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xxHadleyxx

Quantum in Asia, a review

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On 4/13/2019 at 11:18 AM, heatherb1958 said:

 

Maybe Princess have more experience in the market , not sure , but we rarely had to stand in any line to get off the ship. In Nagasaki we did our own thing so did not have any expedited exit due to a ship tour. I think that it was because they held people in lounges with coffee,tea, pastries etc and did not call people off until the previous group had been processed, we just walked, walked , then face to face  with immigration, stamped photo copy of passport and we were away, took no more than 20  mins leaving lounge to purchasing our day pass for the trolley tram.

As an aside , it was very cold, sunny but cold those Tokyo toilets were a blessing ,  😆.

I don't think there was much of any kind of line other than that first port.  

 

It's hard to say what slowed things down (I know there were timed tickets given out and lounges set up, but having arrived 90 minutes late on a port day when we already arrived after lunch (and many wanted to get to Kyoto and tour before dark), I think tht delay meant more people anxious to get off and standing).  It did seem like the hold up was the speed with which Japanese officials were able to fingerprint and process everyone.  There were about 10 tables set up for that, but it still took a while.

who knows?  Maybe it's just an Osaka thing, or was a fluke?

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On 4/13/2019 at 11:38 AM, snaefell said:

For some reason RCI customer service don't seem to know,which I find hard to believe,or don't seem to aknowledge knowing much of what goes on on board the Quantum out East IME!

Yeah, I do not think Customer Service in the west gets really any info on these sailings.  There was very little we could book in advance (couldn't book dining plans, etc either).  

On 4/13/2019 at 1:53 PM, Thorben-Hendrik said:

 I really enjoyed reading this trip report👍 even though we have ZERO interest in doing such a sailing! 😱

Well, I am glad you enjoyed it.

On 4/13/2019 at 4:23 PM, The_Big_M said:

 

The two times I've sailed Quantum class out of China to Asia, Japanese immigration has been done onboard and it's quite quick.

 

The Japanese immigration staff come onboard, passengers file around the deck outside Wonderland, and everything moves quickly. All done in under half an hour.

 

However, on Millennium we had to visit the port and go through their customs procedures. This was much slower, but due to unexpected arrival otherwise it would have been handled differently.

 

I can say the way you had it isn't the normal way for these larger ships, but not sure why they did it the traditional way in this case.

Hmmm, interesting.  I think I assumed it was the norm largely because the dining manager suggested on boarding day tht we book a specialty lunch for our arrival in Osaka and avoid the chaos and walk off later (timing would have been perfect had we gotten to Osaka on time).  

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OK, so I will finish this up with a few notes about disembarkation:

 

Luggage was supposed to be out by 10:00pm.  We got to the room at 10:07 and ALL luggage was out of the hallways and already taken away.  I've never seen it all handled so early.  We were able to walk down the hall to a crew area and find someone to OK us leaving the bags by others waiting to go down.  But fair warning, when they say 10 on this ship, they mean it!

 

Before dinner, having put our bag tags on, the concierge showed up with priority tags and said she had just realized we were sent the wrong tags.  We'd planned a slow morning and leaving at the last possible moment anyway so thought it was sweet but unneeded.  Nonetheless, she said we SHOULD use the tags, so I switched out what we had.  We were glad we did.  The priority luggage goes to a separate holding area with no line for the security walk through after, whereas the regular holding area had a lot of people crowding into a line for the security (probably moved fairly fast also, but looked more stressful).  So if you get those tags, use them.

 

As foreigners, there was a separate line for immigration once off the ship.  Being so few of us, we moved much faster, basically we walked past a long line of Chinese who were standing and waiting while holding all the various things they bought in Japan (I counted 17 rice cookers in just the group of people we walked past).  So watch for those signs and save your self standing in line!

 

Finally, we waited in the official taxi queue.  Several unofficial drivers approached us while we waited in line (for about ten minutes) but we felt it was safer to take an official ride.  Once in the taxi and just pulling out of port, the driver used an app to tell us what the ride would cost (did not turn on the meter!)  This was double what the concierge on the ship said it should cost, and more than we paid to get to the ship for Disney (which was considerably further away than our post cruise hotel).  Being already in the taxi and out of the port, it wasn't like we could just get out.  He would not start the meter, and after some back and forth with David agreed on a price which was only somewhat too high and took the cash right then.  He ran the meter mid ride for one fourth what we paid (and for a while, after he turned it on, we were afraid he'd get to the hotel, say we had not paid and demand the fare on the meter).  So the lesson we learned there is that even the official taxis are not always trustworthy.  sigh.  

 

(note, from our hotel in Shanghai it was super easy to just take the subway to/from the airport which we did for out flight to Changchun and then again after our return from there when going back downtown.  No stress about unscrupulous drivers, almost as fast, and super cheap.  

 

 

 

Edited by xxHadleyxx

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1 hour ago, xxHadleyxx said:

OK, so I will finish this up with a few notes about disembarkation:

 

Luggage was supposed to be out by 10:00pm.  We got to the room at 10:07 and ALL luggage was out of the hallways and already taken away.  I've never seen it all handled so early.  We were able to walk down the hall to a crew area and find someone to OK us leaving the bags by others waiting to go down.  But fair warning, when they say 10 on this ship, they mean it!

 

Before dinner, having put our bag tags on, the concierge showed up with priority tags and said she had just realized we were sent the wrong tags.  We'd planned a slow morning and leaving at the last possible moment anyway so thought it was sweet but unneeded.  Nonetheless, she said we SHOULD use the tags, so I switched out what we had.  We were glad we did.  The priority luggage goes to a separate holding area with no line for the security walk through after, whereas the regular holding area had a lot of people crowding into a line for the security (probably moved fairly fast also, but looked more stressful).  So if you get those tags, use them.

 

As foreigners, there was a separate line for immigration once off the ship.  Being so few of us, we moved much faster, basically we walked past a long line of Chinese who were standing and waiting while holding all the various things they bought in Japan (I counted 17 rice cookers in just the group of people we walked past).  So watch for those signs and save your self standing in line!

 

Finally, we waited in the official taxi queue.  Several unofficial drivers approached us while we waited in line (for about ten minutes) but we felt it was safer to take an official ride.  Once in the taxi and just pulling out of port, the driver used an app to tell us what the ride would cost (did not turn on the meter!)  This was double what the concierge on the ship said it should cost, and more than we paid to get to the ship for Disney (which was considerably further away than our post cruise hotel).  Being already in the taxi and out of the port, it wasn't like we could just get out.  He would not start the meter, and after some back and forth with David agreed on a price which was only somewhat too high and took the cash right then.  He ran the meter mid ride for one fourth what we paid (and for a while, after he turned it on, we were afraid he'd get to the hotel, say we had not paid and demand the fare on the meter).  So the lesson we learned there is that even the official taxis are not always trustworthy.  sigh.  

 

(note, from our hotel in Shanghai it was super easy to just take the subway to/from the airport which we did for out flight to Changchun and then again after our return from there when going back downtown.  No stress about unscrupulous drivers, almost as fast, and super cheap.  

 

 

 

 

Nightmare for you Hadley re the unscrupulous taxi driver.

Here is my two cents. For anyone disembarking in Shanghai make sure you have the address of your post cruise hotel in CHINESE !  We were lucky we did and as we left the terminal at last call, like you we wanted a leisurely disembark, we approached the official taxi line and a lovely young girl wrote the Chinese address on a slip of paper for us to give to the driver.

We had an advantage in that new English friends were staying at the same hotel and I asked her to message me how much it cost them . I showed the amount in the message to the driver and he was happy to not switch the meter on, this was all done before we got in the taxi. Obviously the agreed ride cost was probably more than what it was going to cost but both parties were happy. 

Another thing I had read was that the red taxis were the highway robbers and not to take a red taxi , guess what colour ours was ? Yes, red  but forewarned is forearmed and the taxi driver was probably scared of this western woman ! 😆.

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1 hour ago, heatherb1958 said:

 

Nightmare for you Hadley re the unscrupulous taxi driver.

Here is my two cents. For anyone disembarking in Shanghai make sure you have the address of your post cruise hotel in CHINESE !  We were lucky we did and as we left the terminal at last call, like you we wanted a leisurely disembark, we approached the official taxi line and a lovely young girl wrote the Chinese address on a slip of paper for us to give to the driver.

We had an advantage in that new English friends were staying at the same hotel and I asked her to message me how much it cost them . I showed the amount in the message to the driver and he was happy to not switch the meter on, this was all done before we got in the taxi. Obviously the agreed ride cost was probably more than what it was going to cost but both parties were happy. 

Another thing I had read was that the red taxis were the highway robbers and not to take a red taxi , guess what colour ours was ? Yes, red  but forewarned is forearmed and the taxi driver was probably scared of this western woman ! 😆.

Oh yes--good point that I forgot to mention!  We had hotel names and addresses (and cruise port info) printed in Chinese before we left home.  The only one i could not find was the post cruise hotel, which was why the concierge had even told us the max that ride should cost---we'd asked her to figure it out and print or write it for us and she was so nice about it.

 

(our dishonest taxi was green.  it was terrible, but it wasn't comfortable either.  sigh.  overall we ran into far more kind and wonderful people than not, so I guess one dishonest person trying to bilk tourists when we were travelling a month isn't that bad 🙂 )

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On 4/11/2019 at 1:07 PM, xxHadleyxx said:

We'd been able to arrange to meet her and leave at 2:30 pm instead.  You have status (Diamond or above in this case) or book a suite or the gold program USE THIS.  

First , thank you for sharing it is very helpful and interesting to read , we are planning to do the same route on Spectrum around October (we will be few days in the city , take the cruise and fly to Hong Kong). regarding the first Japanese port , did people who booked shore excursions got to go to earlier ? I thought to avoid the lines to take one from the ship.

Again thank you for all the information. 

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1 minute ago, traveler301 said:

First , thank you for sharing it is very helpful and interesting to read , we are planning to do the same route on Spectrum around October (we will be few days in the city , take the cruise and fly to Hong Kong). regarding the first Japanese port , did people who booked shore excursions got to go to earlier ? I thought to avoid the lines to take one from the ship.

Again thank you for all the information. 

I believe they did, yes.  However, I know there were very few English language shore excursions offered.  So you may find your choices to be fairly limited.

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5 minutes ago, xxHadleyxx said:

I believe they did, yes.  However, I know there were very few English language shore excursions offered.  So you may find your choices to be fairly limited.

Thanks , yes they offer three in Osaka , 2 in Kobe and two in Tokyo,   We took (Were  they were on sale) one in Osaka and one in Tokyo , I have been to Tokyo once on a business trip and I remember how it was not easy to use the public transformation , mainly due to lack of signs. 

We are sailing during what later I knew to be one of the main vacation times in China (the golden week) so I expect full cruise and almost 100% Chinese , its going to be interesting 

Edited by traveler301

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9 minutes ago, traveler301 said:

Thanks , yes they offer three in Osaka , 2 in Kobe and two in Tokyo,   We took (Were  they were on sale) one in Osaka and one in Tokyo , I have been to Tokyo once on a business trip and I remember how it was not easy to use the public transformation , mainly due to lack of signs. 

We are sailing during what later I knew to be one of the main vacation times in China (the golden week) so I expect full cruise and almost 100% Chinese , its going to be interesting 

oh yes, public transit to/from and in Tokyo was stressful with very few signs.  Singapore was so much easier to use.

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1 minute ago, xxHadleyxx said:

oh yes, public transit to/from and in Tokyo was stressful with very few signs.  Singapore was so much easier to use.

Oh , love the public transport in Singapore , fast clean , very easy to navigate, signs are very clear and the prepaid card is so easy to use. 

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6 hours ago, traveler301 said:

We are sailing during what later I knew to be one of the main vacation times in China (the golden week) so I expect full cruise and almost 100% Chinese , its going to be interesting 

May the force be with you.

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6 hours ago, Glide_Path said:

May the force be with you.

Thanks , it will be a nice experience , was many time in Singapore and love the food over there (including eating many times in China town food boots)  so I think we should be OK with the food. We also went to a cruise from Hong Kong to Singapore ,  I believe when one comes with open mind to other cultures it can be enjoyable experience. Who knows , maybe the first thing I will do after this cruise is to book another one out from China. 

Edited by traveler301

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On 4/4/2019 at 8:39 PM, Biker19 said:

Was in not this bus stop area?

Related image

 

That's standard across the Quantum class.

Now you tell me.

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8 hours ago, traveler301 said:

Thanks , it will be a nice experience , was many time in Singapore and love the food over there (including eating many times in China town food boots)  so I think we should be OK with the food. We also went to a cruise from Hong Kong to Singapore ,  I believe when one comes with open mind to other cultures it can be enjoyable experience. Who knows , maybe the first thing I will do after this cruise is to book another one out from China. 

we're anxiously awaiting the schedules from Shanghai or Bejing  next year so we can book another.  we agree with your travel philosophy---have an open mind and enjoy.

I hope you have a great cruise

Edited by xxHadleyxx

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Hadley,thanks again for your continued information,it really is good of you to take so much time,I think we agree that finding out anything from RCI about Quantums' cruises out East is hard work for some reason.

Something that you may not have had chance to find out,or may not have had an interest in is the range of drinks available on board,one of the negative reports I have read referred to the lack of selection of alcoholic drinks on board(no Bitter,Craft Beers or Cider for example) ,RCI's reason was that it is difficult to supply a ship at such distances,sorry that sounds like another stupid,ill thought out,excuse,more likely,as another poster suggested, symptomatic of the low alcohol sales with few Chinese drinkers on board.

I myself don't drink alcohol but do enjoy beer so I did contact RCI some time ago & was assured that alcohol free beer was available on board but the number of things I have found out since about how much they seem to know about what goes on out there has made me wonder about that,whatever their excuses I would hate to pay out for drinks packages only to find that there wasn't anything that I liked to drink,I know our China to Singapore repo cruise is likely to be different but again,finding out such things is not easy!

Edited by snaefell

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We were on this cruise, bring back memories and agree with you comments.

 

We did breakfast in the Solarium Bistro, it was never very busy and the food was very good.

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On 4/19/2019 at 6:48 AM, xxHadleyxx said:

I believe they did, yes.  However, I know there were very few English language shore excursions offered.  So you may find your choices to be fairly limited.

We were fortunate enough to be in a junior suite 7238 and were able to get priority disembarkation at the ports.

 

In Osaka where everyone had to get off the ship for customs clearance whether you were doing a tour or not, this was very helpful. We arranged a local tour guide for Osaka who acted as a guide and translator, it was very helpful to have a local person guiding us around.

 

 

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2 hours ago, BrissyCruiser said:

We were fortunate enough to be in a junior suite

During embarkation day have they offer you to use a special lines ? (the silver/gold) ?  have you got access to CK during nights ?  

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4 hours ago, snaefell said:

Hadley,thanks again for your continued information,it really is good of you to take so much time,I think we agree that finding out anything from RCI about Quantums' cruises out East is hard work for some reason.

Something that you may not have had chance to find out,or may not have had an interest in is the range of drinks available on board,one of the negative reports I have read referred to the lack of selection of alcoholic drinks on board(no Bitter,Craft Beers or Cider for example) ,RCI's reason was that it is difficult to supply a ship at such distances,sorry that sounds like another stupid,ill thought out,excuse,more likely,as another poster suggested, symptomatic of the low alcohol sales with few Chinese drinkers on board.

I myself don't drink alcohol but do enjoy beer so I did contact RCI some time ago & was assured that alcohol free beer was available on board but the number of things I have found out since about how much they seem to know about what goes on out there has made me wonder about that,whatever their excuses I would hate to pay out for drinks packages only to find that there wasn't anything that I liked to drink,I know our China to Singapore repo cruise is likely to be different but again,finding out such things is not easy!

Hmmmm.  My husband bought the drinks package and did not run into a whole lot more issues than he typically does in getting what he wants (meaning, often one of the listed wines for a venue was not available---but there was usually something else he was OK with, and sometimes the same wine would be at a different venue later on.  And some bartenderfs could make a goood caipi and others not so much.  We run into this on TAs and in Europe fairly often too). 

There were no drinks of the day, and we did order a mudslide only to be served a frozen pina colada with some chocolate sauce on it  which was weird.  We weren't sure if the bartender had no idea what we wanted or if the ingredients were not on board.  We  did not try again.  My husband  isn't a beer drinker so I cannot tell you what was on offer in that department (except I did notice they had Chinese TsingTao and Harbin as well as Heiniken, Stella Artois, Corona and a Japanese one lined up on the Solarium bar one night.  We were commenting on the international variety while we waited for our drinks.

 

 

I did get a cider in the Solarium with a drink coupon one night.  I didn't care for the brand, so I did not get another, but there were ciders.

 

This is reminding me that one thing we did not see onboard (it is possible we missed it) was soft serve ice cream.

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44 minutes ago, xxHadleyxx said:

 

Hmmmm.  My husband bought the drinks package and did not run into a whole lot more issues than he typically does in getting what he wants (meaning, often one of the listed wines for a venue was not available---but there was usually something else he was OK with, and sometimes the same wine would be at a different venue later on.  And some bartenderfs could make a goood caipi and others not so much.  We run into this on TAs and in Europe fairly often too). 

There were no drinks of the day, and we did order a mudslide only to be served a frozen pina colada with some chocolate sauce on it  which was weird.  We weren't sure if the bartender had no idea what we wanted or if the ingredients were not on board.  We  did not try again.  My husband  isn't a beer drinker so I cannot tell you what was on offer in that department (except I did notice they had Chinese TsingTao and Harbin as well as Heiniken, Stella Artois, Corona and a Japanese one lined up on the Solarium bar one night.  We were commenting on the international variety while we waited for our drinks.

 

 

I did get a cider in the Solarium with a drink coupon one night.  I didn't care for the brand, so I did not get another, but there were ciders.

 

This is reminding me that one thing we did not see onboard (it is possible we missed it) was soft serve ice cream.

Thanks again Hadley,that sounds promising on the drinks front,could be a disaster for my Wife on the other hand she loves her soft ice cream!

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7 hours ago, traveler301 said:

During embarkation day have they offer you to use a special lines ? (the silver/gold) ?  have you got access to CK during nights ?  

We were in a junior suite, silver card and were able to use the priority line for embarkation.

Coastal Kitchen was restricted to full suites only.

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Hadley,

 

Any chance you have more copies of the MDR menus for different nights?  Odd that the sample menu you posted featured Japanese cuisine, when the majority of passengers are Chinese.  Also, can you post a higher resolution image of the menu as the one you posted is a bit fuzzy when I try to zoom up to read it?


Thanks

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Thanks for the review! My DH and I are still fairly new to cruising but would love to see the world from a ship. I've added an Asia cruise to our bucket list because of you!

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Has anyone following this great Quantum of the Seas review, had the Royal Up offer for any sailings? Or has the ‘Key’ appeared in your Cruise Planner? Many thanks. 

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