Just like a hotel, some cruise liners operate a club lounge for their premium guests, providing a private area to escape from the hustle and bustle of the ship. On Royal Caribbean, this comes in the form of the Concierge Club.
On my recent Cruise to Nowhere, I had Concierge Club lounge access by virtue of being a Grand Suites guest. While it certainly wasn’t the highlight of the voyage (and with dining and entertainment this good, that’s no slight), I appreciated the attentive service and free booze in the evenings.
Here’s what you can expect.
|🚢 Cruise to Nowhere: Royal Caribbean|
Concierge Club: Access
Access to the Concierge Club is available to guests in Sky and Star class suites. In other words, those in Sea class (junior suites) are out of luck. As a reminder, here’s how Royal Caribbean classifies its suites:
In addition to this, Diamond Plus and Pinnacle Club members of the Crown & Anchor Society (Royal Caribbean’s loyalty program) also receive access.
|🛋️ Note: Certain Royal Caribbean vessels have a dedicated Diamond Club lounge for Diamond, Diamond Plus, and Pinnacle Club members, a separate facility from the Concierge Club lounge. Quantum of the Seas, however, is not one of them.|
Concierge Club: Location
The Concierge Club on Quantum of the Seas is located on Deck 12, at the bow area. It’s actually less conspicuous than you think, and access involves walking down a very long corridor after exiting the lift.
It seems like you’re heading nowhere, but keep the faith. Sooner or later, you’ll see the entrance to the Concierge Club, behind frosted glass. Tap your SeaPass card to gain access.
Concierge Club: Overview
The Concierge Club is open from 4.30 p.m to 8 p.m on boarding day, and 7.30 a.m to 8 p.m daily when the ship is at sea. Inside you’ll find plenty of seating, even with social distancing restrictions.
Full length windows spanning the width of the lounge provide a great view of where the ship is heading, and allow natural light to illuminate the lounge during the day.
The lounge is also where you’ll find the Concierge Desk, and the concierge can assist with restaurant, spa, show and activities reservations. Don’t underestimate their ability to get you into an otherwise booked-out venue; just ask!
Concierge hours are as follows:
- Boarding Day: 4.30 p.m to 8 p.m
- At Sea: 7.30 a.m to 11 a.m; 4.30 p.m to 8 p.m
Outside these times, you can reach the concierge via your suite phone.
Ideally, however, you’ll already have secured all your reservations before boarding the ship. Look out for the concierge’s welcome email, sent ~5 days before departure, and send them all your restaurant, show and activities requests. Trust me, it’s so much less stressful to board knowing that everything has already been settled.
As a final point, the lounge has no age restrictions. Children can enter accompanied by parents, which is either a bug or a feature depending how well-behaved they are. When we were in the lounge, a particular father decided it would be absolutely precious for his progeny to experiment with his outside voice and dash around doing his best Spiderman impression.
I’m just going to come out and say it: breeding permits.
Concierge Club: F&B
The Concierge Club serves a continental breakfast daily between 7.30 a.m and 10 a.m. Quite frankly, there’s no reason why you’d want to take breakfast here, especially when you have access to the much-superior Coastal Kitchen, or the Windjammer buffet and its wide range of dishes.
But in any case, I dropped by to see what was on offer.
Some hotel club lounges jazz up their continental breakfast selection by adding a few cooked items, but the Concierge Club’s spread is as textbook as they come. Expect oatmeal, vegetarian breakfast burritos, pastries, donuts…
…cut fruit, yogurt parfait…
…whole wheat or white toast, plus a small range of individually-boxed cereals.
Again, I don’t see any scenario where you’d take breakfast here, unless perhaps the other venues were completely full and you just wanted a grab-and-go option.
The much bigger draw of the Concierge Club, in my opinion, are the evening cocktail hours which happen daily from 5 p.m to 8 p.m. It’s the only place on the ship where you’ll get free booze (apart from the art auctions, where I hear sparkling wine is offered as an inducement to attend), and the main reason why I decided against purchasing a beverage package.
A small selection of hot food is also served at the buffet (the staff will help you take and plate the items):
The food selection rotated daily, and the highlight was the evening they served scallops and corn fritters. For the health-conscious, do note that the vast majority of nibbles were fried, but few people go on a cruise to lose weight anyway.
Strangely, the Concierge Club doesn’t present guests with a drinks list. Staff simply recite a mental list of drinks available, and in general you can expect wine, spirts, beer and soft drinks.
I got excited when the staff offered me a glass of “champagne”, but soon realised they were using the term rather loosely. It’s actually a very mediocre French Blanc de Blanc called Saint-Louis, which retails for about A$12 in Australia.
The Milelioness tried both the house red and white, and likewise concluded it was nothing to get excited about. The staff can also make you a cocktail from a limited selection, but these were pretty bad. We tried a margarita and cosmopolitan, and let’s just say that I stopped complaining about the sparkling wine after that.
But at the end of the day, free alcohol on a cruise ship is hard to come by. So even though the Concierge Club may not be pouring the premium stuff, it’s still a welcome amenity.
The Concierge Club obviously doesn’t hit the heights of a Ritz-Carlton or Mandarin Oriental club lounge, but remember, you’re at sea. Our visits ended up being brief 30 minute affairs, just to grab a snack and a drink before heading off for a show or some other activity.
Any other Concierge Club experiences to share?