It’s official, in a New Jersey ceremony, Royal Caribbean International‘s Quantum of the Seas was named by godmother Kristin Chenoweth. Docked at Cape Liberty Cruise Port in Bayonne, the third largest cruise ship in the world officially entered service at a gala event featuring a performance of “America the Beautiful” by singer-songwriter Clint Holmes. On board the 5000-passenger ship for inaugural events, several trusted sources brought us all the details of what has been said to be the world’s first smart ship, jam-packed with the latest features.
In New Giant Cruise Ship Dazzles With Innovations, USA Today’s Gene Sloan (@CruiseLog) “tells us the innovations on Quantum go beyond dazzling new deck-top attractions,” which include “a first-of-its-kind-at-sea ride called North Star that takes passengers high above the vessel for bird’s eye view.” That’s in addition to what Sloan tags “gee-wiz attractions” that include RipCord by iFly, normally a land-based wind tunnel used by first-time sky divers to experience simulated free fall and by professional skydivers (including our @SydneyOwen) for practice without the plane. Also on the 1000-foot ship’s top deck, SeaPlex has the first bumper cars and roller skating at sea. Still, as dazzling as those features are, they are not the story here.
The ‘smart ship’ element of Quantum of the Seas, the first in a new class of cruise ships for Royal Caribbean International, seems appropriate. Passengers enjoy faster Internet service that taps new technology to bring more bandwidth for this one ship than all other cruise ships on the planet combined. In advance of boarding, passengers can upload their own identification photo, the one normally taken at embarkation after standing in a line that for all practical purposes has vanished. Like cruise line planners took a trip to Disney World, magic band-like devices (Wow-bands) are issued to passengers that open stateroom doors, pay for things on the ship and more. Photos are all digital now, eliminating wasteful printing then discarding of prints.
“You can’t think quantum without thinking leap and that’s what this ship is,” said Richard Fain, chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd reports CruiseCritic.com’s Dori Salzman in Royal Caribbean Welcomes Quantum of the Seas; Ship Named by Kristin Chenoweth. “With Quantum of the Seas we wanted to create a new paradigm of what cruising would be all about; set new standards that all of us will have to follow in the future: to make the cruise experience so special, so different, so easy that no other vacation could hold a candle to it,” added Fain.
Following along with the festivities socially, some of the best commentary about the new ship could be found on Twitter as Porthole Cruise Magazine’s Fran Golden (@FranGolden) noted “Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas is what you expect but better” and “Quantum feels like a really big W Hotel.” Stewart Chiron (@CruiseGuy) notes “Chairman @RoyalCaribbean speech asks “Remember when cruising used to …” meaning #QuantumoftheSeas is a real gamechanger!”
Designed to attract first-time cruise travelers, Quantum of the Seas is the first of three ships of this class. Anthem of the Seas, and Ovation of the Seas, are expected to be delivered April 2015, and Fall 2016, respectively. Quantum of the Seas will spend its inaugural 2014-2015 season sailing from Cape Liberty in Bayonne, New Jersey, United States, before repositioning to China in May 2015.
Want more information on Quantum of the Seas, check this extensive list of coverage from USA Today’s Gene Sloan (@CruiseLog)
New giant cruise ship arrives in New York
Five things to love about the new Quantum of the Seas
Video: First look at Quantum’s two70 lounge
Love craft beers? This new ship is for you
Video: Michael’s Genuine Pub brings artisanal flavors to sea
Bumper cars on a cruise ship? This one has them
Video: Bumper car fun on a cruise ship
Latest gee-whiz cruise attraction: skydiving
New giant cruise ship sets sail on maiden voyage
Living large: New cruise ship’s swanky mega-suites
Video: The coolness of ‘virtual balconies’ on Quantum of the Seas
Video: The epic mega-suites of Quantum of the Seas
Photos: Inside the super suites on Quantum of the Seas
First look: Inside the year’s hottest new cruise ship
Photos: Inside our exclusive first ride on North Star
Video: Jamie Oliver brings ‘neighborhood Italian’ to Quantum
Robot bartenders? This cruise ship has them
Video: Quantum’s Bionic Bar mixes perfect drinks
Video: Time-lapse view as Quantum of the Sea sets sail
Video: Soaring on Quantum’s skydiving ride
Video: Watch Quantum’s Bionic Bar mix a drink
Photos: First look at Quantum of the Seas
Video: Experience Quantum’s North Star in 60 seconds
Exclusive: Inside the hottest new ride at sea
Video: Quantum’s North Star gives sky-high views