Cruising with kids is fun on many levels, or rather, decks on Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas.
The most technologically-advanced smart ship afloat, the Quantum features transforming entertainment venues, wristbands that unlock doors, robotic bartenders and super-fast wireless connectivity.
If you’re thinking of cruising with your family, it’s worth checking out RC’s super kid-friendly ship. The Quantum, currently sailing a Southern Caribbean itinerary from Cape Liberty in Bayonne, NJ, heads to China in April.
My family and I have been on numerous cruises, but have never sailed on a ship so massive. The Quantum is 11 times bigger than a blue whale! However, the ship’s practical design makes navigating the decks a breeze.
The fun begins before you board. Download the Royal IQ app on your iPhone or iPad to check in for your cruise from home. Once onboard, strap on your RFID WOW band, a wristband that unlocks your stateroom and enables you to make dining reservation and make purchases.
Family Fun At-Sea Activities
Known for its innovative onboard activities, RC raised the bar with North Star, a jewel-shaped glass capsule attached to a mechanical arm that rises more than 300 feet in the air. From inside the slowly rotating capsule you get 360-degree views as North Star soars over the ship and ocean. It may sound scary but it’s not!
SeaPlex (the largest indoor recreational space at sea) is the hub of family fun. Like a giant-size transformer, the venue changes from one form of entertainment to another, including a full-size basketball court, circus school with flying trapeze, skating arena, and bumper cars. Above the main floor are four activity rooms with live global video gaming, ping pong and more.
Wanna-be sky divers can experience the sensation of flying at RipCord by iFLY, a 23-foot tall glass chamber to experience the sensation of flying. Although not new, FlowRider, a surf simulator, is located adjacent to Ripcord iFly. There’s also a rock climbing wall.
The ship’s four pools include an indoor pool with retractable roof and the H2O Zone kids’ water park, featuring a wading pool, wave pool and a dedicated infant and toddler area complete with pint-sized lounge chairs.
The space and activities for kids are impressive. Adventure Ocean entertains ages 3 – 11 with games, science fun and crafts plus more age- appropriate themed activities.
Plus, DreamWorks characters Shrek, King Julien and Po drop by to play with kids. Those too young for the children’s program are coddled in Royal Babies and Royal Tots.
It can hard to please this age group, but even teens will appreciate the comfort and private space in the Living Room. ZSPA offers a variety of facials and massages just for ages 12 – 17.
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Although there are still human bartenders onboard, passengers 21 and older can order mixed drinks on a tablet using their WOW bands at the Bionic Bar where robotic bartenders make the concoctions. I prefer wine but I ordered a Long Island Ice Tea for the novelty of watching a robot mix my drink. I escaped the crowds and noise at the serene Solarium pool area, featuring cascading water, intimate seating spaces, a fitness center, and spa. I toured the spa and enjoyed sample treatments offered on the first day.
At the Two70 venue, Vistarama and Roboscreens intertwine with live performers, music and special effects to create mesmerizing shows. Productions, such as MAMMA MIA, take place in the state-of-the-art Royal Theatre.
Unlike traditional cruising, you choose when and where you eat at 18 unique restaurants. Meals are complimentary at four main dining restaurants plus at a variety of casual eateries. Among them: Windjammer Marketplace serves an international buffet and is an ideal eatery for pleasing every palate. The Two70 café has a bagel station with loads of yummy toppings.
The well-designed rooms make good use of every inch. Options include family-connected staterooms that are perfect for multi-generational families or groups of friends. The Royal Family Suite, which has two bedrooms and two bathrooms, comfortably sleeps eight. Virtual View interior rooms even get a view with large digital screens that display real time views.