#31  
Old January 9th, 2015, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by gkbii View Post
Paul,

The charge for the HIGH speed internet for a week is $500!!!

I ate at Wonderland twice, quite different for a ship!

Hotel Director Darren Budden
It is $500 for 2 devices, but only $250 for one. Most people do not need two devices connected at the same time. But is you are sharing a stateroom, then yes, it is $500 if both guests want too be online at the same time.
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  #32  
Old January 9th, 2015, 12:13 PM
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Wow ,I will be on the Quantum in 2 days . My wife never posts or reads anything on CM but she did read your reviews and made up her mind that she will not like the ship.I still have an open mind.
We are cruising with long time friends and 2 couples that we met on cruises last year .I guess that if I do not care for the ship I can at least have some good conversation .

A question for you and Dave :

Did you leave the ship in any of the ports and if so can you describe what you did there.
Thanks
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  #33  
Old January 9th, 2015, 12:23 PM
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Default Heston is moving to Melbourne

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By the sounds of it, wonderland is a hit. I thought it would be from the details we had early on. If you loved the food, then you must experience Heston Blumenthal and his Fat Duck restaurant when you next come to the UK.
Just google him and see the menu for the tasting experience and you will see what I mean.
Big fans of Heston and have booked Wonderland twice for my Anthem cruise.

Melbourne


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  #34  
Old January 9th, 2015, 12:48 PM
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I just wanted to log in to say I just saw a new RoboShow and it was very cool. Still one of the best features of this ship. They short little shows but fun. I made a video
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Old January 9th, 2015, 01:16 PM
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Melbourne

Annie
Yes Annie, Heston is in Australia for six months while his restaurant (Fat Duck) gets a refit and deep clean, then he is back.
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Old January 9th, 2015, 01:25 PM
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Paul, that is very interesting. I saw Starwater on my Quantum cruise. It was set to Madonna's song "Vogue" and they did use the robo screens along with the windows changing scenes in the background. Wow I wonder what happened that they stopped using them. Also the RC singers and dancers did perform during the show. The entire show lasted about 1 hour and 45 minutes. I thought is was very good.
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Old January 9th, 2015, 01:49 PM
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Seadog... I did not watch the entire show, so I assume they still use them. They still work just fine as I just verified so I am sorry if I gave you the wrong idea.

Lakers Fan.... don't jump to the conclusion that you will not like the ship. Dave and I both agree it seems to be more like a Celebrity ship than a Royal Caribbean.

The food is very good in many places - keep in mind that we are making every effort to try as many different places as we can. If I was on just for pure pleasure I would not be eating at so many different places, I would eat in Grande most nights, as well as Jamie's Italian, Wonderland and Chop's Grilles.

The sandwiches in 270 are delicious as well, I could live on them, the sushi also looks very good.

I object to all the shopping I see, and there are TONS of kids onboard, and I don't know about the kid's programs, but on most ships you do not see the kids around the ship so much, I see them all the time. There are also MANY foreigners, probably because it is so easy to fly into Newark from overseas. That is also okay, but I guess it just indicates how many people this ship can carry and they tend to stand out.

The entertainment is the biggest disappointment - but the food is very good as long as you are choosy about where you eat. The Internet is expensive but it is worth it (in my opinion, I would happily pay $250 for fulltime highspeed access on any ship) - plus, you can pay less if you don;t need video (as I don't), You can get the middle tier package for about $180 (I think).
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Old January 9th, 2015, 02:27 PM
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No your statement was fine. I thought they may have modified or changed the show. I agree the sandwiches and the salads are very good in 270. In contrast on our Dec. 1st. sailing it was verified that there were only 70 children onboard. Enjoy.
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  #39  
Old January 9th, 2015, 03:37 PM
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I sailed on Quantum for the two night preview and unfortunately I echo all the things you highlighted. The ship was designed for economies of scale to support the cruise line's bottom line; the more people they pack with smaller square footage; the profit they can produce. I found that the public spaces were nice but not a wow factor (outside of 270 and the solarium). The Royal "esplanade" was a huge dissappointment, their was not lively action there at all, perhaps you found they used this space for parades or other welcome parties during a 7 day? Food wise, I agree completely on Wonderland (amazing); but the free places to eat where not good. We found service to be horrible as the wait staff have zero incentive to provide outstanding service given the lack of tipping and consistency of server. I also found the reservation making process painful and added stress to the trip as now it was just another task to deal with. All in all, I'm not jumping to return to the ship. I just got off Vision of the Seas last week and it was amazing. Crew was awesome, dining room food top notch, etc. I honestly don't have a single thing complian about. Windjammer for example, always able to get your own table, they were cleaning tables all the time and walking around with beverages on trays. I saw NONE of this on Quantum; I experienced lines after lines, no tables, or didn't really see wait staff cleaning up tables for new guests. I'm really hoping they fix all this for Anthem!
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Old January 9th, 2015, 04:17 PM
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After 8 boring nights on Quantum, I can't believe people really want to go (on Cruise Critic, several are booked) for the full trip to China! Can you imagine, the same menus EVERY day for 45+ days straight???

Paul, I stand by my review, in many ways the Quantum is strikingly similar, to our cruise on the Epic. Really this ship screams NCL all the way and the changes Royal has/is making throughout the company, makes it more like NCL every day!!!

The sad thing is, as NCL, MSC, Princess, & Holland are upping their game, with suite offerings; Royal is falling ever behind. The suite benefits are truly lacking and the mediocrity level is such: as a new Diamond, with a 16 night 2016 Dubai Suez Canal cruise, in a JR Suite, I am seriously considering cancelling it!!!

With discount my December 2015 Crystal Serenity Crossing, is the same amount of money (though in lower cabin grade), but the true question is: rather a suite on Royal is worth it, or am I better of on a Luxury Line with smaller accommodations????
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  #41  
Old January 9th, 2015, 05:17 PM
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I'm sitting in the Music Hall right now (5:15pm) and nothing is going on. People are drinking but that's it. On the other ships a guitarist or Rosario Strings would be playing. We haven't seen any soloists. Very boring.
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  #42  
Old January 9th, 2015, 07:02 PM
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The Hotman on the ship is Darron Budden (Hotel Manager).

Yeah - the shopping has been occupying the main lobby every day now sine the cruise started, like the last day used to be on every cruise. They did a short "parade" but it was obviously just glommed together.

The opening joke by the Lion King is this...

Ringmaster sees Lion King and says "Who are you?"

Lion King" "I am the Lion King, we lions played the original theater, the Colliseum, word is we had a captive audience and 'we KILLED!'"

Is that a funny joke? On top of that, it was the same day at the terror incident in France. Je suis Charlie.

I guess this ship is just waiting to be transferred to China. I learned and played Baccarat just so I would know what it was all about (I broke even).
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  #43  
Old January 9th, 2015, 07:15 PM
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The key to Baccarat is finding trends and thus a good shoe.

Director Budden is a nice man, he was very generous with me and I wish him the best, on future ships. My meeting with him, I learned that he was part of the committee that was instrumental in the ship, including Dynamic Dining. SO for once, he is a person to talk to, with regards to Quantum's shortcomings.


***I HATE the shopping kiosks on the main quazi-Royal Promenade!!!!***
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  #44  
Old January 9th, 2015, 09:25 PM
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I somehow don't feel it is my job to tell Royal Caribbean what its shortcomings are...

My job is to tell you.

Now, as a paying cruiser I have a right to complain, but I don't work for RCL so my choice is to either choose to continue as a patron or else choose something else - but not to try to fix them.

I do have the right to make comments on what I see around the ship as I see fit, but I also have to assume they know their jobs and know how to fix things... and if they are not fixing something then I have to assume that is how they intend it to be, so it is not really my business to tell them what I think is wrong.

I hope that makes sense. I am not seeing a lot of things where I feel "cheated" out of money, I am just seeing some things where I feel "this is not what I prefer on cruises."
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Old January 10th, 2015, 08:51 AM
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After reading the reviews of Quantum; it seems Oasis/Allure are the go to ships to have fun; do a lot, and not feel overcrowded.
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  #46  
Old January 10th, 2015, 09:45 AM
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I've certainly had a good time on this cruise but I doubt I'll be a paying passenger on a Quantum-class ship again anytime soon. I much prefer the Freedom-class ships. I do miss the spontaneity one has with 'regular' cruising.

I have no problem with Dynamic Dining, and ours has gone generally well with little or no waiting for our tables, efficient service, and usually excellent food. Only one meal has been a complete flop (Chic). Last night was Devinly Decadence and it was outstanding. My chicken enchiladas were perhaps the best I've ever had. It was very filling too, even though each dish is under 500 calories. This venue has already been changed to a complimentary dining room for future sailings - hence there are now five "free" dining rooms on Quantum. But in the end, I guess I too am a fan of a standard main dining room (but with the My Time option), two or three extra-fee restaurants for those special dinners, and of course the buffet.
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  #47  
Old January 10th, 2015, 09:52 AM
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From all that I've been reading, sounds to me, that if this ship was staying right here and not going to China, it would be staffed differently?? May-be, once it is in China and a more stable staff, things will be different. I hopefully think, Anthem, will be a different kind of cruise.
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  #48  
Old January 10th, 2015, 10:17 AM
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Just FYI, I know there are people here who like to pretend every cruise I take is 'free" because I am a writer, but I am also a paying passenger on this cruise.

AS the cruise progresses I see the way it is laid out - and long ago I wrote about something called "Dynamic Entertainment" where everyone also picks a showtime each night based upon your schedule decided pre-cruise. That is exactly how this cuise is laid out. There are only five (or so) main shows:
  • Mama Mia
  • Starwater
  • The solo singer (main theater)
  • The Tribute Bands in Music Hall
  • Sonic Osysey (the piece in the theater now featuring hand drums and an "invented harp" with long strings that vibrate when touched).

You have to schedule the just like you schedule your meals. Basically, this ship is not contextually much different from Norwegian Epic-style "Free-style", and I believe Royal Caribbean knew that when they designed it. I think they had an idea it might not go over so well, and so they switched it too the China Market. Right now, they are more focused on how it will perform in China than how it is right now. The question is what they will do with future ships of this class being built for the US market - whether they will make any changes.

The problems; to be blunt; are a large shortage of entertainment options. Once you do Northstar and Ifly, all that is left is the stage shows. As we have said - kids are everywhere, so I have to question the children's programs.
There is no regular ice cream except served as dessert for dinner every night (there is one "soft serve" machine which puts out watery, tasteless something, not sure if it is yogurt or what).

Day-times are full of nothing except trivia games and shopping - no matinee shows. There as only ONE daytime DreamWorks movie all week, something I would do all time if it was offered. The theater sits empty all day most of the time.

We heard there would be big virtual music shows in 270 - as I recall that was only scheduled one night, so I missed it.

Drinks are expensive - average $10 for martini, $7 beer, $10/wine by the glass. Large bottles of drinking water; $ 4.25.

They charge for most room service items: Hamburger $4.95, salmon $4.95. Only wraps are free. Breakfast is free as long as it is "continental."

Most people you talk to are not impressed with the ship, because this is Royal Caribbean, the same company that brought out Oasis. This is a brand new ship and while it has a couple of "wows" they are not enough to make up for the overall experience.

We spoke to some Asians who said Chinese would not like it. They said "casino too small." - But word is out they plan to make the Music hall a large Casino annex in China.

Maybe the long term plan is to transfer all of these ships to China eventually - that is the big experiment. Or else, I can these becoming the next generation of Celebrity ships, as long as they choose warmer, more destination oriented itineraries. IN that context, they seem like the perfect next step from Solstice to me.
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Old January 10th, 2015, 11:20 AM
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The question is what they will do with future ships of this class being built for the US market - whether they will make any changes.
I do believe that the next ship Anthem of the Seas is for the UK Market and only spending the cold winter months in the Caribbean but still being mainly sold to the UK market.

After the first Winter 2015/16 we don't yet know if she is returning back to the UK for the summer 2016 Mediterranean season. Hope so as she will do very well in the Med and the UK public will like it.

I'll let you know how the Brits enjoy her when I'm on Anthem for 2 weeks in July.
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Old January 10th, 2015, 11:59 AM
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One more Paul or Dave question .Did you get the Compass every morning ?One of the people we know who will be on the cruise with us tomorrow said if you wanted to know the daily activities you had to watch the TV.
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Old January 10th, 2015, 02:56 PM
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Default In 2015, How Rich is the Chinese Market??

Paul,

The problem with the Chinese market is that a large recession is just around the corner, with the impending burst of the Chinese housing/building bubble.

Thus where will the money be, to go on expensive cruises & gambling holidays? The gaming revenue in Macao is down significantly already, so the signs are here, as we speak.
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Old January 10th, 2015, 04:31 PM
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To be specific - the Chinese gov't is cracking down on Macau and telling them they cannot caer to high rollers like theu usually do. Macau did 7-8 times the gambling revenue that Las Vegas does - and it is largely Baccarat.

I agree China is changing, the gov't is getting tougher, but the middle class thereand throughout Asia is just skyrocketing. Countries like Thailand are more affluent than ever, also.

Anthem is set to go to UK in May, but it is then scheduled to go to Bayonne and replace Quantum in November 2015 (a lot of Brits don't seem to know that). I do not know if it iss going back to the UK, I don't think it has been decided yet.

Personally, I think this ship is fine if you have a lot of destinations, but it is quite boring if you have a lot of time at sea. I have just been walking around all day taking pictures of people playing cards and reading their email.

I think that of they didn't give them free Internet, a lot of people would be sitting around just thinking, "I'm bored." PPV movies are $12 apiece. On Royal Princess they are free.

Anyway - YES, you do get a daily schedule in your room, on paper, every day, so you do not need your TV at all, really.
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Old January 10th, 2015, 05:24 PM
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Thanks for responding . I am going to keep a daily listing of my time on the Quantum and I will give a brief review when I return.
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  #54  
Old January 10th, 2015, 05:40 PM
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Thanks sauspud - I am really looking forward to your review of Anthem. As i said, this would be a good ship for a heavy destination itinerary, because it has great meals at night.

The drawback is the lack of daytime activities.

Dave and I were just talking, Mamma Mia has not shown again since day 3, There has only been one or two DreamWorks movies. The big theater is quiet all day long every day. Meanwhile, Michael's pub is dead quiet (no folksinger, etc).

There are no string quartets, The Schoooner plays the role of Trivia venue, Sportsbar and piano lounge - all at the same time, while the huge Music Hall sits quiet much of day (except when they do dance lessons).

The good things:

I recommend you start the Michael Jackson Thriller dance lesson an Day 1, because they do it every day which gives you time to really learn it. They are doing it twice today.

If you like Trivia, they do it several times a day, but it is a bit frustrating when the cruise staff doesn't really know the answers. They just did a Beatles trivia where probably 100 people were playing. I got 2nd place, and he gave the winner all kinds of prizes; 2 backpacks, 2 t-shirts, 4 hats, 4 lanyards and more, but I got nothing at all. There were only two in the winning group, and he was giving tons of stuff.

One question was "What was the first Beatle's album?" so I asked him "In England or America?" and he replied "It doesn't matter" So I wrote down "Meet the Beatles" because it was first in America. (I knew the British was "Please Please me" but I remembered that when were we a few questions later and I was not sure, so I stuck with the one I was sure about, after all, he said "it doesn't matter" which to me said either answer is correct.

When he read off the answer, it was "Please Please Me." so, I said "I asked you if the answer was dependent on America or England? and you said "It doesn't matter" - so he replied, "Yeah, I jus asked which album came first."

Okay, he's right I'm wrong, but that is a slightly different answer than "It doesn't matter." The thing is, no apology or showing he cared about his less than careful reply when I originally asked. I guess it was purely my fault that I misunderstood his answer, I don't play enough ship trivia, I suppose. Or it could have been the language barrier since he was from Brazil or something.

Anyway - that's the kind of day it's been. Tons of people playing cards, dominoes, reading their email, - that's about all.
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Old January 11th, 2015, 11:07 AM
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I'm sitting in the Delta Sky Lounge at Newark Liberty airport waiting for my flight home. So far I've heard three people on their phones telling whoever that they are off the cruise ship, that "there was nothing to do" most of the time, and they didn't like having to make reservations for almost everything. Now that isn't me saying it, it's just me eavesdropping on others sitting in an airport.

Debarkation this morning was fast - almost too fast since my luggage got misplaced and it took Paul and me a half hour of wandering around the terminal before it showed up. The ship had put it in with the wrong number group so it didn't even get put in the terminal until mere moments before I saw a worker dragging it to the correct staging location. Even so, we were at the airport using the cruise line shuttle bus by 9am.

Dinner at Chops last night was very good. Sometimes a straightforward meal of salad, steak, potatoes, and cheesecake is really the best thing for making you feel noble and worldly.
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