite restaurant, Silk. Good food and good service.



Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Quantum of the Seas Superior Ocean View Stateroom with Balcony

At my two cruises with Quantum of the Seas, I did stay in Superior Ocean View Stateroom with Balcony.
Cruise November 2, 2014 in #11610 (D2), with sofa bed, and For January 11,  2015 in Cabin #8604, (D8).

In 11610 the sitting area is at the 'balkony end' while in 8604 the bed is at the 'balcony end'. The space between the curtain between the windows and the bed in cabin #8604 is quite narrow.
For storage there are two large closets and shelves above the beds and some drawers. Fine storage space, however, there are two hanging rails in one cupboard which is not suitably located.
I do prefer the layout of my balcony #11610.
Stateroom is 198 sq. ft. with sitting area and full bath.
 65 sq. ft. balcony

Video from Cabin 8604: Link to video
.. and from Cabin 11610: Link to video

Now I also have a video from Anthem Cabin 8282 
Click on Stateroom map to view bigger picture.

Get more information from the video's:

Day 10 - At Sea - RoboShow


It was actually another fine day - on the way towards north, but the temperature at 70 F.
After breakfast we were an hour on the sun deck. Then time for reading and a cup of coffee on the balcony.
Lunch in the Windjammer and down in two70 to a Robo Show presentation.
Link to Video from the Robo Show .

In the afternoon, more reading and a cafe latte in the concierge lounge and time fitmess and the daily TV Newspaper - unbelievable that one can follow the Danish TV out on the Atlantic Sea.
It was still fine weather, so we sat at North Star Cafe and got a drink.
Changing to 'formal dinner'.
First a Manhattan Vintage bar and then dinner in Grande. A salad for starters, sole and Key Lime Pie.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Day 9 - Basseterre, St. Kitts

We arrived at 8am into Basseterre, St. Kitts is a rather anonymous island in Caribien. decided to stay at the ship in the morning and visit the city in the after noon.
Efter breakfast we went up on the sun deck for an hour and then sat and read on the balcony.
Lunch in the Windjammer, and then a tour of the city. Around the harbor there were many nice shops, but only 100 meters from here was all very authentic and almost no tourists despite the fact that there were two ships to berth. We walked around town about one hour's time. Video from our visit to 
Basseterre, St. Kitts 

Was back 3pm and enjoyed a cafe latte on the balcony. 

At 5pm it was time for a drink in the bar and 6pm we had a reservation in Coastal Kitchen, where we had a nice menu with dates and parma ham, beef tenderloin and dessert. It was an invitation from the waiter in the concierge lounge.

The evening ended with a glass of red wine on the balcony, perhaps the last warm evening, now that we have turned the bow towards New York.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Day 8 - Bridgetown, Babados

We did arrive into Bridgetown, Barbados at 7 am .
After breakfast we went up on the sun deck for soem sun,  before we went into Bridgetown, the capital of Barbados.
We docked in an industrial harbor. First we had to take a free shuttle bus from the ship into the terminal building.

From here you could either take a taxi for 2 US$ p.p. or take a 15 minute walk into the town - we decided to take the walk. (photo).
We walked along the sea - a rather hot day, so we tried to keep us in the shade. 

There was Sunday closed, The city was interesting - church, old houses and the bridge which has given the city name (photo).

Bridgetown is the capital and largest city of the nation of Barbados. Landmarks of interest are the smaller canal in the centre of the city, named the Careenage, a.k.a. "Constitution River" with the board walk. Chamberlain Bridge spanning the Careenage.
National Heroes Square (formerly Trafalgar Square) with The Lord Nelson Statue and Fountain Garden, Parliament Building,
Independence Square and The Independence Arch and Parliament Buildings of Barbados. The Cathedral Church of Saint Michael and All Angels, The St. Mary's Anglican Church and
The St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Cathedral.

Back on the ship at 1 pm - again today lunch on the balcony and read until we were sailing at 5pm
Now it has become a tradition to follow the exit from North Star Bar - so we enjoyed a glass of wine while we were leaving Barbados 5pm.

We had dinner in the Asian restaurant Silk - probably the best dinner of the trip - a selection of appetizers, grilled lobster, followed by tea. Here is the link to get pictures.
We sailed north, sat on our balcony with a glass of red wine and looked at the lights from the many islands we passed. just before bedtime we passed Fort-de-France in Martinique.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

North Star and Sailaway Fort de France, Martinique

North Star tour and Sail away from Fort de France, Martinique.
Quantum of the Seas.





Link to video: http://youtu.be/wo3d9eYjIzs

Day 7 - Fort-de-France, Martinique

Then it was France. At 7am we arrived into Fort-de-France.
Martinique belongs France and Fort-de-France is a mini, mini, Caribbean Paris with Lafayette department store.
After breakfast, we walked around the town and then to the shops and sights.
The city is very different from the other Caribbean cities we have visited - but very authentic. The population 100,000 inhabitants, so not a whole little town, but the sights are concentrated in the Old Town.
Video from 
Fort-de-France.

Back for lunch, but there was jam-packed in the Windjammer, so we took our food with down on the balcony - it gave a little extra exercise when we had to get up to fetch ice cream for dessert!
There are 6 floors from our cabin on deck 8 up to the Windjammer on decks 14 and lifts are banned.
We sat and read on the balcony and in the afternoon we got some sun on the sundeck.

At 5pm we sailed from Fort-de-France, and took a trip with Northstar for the exit  - see video here:

 
After Northstar trip we sat in Northstar Bar and had a glass of white wine.
In fitness - as TV newspaper - and at 19 we went down to get a drink and dine in Chic. Shrimp for starters and lamb t-bone. We skipped dessert.
Went a little round the ship before we went to bed.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Starwater Show in Two70

Link to video from the Starwater Show
Starwater is a highly visual production that fuses video screens, robotic technology and live performance artistry.

It's an amazing show. It's a wonderful blend of technology and live performers. It should not be missed


Register for Starwater and if you show up early you can get the front center seats. two70 fills up very quickly.
 
Have a look at some of the scenes from the amazing Starwater Show in Two70
Link to video from the Starwater Show 
 
two70
A living room by day, Two70° transforms to an entertainment center by night, seamlessly blending live performances with cutting-edge visual technology, highlighted by six ABB RoboScreens® attached to a gantry above the main stage.

Wonderland

Link to video from Wonderland.
A very different restaurant is the beautiful, unique and wonderful  restaurant inspired by Alice in Wonderland.
A sumptuous decor, with beautiful colorful glass and a fantastic menu. Staff is the right mix of eccentric and entertaining. 

Serving starts with a menu card that allows a choice between dishes from - Sun, Ice, Fire, Water, Earth and Dreams - each with a selection of small and shareable dishes
It can highly be recommended to sit back and let the staff choose, based on what kind of food you prefer: fish, seafood, vegetables, meat, or a combination of them all.
The food is served on small plates, and are
shareable dishes.
Remember to leave room for the amazing
desserts. 

Link to Video from the restaurant.
Link to more pictures from Wonderland 

Day 6 - Philipsburg, St Maarten

Link to video from Philipsburg
At 8am we docked in Philipsburg, St. Maarten.
Half of the island is Dutch - the other is French - Philipsburg is the capital of the Dutch part - and duty-free zone in the EU.
The ships dock just outside the city, and the easiest way to get into town is by water taxi.
Did some shopping in the city, and a drink at a beach bar.
Back on the ship, and enjoyed the sail-away at 5pm
The daily trip to the fitness which we combine with streaming Danish TV on mobile / iPad (excellent internet connection at the ship).


Dinner in American Icon Grill, and an after dinner drink in Vintages.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Day 5 - San Juan, Puerto Rico

More text will be added to the review. 
See short video from the visit at san Juan
We arrived into San Juan at noon, and did walk through the old part of San Juan.
The main central part of the city is characterized by narrow streets made of blue cobblestone and picturesque colonial buildings, some of which date back to the 16th and 17th century. 

Sections of the old city are surrounded by massive walls and several defensive structures and notable forts. These include the 16th-century Fort San Felipe del Morro and the 17th-century Fort San Cristóbal. 
We were back at ship for dinner. Departure was scheduled to 9pm but we were delayed to 10:30pmdue to problems with a passenger.
See short video from the visit at san Juan

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Day 4 - Labadee, Haiti

Additional text will be added later
See video from Labadee
We arrived into Labadee at  9am
Labadee is leased to Royal Caribbean International from 1986 until 2050. it is a peninsula located on the northern coast of Haiti at the island of Hispaniola.
The cruise ship moors to the pier at Labadee capable of servicing all crusie ships from Royal Caribbean and Celebrity (picture).
The resort is completely tourist-oriented, and fenced off from the surrounding area, and passengers are not allowed to leave the property.
Food is available to tourists is brought from the cruise ships. 


The restaurant is equivalent to Windjammer Cafe. Also Scooner bar could be found (Sea Pass accepted in bars).
A controlled group of Haitian merchants are given sole rights to sell their merchandise and establish their businesses in the resort.

Attractions include a Haitian flea market, nice beaches (picture), watersports, a water-oriented playground, a roller-coaster-type ride, and a zip-line.Dragon's Breath Flight Line, the world's longest zip line over water.

See video from Labadee

At 5pm we were ready to continue towards san Juan, Puerto Rico.

Test of internet speed, Quantum of the Seas

After my first cruise I was not at all impressend with internet connectivity and speed. 
I have done some testing at this cruise (www.speedtest.net) - and now the internet accessibility is excellent- I have streamed TV, surfed the internet and been connected with family at home by FaceTime -  absolutely no problems, also in my cabin, where the signal was a bit weaker than in public areas. 
In general much faster than my internet at home!!
 

Testing results:
January 11 in Royal Esplanade
ping 219 ms, download 23.29 Mbps upload 26.37 Mbps
 
January 12 in my cabin (sea day)
ping 228 ms, download 13.40 Mbps upload 3.07 Mbps
 
January 14 at my balkony - docked in Laberdee
ping 203 ms, download 18.34 Mbps upload 12.27 Mbps 


Picture is from visit at Laberdee, Haiti

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Day 3 - At sea and Cabin

The cabins are lovely, and the service in the cabins as always top notch.
Video from the Cabins: 
Cabin #11610
Cabin #8604

At my two cruises Quantum I did stay in a Superior Ocean View Stateroom with Balcony.
Cruise November 2, 2014 in #11610 (D2). with with sofa bed. and For January 11, 2015 in Cabin #8604, (D8).
In 1610 the sitting area is at the 'balkony end' while in 8604 the bed is at the 'balcony end'. The space between the curtain between the windows and the bed is quite narrow.
For storage there are two large closets and shelves above the beds and some drawers. Fine storage space, however, there are two hanging rails in one cupboard which is not suitably located.
I do prefer the layout of my balcony #11610.

Stateroom is 198 sq. ft. with 65 sq. ft. balcony , sitting area and full bath.
Get more details from the videos:

Monday, January 12, 2015

Day 2 - at sea (from 30F to 70F)

Heading south - Yesterday was 30F in Bayonne and today we were up to 20C (location east of South Carolina)
 - we had sun on the balcony and we enjoyed the first sun.


I like the atmosphere in The VIA. We were sitting there reading  and surfing the  Internet - on this trip Internet fine and it is for free.
We did have lunch in the Windjammer. Usual standard compared with other RCCL ships.


In the afternoon I gave Norht Star a try (picture form North Star)  - see post below with vide from my ride.
Before dinner, a glass of wine in Vintages bar.
We had booked a table in Wonderland, a restaurant inspired by fairy tales, and the menu was also quite spectacular. no traditional menu yet. Different fish dishes as a starter - lobster, tuna, crab meat, eggs with smoked osst mm Mains were different meats and salad, and then there were three desserts. Sin to say that we went to bed hungry. Review and pictures form the menu will follow.

North Star Operation

Quantum of the Seas, North Star operation over the Atlantic Ocean, East of South Carolina.
Join me to new heights with the jewel-shaped capsule that gently ascends over 300 feet above sea level. 

A breathtaking 360° views of the ship and the sea.
Northstar is one of the most interesting innovations in Quantum of Seas and I enjoyed the views.
See the video from my tour over the Atlantic Ocean - link to video from my ride

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Quantum of the Seas Cruise

In November 2014, Royal Caribbean Cruise Line's launched new ship, Quantum of the Seas. It is the third largest cruise ship in the world.  
We were on the Trans Atlantic Maiden Voyage in November.

We are now on a 12-night cruise from Cape Liberty in New York to the Caribbean in January 2015.
The cruise starts in Cape Liberty, New Jersey and we will visit Labadee in Haiti; San Juan in Puerto Rico; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; Fort de France in Martinique;  Bridgetown in Barbados; Basseterre St. Kitts; and then back to Cape Liberty, New Jersey. A total of 12 nights.


Day 1 - Departure from Cape Liberty

See video from Cape Liberty Sail Away 
There was a lot of traffic towards the terminal in Cape Liberty - it took about 15 minutes to get to the baggage check in, but when the luggages was handed it went fast and smooth.

After a few minutes of waiting, there was a free agent for check-in - it tookabout 5 minutes with paper work and healths questions. 

Then we went straight through security check, and aboard Quantum of the Seas.

The cabins would be ready at 1pm, so we did wait in public areas and checked out the Internet speed - there was direct access with no log in, and access was pretty fast.

At 1pm we got our cabin on deck 8 mids hips. Put our hand luggage and coats into the cabin and went up to Windjammer for lunch.
The luggage had already begun to be delivered to  the cabins at 1pm. We got our suitcases at 4pm, and then it was the usual challenge to make room for the clothes.
There are two large closets and shelves above the beds and some drawers. Fine with storage space, however, there are two hanging rails in one cupboard which is not suitably located.


We had not booked  tables for the evenings in advance. We decided to book tables for the first 3 nights as well as Mamma Mia Tuesday evening using Royal iQ app. Did work fine
A glass of wine before dinner and then  dinner at Jamie's Italian - good Italian food for a cover charhe of $25 pp.