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nekzaadvakil

Photo Review: Quantum of the Seas - 7N Best of Japan Cruise - 23 June 2019

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Hi Everyone,

 

We're planning our next cruise and we have just made final payment for a 7N Best of Japan cruise next month. I will be traveling with my wife and my parents. I really struggled to find any detailed reviews of the Quantum from Beijing. I understand that these cruises are 'culturally enriching' cruises as Royal Caribbean puts it, so I am looking forward to seeing how different this one is going to be. So if there is anything that you guys would like to know more about or see, this is the best time so that I can get back with answers. 

 

Our itinerary is as follows:

 

22 - Mumbai to Bangkok to Beijing (Thai Airways)

23- Beijing to Tianjin Port - Cruise begins

24 - At sea

25 - Fukuoaka, Japan

26 - Sakaiminato, Japan

27 - Kyoto, Japan

28 - At sea

29 - At sea

30 - Tianjin Port (cruise ends)

 

We're spending 2 nights in Beijing after the cruise and 1 night in Bangkok before returning to Mumbai on the 3rd of July. 

 

We haven't heard too many good things about Asian cruises, that they're really crowded, people are more pushy, casinos & buffets are always full, the food is for the Chinese/ Asian palette and so on. But we've decided to go check it out for ourselves. As you can see from my cruising history below, we LOVE our European/ Western cruises but now its time to go East & see how they compare. 

 

We've already got some bad news, the amazing Solarium on the Quantum is ONLY for suite guests. We're sailing in veranda staterooms so looks like we won't have access to one of our favourite parts of the ship. We also tried booking the North Star for 4 of us, over a month to go for the cruise and there are no time slots available which can take 4 of us together. This inspite of the fact that you've got to pay $20 per person to try the North Star.  

 

However, judging from our previous 4 cruises on Royal Caribbean, we're sure we will have a good time once we are onboard. 😊

 

Cheers!

 

Nick

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Look forward to following along. We are doing Quantum for the first time next Feb but from Singapore.

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5 hours ago, kernow said:

We are doing Quantum for the first time next Feb but from Singapore.

Realize that not only will Quantum have a dry dock by then, sailing out of Singapore will be somewhat different than from China.

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9 hours ago, nekzaadvakil said:

We haven't heard too many good things about Asian cruises, that they're really crowded, people are more pushy, casinos & buffets are always full, the food is for the Chinese/ Asian palette and so on. But we've decided to go check it out for ourselves. As you can see from my cruising history below, we LOVE our European/ Western cruises but now its time to go East & see how they compare. 

 

 

The Quantum Class is great and you will for sure have a great time, especially since you are already aware of the obstacles that you will face with the crowd. I am sure the crew will be very acomadating and make sure that you and your family will also have a wonderfull cruise.

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We are cruising out of Tianjin on 7 Oct which is her last sailing before dry dock.

I'm interested to know about Wonderland as it isn't showing up on the cruise planner anymore. 

 

I'll be keeping and eye open for your posts. 

Have fun. 

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Posted (edited)

We sailed on Quantum out of Shanghai to Japan in March this year, loved the ship and the cruise.

 

Very different to other RC cruises we have done.

Edited by dogboy53
change

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17 hours ago, nekzaadvakil said:

We've already got some bad news, the amazing Solarium on the Quantum is ONLY for suite guests. We're sailing in veranda staterooms so looks like we won't have access to one of our favourite parts of the ship. We also tried booking the North Star for 4 of us, over a month to go for the cruise and there are no time slots available which can take 4 of us together. This inspite of the fact that you've got to pay $20 per person to try the North Star.  

 

However, judging from our previous 4 cruises on Royal Caribbean, we're sure we will have a good time once we are onboard. 😊

 

Cheers!

 

Nick

 

We sailed on Quantum out of Shanghai to Japan in March this year, loved the ship and the cruise.

 

Very different to other RC cruises we have done, you are right about the Solarium it is for Diamond and above and silver suites and above and was pretty much empty every day.

We originally booked a balcony on deck 7 but when we discovered that we could not go in to the solarium we upgraded to a junior suite 7238 right on the hump starboard side, the cabin was great. 

 

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Hi Everyone, 

 

We are back from an amazing Cruise holiday, so this review will now be in overdrive. Most of my reviews are filled with pictures and this will be no exception. The Quantum of the Seas was our first Quantum class ship and we were absolutely amazed by how gorgeous this ship is! So lets get this review started. 

 

I finished work on Friday, 21st June 2019 and headed straight to the airport. We had a late night flight from Mumbai to Bangkok and then onwards to Beijing (PEK airport). I am also a huge aviation geek and I absolutely love flying as much as I love cruising. We got an amazing deal to fly Business class on Thai Airways. All my previous trips on this airline have been in Economy class, so we were very excited to travel in a new Business class cabin. 

 

Our first flight was on an old 747 double decker plane. We managed to pre-book our seats on the upper deck. Again, this was our first time on a 747 upper deck and we loved it. It had a very private feel to it. However, you could make out that this was a pretty old seat, and while it didn't become a lie flat bed, the recline was more than enough for it to be really comfortable (can't complain since 90% of our flights are in economy class)

 

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We had a good flight into Bangkok without any turbulence (we are in the monsoon season in India), and our flight landed well in time. We had a 4 hour layover in Bangkok airport and that gave us enough time to relax in the lounge. The Thai airways lounge was pretty underwhelming. Thanks to Priority Pass we have visited quite a few airport lounges across the world, and we could tell that this one wasn't one of their best. We quickly used our Priority Pass and went to our favorite lounge - the  Miracle Business Class lounge near Gate D5. We've been to this lounge multiple times before and it is easily one of the best lounges in the world. 

 

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This lounge also had an excellent shower facility, and I was pretty impressed with it. The shower room was clean, well equipped & modern. A warm shower felt excellent and I was prepared for our next flight, onward to Beijing.

 

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Our flight to Beijing was on a newer Airbus A350 aircraft and the hard product was outstanding. The seats were newer, lie flat beds, the cabin felt amazingly spacious and modern and the crew were just phenomenally good. We've flown business class on Emirates and once on Turkish when we snagged a cheap upgrade, and the service on Thai definitely beat most other airlines we've flown. These seats were also closer together and DW and I really like this set up. Its cosy as well as private and even on Emirates, we always try and get these seats which are ideal for couples. 

 

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The aircraft had an amazing on board camera, which was crystal clear, and I loved watching us take off and land. What a view!

 

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We landed into Beijing Airport on time. We had heard horror stories of how bad the airport was in terms of long lines, taking 2 hours at immigration, lack of signs etc. We were pleasantly surprised with how everything was exactly the opposite. We had done a bit of research before going and we knew exactly what was needed to be done. We exited the aircraft, and there were clear signs for foreigners to complete their finger printing formalities before standing in line. We did it in less than 2 minutes and stood in line for immigration. We were done with immigration in 10 minutes (less than a minute with the immigration officer) and took the escalator down to the train which took you to another terminal to collect your bags. 

 

Our bags were already on the belt when we reached and we were out of the airport within 45 minutes of our plane touching down. We had booked our transport to our hotel on viator and there was a driver who was waiting for us with our name on a board. He helped us with our bags, offered us bottled water in the car and drove us safely to our hotel. We used viator for all our 4 transfers and each time their drivers were on time, polite and helpful. Really happy with the overall service offered by them. 

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Thanks for the review, interesting to hear about these cruises as not many reviews about them. Looking forward to reading more 

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Our driver dropped us off at our hotel. We were staying at the Novotel Peace Beijing Hotel, situated at the famous Wangfujing pedestrian/ shopping area. We usually do our research in detail about where we want to stay, and this was no exception. We were really happy with the location of this hotel, it was just a 3 minute walk to the Pedestrian street and it was in a very safe neighborhood. Our hotel was right next to the Waldorf Astoria and in the same location as other 5 star hotels like the Hilton and the Grand Hyatt. It was also the least expensive (nearly half the price) and had modern and clean rooms. Since we were here just for 1 night, and would be using the room just to sleep, it was perfect for us. 

 

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The only issue we had was with the allocation of rooms. We were allocated rooms in the West Wing, which meant it was a good 5 minute walk to our rooms each time. For DW and myself, this was not a problem at all, but it was a trek for my parents, especially for my dad. If you're travelling with people with mobility issues, or older parents, its better to request them for a room in the main building itself. 

 

The room was spacious, modern, well equipped and the air conditioning was excellent. The view was non existent (which is why they had the curtains drawn) since the west wing rooms have a view of the back alley. Again, no complaints, we were not in Beijing to sit in our hotel and look our the window, so it didn't matter to us at all. 

 

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We dumped our bags in the room, and headed straight out to the Wangfujing Pedestrian street where we spent the evening. It is a really beautiful street with shops, malls, eateries for all palettes. We had checked in at around 6 PM, so we really had just the evening to explore this place. We were also staying for an additional couple of nights after the cruise, so we were pretty happy with the hotel and the location. 

 

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We strolled around the pedestrian street for a few hours. DW was hungry so we grabbed a bite at this place called HEFU NOODLES. DW is also a vegetarian (due to her love for animals) but she got some really good vegetarian food at this place. In fact she enjoyed it so much, that we came back to eat here on our last day in Beijing after the cruise. My dad was pretty tired, so he decided to relax in the hotel. My mom accompanied us for this meal and we tried some fish sticks which was also pretty good. Here's my mom patiently waiting for me to get a good picture of the food. 

 

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After the meal and wandering for a bit, my mom decided to head back to the hotel to grab a proper dinner with my dad. They ate at the hotel's restaurant and said it was some of the best kung pao chicken they had eaten. DW and I decided to head out and explore some more. We felt very safe in this area even at night. Plenty of tourists and really friendly locals. Remember, we are Indians and we don't exactly share the best relations with the Chinese, so we pretty much have the same concerns as our American readers. But there is absolutely nothing to worry about. We felt as safe as we do in Western Europe and we had no problems whatsoever.  

 

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We walked to the famous Wangfujing Food street which is just off the main pedestrian street. Plenty of authentic chinese dishes and most people were walking around with what looked like some meat on a stick.

 

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We also came across a cosy bar/ restaurant in the centre of this street, with live music (in English and Mandarin). We took a table outside and officially started our holiday. DW had a glass of Moscato while I sipped on my favorite cruise drink - a blue lagoon.  

 

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As we got ready to head back to the hotel, my cruise countdown showed me one of my favorite views! It was officially cruiseday! I was already full with my meal on the flight, and nibbling at Hefu Noodles, so I just grabbed a burger on my way back to the hotel, for a midnight snack. 

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Looking forward to reading your review. We board on 7 October.  

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23rd June 2019 - Its Cruise day !! 

 

We had booked our transfer with Viator and had asked for our driver to pick us up at 8:30 AM. The cruises from Beijing start from Tianjin Port which is over 170 kms away from the center of Beijing. We wanted to start early since we knew it would take approximately 2 hours to cover this distance, and we wanted to keep some buffer time for traffic. 

 

Once again, the service was immaculate. We checked out at 8:30 AM and as soon as we turned around, we saw our driver waiting in the lobby with our name board. We loaded all our luggage into the minivan and we were on our way to the cruiseship by 8:45 AM. We reached a couple of hours later and our driver dropped us off 100m away from our port entrance. Like it is the case in most cruises, there were representatives of Royal Caribbean waiting to take our bags. We already had our baggage tags printed and stapled, which wasn't the case with most other cruisers. The RCCL reps were helping the others with their baggage tags so if you forget to print them, no problem. 

 

We went past security in a breeze and soon checked into our cruise. This was our first cruise on a Quantum class ship so we didn't get our seapass cards during check in. Instead, they were waiting for us on the door of our cabin. I don't have any pictures of the cruise port/ check in as I wasn't too sure how accepting the chinese would be of me taking pictures at an airport/ cruise port. However, I can tell you that 99% of the fellow cruisers were orderly. We met an American couple while we were waiting in line for immigration and chatted with them so time went by quickly while waiting in line. 

 

Here's a first glimpse of our awesome ship which we would call home for the next 7 nights! 

 

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While waiting to Board, there were multiple signs (in English) asking us to download their app. I already had 2 of their apps, the normal Royal Caribbean app and Royal IQ which was used for the Chinese cruises. What luck, this was the first sailing where they had moved to the normal Royal Caribbean app, from where you had everything at your fingertips. This app works even without an internet connection, you just need to be connected to Royal Wifi on the ship. I was very very impressed with this app. 

 

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The ship at first glance is absolutely beautiful on the inside. We love Royal's central promenade. We loved it on the Adventure, Mariner & Explorer (Voyager class ships). We absolutely loved the bigger version on the Allure. And the Quantum didn't disappoint either. This place was ALWAYS buzzing and it felt like an international cruise. All announcements were first in English and then in Mandarin. 

 

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We got on board and went to the Windjammer Marketplace as the rooms were not going to be ready till 1 PM. This was one of the only really bad decisions that we made on the cruise. The buffet was absolutely PACKED and it took us over 40 minutes to get a table. This was the only day we faced this issue, even on our sea days later, we never had an issue finding a table in the Windjammer buffet. 

 

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The windjammer on the Quantum is designed basis Celebrity Cruise's S class ships which is our favorite. However the food in the Windjammer was definitely disappointing. There's a huge selection of food, but it is clearly for the Chinese palette. There were 3 types of pizzas, burgers, mexican food and an international selection of 5-6 dishes, so no one would really go hungry, but if you like buffets on European/ Caribbean cruises, be prepared. 

 

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After a quick bite, we heard an announcement saying that the cabins were ready, so we proceeded to go keep our carry on luggage in our cabins.

 

 

   

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My parents and us were both on Deck 9, port side, near the front elevators. My parents were in Cabin 9154 and we were 6 cabins away in 9142. Both normal Balcony staterooms. We loved the location of the staterooms. 9154 was the 2nd cabin from the front elevators so it was very convenient for my parents to get around. 9142 was 6 staterooms further inside, so again, it was never a long walk from the elevators/ stairs. Being close to the elevators was not a problem, once you're in the cabin, you hardly heard anything outside.

 

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This was our cabin, 9142 - standard Veranda Cabin. The bed is close to the Balcony, which is our preferred layout. The rooms alternate with the bed being closer to the bathroom and the sofa closer to the balcony. Both our staterooms had the first option and we have chosen them accordingly. 

 

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The rooms looked brand new, modern/ contemporary and as clean as a whistle. They also looked alot larger for some reason than our rooms on our Celebrity ships (Eclipse, Reflection & Silhouette) and the Allure of the Seas. Plenty of drawers, 2 large cupboards, plenty of storage space. 

 

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We grabbed our sea pass cards and placed our wallets in the safe. Our passports were taken by the cruise personnel and we would have to collect them on the last sea day. This was pretty standard as we did the same thing for our Mediterranean cruises as well. We also had our VOOM internet passwords waiting in our room, and the internet worked pretty well throughout the cruise. It was expensive, we paid around $30 a day for 2 devices, so that was over $200 for the cruise, but we prefer to be connected. 

 

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We then went about exploring this beautiful ship and headed straight for Two70, to see what the fuss was all about. Just the walk to get to Two70 is so beautiful. This venue quickly became our favorite, go-to place on the entire ship. 

 

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(To be continued.....)

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Lovely to see such a detailed review of the ship, can't wait for more.

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3 hours ago, nekzaadvakil said:

 We also had our VOOM internet passwords waiting in our room, and the internet worked pretty well throughout the cruise.

Did you ever try texting (or other internet related actions) WITHOUT being logged into VOOM (but connected to WiFi)?

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We are booked on Quantums' repo cruise from China to Singapore in October(OMG only 12 weeks away,seemed like an eternity when we booked it!),it has been like getting blood out of a stone trying to find out what these cruises are really like from RCI,thanks to posters like this one & Hadley who have taken so much time to give us an idea of what they are really like,can't wait!

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19 minutes ago, snaefell said:

it has been like getting blood out of a stone trying to find out what these cruises are really like from RCI

Realize that RCI reps are clueless about most of the details on board the ship - expecting them to know much is an exercise in frustration. Also, repos could be quite different from "regular" sailings. Your sailing should be available in the RCI app soon.

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Looking forward to your full review as we are on Quantum next Spring for the first time and just returned from Japan. Spent a few days in Kyoto after the cruise. Great photos!

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