Jump to content
Hoopster95

QUANTUM Dec 1-11, 2014 REVIEW w/lots of photos

Recommended Posts

My DH and I were on the bridge tour with you but, unfortunately, didn't get to meet you. I'm enjoying reliving the cruise via your wonderful review and pics. Thanks for sharing! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The rest of the day was very enjoyable also as we continued to outrun the rain, we never got it! It was lunchtime, and the cost also included an excellent lunch here at this beach... I wish I could remember the name of this town but I can't. If anyone knows, please do post it

 

DSC02220l_zps44516a7f.jpg

 

 

The lunch was chicken or fish, and I'm so glad I got the fish... it was a nice piece of grilled Mahi Mahi done perfectly, a really good lunch. There was a bar there also (not free) but I asked the bartender to make me whatever he wanted that the island was known for. I should've known he was going to pull out the Guavaberry and made me this smoothy. As I walked away from the bar everyone asked me what it was... pretty soon the bartender had a line-up of people ordering Guavaberry smoothies! lol

 

DSC02220o_zpsd1dfc5ed.jpg

 

DSC02220m_zps2b1b317b.jpg

 

 

After lunch we headed to a snorkel site off shore. This was much better than the first site we stopped at this morning but no turtles to be found here. The water was clear and there was more variety of fishes for sure. We had a good 45 minutes available to us here and there's lots to see underwater.

 

DSC02233_zps68871ea5.jpg

 

 

Were getting close to the end of our excursion, so we got back on and Capt Radek made his way around the island as we passed a gorgeous area of the island for the rich & famous with beautiful private homes that look like resorts. And of course what's a trip to St. Maarten without at least a cameo at Maho Beach. Earlier in the day we could see a 747 coming in far in the distance that would've been a thrill to see, so I'm sure someone from the Quantum sailing would've been there... if that's you, please please post it!! I only got to see this... a little turboprop coming in for a landing, and he was way high up compared to most landings I have seen there so not exciting at all.

 

DSC02243_zps61dd16a6.jpg

 

 

Soon after this, we had made our way full circle around the island and back to the marina. As mentioned, without prejudice to the weather we had, this could've been a 10/10 excursion (memorable, one of the best in the Caribbean) in gorgeous sunny & warmer weather, would've been a perfect blend of relaxing in the shade of the boat, full speed throttle several times, excellent snorkelling with clearer water, iguanas, etc. A very nice way to see the whole island in a day. I think kids would have a total ball on this trip. Oh by the way, all the beer/pop/water you wanted was free. Thank you Soualiga.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
My DH and I were on the bridge tour with you but, unfortunately, didn't get to meet you. I'm enjoying reliving the cruise via your wonderful review and pics. Thanks for sharing! :)

 

Ah, were you on day 3 as well? Sean was taking us around? They were really awesome up there weren't they... I thought for sure they'd limit us somewhat to what we were allowed to take pictures of, especially the control room in behind and walking in and out of there. Thank you for your kind words, glad you're enjoying this :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So this was a full day tour... I was off the ship immediately when it was cleared and now I have about 45 min to get back there for "all aboard". No problem, plenty of fellow cruisers were walking the street as well getting back to the pier.

 

DSC02256_zpsa352c77e.jpg

 

DSC02262_zpse361c4e3.jpg

 

 

I went to my cabin to put away my stuff. Here's a hint for you all. Everyone... and I mean everyone!... goes to the immediate close elevators once through the security area. As you know, there's normally 20-30 people any given time waiting for an elevator. Well, all you have to do is cross I-95 (the usual crew pathway) to the same elevators just on the other side. I did that each day at port. No one followed me, I had an elevator to myself ;)

 

So once I dropped my stuff off, I headed top deck to check out sailaway. I suspected the other ships would be leaving before us as well since we had a 6pm departure time. Turns out Connie had just pulled away when I took this panorama

 

DSC02265_zps28d55883.jpg

 

 

Better yet, Northstar was in full motion throughout the day. Now coming in late from shore I had assumed that it would be likely many fellow cruisers getting on board before me would've have gone to the line in order to book a time slot and receive a ticket, thus everything would be booked. But just for the heck of it I went over and checked in... there was maybe a 20min wait!!!! No brainer, I booked it and stood right there and waited the short time to get on

 

DSC02267_zpsf2403111.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was booked after the next ride, but it looks like a couple of people decided to miss their appointment time, so I was asked to go ahead early. Having waited an excruciating 10 min (add sarcasm please lol) instead of 20 minutes, of course I said yes and went on in. For those of you with mobility issues, I took this shot of the exit side of Northstar showing the handicap elevator if you require it. I must admit if I had needed it personally, I would've been extremely mad at missing a chance at Northstar as it was unoperational for most of the cruise I believe.

 

DSC02269_zps548b03de.jpg

 

 

Up we go... there's Connie just having left port 10-15 min ago.

 

DSC02270_zps90c4a3a0.jpg

 

 

And here's a great shot of St. Maarten as we rise up

 

DSC02272_zpsaad6385c.jpg

 

 

I don't know why, but the glare of the glass was way worse for these photos than my previous couple of times up Northstar, perhaps from the sunset or angle of light, I'm not sure. However, this is a good shot looking down on the Adventure

 

DSC02282_zpsec616121.jpg

 

 

And finally another one of my favorite photos of this cruise, just a cool photo imo as Connie sails off into the horizon

 

DSC02287_zps4e8bcbc4.jpg

 

 

It's interesting to note that the activity staff... same staff that run Florider, Seaplex, pool games, etc... run the Northstar! Yep, here are the controls. I don't think pressing that really big red button will ever be a good idea unless you really REALLY have to

 

DSC02288_zpsa7de0823.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ah, were you on day 3 as well? Sean was taking us around? They were really awesome up there weren't they... I thought for sure they'd limit us somewhat to what we were allowed to take pictures of, especially the control room in behind and walking in and out of there. Thank you for your kind words, glad you're enjoying this :)

 

Day 3 it was. Sean was great and having the Captain stop by made a great bridge tour extra special. You were almost in our group for St Kitts with Grey's Tours. I'm looking forward to seeing your pics from that tour too! Wish we'd had a chance to meet and say hello!

Edited by suzyluvs2cruise

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It got dark extremely quickly once I got off Northstar, I would say within about 15 minutes. I made my way to deck 15 aft where those awesome padded chairs and seating area is located just above the Windjammer to watch us pull away.

 

DSC02291_zps47c48e01.jpg

 

 

St Maarten looked beautiful lit up at night, and the Azura & Adventure looked beautiful as well.

 

DSC02295_zps0ce4ee00.jpg

 

 

I had noticed the Adventure was actually moving and sailing away as well. At that same time, the moon began to pop out of the clouds for a couple of beautiful night shots

 

DSC02300_zps9b5fe3d9.jpg

 

DSC02301_zpsd436148c.jpg

 

 

What a gorgeous and rare sailaway! I don't usually get to experience a sailaway at night like that, but I guess in December with the shortest sunlight days of the year that's what you can get.

 

I now wish to review American Icon and likely my worst dining experience of the 11 days. Don't get me wrong... it was not bad at all, but there were several obvious issues. As the other nights in the other free venues, I arrived on time for my appointment at 6:30pm and asked to be seated in a group table. No problem at all and the table filled extremely quickly. Looking around, I would have to say it was 95% full occupancy. Wow, was it ever packed in there, the busiest I had seen any of the venues. Looking over the menu, I had read it before sailing on-line but felt at this time it was lacking somewhat, I felt the items offered were kinda like trying to make Johnnie Rockets into a MDR Dining experience ... chicken wings, burgers, that kind of idea. I also felt sitting there that is was the least refined and least "classy" of the free venues (furniture, ambiance, etc). Just my honest opinion and perception.

 

The waitress came very quickly and wanted us to order very quickly. She was most definitely in a rush and all business tonight, no smiles. Luckily we had the opportunity to look over the menu as the table was being filled and seated, so that was ok. I ordered the chicken wings, lobster Mac&Cheese and Gumbo for entree. Most of us at the table commented at how busy the restaurant was, at all the servers basically jogging in and out of the galley, that our server was no where to be seen and only when the food was being served. The wings were great but super messy, not something I would order again eating with other cruisers. The Mac & Cheese was... well... Mac & Cheese, I thought it would be something more special but it wasn't. The gumbo was very boring, bland, nothing. That's ok, no biggie. Not gross food, but not that great either.

 

When the waitress was clearing plates, I mentioned to her that we noticed her running around and we appreciated her efforts. She stopped in her tracks and thanked me a couple of times. I got the feeling she was getting no credit from anyone, bosses or other tables. To me, I was 100% convinced they had too many tables to deal with and were understaffed that particular night. My desert order came out wrong but I did not want to chance waiting 15min for another, so I had what was delivered... the Grilled Banana Sundae as well as the Coffe & Doughnuts. Being a sweets guy, I was surprised at how underwhelmed I was. For the record, a couple of appies and I think one of the entrees came out wrong as well.

 

So bottom line for me here was that while it wasn't bad, I had better ambiance, food and service in all the other 3 venues I had already eaten at. This was just my experience... I see that many other cruisers loved American Icon the best. Truly goes to show you how subjective food and service is with respect to personal tastes, timing, etc.

 

Tonight's headliner was "Joel Mason", an Elton John impersonator. I had not read the compass about the entertainer and found out about the impersonator when I went to the theater... I cringed

 

DSC02304_zps105b162d.jpg

 

 

But I un-cringed shortly thereafter. This guy did not pretend to be an impersonator at all. While he played all Elton John music, he was a comedian too. What a gas, he had the whole crowd going by the end, very impressive actually. I didn't expect it. So kudos to this guy for putting on this act and making it that good.

 

Tonight I believe was the first shot at Rock-a-Rockie in the Music Hall. I had seen the very first implementation of this on the Independence a few years ago and it was excellent! Bottom line... it's Karaoke but instead of singing with computerized music, the actual band plays live behind you. Superb idea. I do not sing, you definitely don;t want to hear me sing, and you will never hear me sing unless I am utterly drunk!!!!... so I only watched a bit of this before heading to enjoy Boleros for a while as per usual... oh, by the way, the signature drink in Boleros that is not served in other bars is the Coconut Mojito. YUM YUM! Try it

 

Ok, bed time, another early day in mysterious Martinique tomorrow on an RCL excursion so we'll see how that goes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Day 3 it was. Sean was great and having the Captain stop by made a great bridge tour extra special. You were almost in our group for St Kitts with Grey's Tours. I'm looking forward to seeing your pics from that tour too! Wish we'd had a chance to meet and say hello!

 

Ah I remember you guys now! Yes, Thenford Grey's brother (I forget his name) called my name into your group then pulled me away iniot another group instead. Lol. If I miss mentioning something on the Grey's tour, by all means chime in. Who knows, hopefully we'll cross paths again some day :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Was on the cruise following yours, and enjoyed 'revisiting' all of the great scenes aboard the Quantum...

 

One spot that I really enjoyed for the sail-in, in the pre-dawn quietude from the Ambrose pilot station on into Bayonne, was the empty, and dimmed, gym...I found a spot just starboard of center that gave a great forward view, even thru the glass, thanks to the lights dimmed way down.

Had a cup of coffee from the WJ, my scanner tuned to the marine traffic channel, and my binoculars for spectacular views....:cool:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I tried to experience different things on board when I can rather than doing the same thing over and over and over again as so many people seem to do. Sailaway was no different. I had mentioned previously that I was so not impressed with the design of this ship facing forward as far as sitelines and views, but I was determined to try and experience at least one sail-in or sailaway from the forward wings above the bridge, and having previous pics of San Juan both coming and going I know I could chance this sailway. ...

 

 

Hoopster -- thanks so much for taking the time to do this review and put up all the photos (I know how time consuming that is!). We're booked on the Anthem next year, so I've been following this and other Quantum threads. Glad you had a great time!

 

From the deck plans and photos I've seen, it looks like there really is no place where you can be far forward and up high, sort of where the Solarium is (maybe a deck higher) but outside.. Is that correct? That would be disappointing, and I would agree with you not the best design.

 

You've mentioned the "wings." Are those public decks literally over the bridge wings?

 

Thanks again for this thread!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hoopster -- thanks so much for taking the time to do this review and put up all the photos (I know how time consuming that is!).

 

From the deck plans and photos I've seen, it looks like there really is no place where you can be far forward and up high, sort of where the Solarium is (maybe a deck higher) but outside.. Is that correct? That would be disappointing, and I would agree with you not the best design.

 

You've mentioned the "wings." Are those public decks literally over the bridge wings?

 

Thank you... you're welcome, glad you're enjoying the pics and commentary :D You are correct in your statement, no outdoor forward view anywhere unless you're on the wings :mad:

 

Here's a picture of Q blown up to show a close-up of the wing. Note above the bridge there a solo person standing there looking through one of the slots in the glass which is higher than the person

 

DSC02983_zps2be2ce16.jpg

 

 

You get there by going to the very front of the Solarium and turning right or left. Note the next picture... directly below me would be the door out to the wing. Just walk down the center stairs of the Solarium to the front loungers and walk in front of the hot tubs in the walkway between the hot tubs and windows

 

DSC01610_zps07019620.jpg

 

 

You'll find this door leading out to the wings. I noticed the door button right away, but I noticed several cruisers try to open the locked door manually and getting confused that the door would not budge, needs to be opened by pressing the button. There's another button out on the wing in order to open to get back in.

 

DSC01619_zps3dcaf3ea.jpg

 

DSC01620_zpsd1d7d73b.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Was on the cruise following yours, and enjoyed 'revisiting' all of the great scenes aboard the Quantum...

 

One spot that I really enjoyed for the sail-in, in the pre-dawn quietude from the Ambrose pilot station on into Bayonne, was the empty, and dimmed, gym...I found a spot just starboard of center that gave a great forward view, even thru the glass, thanks to the lights dimmed way down.

Had a cup of coffee from the WJ, my scanner tuned to the marine traffic channel, and my binoculars for spectacular views....:cool:

 

Ah... so that puts you at the far side of this picture right beside the elliptical machines just above the exercise balls? ;) Makes total sense as the gym is deck 16 and sits above the wall of the jogging track. I guess you'd be watching a forward view overtop of the Solarium Glass? Did you get a 270 degree view over to the port side as well from this vantage point? Hate to say it, I'm guessing 99.9% of cruisers, me included, wouldn't want to spend a morning sailing into port behind gym windows :p, but this is an interesting spot for sure now that you mentioned it. Thank you.

 

DSC01423_zps6c7c3f1f.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thank you... you're welcome, glad you're enjoying the pics and commentary :D You are correct in your statement, no outdoor forward view anywhere unless you're on the wings :mad:

 

Here's a picture of Q blown up to show a close-up of the wing. Note above the bridge there a solo person standing there looking through one of the slots in the glass which is higher than the person . . .

 

 

 

Thanks for the additional info and the helpful photos. I agree with you, the ship is not well designed in terms of forward-facing views. One of things that's a real negative for me about so many newer builds/big ships is how much they remove the cruiser from the water. I think it started first with cruise lines doing away with true promenade decks. Celebrity's S-class ships are a good example, but at least on those ships you can go all the way forward, outside, on a high deck and have access/views to both sides of the ship and the center. The Quantum doesn't even have that, which to me is a negative in terms of the design of a cruise ship.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was set to wake up early this morning in order to experience sail-in to a port I've never been to. Fort-De-France. As i went up to top deck, I see we were approaching land with Mt Pelee on the left.

 

DSC02324_zpsf06726ff.jpg

 

 

It was still quite early as sail-in was due for 9am. I didn't think we were too close to port yet so today I decided I would try Cafe270 for breakfast for the 1st time. First I had to grab my Macchiato at the CL. Mario wasn't in there this morning, but it did give me the opportunity to take this photo of the large CL with hardly anyone in it

 

DSC02332_zps497f43f8.jpg

 

 

So heading down to deck 5 and into The Via I realized I didn't have the greatest pics of these areas with all the people around on embarkation day. It was somewhat of a ghost town this morning through here so I was able to shoot a bunch of unobstructed photos as I went through. The 6 elevator shafts are to the left and right of the first photo, and here you see the beginning of The Via with "Waves of Light" in the distance.

 

DSC02338_zps5cabf293.jpg

 

DSC02341_zpsa6a39dd1.jpg

 

 

Here we are looking back from where I had stared at the elevators

 

DSC02342_zpse30cfaab.jpg

 

 

The artwork on the sides is really interesting with the top areas being animated constantly changing screens 24/7. I always looked up and all around when walking through here rather than straight ahead

 

DSC02343_zps15bfd8e5.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Making may way through the via, I enter the open square with " Waves of Light" in the center, Jamie's to the right, and the walkway that leads to Two70 to the left passing Vintages

 

DSC02345_zps73564fe0.jpg

 

DSC02346_zpsed2b2d18.jpg

 

 

 

Here's the path leading to Two70. There's lots of different and interesting furniture along the way separated by those white curtains. Up ahead on the left is the very small space for the art center. Cafe Two70 is basically right across from the art center

 

DSC02349_zps2b0adb7a.jpg

 

 

I didn't stop at the Cafe right away as the morning light was beautiful in Two70 this morning so I wanted to take a few pics first. I walked up the stairs to deck 6, and remembered just off to the side of Two70 is "the "Workshop", an arts and crafts center. This is the only time I paid any attention to this space.

 

DSC02350_zps58f719fa.jpg

 

DSC02351_zps662f256f.jpg

 

DSC02352_zps5239ca69.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was able to get some great shots of Two70 from deck 6 this morning and couple from different angles and spots I hadn't seen yet,

 

DSC02355_zps08ff37ed.jpg

 

 

I showed a couple of pictures on a previous day of the Library, but I wish to add this other one I took this morning as I walked through on deck 6 as it clearly shows the only 4 computers available on the whole ship. Definitely the plan for Quantum is for cruisers to have their own personal devices for internet use, not the typical waits and super slow internet at RConline on the rest of the fleet.

 

DSC02360_zpsd1e9ca5c.jpg

 

 

Another beautiful look at Two70 from above just after passing through the library, and just past this point a little used staircase leading down into Two70 behind the bar.

 

DSC02362_zpsf6e077b2.jpg

 

DSC02363_zpsfaa403f2.jpg

 

 

Here you get really good perspective at truly how tall the windows are. Keep in mind the images of the shows I've already posted (and will post more) with respect to the images on these same windows at night!

 

DSC02364_zpsa2725b42.jpg

 

 

And the bar itself at the bottom of the stairs

 

DSC02366_zps21b6048a.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok... I'm hungry now! I took a few more photos of some of the artwork and rear areas of Two70, then headed to get some food

 

DSC02368_zps3d63c8fc.jpg

 

 

This is almost a carbon copy of Park Cafe on the other classes of ships, except more expansive and a few more selections. You'll find the usual favorites here including the Royal egg muffin, breakfast burrito, fruit and yogurt cups, and made to order bagels with various cream cheeses and toppings

 

DSC02370_zps1e50a365.jpg

 

DSC02371_zpse90e9885.jpg

 

DSC02372_zps5e34abd2.jpg

 

DSC02375_zps07fbc7af.jpg

 

 

Mmmmm.... smoked salmon on cream cheese bagel w/tomato, onion and capers, and a Royal Muffin too and some OJ. That hit the spot!

 

DSC02377_zps7509eea2.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had realized before heading for food that perhaps we were closer to the pier than I had first thought we would be, and it seemed early. Nonetheless I had an RCL excursion booked this morning, so deciding to get breakfast and get ready for the day rather than rush up to top deck without breakfast, then an excursion with no breakfast, would not be a good option for me.

 

I feel it's important to show you the amazing view outside that Two70 gives you in person that a camera cannot duplicate. You've seen all my previous photos of Two70, but the lighting of the photography washes out any view to the outside. As I'm eating breakfast at a table up at the Cafe Two70, I took the following 2 pictures with different camera settings. With your human eye, you get to see both at the same time that a camera doesn't pick up. What an awesome view Two70 provides when close to land!

 

DSC02380_zps27954ed3.jpg

 

DSC02381_zps7207ad0b.jpg

 

 

As I ate breakfast, I realized I would be enjoying a new sail-in experience to a new port from an inside venue rather than my normal outside top deck routine. So I finished off breakfast and headed down towards the big windows to get a closer look of the pier and our sail-in

 

DSC02382_zps67ecf575.jpg

 

DSC02384_zpse6dd9808.jpg

 

 

I spent some time here chilling out on one of the big comfy chairs against the windows enjoying Q finishing it's spin and backing up to the pier

 

DSC02386_zpsf523430a.jpg

 

 

And now we have come to a standstill and docking. Leaving Two70 I took this shot looking back at Two70 with my back almost against the rear windows, a perspective I hadn't seen photo'd yet.

 

DSC02397_zps6a24a6a9.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The ship hadn't been cleared yet. It was still about a 1/2 hour before we were due to be cleared at 9am, and with my excursion time of 9:30 out on the pier, I still had plenty of time, so I decided to get some more detailed photos of both Vintages and Jamie's while I was passing through. First Vintages.

 

DSC02421_zps36b30906.jpg

 

DSC02419_zps546107fb.jpg

 

 

This is a very nice venue. I personally did not spend any time here so I don't have much to say about it other than it was not used very much the many times I walked by. I noticed it has a very cool wine dispensing area at the back.

 

DSC02418_zpseafeee58.jpg

 

DSC02414_zps0032aa9d.jpg

 

DSC02415_zps253e6943.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Having dined for lunch at Jamie's a couple of days before, I hadn't taken any decent photos at all of this area either, especially as I wouldn't want to intrude on other cruiser's dining while taking any pictures, so this was my chance with the venue totally empty in the morning

 

DSC02402_zpsc50b76e2.jpg

 

DSC02405_zpse0f2c70f.jpg

 

 

As mentioned on Day 4 during lunch, Jamie's is totally different than Portofino's or Giovanni's on the other ships in that it's extremely casual in nature rather than "classy"... I don't know how else to explain it. As mentioned before lot's of stainless steel and wood, wood tables and very basic furniture. waiter's in jeans and half-ties much more casual feeling than Giovanni's.

 

DSC02407_zps53fa6a22.jpg

 

DSC02408_zpsa2701d06.jpg

 

DSC02409_zpse0601d46.jpg

 

 

And here are the "outside" tables that are slightly outside of the restaurant and more into The Via area immediately across "Waves of Light". When looking at people eating here on these tables each night, I got the feeling I was walking through a mall or an airport rather than this beautiful cruise ship, this was the only negative feeling I had with any of the interior spaces on the ship. I think they were trying to replicate the outside seating of Giovanni's on Oasis but it just cannot compare to the Central Park and outside feel.

 

DSC02411_zps9158b60b.jpg

 

 

(I'll finish up Martinique tomorrow .... stay tuned)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wish to comment on Andrea's review I've been following without hijacking her thread

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2137662

 

It seems that a few others have hijacked it on several occasions to push their own personal views which is unfortunate. It just dawned on me as I read her last couple of paragraphs regarding having fun dancing, husband letting loose, etc... I hung out with fun and active people. The fun and active people I know from the ship who have posted on CC (I know a few handles) loved the ship, the new entertainment and most everything else. Easily there are other problems, but overall huge positive for me and them.

 

I feel this ship is made for fun and activities. I suspect when I'm older, less active, mobility/medical issues, maybe I wouldn't like Quantum either. I too might want (and need!!) stability, the "same old same old" every night. It's comforting. This ship is such a MASSIVE change, it's not the RCL we know at all. I was clear that I did not feel home at all until about 3 days in.

 

Quantum IS NOT even close to the same RCL we all know and love... they could've branded the ship "ACME cruises" and you wouldn't have known any better, it's so different. If you expected the same RCL brand when booking Quantum, there's no way you could not have been hugely disappointed. If you love fun, ultra entertainment, tons of activities, and especially you embrace something new, then you would've loved this ship.

 

Just my 2 cents. Thanks you Andrea :)

Edited by Hoopster95

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

AWESOME review!!! I was also on this cruise, and this is bringing back wonderful memories! My dad is even in your bumper cars picture :p Thanks for posting!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great Photos Hoopster 95. We agree with your assessment of Jamie's.

We met you at the Grande on the second night of sailing. I am Big Al

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Great Photos Hoopster 95. We agree with your assessment of Jamie's.

We met you at the Grande on the second night of sailing. I am Big Al

 

Hey hey Big Al :D:D lol. How the heck are you?? Great to hear from you :) It was really nice meeting and seeing you & Rowena around the ship it seems daily after that. Hope we cross paths again some day. You two are really good people. Wasn't that Jersey couple we sat with "interesting"? :rolleyes:

 

Are you comparing the dinner that night I saw you two eating at Jamie's to your experiences at Giovanni's on other ships? You were sitting on those outside tables... I'm guessing you thought it was "airport'ish" also? While I liked Jamie's for a change and it was pretty good, I would choose Giovanni's 9 out of 10 times going forward if I had the choice. I feel on the other ships I could easily do Giovanni's 2-3 nights and be totally satisfied, not bored. Jamie's?.... once and that's all you need, you're done imho.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I wish to comment on Andrea's review I've been following without hijacking her thread

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2137662

 

It seems that a few others have hijacked it on several occasions to push their own personal views which is unfortunate. It just dawned on me as I read her last couple of paragraphs regarding having fun dancing, husband letting loose, etc... I hung out with fun and active people. The fun and active people I know from the ship who have posted on CC (I know a few handles) loved the ship, the new entertainment and most everything else. Easily there are other problems, but overall huge positive for me and them.

 

I feel this ship is made for fun and activities. I suspect when I'm older, less active, mobility/medical issues, maybe I wouldn't like Quantum either. I too might want (and need!!) stability, the "same old same old" every night. It's comforting. This ship is such a MASSIVE change, it's not the RCL we know at all. I was clear that I did not feel home at all until about 3 days in.

 

Quantum IS NOT even close to the same RCL we all know and love... they could've branded the ship "ACME cruises" and you wouldn't have known any better, it's so different. If you expected the same RCL brand when booking Quantum, there's no way you could not have been hugely disappointed. If you love fun, ultra entertainment, tons of activities, and especially you embrace something new, then you would've loved this ship.

 

Just my 2 cents. Thanks you Andrea :)

Hoopster I am enjoying your review as well. Feel free to hijack away. I have tons of pics but just can't figure out how to upload. I am enjoying your pics makes me feel like I am back on board. I never came home from vacation so relaxed. It was the greatest vacation ever for us!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
AWESOME review!!! I was also on this cruise, and this is bringing back wonderful memories! My dad is even in your bumper cars picture :p Thanks for posting!!

 

 

Lol! Did I hit him? :cool::p

 

I had a really good rivalry going on with a few guys on several of my bumper car episodes, so much so on the last ride (I think day 10) there were a group of other cruisers I had a meal with and also rode with on a previous day we started bantering at each other in line quite loudly. Every once in a while there was a spare bumper car available to a solo, and when this group got to the front they were begging the attendant to have a solo for me so I can get on the floor with them as I was back in the line. Sure enough, I got my solo call up! LOL. You should've heard us. We went after each other big time on the floor, they were ganging up on me. We were yelling at each across the floor and telling other bumper car drivers to get out of our way as we went head on several times. I got airborne a couple of times on those head ons! What a hoot... I know a bunch of people in the line were laughing at us, I think we had provided the entertainment there for about 5 min that day :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Before getting off the ship I took some photography top deck of the city and docking area. Here's one for you

 

DSC02429_zps358ceeef.jpg

 

I went down to the gangway in order to get off the ship and meet our tour group on the pier.

 

DSC02434_zpse651b132.jpg

 

DSC02436_zpsdee47cb5.jpg

 

Having researched Martinique quite a bit to find any private tours at all in English, I realized very quickly by the lack of info on the web and the various negative reviews of several tours, that likely this would be best to book through RCL and have an English speaking tour guaranteed. I chose the St. Pierre excursion.

 

Our group gathered at the bus and began our journey. The port area where the buses and taxis are is appalling compared to all other ports I've been to. It looks more like an area for trades/commercial vehicles than a cruise port, lot's of gravel, no landscaping at all, and a seemingly chicken wire fence as the perimeter security. The "security" hut as you exited the one-way entrance/exit is basically a tent with a guy standing there not really doing much. Interesting.

 

We first made our way through town, with some narration of the city. I have a few pictures but they are underwhelming. Not that I need to be impressed, but I thought the town itself did not show well. We made it out to the highway... our first stop to be Balata Church "with panoramic vistas of Fort de France and its bay from this replica of Paris' Sacred Heart Basilica."

 

DSC02450_zps359675e5.jpg

 

 

I am spoiled... I just came from Rome/Venice/Malta with some of the most amazing cathedrals known to man, so I was underwhelmed here. It was a nice stop, and the view was nice too, but it certainly was not spectacular so the description on-line was embellished. This is 1/10th the size of the actual cathedral in France.

 

DSC02453_zps42a5296a.jpg

 

DSC02455_zps3a168318.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't do excursions for distilleries... in fact, I consider them a waste of time and filler to make an excursion longer. But I have to say I enjoyed our short time at the Depaz Rum Distillery here just outside of St. Pierre and at the foot of Mt. Pelee.

 

DSC02479_zps169cbdf3.jpg

 

 

The grounds are beautiful with a great view up to Mt. Pelee from the edge of the mansion perimeter (they call it castle). There was no access to the castle past that point as it is still used as the private residence. The distillery is set up very well for tours with a clearly marked path with signage and descriptions of the equipment as you go through. It was quite busy when we were there, so it was popular.

 

DSC02483_zps8c57c4cf.jpg

 

DSC02481_zps16e9ab47.jpg

 

DSC02489_zps21cbf6fe.jpg

 

 

Getting through all the areas of the distilling process from start to finish, you get into the commercial area and store. I can tell you the line-up at the check-out counter was at least 15 minutes long and the store was extremely busy.

 

I can also tell you as a rum fan (Capt. Morgan is my favorite) that this was one of the best rums I have ever tasted. If someone knows better than me, please correct me here, but if I remember correctly this is the last of the rum distilleries in the Carribean still using pure cane sugar to produce their rum (not corn syrup, or other filler). Totally smooth and delicious.

 

DSC02497_zpse0e1c08c.jpg

 

 

We were able to taste test a couple. I tried the dark rum obviously and a white coconut rum... awesome! For the first time I can remember, I actually decided I wanted to buy liquor during an excursion rather than at duty free on the way home. There was a large display close to the checkout counter that showed a beautiful shaped bottle that I thought would look excellent on my bar, so I picked up one of the 50 or so boxes right beside it with the label 22 euro. I got to the check out counter... they spoke very little english. So I showed them the box and showed them the picture I took of the specialty bottle. The lady said no, took my box and came back with a much larger box. She showed me the bottle in it. I said how much. She said $220!!!!!!! {GASP!} I waved her off as a no and said I would take the 22euro bottle that I was already buying as it was the dark rum anyways, just not a reserve and specialty bottle.

 

DSC02502_zpsb5518157.jpg

 

 

Above is a good picture of the white rum clearly showing their trademark labelling.

 

Of note when I got on the bus to look at my bottle of rum, I was immediately confused by the box. I looked better at the label and in the smaller fine print it said 3L (3 litres). It didn't dawn on me right away, and I tried to open the box thinking I had a 750ml or 1L bottle in there. It finally dawned on me as I looked at the perforations on the side of the box... it was like boxed wine where you pull out a spout!!! There was no bottle inside, it was ALL rum! Lol, that's why it was so heavy hahaha! Well, I did sweat through the airport after packing this box in my luggage all the way home, but it made it home now sits proudly on my bar

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

St Pierre was a disappointment. On our way through the town I remember stopping in traffic and seeing a kid on a bike look up at the bus, snarl (yes seriously, curl his lip) and give us the finger. I did not get a warm and fuzzy from anyone on this island at all and I'm quite a happy go lucky guy. I read on another review that a cruiser had great luck with friendly people right in Fort De France in the shops close to the ships, with most taking US currency, so perhaps the cruise port area is better for friendliness (funny how $$$ does that).

 

We stopped at the St. Pierre museum which was basically a small building about 80ft by 30ft, about the same size and look of a burger joint at the beach for example. You were not allowed pictures inside... there was nothing there I feel would be damaged unlike the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican. It was unfortunate as now I have no memories of the museum and some of the artifacts. I did get this shot just behind the "museum" of the shoreline.

 

DSC02514_zpsb3426b7c.jpg

 

 

You can google Mt. Pelee and the description it's famous massive volcanic eruption in 1902 which killed 30,000 people in St. Pierre and destroyed the city. Lava did not do the destruction... it was the 420mph surge of super heated 1000 degree farenheit gases that flattened the city and killed most everyone.

 

Obviously there is very little left to see as far as remnant ruins

 

DSC02516_zpsdf7475d1.jpg

 

 

The main set of ruins left intact is the theatre and jail, which were positioned side by side on the main street. Here are a couple of pictures from the theatre

 

DSC02522_zps5d92a64a.jpg

 

DSC02527_zpsdb71128c.jpg

 

 

Next door to the theatre, you can look down onto the remnants of the jail. It was here that one of the two survivors of this event actually made it. The dungeonous cell below is where Louis-Auguste Cyparis, a felon held in this underground cell in the town's jail for wounding a friend with a cutlass, survived this ordeal.

 

DSC02531_zps752e3f60.jpg

 

 

We finished up this site and headed back to our final spot, a viewpoint you see on many travel websites looking back at St. Pierre and Mt Pelee in the background. Thankfully, at this very moment the clouds cleared away from the peak for the first time.

 

DSC02545_zpsadbebeb8.jpg

 

 

As a summery for this excursion I rate the guide a 8/10... engaging and quite good, she did her best for sure. The value of the excursion for what you get barely acceptable 6/10. The museum and St. Pierre a fail at 5/10. The locals could do so much more to accept curious and interested visitors to this country, to learn the history and tribulations of the people, but they barely do anything at all in that respect. There was nothing to buy in St. Pierre, there was no where to walk around and explore, there was just nothing. Very disappointing as I was looking forward to seeing the history of St. Pierre.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We arrived back to the pier very early... something like 1:30pm (all aboard not until 6pm). I decided it was way too early to get back on board, and since I may never be back here again, I should walk around a little bit. Making your way from the ship, through the local pier shops and along the promenade along the park, you get some great views back of Q

 

DSC02561_zps06a41e32.jpg

 

DSC02554_zpsa1ec9d59.jpg

 

 

The town itself, as I have felt the entire day, is just ok. You'd figure on a Saturday with the first time a shiop of this size with 4,000 passengers docked here, you have major tourist sites that are advertised in local maps actually open for viewing, but the cathedral was locked up tight.

 

DSC02558_zps514592c9.jpg

 

 

And take a look at the picture of the street below... how many closed shops do you see? How many open? With the largest ever set of tourists from one ship in town ever?

 

DSC02559_zpsf0198302.jpg

 

 

I made my way back to the park and towards the fort, took a few more pictures and decided I had enough and made my way back. Fellow cruiser friends did a DIY to the beaches of Pointe du Bout and L'Anse Mitan across the Bay. These ferries are very close to the Quantum pier, here's a picture for reference.

 

DSC02567_zps047bcb73.jpg

 

DSC02568_zpscd123b4b.jpg

 

 

They told me that the beaches were more "european-like", very thin, very little sand and rocky, so not much beach at all. They walked around the resorts a bit and came back very early.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Heading back to the ship I saw an interesting site.... look closely below at the black specs on top of Two70 on the outside of the ship.

 

DSC02569_zpsc389b8dc.jpg

 

 

Wow!!! Those better be mandatory safety lines hanging off of these guys. Climbing both down and up that ladder would be interesting I would think.

 

DSC02570_zps1b4756cb.jpg

 

DSC02572_zpsb5ad4e70.jpg

 

 

I luckily stumbled upon my friends Gert and Al whom I first met 3 years ago on the Adventure TA San Juan to Malaga. They're the ones who told me about the ferries and beaches. We had a little chat about it. At that time I also luckily stumbled upon my pals Noelle and Stan! They were heading to JR's for a late lunch, so I thought what the heck, I'll join in. Opening time in port for JR's is 3pm... a couple minutes to 3 and we were there. The first few times I ever walked by the place was a ghost town, but today I couldn't believe it there was a line-up.

 

DSC02575_zpsf735614e.jpg

 

 

The clerk takes your order and hands you this beeper, about a 10-15min wait with all these people in front of me.

 

DSC02576_zps0f4db810.jpg

 

 

The Smokehouse and o-rings were as good as any other ship, but I admit I do miss the line-dancing and fun of selecting music from the juke box on the other ships, this just isn't the same. Food quality was exactly the same. Also sitting beside us were friends Beth & Judy (Silk & IFly fame) so it was a nice lunch with everyone around. I also bought the 2 for 1 shakes, 1 vanilla & 1 chocolate... they are about 50% smaller than what they used to be, so 2 for 1 is really no longer true compared to the old cup sizes! Plus shakes are now a ridiculous $5 each... hey, they have to pay for all those 2 for 1 BOGO's somehow, yes?

 

DSC02577_zpsbd16b57d.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Lol! Did I hit him? :cool::p

 

 

 

Lol good question....I wasn't there with him this time, my daughter was. I was quite comfortable in a hot tub! Hehehe! And as I read on, I noticed I'm in your Schooner Bar pic! Too funny! Despite our "interesting" last 5 days of the cruise, I am already craving another one!! :)

 

 

 

***Christie***

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There was not much going on before sailaway around the ship after JR's and before my dinner booking at The Grande, so I committed to Stan & Noelle, who are nightly regulars at the CL, that I would make my first appearance up there. So I made my way to my cabin to change and found this waiting for me

 

DSC02579_zps1fd75745.jpg

 

 

Ah yes, the coveted Quantum crystal block I was waiting for!!! Thank you RCL :)

 

I headed up to the CL and I really enjoyed myself up there. From this evening on I tried to make it a nightly visit, even if it was short due to dinner bookings. I have to say it was PACKED, we stood for a while until chairs/tables cleared as people headed for dinner. I was told it's even worse earlier as there was standing room even before the 5pm happy hour with people reserving seats & tables :rolleyes:.... sigh.

 

I got to enjoy my time up there but was also looking forward to my second visit to The Grande. As with the previous visit, I was seated in a group table. I was the first there... it took a good 20min for the table to fill. Both the waiter and Maitre'D came over every two minutes or so to ask if I was ok, kinda babysit me. I was totally fine. The table filled and we began. Tonight I had the always good escargot and the lamb... very very good lamb shank!! Service was perfect, food was perfect, got outta there in less than two hours. For reference the venue when we left was about 90% capacity. This meal solidified my thought that I liked this restaurant the best... and I can say everyone was dressed very nicely, I would say at least 50% truly formal and the rest jacket and tie (very very few men without tie, just a handful).

 

I was not booked for a show or anything, so tonight was a free-style night... just go with the flow and do what I want! So I changed out of my formals and had some visits to Boleros and other venues until "Groovy Town" started at 10:30. Groovy Town in the Music Hall is the new 70's night. There was no Macho Man group but there was a Jackson 5 ensemble. The music lasted much longer and the staff/crew were much more interactive with dancing and so forth on the floor. This was a really fun night! I can't remember how late I stayed, but I didn't close the place down as there were many cruisers there when I left for bed. I believe it was around 1am as I had to set my alarm for our 8am arrival to Barbados... haven't been here for about 8 years so really looking forward to this stop!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just found my Groovy Town pics! I thought I was going mad, but just now I was about to load up some Barbados photos to Photobucket and see that I misplaced the Groovy Town pics into the Barbados folder in error. Of course these being night shots and moving around on the dance floor, they are not the greatest, but you'll get the idea of the various costumes and the activity staff participation.

 

DSC02601_zps648f1931.jpg

 

DSC02611_zpsef1fdb4d.jpg

 

DSC02612_zpsf750babd.jpg

 

DSC02614_zps701b0cb1.jpg

 

 

I must also give some kudos to the house band "Horizons". They rocked all week

 

DSC02615_zpsb01f2fed.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow really great review so far. We're considering the 'Anthem' so this gives us a good idea what we could expect. Its definitely much more elegant and stylish compared to the Carnival we're used to.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ah... so that puts you at the far side of this picture right beside the elliptical machines just above the exercise balls? ;) Makes total sense as the gym is deck 16 and sits above the wall of the jogging track. I guess you'd be watching a forward view overtop of the Solarium Glass? Did you get a 270 degree view over to the port side as well from this vantage point? Hate to say it, I'm guessing 99.9% of cruisers, me included, wouldn't want to spend a morning sailing into port behind gym windows :p, but this is an interesting spot for sure now that you mentioned it. Thank you.

 

DSC01423_zps6c7c3f1f.jpg

 

I believe I was either there or just over to the left edge of your photo...IIRC, if you stood dead center, there was some obstruction to block your view. If you were in the area a few steps elevated, you could see somewhat across to the port side, and since the area was empty at that hour, you could freely move side to side to see everything.

While being topside is better for viewing, it is just a wee bit chilly sailing into New York at that hour...after a while, you feel like an icicle, so being inside has its advantage. The seats below in the solarium are more comfortable, but there is too much glare from the lights to effectively see in the pre-dawn.:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Happy Xmas eve from the west coast everyone!

 

I'm going to try and get day 7 Barbados done now before my Xmas eve and Christmas really gets going, so bare with me if I don't quite finish this today....

 

Barbados was an early arrival. Having had a late night, I wasn't planning on getting up at 6am for sail-in. 7am and the wake-up call comes through. Turning on my virtual balcony I see we're in port already so no need to go crazy getting ready as I missed sail-in already anyways. So today I went back to an old(er) routine... Windjammer for breakfast with a fully loaded omelette and a nice bowl of muesli with all the toppings (shaved pecans, fruit and even chocolate sauce...yum!).

 

DSC02619_zps73729a2a.jpg

 

 

Today I had booked a private full day tour with Glory Tours. It included an island tour with Harrison's Caves, Rainforest/monkies, Wildlife reserve visit and a beach break with optional turtle snorkel. If you look at the photo above, you see that other ship docked on the right? That's where you have to walk to (about 15-20min) or take one of the shuttles easily fo about 3 minutes. These shuttles take you to the edge of the port, but not out the gates. I had to go out the gates to meet the private tour, but it was extremely easy to find, just like their website and email said. Very reliable. We met in that center island in the middle, they were there with a big sign very clearly seen as you exited the main gate. There were a couple of other tour guides there as well.

 

DSC02620_zpsf1df6d11.jpg

 

 

Our first stop was Harrison's Caves.

 

DSC02630_zpsb57860bf.jpg

 

 

I had never been before. It's very nice, but no need to go back a second time unless it's many years from now. Quite interesting though and beautiful, my pictures do not do it justice in that darkness and weird lighting. This first photo isn;t the clearest, but I included it to show you the dimensions/heigjht of the caves with respect to the tram that travels down there. It's a 4 car tram, Disneyland-like, that pulls you along with a live narrator.

 

DSC02699_zps716bc2a8.jpg

 

 

In person, some of the formations are simply gorgeous

 

DSC02656_zpsa7ce40a1.jpg

 

DSC02651_zps81afd342.jpg

 

 

All in all a very nice hour or so visit. There's an introductory area in there that gives history of the formations of the caves before the tram ride, as well as a really nice gully/gardens area outside before exiting a park. A really nice start to this day

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The tour also included a nice drive inland and through to the Atlantic Coast to familiarize with some other parts of the island. There were no stops, but it wasn't long (maybe 20min) of passing by a few sites before we reached a park at the coast. We did not have the time to go swimming or hang out at the beach here, but this would be a perfect and extremely quiet/secluded beach to hang out at if you were to visit Barbados sometime. We got to dip our toes into the Atlantic but it was tome to get back onto the bus within about 15min here

 

DSC02722_zps40167718.jpg

 

DSC02726_zps3ffb908e.jpg

 

DSC02728_zps4cf41d88.jpg

 

 

It was time to head off, but not before our guide introduced us to a fruit called sour berries (I think). They were awful! I tried one and almost needed to spit it out. As I entered the bus, I really had no where to throw them out so I held them in my hand... turns out they came in really handy 15 min later when we arrived at our next stop :D

 

DSC02729_zps23acd762.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We arrived to a natural park that I did not get a picture of any signage or the name unfortunately, but it is within their rain forest area of the island. There's supposedly a ton of wild monkeys around the island predominantly in the forested areas.

 

DSC02732_zps9f68661e.jpg

 

 

Well, these little guys are not very wild at all! Obviously being constantly fed by visitors and the like, they'll come right up to you and grab food out of your hand. They won't climb pr touch you though (not like my awesome pica from Roatan in my NOS review).

 

DSC02736_zpse0ce3cc0.jpg

 

 

At least 3 of the shots below were captured while I was taking video, so I got some good interaction with this particular guy. There were at least 20-25 hanging around with this guy being the most active at the tome jumping through the trees and bushes

 

DSC02741_zps7180c08d.jpg

 

DSC02745_zpsb2fdf33c.jpg

 

DSC02744_zps3ba717c6.jpg

 

DSC02743_zps58f1dbb3.jpg

 

 

We got about a 1/2 hour here and then it was off to the Wildllilfe reserve not too far away at all from this spot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Explore the Night. Sweepstakes - Enter now for a chance to win win a free cruise for two with Azamara Club Cruises!
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Community Contests
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×