So I’ve been thinking about a cruise from China for a while now and made sense as my wife is from the country. We looked at all the options and decided to cruise on Quantum of the Seas which is a newer class vessel operated by Miami-based Royal Caribbean.
Upcoming Quantum of the Seas Cruise
Unfortunately, my time is limited, and many cruise ships sailing from China offer shorter itineraries. This is because Chinese people tend to go for shorter vacations and many don’t have much annual leave.
So I booked a 5-night cruise on Quantum of the Seas out of Shangai. The voyage includes a sea day, a call at Nagasaki in Japan, a call at the island of Okinawa in Japan and then another sea day before arriving back in China the following morning.
1. Innovative Features
One of the main reasons I chose Quantum of the Seas was all the features she had available. The Quantum-class ships brought innovation to the industry, and the ship which is the first in her class introduced the Bionic Bar with robotic bartenders, SeaPlex which has bumper cars, the North Star which rises 300 feet high above the ship, a skydiving simulator called Ripcord and creative visual shows at Two70.
I’m not the type of cruiser who just sits around in a lounge or on the deck unless it’s in a pool. So this ship matches my style, and I sure will be trying out as many features as I can.
2. Chinese Way of Cruising
The Royal Caribbean cruise ship is currently based out of China so as expected is catered towards the Chinese market. The cruise experience in the west is different, and the Chinese way is something which I’m looking forward to.
I’ve been on many ships but this will be the first not just from China but in all of Asia and I’m excited to see how the different culture enjoys a cruise vacation. I am curious to know how the crew of Quantum of the Seas are able to handle crowd control as Chinese are not known for lining up nicely.
Also Read: 50 Royal Caribbean Cruise Tips and Tricks
3. Ports of Call
Let me prepare for a Caribbean port any day but for the two ports in Japan – just have no idea! However, I’m pretty excited at experience a completely different cruise destination that I’m used to.
The first port of call will be at Nagasaki, Japan located on the country’s northwest coast. Now because the majority of guests on the ship will be Chinese, there won’t be many options for English shore excursions so we’ll be exploring by ourselves. One attraction which could be an option is the Atomic Bomb Museum just a mile or so away from the cruise port. This might include a diversion to some local stores, markets.
The next port of call the following day will be the Japanese tropical island of Okinawa located to the south of the mainland. The ship will be docking in Naha which is the island capital.
The weather is expected to be around in the 80s, so hopefully, this will be my chance to get out the shorts and flip-flops and enjoy a day walking around, eating good food and even possible enjoy the Shikina-en Garden.
I’ll just have to wait and see what we can do on the island because it really depends on the weather and we might want to experience a good beach too.
We’ll be cruising with our 1 and half-year-old son so it won’t all be smooth sailing. Many parents will know how difficult it can be traveling with kids and I’m interested to see what the ship will offer.
In China most parents let the grandmother look after their kids while they work. In fact. It is popular for the grandmother to live with the parents to cook and take care of the kids. On the ship, I think guests might be hesitant to let their kids be taken care of during the cruise, and that’s even if the grandmother allows them! I wonder of many of the kid clubs will even be open for service and how many activities are held during the cruise.
Our son is way too young anyway, but we’ll see how the other kids experience a cruise o Quantum of the Seas.
I finally come to dining on the Royal Caribbean cruise ship. A major part of any cruise experience but it won’t be what I’m hoping for! The ship has been altered for the Chinese market, so the burger venue Johnny Rockets which is found on U.S. based ships has been replaced by a noodle venue.
The dining habits of Chinese are different, and I’ve already heard about the Windjammer being completely jammed with no tables available.
Having said all that I’m looking forward to taking advantage of the specialty restaurants and I’m hoping they won’t be crazy busy. Jamies Italian and Chops Grille are on my list to experience.
I’m going to have to cruise on Quantum of the Seas open-minded and keep reminding my self this isn’t the U.S. or European based voyage. Thankfully with my Chinese wife, I know how it works, and we’ll be setting up our daily scheduled to stay away from the busy windjammer, limited time in the dining room and staying away from the shops.