Being on Mariner of the cruise a couple of times with amazing experience , we opted for quantum of the seas (having seen it being advertised 4 years ago) for our maiden sailing experience with our extended family .
-Quantum is beautifully built , she’s majestic , stylish , modern , clean and well maintained
- Staterooms were comfortable and well designed with good use of space
- Wonderland specialty restaurant was a nice surprise - its menu comprising of deconstructed food served in western Omakase style
-No stinging on food . For the price you’re paying , you can get a flavour of some pretty decent quality steak , though standards vary across restaurants .
-Selected staff were very friendly and went out of the way to make passengers feel at home . Examples include the head waiter of my time dining , our stateroom organiser , waiters of specialty restaurant
- Good line up of musical acts ( piano , guitar , jazz band , pub Singer Carlo etc )
- pleasant onboarding experience typical of our other RCI holidays -swift and smooth , on time delivery of luggage
-North Star was a nice experience , well allocated with no need for queuing . Memorable birds eye view of the majestic ocean.
- very poor crowd management . Despite the big ship, it feels very crowded all the time with fellow passengers scrambling for literally everything ( free pizza , water , shows)
- Poor allocation of crowd to allow passengers to have a flavour of most activities on board : Bumper car has a snaking queue , royal theatre is always packed with some shameless fellow passengers reserving rows of seats for phantom friends ( who never appeared ), everywhere felt like a market place . Sorentos pizza , cafe promenade , windjammer perpetually filled with hungry souls with very limited seats
-Not family friendly . Not sure if dreamworks is no longer a partner but there were very little activities catered for kids . ( instead there was a random LGBTQ party ) . Extremely difficult to get around with a pram due to the crowd and the throngs of able bodied adults fighting for the lift. A segmented priority lift / ramp will be most helpful .
- only a few areas to refill water , a water dispenser at every stateroom level will make it more convenient and less crowded to obtain this necessity .
- Pre-allocated ‘My time dining’ but only allowed to book a slot from 845 pm onwards , otherwise the other option is to join the snaking queue . Never experienced this with my time dining before , we were told to pre book one year ahead of time in order to get earlier slots (?!) . It’s either a very poorly set up booking system or a main dining hall operating over capacity not befitting of its passenger volume .
- Key entertainments were so so . Peng Fei magician , Starwater were the only shows worth watching. Aussie boys was cringe worthy with their twisted rendition of old Chinese pop songs , sonic odyssey was a mix mash of Bollywood / can can / drums , sparklers and feathers was an out of fashion broadway theme singing show with little wow factor .
-Had to queue immediately once on board to book the Starwater show and some activities . Not sure what’s the purpose of booking as the show hall was packed despite the booking . Some of us had no seats .
-Poor announcement of activities . No formal night for the first time ( maybe there’s one but it was Super unclear when it was held)
-You have to pay to take a picture with the captain! iPhones not allowed .
- Service was sub-par to say the least. This was the main killing factor . except for the few staff mentioned above under pros , most staff appeared listless, irritated and condescending . The Chinese staff spoke very little English and behaved in a rowdy manner as though they work at the fish market, some of them more keen on watching their fingernails grow than to smile and greet customers . I had one Chinese staff who tried to pressurize us to purchase a dining package , likening the price of it to a few packet of cigarettes ! Indian staff at two 70 was perpetually angry , irritated and threw our sailpass card on the table when we made payment . Staff appeared to be obviously overworked , underpaid (perhaps) and badly trained - and it’s evident . There’s also very little attention to client’s needs such as helping parents with toddler ( eg I was trying to get warm water to make milk but was told to wait in the queue after a fire drill has ended , though I had no intention to dine).
Perhaps my expectations were too high after seeing ad shots of this ship or drawing too much positive experience from mariner of the seas , quantum overall, fell flat and was average at best .
Great cabin staff, spacious room despite limited area - good use of space
Great location - Patong beach is where Phuket comes to live . The time given is sufficient to explore Phuket comfortably within a day too.