Quantum of the Seas: Activities & Entertainment

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Royal Caribbean's Quantum of the Seas pulls out all the stops to dispel the notion that cruises are boring. Here's the highlights.

“There’s nothing to do on a cruise except eat and gamble,” goes the common refrain. 

Perhaps that was the case in the past, but modern day cruise ships have reinvented themselves as floating theme parks, filled with every manner of distractions. Whether it’s simulated skydiving, dance classes, bumper cars, big budget productions, rock wall climbing, video games or just lazing by the pool, there’s a plenty of activities to keep you from getting bored. 

Quantum of the Seas
Quantum of the Seas

🚢 Cruise to Nowhere: Royal Caribbean

In this post, we’ll run through the options available on Quantum of the Seas. 

Planning Activities & Entertainment: Overview

One of the most annoying things about Royal Caribbean is that they don’t provide guests with advance copies of the Cruise Compass. This is a comprehensive listing of all the day’s activities, entertainment, facilities and restaurant hours, showing you at a glance where and when things will be held. 

Update: It’s possible to see the full cruising schedule including timings for activities and shows via the Royal app around 48 hours before departure. Showtimes will only be uploaded 24 hours before departure. This at least helps you plan ahead a bit.

Theoretically, you could get the same info from the app, but having it all on a single sheet of paper makes it much easier to digest. 

Quantum of the Seas Cruise Compass

To help you with your planning, I’ve uploaded the Cruise Compass from my 28 January – 1 February 2021 sailing to the link above. Activities and timings are subject to change, but it doesn’t change all that much between cruises. 

Physical Cruise Compasses are no longer distributed to staterooms by default; however they can be collected daily from Guest Services or in the Concierge Lounge. 

Quantum of the Seas Activities

Gym

Quantum of the Seas’ gym is located on Deck 15, and prior reservations are required. These can be made 3 weeks before departure in the Cruise Planner (do note it’s found under “Onboard Activities”, not “Spa and Fitness”), or through the Royal app once onboard. 

It’s a very large facility, although every alternate machine is blocked off for social distancing. You’ll find every manner of fitness equipment you need, and some machines are situated by the full length windows, letting you appreciate the ocean as you work out. Do remember to bring water from your stateroom, as the communal water dispensers are not in service now thank to COVID-19.

Quantum of the Seas gym
Quantum of the Seas gym
Quantum of the Seas gym
Quantum of the Seas gym
Quantum of the Seas gym
Quantum of the Seas gym

Swimming Pool/Jacuzzi

Quantum of the Seas has both outdoor and indoor swimming pools on Deck 14, so you can take a dip regardless of the weather. The pool will be closed during certain hours of the day for cleaning, and the schedule can be found in the Cruise Compass. 

Quantum of the Seas outdoor swimming pool
Quantum of the Seas outdoor swimming pool

The outdoor pool area has a large movie screen, but to prevent large gatherings, movies aren’t screened at the moment. Instead, random clickbaity YouTube videos are flashed throughout the day (I’m convinced these make people vacate faster than they normally would have).

Quantum of the Seas outdoor swimming pool
Quantum of the Seas outdoor swimming pool

The indoor pool has both a wading section and a more regular shaped one, where limited lap swimming can be done. Take note that neither pool is heated, and the water can be, shall we say, refreshing. 

Quantum of the Seas indoor swimming pool
Quantum of the Seas indoor swimming pool
Quantum of the Seas indoor swimming pool
Quantum of the Seas indoor swimming pool

Reservations are not required for any of the pools, though capacity restrictions apply. The ever-present lifeguards will monitor and restrict access as required. 

But if you don’t like screaming kids, you might be more interested in the Solarium. This is an adults-only area (min. age: 16), set amidst a glass-canopied indoor garden. 

Quantum of the Seas solarium
Quantum of the Seas solarium
Quantum of the Seas solarium
Quantum of the Seas solarium

The Solarium features several cascading lagoons, which aren’t big enough for swimming, but then again that’s not the idea here. This is a chill-out spot where you can sip a drink from the nearby bar and soak in the sun. 

Quantum of the Seas solarium
Quantum of the Seas solarium

There’s also a few jacuzzi tubs, each of which (the two pools below are considered as one jacuzzi) can take a maximum of five people. There’s no requirement that they all be from the same group. During peak periods, lifeguards will monitor usage and request overstaying guests to leave so that others can have a turn. 

Quantum of the Seas solarium jacuzzi
Quantum of the Seas solarium jacuzzi

SeaPlex

The SeaPlex is a multi-purpose activity hall that hosts bumper cars, pickleball, dance classes, soccer, volleyball, and other physical activities (check the Cruise Compass for schedules). Around the periphery, you can also find foosball tables, table tennis tables, air hockey tables and video game consoles. 

Pickleball setup
Pickleball setup

Naturally, the biggest attraction are the bumper cars- who doesn’t love a bit of demolition derby? Bumper cars run for several hours a day, and are the only SeaPlex attraction that can be booked through the Royal app (it’s possible to make reservations for pickleball etc, but you’ll need to go down in person). For those of you with kids, do note that they have to be at least 5 years old or taller than 42″(106 cm) to drive the bumper cars. 

Quantum of the Seas bumper cars
Bumper cars

The Xbox One consoles have a variety of racing, fighting and shooting games. As expected, it’s swarmed with teenagers throughout the day, but reservations can be made with the counter. 

Xbox One lounge
Xbox One lounge

The SeaPlex also hosts the ship’s arcade, but all games here will cost additional money to play.

Quantum of the Seas arcade
Quantum of the Seas arcade

It’s possible to pre-purchase credits at 20% off via the Cruise Planner (confusingly, the prices are in SGD but the credit you buy is in USD, hence the weird visual of paying $108.80 for $100). 

Social distancing regulations have led to some absurd restrictions, like the one below where the second controller is blocked off, because everyone knows you go to an arcade to play single player games. 

Quantum of the Seas arcade
Quantum of the Seas arcade

FlowRider

Quantum of the Seas Flowrider
Quantum of the Seas FlowRider

FlowRider is a 12-meter long surfing simulator that blasts water at a high speed across an inflated ramp, simulating surfing on the ocean. This is a complimentary activity that does not require pre-reservation (although private sessions are chargeable). 

There are two types of boards that can be used- a boogie board (where you lie stomach down) and a stand up board (where you channel your Beach Boy dreams [did you know only one member of the band could actually surf?]). Guests must be at least 132 cm tall to use the boogie boards, and 147 cm to use the stand up ones. Needless to say, the stand up boards are not for beginners- it’s hard enough to stay on the boogie board. 

Quantum of the Seas FlowRider
Quantum of the Seas FlowRider

I’ve seen previous videos where the FlowRider area is segmented into two, effectively doubling its capacity and halving queue times. That’s not being done right now, and you can expect to wait up to 60 minutes for a turn. I’d advise you come early in the morning (you get to avoid the sun too), or else try this on embarkation day. 

Oh, one final thing. The fast-moving water spat out by FlowRider is notorious for causing wardrobe malfunctions, so it’s best to wear a one piece bathing suit and/or t-shirts and (tightly tied) shorts. When we visited, an adventurous aunty had her bikini bottoms torn clean off by the water, exposing her behind for the whole world to see. 

RipCord by iFly

Quantum of the Seas Ripcord by iFly
Quantum of the Seas Ripcord by iFly

RipCord by iFly used to be free on Quantum of the Seas, but it’s now a chargeable activity that costs S$54.40 per person (adult or child). Reservations can be made through the Cruise Planner before boarding, starting from ~12 days before departure. 

Quantum of the Seas Ripcord by iFly
Quantum of the Seas Ripcord by iFly

If you’ve done iFly on land, it’s pretty much the same at sea. You get suited up and safety briefed, after which you’ll get 60 seconds of simulated free falling in a wind tunnel. It could be the priciest 60 seconds of your life, but it is whole lot of fun, especially if you never see yourself doing an actual skydive. 

Quantum of the Seas Ripcord by iFly
Quantum of the Seas Ripcord by iFly

If you want a recording or photo of your experience, it’s best to ask a bystander for help. Royal Caribbean’s official photographers are on site, but they will only use their official cameras to take photos (you’ll need to pay through the nose for them). 

Rock Wall Climbing

Quantum of the Seas rock wall
Quantum of the Seas rock wall

Next to Ripcord by iFly you’ll find Quantum of the Seas’ rock wall. There’s not much to say about this- it’s a wall that you climb, if you have arm core strength. If you don’t, you take a photo and tell people you climbed it anyway.

No reservations are required, and no fee is charged. Climbers must be at least six years of age and sign a liability waiver; all necessary safety equipment is provided. Bring a pair of socks, because you’ll need to wear special shoes. 

North Star

North Star | Photo: Royal Caribbean

I didn’t visit North Star (hence the stock photo above), but it costs S$27.20 for a 15-minute ride in this observation capsule that lifts you 300 feet above sea level. This would be splendid if you were sailing somewhere interesting, but I doubt the Strait of Malacca offers any views worth savoring (I mean, I’d love to do this in Alaska…)

North Star can also be reserved for proposals, although I imagine she’ll sort of know it’s coming if the two of you are the only passengers inside. 

Casino

Quantum of the Seas casino
Quantum of the Seas casino

I suppose we have to talk about the casino at some point, although I don’t know enough about  gambling to write a meaningful review. 

Quantum of the Seas’ casino is called Casino Royale, and opens once the ship hits international waters. You can expect all your usual games, like slot machines, blackjack, poker and roulette. This is the only place on the ship where indoor smoking is permitted, but I was pleasantly surprised to find the air here no worse than elsewhere on the ship (this coming from someone with very bad dust allergies). 

Quantum of the Seas casino
Quantum of the Seas casino
Quantum of the Seas casino
Quantum of the Seas casino
Quantum of the Seas casino
Quantum of the Seas casino

On the first night of the cruise, they had a tutorial session where the rules of each game were taught. I tried to learn Texas Hold ‘Em, and failed miserably. 

Quantum of the Seas casino
Quantum of the Seas casino

Trivia

Quantum of the Seas trivia quiz
Quantum of the Seas trivia quiz

I love me a good pub quiz, and Quantum of the Seas holds several sessions per day, usually at Schooner Bar. Thankfully, each session is unique and questions aren’t repeated, so coming for a previous one gives you no advantage. Some quizzes have specific themes like music, others are a free-for-all.

Having put together a lot of quizzes myself, I’m sympathetic to the dilemma of a quizmaster (how do you create questions that are not too hard, not too easy?), but I’d like to point out that some of the answers were either based on urban legends (Q: What’s the only mammal that can’t jump?/ A: Elephants (false!)) or flat out wrong (Q: What’s the busiest airport in the world?/ A: London Heathrow or Dubai (I said Atlanta, which is correct if you look at total passengers)

Quiz sheets
Quiz sheets

The prizes, you ask? Don’t expect anything fabulous. Plastic pens, keychains, and highlighters were the loot. 

Trivia prizes
Trivia prizes

Quantum of the Seas Entertainment

Quantum of the Seas Two70° exterior

While those staying in suites can get pre-access to the show schedule through the concierge (released one day before boarding), everyone else will only learn the showtimes once they board the ship. 

Again, this is annoying because it interferes with your ability to make dining reservations. For the record, Quantum of the Seas uses the following time slots for performances:

  • 5 p.m (only once on my cruise)
  • 7.45 p.m
  • 8 p.m
  • 10 p.m
  • 10.15 p.m

Performances last about 45 minutes on average, and take place across three venues: 

  • Two70°

Quantum of the Seas Two70
Quantum of the Seas Two70°

  • Royal Theatre

Quantum of the Seas Royal Theatre
Quantum of the Seas Royal Theatre

  • Music Hall

Quantum of the Seas Music Hall
Quantum of the Seas Music Hall

Shows in the Music Hall do not require reservations; shows in Two70° and Royal Theatre do. Reservations can be made once onboard, either through the box office (call them from your phone), or by visiting guest services. I can’t remember offhand if they were available for booking through the app. 

I’d recommend you make a beeline for Guest Services (Deck 4) once you board and pick up a copy of the show schedule. Once you’ve completed your muster drill, you’ll be able to make reservations- and make them quickly! On crowded sailings, seats can disappear just like that. 

Quantum of the Seas Guest services
Quantum of the Seas Guest services

While Star Class guests have their own reserved seats, it’s free seating for everyone else. Sky and Sea Class guests can enter the venue 30 minutes before and choose better seats (everyone else is let in at the 20 minute mark), but they’ll basically have to sit around and wait without anything in the way of pre-show entertainment. 

Quantum of the Seas show schedule
Quantum of the Seas show schedule | Click to enlarge

During our cruise, the following productions were playing:

  • Comedy Juggling by Steve Rawlings (comedy- this wasn’t originally scheduled, but replaced Starwater on the final night)
  • Gold Art Duo (gymnastics) 
  • Sequins and Feathers (cabaret show)
  • Starwater (musical)
  • Viktoria Stryzhak (violin performance)

All the performances were entertaining in their own way, but if you’re pressed for time, I’d say I enjoyed Starwater, Gold Art Duo, and Sequins and Feathers the most. 

Starwater is undoubtedly the blockbuster, an original performance created just for Royal Caribbean. I didn’t understand an ounce of the storyline, but the costumes, singing and production values were top notch. The performance makes full use of Two70°’s technological fixtures, with the roboscreens, stage lifts and Vistarama (a 100-foot wide, 20-foot tall curve projection backdrop) all called into action. 

Starwater
Starwater

Sequins and Feathers may be a bit too racy for the kids, but it’s a spectacular extravaganza paying tribute to cabaret acts from all eras. Fun fact, this replaced Mamma Mia when Quantum of the Seas relocated to the Asia market- the idea was that this would work better for a non-English speaking audience. Ain’t non-verbal communication grand?

Sequins and Feathers
Sequins and Feathers
Sequins and Feathers
Sequins and Feathers

Gold Art Duo were semi-finalists on Ukraine’s Got Talent 2012, and their show is a best described as a mash-up of acrobatics, dance, comedy magic and aerial performances. The language barrier tended to be an issue, as the comedy sections were probably the weakest of all. But I’m hardly in a position to criticise, at least not until I can do things like this:

Gold Art Duo
Gold Art Duo
Gold Art Duo
Gold Art Duo

As an aside, those who love the Beatles will definitely want to catch the BeatleManiacs at the Music Hall. They’re one of the best cover bands I’ve ever heard, and the lead singer does an amazing George Harrison impression. They don’t take requests, but feel free to shout “anything by Yoko!” in the lull moments. 

BeatleManiacs
BeatleManiacs

Conclusion

Royal Caribbean has made a concerted effort to offer a range of entertainment with broad appeal, and I can say I never felt bored throughout my four nights. 

I was lucky enough that my sailing only had ~800 passengers (on a boat that normally takes 4,000, or 2,000 with the Safe Distancing restrictions), and I was in a suite, so reservations were easy to come by. I imagine that will be different during the March school holidays, so be sure to book as many things as you can once you board. 

Quantum veterans- any other entertainment highlights?

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Aaron Wong
Aaron founded The Milelion with the intention of helping people travel better for less and impressing chiobu. He was 50% successful.

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Mike

Following this closely since I’m going to RCC soon in March. Thanks for all the guidelines sir!

anon

How’s the Spa on RC?

Gina

Thanks for the information! Can I know the buy-in, small and big blind for Texas Holden? How’s the crowd on the table?

Gina

Thanks!

Adam

I don’t think this is the kind of Texas Hold’em where you play against others, it’s this kind https://wizardofodds.com/games/ultimate-texas-hold-em/

Gina

Thanks!

alex

We went on the four night cruise before Christmas (around 15-19 December). We had never been on a cruise before and therefore didn’t how stuff worked. We niavely assumed that RC would allocate the entertainment equally amongst the guests and so were very disappointed to discover at guest services at 7am on the first morning that EVERYTHING had been booked up the night before (and I do mean everything – shows, climbing, North Star, dodgems – everything). Accordingly, we were quite bored (particularly in the evenings). We found that at lot of the safe-distancing hadn’t been thought through particularly well… Read more »

ZYX

$ is internationally used to represent USD, S$ is SGD that you are looking for.
You need to do your own research before boarding just like you would do for any other journeys. I won’t say the fault is on RC’s side.

Alex

That’s not true – $ is used to represent a dollar; which dollar it represents is dependent on context. The price paid directly to royal caribbean was in SGD, the boat was sailing from Singapore to Singapore and royal caribbean deluged us (literally daily) with special offers all of which were all in SGD, so the course of dealing was in SGD not USD. The only place that it says USD at all in hidden in the T&Cs and on the bill at the end; consumers shouldn’t have to search around to check this sort of thing – that’s why… Read more »

ZYX

If you check Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_dollar the most common symbol for USD is $. In fact I hardly see US$ being used, primarily in coverage of US news by local media outlets. So RC as an American cruise liner, naturally uses $. Call it US supremacy if you want. For myself, I still think this is basic travel literacy. Similarly for the fuss about activity bookings. Can’t just expect things work out themselves, unless you have access to concierge service. On World Dream payment is in SGD, which I remembered they announced upon boarding by the ship-wide broadcast system, yet the… Read more »

Last edited 2 months ago by ZYX
Frederic

Hi Aaron, first-timers here, 25 March cruise. Would you qualify the whole experience (booking of venues, shows and activities) as stressful and would you mind summarizing (bullet points) the various booking milestones before boarding? Does it help to board separately (in case 1 person in the family cannot make it so early) and is that even allowed? And, most importantly (but only because I am having trouble opening up your Google Drive docs, maybe it’s just me), when was lobster night on your cruise?

Frederic

Yah, that’s what we gathered from your initial review and we booked a suite, so thanks for that. Now all the suites on that cruise are booked, so agree with your comment about price transparency (previous screens still say there are available suites). Still a bit confusing (I am definitely better at maximizing miles), but does the UDP help in terms of securing dinner reservations?

Frederic

Thanks for all that info. Did you get to see anything on the ‘way’ or it’s just international waters?

Frederic

Hi Aaron, is it worth being outside when the ship departs or it’s just uneventful?

ZYX

You can use VesselFinder or CruiseMapper to check the course. I’ve watched World Dream, and it sails to Malacca Straits on Sunday and Friday, South China Sea on Wednesday. Quantum seems always South China Sea. For sailing to Malacca Straits, you will less than 30km from shore, you will see the contour of land and mountain. (P.S. It also opens possibility of roaming using Malaysia/Indonesia telco service and paying less for network, but I won’t recommend as the WiFi on World Dream is actually quite fast and stable, and before you ask, you can set up Hotspot with the ship… Read more »

Last edited 2 months ago by ZYX
Frederic

Ah, will try to spot Pedra Blanca, thanks! And does anyone know if Google ChromeCast works?

ZYX

Never tried the TV.

F L

“All the performances were entertaining in their own way, but if you’re pressed for time, I’d say I enjoyed Starwater, Gold Art Duo and Sequins and Feathers the most.”

Needs a comma 😉

Fred

Hi Aaron, in our case, we were able to book iFly more than 1 month ahead of departure

Frederic

Hi Aaron, we might see you then if you’re on the March 25 cruise. On a separate note and since only Chops and, to a lesser extent, Wonderland, are worth trying, does not it make sense to pay per meal and book a specific slot 1 month ahead because the total price for 2 meals is almost the same as the UDP?

Fred

Ok, getting guaranteed restaurant reservations 1 month ahead was the decisive factor here. Thanks

Steven

Came back on Feb 18. Once onboard log in to ship wifi and book the shows. If u missed it or its full. approach the guest services. Cafe prom open 24hrs, pizza till 3am. Hotdog till 8.30pm corner of bumper car. Casino smoking n non. Smoking crowded even though most dun smoke. Carribean 2 tables $10. Beside is texas. Roulette $1. Will be going again March 11. Did not really enjoy my last trip cos stomach upset after smoked salmon sw frm Cafe.

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