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Spectrum of the Seas Gold (and Silver) Class from Shanghai


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Hi Everyone,

 

We are currently on Spectrum of The Seas in two Gold Class suites.

 

I found it very hard to get information on this before the cruise so thought I would post some thoughts here.

 

The rooms are beautiful. We have stayed in suites on the Harmony and Symphony, but the decor is much more modern, in particular the bathrooms really seem like land based bathrooms and not ship bathrooms.

 

Our last two cruises have been in Star Class, which I love. Gold Suite Class definitely does not have the same level of perks and attention, although it appears to be a bit cheaper, it is hard to compare as clearly I cannot do a like for like comparison. There is no free wifi, mini bar etc as in Star Class, perks are more like being in a suite on the smaller ships.

 

This is very different to any other cruise that we have been on. The Chinese do not appear to be big drinkers and do not appear to stay up late. They are still enjoying themselves and seem perfectly nice, just in a different way. TBH as my family do not drink and tend not to stay up late on cruises this is not a big issue for us, some other people may find the bars and clubs a little quiet for their liking late at night. Last night at around 9pm the Royal Esplanade was way quieter than on other ships, the specialty restaurants also appeared pretty quiet although I just looked in passing. The silent disco and Chinese karaoke, however, seemed quite popular.

 

The Windjammer is smaller on this ship due to the Hot Pot restaurant and seems by far the most popular destination to eat. Thus there are often massive queues to get in there at lunchtime and breakfast and it is extremely busy. However, other venues such as the main dining room for breakfast and Cafe 270 are much quieter. I did ask the crew why they do not try to direct people to other places and they said they have not been able to, the queue means that people think they must be missing out on something. I noted that I was directed to a quieter restaurant one lunch time by a crew member who did not offer the same advice to the Chinese passengers.

 

The Silver area is open to suite passengers as well as Diamond and above I believe. This includes the whole solarium as well as a lounge and dining area. The solarium seems barely used and it seems a waste to have so few people in this lovely space. The lounge is small and again seems quite quiet. We have enjoyed the Silver Dining Area. It serves a buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Food is a little better than the Windjammer and it is much quieter and more relaxing. Strangely the lounge does not have a fixed bar, they wheel one in for happy hour at night. Service is absolutely fantastic and the crew could not be more helpful.

 

The Gold area is a small dining room and lounge as well as the Balcony area at the front of the ship. The dining room is similar to Coastal Kitchen with a table service breakfast, lunch and dinner. Food is OK, except the desserts which are very good, but again service is excellent. The lounge area is very small and oddly placed. I have barely seen anyone use it, people seem to prefer the Silver Lounge. The Balcony is partly open and right at the front of the ship, this makes it very windy when we are moving and on the last few days wet, again it seems to hardly be used.

 

We have eaten in Chops and Teppanyaki. Chops was mildly disappointing food wise. The fries were cold and soggy and quality of the steak was so so. Service was again good. The Teppanyaki has a better layout than on other ships with more smaller stations, it is always one of my favourite meals and we were absolutely stuffed. Again service cannot be faulted. In general the food has been a little bland and under seasoned despite the enthusiasm of the staff.

 

I have heard about improvements to the pizza recently on other ships. The Sorrento's pizza here is by far the best I have had on any cruise. Sorrento's is oddly placed next to the Windjammer on this ship.

 

I think there are 4 concierges on board. They are very friendly and helpful, somewhere between a genie and a normal concierge.

 

Emabarkation was slower than at other ports due to a lot of paperwork and data gathering.

 

We stopped in Nagasaki yesterday. It was very moving indeed and I would recommend anyone to visit there.

 

We have rooms 15140 a Crown Loft Suite and 15544 an Owners' Suite. My wife loves the loft suite and says it is the best room that we have had. It is the first time we have ever had a cabin with a wooden (actually seems like Amtico or similar) floor. Our last 2 cruises were in a 2 bed aqua suite on the Symphony and the 4 bed presidential/family suite on the Harmony. The decor is nicer here, but personally I do not like the bedroom being open to the lounge. Our daughter tried to watch TV on the first night and it was too loud for us to ignore in the bedroom. The Owners' suite has a lovely lounge area which is probably better suited to a lot of people hanging out to watch a movie.

 

We were offered a RoyalUp bid on the Ultimate Family Suite. I bid $2520 for 5 days as I felt we only have 5 people altogether and it is a short cruise. I might have bid more for a larger group. We did not get it. I am very suspicious that in fact they were data gathering and it was never available. It was never listed as available and normally the largest suites are booked up well ahead. I would have liked to have seen it, but considering the amount of time we have spent in the rooms, I don't think we would have got much value out of it.

 

If I had to make any recommendation to someone cruising out of Shanghai on The Spectrum it would be to go Silver Suite Class at least to not have to deal with the Windjammer which is quite unpleasant. I don't think Gold Class offers much extra although the very attentive service may partly be due to us being in Gold Suite Class.

 

A note on allergies. We have a couple of food allergies on the cruise. I emailed ahead and staff have been fantastic in knowing about them already when we get to the restaurants and trying to accommodate which is great. However, allergens are not marked on the menus anywhere. Indeed the bottom of some menus gives the symbols which are then not used.

 

Teppanyaki 

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CLS bedroom

 

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Solarium

 

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OS Lounge

 

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The Balcony

 

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CLS Lounge

 

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CLS downstairs bathroom

 

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CLS bedroom

 

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Gold Lounge

 

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CLS downstairs bathroom

 

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OS bedroom

 

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OS Lounge

 

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Solarium

 

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CLS upstairs shower, fantastic!

 

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CLS lounge

 

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Gold Dining Room

 

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OS Bathroom

 

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CLS

 

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CLS dressing area

 

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OS Bathroom

 

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CLS downstairs bathroom

 

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Edited by alistairg
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Very informative post.  I've been curious about changes in China and Spectrum specifically.

 

I've read elsewhere everything on board is still $USD.  How has Voom been?  Fast like O3b ships in the West?  

 

Other reviews have mentioned early bedtimes, low bar utilization and cheap drink cards - much less compared to North America, Australia or Europe.

 

It seems that they have unbundled a lot of things.  A lower base fare is offered but a lot things like iFly and North Star cost extra.  From what staff on Ovation told me that model works better in Asia.  Does that sound right or bad information?

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Everything is still in USD on board.

 

Northstar $20pp(Free for Gold Suite Class)

iFly$29pp

Sky Pad $15pp

Personally we don't make much use of these things anyway.

 

I just ran Speedtest and got 2.66Mbps download and 4.00 upload speed. It has been very good.

Edited by alistairg
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On 10/25/2019 at 1:51 AM, twangster said:

It seems that they have unbundled a lot of things.  A lower base fare is offered but a lot things like iFly and North Star cost extra.  From what staff on Ovation told me that model works better in Asia.  Does that sound right or bad information?

 

It makes the things also more exclusive and if one does it you will have all the others follow because they don't want to miss out, also a very Chinese thing.

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Great review. We are booked on The Spectrum cruising to Taiwan from HK in Jan 2021. 
 

looking forward to it. From what I have been reading it will be a different experience to the multiple cruises we have been on from Sydney. 
 

 

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Just a few more comments now that we are on our way home. 
 

Disembarking does not begin until one hour after the listed arrival time. We actually arrived at the airport after our flight home had closed due to this but we still got on the flight. Immigration in Shanghai is very slow. You need a visa or transit without visa just to make the trip from the ship to the airport and they have exit immigration so we actually went through immigration four times in Shanghai.
 

The staff were extremely friendly and I think this was the best service we have ever had. For example staff went to other restaurants to get different food and were always willing to chat and help. There were few English speakers on board which may have helped.


Food quality was disappointing especially as we were supposed to be in the top level gold dining room. For example they used some kind of tasteless fake maple syrup and served a special afternoon tea with cool whip instead of cream. American style crispy bacon, which I am not a fan of anyway, was disgusting and greasy. Gold dining did get real scrambled eggs and good quality smoked salmon. Meals often seemed not to have been seasoned. Desserts in gold dining were excellent, chocolate lava cake was outstanding. Ice cream was mediocre catering quality, although they had better ice cream with the lava cake. Service was again extremely good. We went to Chops twice. Steak was mediocre quality. Sides were cold. My wife and daughter were served up gluten free rolls that were still frozen. We missed 150 Central Park on this ship.

 

We did try Sichuan Red the specialty Chinese restaurant. Food was very spicy and much drier than most of the Chinese food you are likely used to, you do get a choice of spice level. Deep fried scallops in batter were a highlight, like a high class fish and chips. Chilli chicken made with tiny pieces of chicken each on the bone was difficult to eat and not good. My family did enjoy it generally, I did not.
 

We did the laser tag which was good fun. Kids did the VR SkyPad which was extremely short considering the cost.

 

The ice cream station was closed for most of the cruise. I suspect this was partly weather.
 

I took pictures of the silver dining room and buffet as well as a seafood buffet in gold dining on the last day.

 

 

 

 

 

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HI, thank you so much for your reply, hope you are recovered from the long flight back to the UK. ( probably not back home yet ? ) We are from Belgium and sailing on the Spectrum in Januari from Hong Kong, We have booked a normal balcony room on deck 7 ( wished we could afford such an amazing suite )  but, we are Diamond + members. I was wondering if there was a lounge we could use for breakfast and special coffee in the morning and for our evening drinks, but it seems there is no Diamond Lounge on the ship ? So there is a silver dining room .. and a gold dining room ( that sushi looks amazing ) we could use both ? We love to eat at the Windjammer because of the buffet but apperantly that will be over crowded ...I am so confused as someone told me there were no benefits for Diamond + members and for the very first time ( we just became diamond + ) we would love to sit in one of the best seats at the theater :classic_wink: and we do like to get a drink between 5 and 8

could you please explain me a bit more what we can expect as we have just normal balcony rooms but with a diamond + status.

Hope you had an amazing time. from Belgium Frieda

 

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I have copied the benefits page that was in our room below.

 

On entering the solarium I saw a sign saying that it was available to Diamond members and above and so I thought that Silver dining was also available to these people. Now I am not sure, I am going to email the concierge and see if I can get clarification.

 

I have also included a copy of the queue at the Windjammer at 9am one morning and a picture of the buffet in the main dining room at the same time. A crew member told me that the buffet in the main dining room actually had more options and it was certainly quieter, I think I would recommend this for breakfast.

 

 

 

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OK, I just got an email back from Ellen who was a great concierge.

 

The Silver Lounge and Dining are available to Diamond and above members as well as suite guests. C&A members do not get any priority in the main dining room.

 

Just to clarify, Silver Dining is a buffet, so like a nicer version of the Windjammer. The food quality is similar, but the ambience is much better.

 

Happy hour (5-8.30pm) for Diamond members is in the Silver Lounge. The Silver Lounge concierge is available to help Diamond and above members.

 

The priority seats in the theatre are on the rear centre upper level as on other ships, I am not sure that these are the best seats, but you have the benefit of not having to arrive so early. On the one night I was there, after they opened it up to everyone there were people sitting on the stairs. This was a 7pm showing, the 9pm showings were much quieter.

 

I know that the rules are different for cruises out of China, so things may change for cruises from other ports. I think having this area for Diamond and above passengers only works because most guests are locals and have not yet gained C&A status so there are far fewer Diamond members and above than on other cruises.

 

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2 hours ago, alistairg said:

OK, I just got an email back from Ellen who was a great concierge.

 

The Silver Lounge and Dining are available to Diamond and above members as well as suite guests. C&A members do not get any priority in the main dining room.

 

Just to clarify, Silver Dining is a buffet, so like a nicer version of the Windjammer. The food quality is similar, but the ambience is much better.

 

Happy hour (5-8.30pm) for Diamond members is in the Silver Lounge. The Silver Lounge concierge is available to help Diamond and above members.

 

The priority seats in the theatre are on the rear centre upper level as on other ships, I am not sure that these are the best seats, but you have the benefit of not having to arrive so early. On the one night I was there, after they opened it up to everyone there were people sitting on the stairs. This was a 7pm showing, the 9pm showings were much quieter.

 

I know that the rules are different for cruises out of China, so things may change for cruises from other ports. I think having this area for Diamond and above passengers only works because most guests are locals and have not yet gained C&A status so there are far fewer Diamond members and above than on other cruises.

 

Wow, you are amazing, thank you so much for this information. Not that those benefits are that important but it can be so confused especially out of China ( Hong Kong ) in our case. We do like buffet style restaurants because we are such small eaters so it is great to know that there will be a quiet space for us to eat something. I looked at your suite, wow that seems amazing, never had the chance ( the money :classic_wink: ) to book such a suite, hopefully one day we can. Who knows one day we'll meet on a cruise, would be nice to thank you in person. Have a good rest ( time difference can be hard ) wishing you all the best, from Belgium, Frieda

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Glad to see that you also enjoyed the Gold Suites on Spectrum. I sailed on her in July in a Golden Junior Suite (JS with Gold perks at an amazing price) and Ellen was an amazing concierge. I personally loved the Seafood Extravaganza buffet and the food and service in Gold Dining, but was disappointed that there was only one menu for the whole sailing. 

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On 10/25/2019 at 7:51 AM, twangster said:

Very informative post.  I've been curious about changes in China and Spectrum specifically.

 

I've read elsewhere everything on board is still $USD.  How has Voom been?  Fast like O3b ships in the West?  

 

Other reviews have mentioned early bedtimes, low bar utilization and cheap drink cards - much less compared to North America, Australia or Europe.

 

It seems that they have unbundled a lot of things.  A lower base fare is offered but a lot things like iFly and North Star cost extra.  From what staff on Ovation told me that model works better in Asia.  Does that sound right or bad information?

 

Everything onboard in in USD. On my sailing, Voom was great and fast throughout. They only have one type, not the Surf/Surf+Stream.

 

For drink cards, they had two types always available. The DX Drink Card which was USD 59 + 18% gratuity for any 12 drinks covered by the Deluxe package and the RR Drink Card which was USD 33 + 18% gratuity for any 12 drinks covered by the Refreshment Package. 

 

Also, one thing I noticed was that there weren't many bars on the ship. Even in the Royal Theatre, they didn't have a permanent bar but a roll-in bar with limited drinks during the shows, and in the Solarium, there sometimes wasn't a bartender so the pool attendant would get one from the Sky Bar. On the contrary, the Leaf and Bean Cafe and all of the specialty dining venues were very popular and full, but Ellen was always able to get us in last minute. Overall, there isn't a lot to do on the ship after the late show in the theatre if you aren't into shopping or gambling. 

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1 hour ago, BaikG said:

The DX Drink Card which was USD 59 + 18% gratuity for any 12 drinks covered by the Deluxe package and the RR Drink Card which was USD 33 + 18% gratuity for any 12 drinks covered by the Refreshment Package. 

I think this is the first mention of an RR card anywhere in the fleet and that the cards covered 12 instead of 10 drinks.

Edited by Biker19
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  • 1 month later...

Wow... this page is by far the best info avail in the internet regarding Gold/Silver Suite and Diamond and up C&A perks on Spectrum.. which remained a mystery for me until I read this...as I know this ship is entirely different Suite and C&A perks vs all other Royal Caribbean ships... including the upcoming Ultra Quantum class Odyssey of the Seas as it has the usual Diamond and Concierge Club lounges and Suite Perks like the rest of the fleet.

 

I searched for this a long time for and not sure why I was able to find this page only now when my Spectrum of the Seas cruise is in 2 weeks.

 

And I just found out that Silver Dining is buffet just like Solarium Bistro, I initially thought it is like Coastal Kitchen.

 

Unfortunately, I have redundant benefits of having access to the Silver Area and Solarium as I am booked on a Silver Junior Suite and I am Diamond Plus..

 

I would love trying the Gold Dining but unfortunately, Royal Up is no longer offered for Spectrum and it is very expensive for me to move up to Golden Balcony or Golden JS as I booked this Silver Junior Suite at such a ridiculously low price way back more than a year ago when Spectrum was still under construction.

  

Edited by roquejo
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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...
On 12/26/2019 at 9:53 PM, RFerrington said:

Just to clarify, you were in the Grand Loft Suite, correct ?  You photos (above) reference CLS, which I interpret as a Crown Loft Suite, but I don't see any Crown loft Suites on Deck 15.  

 

Sorry, I missed this over the holidays, it was indeed a Grand Loft Suite, it was too late to go back and edit it.

Edited by alistairg
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