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Royal Caribbean Alaskan Cruise Review: Quantum of the Seas

Updated: 6 days ago

Royal Caribbean Group (RCL) is the world's second-largest cruise company, boasting a vast fleet of 65 ships traversing over 1,000 destinations worldwide, with several more vessels in the pipeline!

Offering diverse itineraries and services, including top-notch dining experiences, expansive pools, serene sun decks, rejuvenating beauty salons, and state-of-the-art exercise facilities, RCL caters to a wide range of preferences. 

Their ships feature exhilarating activities such as simulated surfing, roller skating, ice skating, basketball courts, rock climbing walls, miniature golf, waterslides, and even indoor skydiving, ensuring there is never a dull moment onboard!

Quantum of the Seas Cruise Ship

With a mission to exceed customer expectations and bolster its reputation and employee morale, RCL prides itself on its commitment to exceptional service. Moreover, RCL offers reasonably priced cruise fares and various global destinations, making it one of the best family cruises.

Whether embarking on a 7-night Alaska cruise, a 3-night Perfect Day Adventure, or any other cruise on one of the fabulous Royal Caribbean ships, RCL promises a memorable experience filled with excitement and relaxation. This blog post will delve into our experience aboard the Quantum of the Seas during our Alaskan vacation.

Facts about our Alaskan Cruise


North Star, Sky Bar, and Mountains

Ship: Quantum of the Seas
Departure Port: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Arrival Port: Seattle, Washington, United States
Ports of Call: Ketchikan, Alaska; Sitka, Alaska; Endicott Arm & Dawes Glacier, Alaskan Inside Passage; Juneau, Alaska; and Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Embarkation Day


Address: 999 Canada Pl, Vancouver, BC V6C 3E1, Canada

Arrival and Bag Drop-Off 


Upon arrival, proceed to the Convention Center with your baggage and follow the signs indicating cruise embarkation. Port employees will be readily available to assist you along the way.

Unlike the process at Florida cruise ports, where you drive to a designated area to drop off your bags with porters, here you will personally deliver your luggage to the porters stationed in one of the spacious rooms towards the rear of the building.

Canada Place, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Security and Customs 


After completing the luggage drop-off process, but before boarding the ship, you will pass through security and customs, which can be time-consuming and involve a significant amount of standing and walking through queues. 

It took us approximately one hour to complete both procedures and board the ship. Do not forget to keep your passport easily accessible for customs and refrain from storing it in the luggage handed over to the porters. Additionally, since the port is shared with other cruise lines, expect longer queues.

Boarding


Upon boarding the vessel, we proceeded directly to our designated muster station for the mandatory safety briefing. Following its completion, a crew member informed us that our stateroom was ready, encouraging us to make our way to drop off our carry-on belongings and inspect the room. 

Balcony Stateroom on Quantum of the Seas

Our balcony room exceeded our expectations with its beautiful, pristine, and surprisingly spacious layout for a cruise cabin!

Lunch on Embarkation Day


Furthermore, upon boarding, we found that all of the complimentary dining venues were available, ranging from the Windjammer Marketplace (the buffet) and the main dining room for seated lunch service to Sorrento's for pizza and the Solarium Bistro exclusively for guests aged 18 and over.

Mid-Day Entertainment on Embarkation Day


At 4 pm, we had our Sail Away Party, although it felt a bit unusual since we did not technically depart Vancouver until 3 am the next day. Consequently, the shops and casino remained closed until 10 am the next day. 

Bumper Cars in the SeaPlex

However, the SeaPlex, their sports complex, was open, and they had Bumper Cars set up for our enjoyment. Our entire schedule had peculiar timings for port arrivals and departures, likely because it was the first time the Quantum of the Seas had sailed on an Alaskan voyage this season after arriving from Brisbane, Australia.

Embarkation Day Finale


Despite not departing from the port, we had a delightful evening, indulging in a delicious meal at one of the main dining rooms and dancing the night away at the Music Hall. The only drawback of the day was the approximately one-hour wait for security and customs, though it went better and faster than anticipated!

On the Ship: Entertainment


The standout feature of the Quantum of the Seas for me was the diverse range of entertainment options available.

SeaPlex



Having sailed on seven cruise ships across four different cruise lines, including Princess Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line, I have never found myself frequenting a sports complex as often as I did on this ship. 

The SeaPlex, their sports complex, is a remarkable two-story indoor facility offering activities suitable for all ages. The lower level featured a massive sports court that could transform into various activities, including bumper cars, laser tag, and rollerblading, as well as hosting shoot-out basketball competitions, free-play badminton, and archery.

Surrounding the perimeter of the first floor were entrances to the arcade, cornhole, jumbo Jenga, lounge chairs and couches, and the SeaPlex DogHouse, offering complimentary hot dogs, sausages, coleslaw, and potato salad.

The second level of the SeaPlex boasts Xbox Consoles, Ping Pong Tables, Foosball Tables, Air Hockey Tables, and additional lounge chairs. These amenities are available for free play, with competitions organized by the sports crew members on select days and times.

RipCord by iFLY®



Embark on the exhilarating adventure of indoor skydiving while at sea! Reserve this thrilling activity for free through the Royal Caribbean app while onboard and relish in a complimentary minute of flight time.

Alternatively, you can extend your session for an additional fee and receive two minutes of flight time. Prices vary depending on your cruise, with recent onboard rates averaging $90 for a 2-minute session. Booking before your sailing may yield better deals; for example, we secured a 2-minute flight for $55.

FlowRider®


FlowRider and iFLY at Quantum of the Seas

Experience thrilling fun with the surf simulator onboard. Access to the FlowRider® is complimentary during operating hours, with specific time slots allocated for boogie boarding and surfing - simply join the line when you are ready to participate.

You can also opt for private surfing lessons at an extra cost. Do not forget to pack suitable swimwear to fully enjoy this activity, especially considering the cooler temperatures typical of Alaskan cruise itineraries.

Rock Climbing


Rock Climbing

Adjacent to the SeaPlex, you will find the rock climbing wall. It is open for free play at different times throughout the day. Additionally, scheduled competitions occur on select days during your cruise.

Trivia


Trivia sessions were held multiple times during the day and were about various topics ranging from general knowledge to Disney themes and more. Additionally, the cruise director organized a progressive trivia game spanning multiple days, leading to the announcement of the ultimate winner by the end of the voyage.

Scavenger Hunts


Scavenger hunts were organized every other day, with our favorite being where you had to race around the ship, snapping selfies with your team based on the various clues.

Arts & Crafts


3 origami pieces of art created by DLT!

The arts and crafts classes included origami, jewelry-making, towel animal creation, napkin folding, coloring, and stationary crafting. Arrive early for these sessions as supplies can run out quickly. I attempted to attend the jewelry-making classes on both occasions, but unfortunately, they had already run out of kits by the time I arrived.

Game Shows


In the evenings, various venues host game shows. For instance, the Royal Theatre typically hosts the highly popular Love & Marriage game, while the Music Hall hosts the Battle of the Sexes (18+) later in the evening.

Kids Clubs



Complimentary kids clubs are available for children aged 3 to 17. Aquanauts welcomes kids aged 3 to 5, Explorers Room caters to children aged 6 to 8, and Voyagers Room is for kids aged 9 to 11. Meanwhile, The Living Room is for those aged 12 to 17. Paid babysitting services are also offered for children aged 6 to 36 months.

Karaoke


Throughout the voyage, you will encounter several karaoke competitions culminating in a grand finale where a winner is crowned. Moreover, there are also karaoke competitions suitable for families.

Fitness Classes


Fitness Classes in the gym

During your voyage, various fitness classes are available daily, ranging from morning and evening stretches with the cruise staff at Two70° to high-energy fitness sessions, fun walks, yoga, and cycling. These classes are held in different locations onboard, including the gym, Two70°, and the running track.

Dance Classes


Nearly every day, you can participate in dance classes where instructors guide you through various styles such as salsa, merengue, country line dancing, and more.

Nighttime Entertainment


There were three main Broadway-style performances, two in the Royal Theatre and one in Two70°. Personally, these performances did not meet our expectations, but Sonic Odyssey stood out as our favorite of the few. 

Sonic Odyssey at the Royal Theatre

The musical host of Sonic Odyssey impressed us with his skillful incorporation of various unusual instruments, creating a captivating experience. However, our dissatisfaction with the performances was not due to the dancers or performers; rather, it stemmed from the lack of coherent storytelling.

The plot seemed disjointed, and we were not the only ones to come to that conclusion. Moreover, on evenings without Broadway shows, they screened newly released movies or featured comedians.

On the Ship: Food


Onboard, guests can enjoy complimentary food offerings for breakfast, lunch, dinner, desserts, and snacks. Additionally, there are a la carte food choices, specialty restaurants, and bars available for those seeking a more customized dining experience.

Complimentary Options: 



- Main Dining Room - Onboard, you will find four main dining rooms: Silk, Chic, American Icon Grill, and The Grande. RCL offers three options for dinner seating times: early seating, late seating, and my time dining. You can choose your preferred time when booking your cruise. Additionally, one of the main dining rooms serves breakfast and lunch daily. 

Desserts at the Windjammer Marketplace

- Windjammer Café (The Buffet) - Indulge in a variety of international dishes and beloved American classics at this relaxed dining spot boasting stunning vistas and a cozy ambiance, perfect for enjoying breakfast, lunch, and dinner. On one occasion during lunch, they even featured a delightful chocolate fountain!

Breakfast buffet line at the Solarium Bistro

- Solarium Bistro - Nestled in the Solarium area, this Mediterranean restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, offering a buffet brimming with fresh ingredients and Mediterranean-inspired delights. Guests can choose to dine indoors or enjoy the al fresco experience. Reservations can be conveniently made through the Royal Caribbean app, or guests can opt to join the waitlist for a table.


- The Café @ Two70° - Recharge with hot-pressed sandwiches, homemade soups, and personalized salads for nourishing and satisfying meals in an upscale marketplace ambiance.

- Café Promenade - Situated in the bustling Royal Promenade at the center of the ship is Café Promenade, offering coffee, snacks, pastries, and sandwiches around the clock. Operating 24 hours a day, it is the ideal destination for fulfilling your late-night cravings.

- Sorrento’s - A New York-style pizzeria with traditional pizzas and rotating specials like Hawaiian and Pizza Florentine.

SeaPlex Dog House

- Dog House - Enjoy complimentary hot dogs, sausages, potato salad, and cole slaw. 

- Coastal Kitchen - Exclusively for Suite guests and Pinnacle members, Coastal Kitchen serves a fresh new fusion of California and Mediterranean-inspired cuisine.

Non-Complimentary Options: 

- Chef’s Table - Gather with a maximum of 14 guests for an exclusive and intimate dining affair: indulge in a five-course wine pairing dinner, expertly curated and hosted each evening by an Executive Chef and Sommelier.


- Wonderland - Craving a unique culinary adventure? Allow the chefs at Wonderland to delight you with their imaginative gourmet creations and unprecedented culinary offerings.

Table set up at Jamie's Italian

- Jamie’s Italian - Chef Jamie Oliver crafts a menu featuring rustic Italian classics brimming with fresh, seasonal ingredients.

- Chops Grille - Indulge in succulent steaks, pristine seafood, robust side dishes, and decadent desserts within the refined, timeless ambiance reminiscent of Chicago at Royal Caribbean's beloved signature steakhouse.

Izumi Japanese Restaurant

- Izumi - Izumi skillfully crafts traditional Asian cuisine, meticulously preparing and presenting dishes that will impress you with their fresh ingredients, subtle flavors, and stunning presentation. From sushi and sashimi to ishi-yaki plates and beyond, Izumi offers a culinary experience that delights the senses.

Noodle Shop at Quantum of the Seas

- Noodle Shop - Treat yourself to a selection of delectable dishes, including four-piece dim sum, noodle bowls like Taiwanese spicy beef noodles, and desserts like sesame balls and custard tart. Additionally, three complimentary items are available on the menu: chicken tenders, mini corn dogs, and chocolate chip cookies.

Vintages Bar signage with two lounge chairs

- Vintages Wine Bar - Cap off your day with relaxation and indulgence by savoring a glass of your preferred wine. Explore the diverse wine offerings at Vintages before complementing your choice with a delectable light snack, creating the perfect nightcap experience.

La Patisserie

- La Patisserie - Kickstart your morning at La Patisserie. This café-style establishment, exclusive to Quantum Class ships, offers a selection of coffee and pastries, perfect for a quick and convenient breakfast or snack on the move.

- Various Bars and Lounges: Numerous bars and lounges throughout the ship offer the perfect setting to savor a refreshing cocktail, a crafted mixed drink, or your favorite concoction.

Bionic Bar

Experience the futuristic marvel of the Bionic Bar, where two robotic arms prepare your drinks right before your eyes, or unwind at Schooner's Bar, a delightful piano bar onboard.

Do not miss the cozy ambiance of Harp & Horn Hub, an English-Irish bar onboard. Additionally, bars can be found at the indoor pool, outdoor pool, Solarium, Casino, and Music Hall.

Regardless of your dining venue choice, you are assured a fantastic culinary experience thanks to the exceptional staff and delectable cuisine!

On the Ship: Other


Soft-Serve Ice Cream


Ice cream cone at the Outdoor Pool with the movie screen in the back

Near the outdoor pool, ship staff man the Sprinkles Ice Cream Machines. Simply inform them of your desired flavor - vanilla, chocolate, or swirl - and they will serve it up for you. Be sure to consult the Royal Caribbean app for their operating hours.

Whale Watching


Whale watching

During your Alaskan adventure, keep an eye out for humpback whales leaping, playing, or gracefully swimming in the open sea. Keep a vigilant eye out for these awe-inspiring encounters with nature's magnificence.

On our trip, we were casually walking on deck 14 when we noticed many passengers gathered by the massive glass windows. They were watching a whale splashing its tail - such a spectacular sight! So, grab yourself an ice cream cone, grab a lounge chair, and see what treasures await!

Spa and Fitness Center



On the upper deck, guests can access treadmills, rowing machines, ellipticals, free weights, and various exercise equipment, providing ample space for daily workouts to maintain fitness and wellness throughout the cruise.

Meanwhile, the "ShipShape Spa" on the lower deck offers a comprehensive range of amenities, including a Beauty Salon, treatment rooms, relaxation lounge, thermal suite, and more. Indulge in a variety of services such as acupuncture, Botox, couple massages, manicures, haircuts, and more at this onboard Sea Spa.

Pools and Whirlpools


Indulge in relaxation and recreation across various aquatic amenities onboard. The Solarium offers an exclusive adults-only retreat featuring a serene environment with a central 3-tiered pool and two spacious whirlpools on each side, providing a tranquil space for guests to unwind in warmth and humidity. 

Outdoor Pool and Movie Screen

Meanwhile, the ship's main pool areas, including the indoor pool area with a retractable roof and the outdoor pool area, are accessible to all passengers. Each pool is accompanied by hot tubs, allowing guests to enjoy the water even in Alaska's cooler climate. 

Moreover, entertainment abounds at the outdoor pool area, where guests can delight in funny videos, sports events, and movies on the big screen daily. For families with young children, the H20 Zone provides the perfect space for infants, toddlers, and young ones to play, featuring a small wave pool for toddlers and a splash pad for babies.

Casino


Casino slots

An expansive Vegas-style gambling lounge awaits, boasting hundreds of slot machines, numerous gaming tables, and a fully stocked Casino Bar. Like the shops, access is available only when the ship is in international waters.

Shopping and Art


Explore a duty-free shopping area brimming with an array of shops and renowned brand boutiques, including Impulse, Kiehl's, Michael Kors, Beauty and Sunglasses, Regalia, The Shop, Tiffany & Co, BVLGARI, and many others. Please note that these shops are accessible only when the ship is in international waters.

Near The Café @ Two70°, you will find an art avenue where you can browse and shop for Park West artwork while onboard. Additionally, they host events such as raffles, guess-the-weight competitions, and more.

North Star


North Star Pod and the North Star Bar

A glass-enclosed observation capsule onboard offers panoramic 360-degree views from 300 feet above sea level. Controlled by a mechanical arm, the pod ascends and descends, extending over the ship's side for an exhilarating 15 to 20-minute journey.

Please note that it is presently closed and will reopen after the completion of Quantum of the Seas' dry dock at the end of 2024.

Getting On and Off at the Ports of Calls


Ketchikan


Similar to our disappointment with the nighttime performances, getting on and off the ship at some stops was challenging. Our first stop, Ketchikan, was the most problematic port for disembarking and boarding. 

It took us approximately an hour to disembark and about 45 minutes to re-board, adding to the frustration of dealing with unconventional arrival and departure times. 

Sitka


Sitka Sound Alaska sign

For our next port, Sitka, we needed to take a bus to the Downtown area, and on the morning of our visit, we headed to Vintages Bar to receive complimentary shuttle bus tickets. 

These tickets assigned us boarding groups, allowing us to approach the gangway when our group number was called. However, the line for the shuttle bus tickets was approximately 30 minutes long, followed by an additional 15-minute wait to board the bus while we got off the ship. 

Juneau and Victoria


Fortunately, the buses provided were large charter or school buses, which eased the wait. Returning to the ship from Sitka was comparatively easier, with minimal waiting time. Thankfully, getting on and off at Juneau and Victoria was relatively smooth, with minimal time wasted.

The Ports of Calls


Shore Excursions desk and tablets

If you have not pre-booked your shore excursions before setting sail, head to the Shore Excursion desk on Deck 5. There, you will find tablets available for booking and planning your excursions, with knowledgeable crew members to assist you every step of the way.

Here are a few of the shore excursions you can enjoy while at the different port stops on this Alaska trip:

Ketchikan


DLT! under the Ketchikan sign

- Misty Fjords and Wilderness Explorer
- Ketchikan Duck Tour
- A Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show
- Tongass Rainforest Hiking Expedition
- Rainforest Canopy & Zipline Expedition
- Historic Ketchikan Trolley

Sitka


- Sea Otters & Wildlife Quest
- Siginaka Islands Cruise and Kayak Adventure
- Sitka National Historical Park and Alaska Raptor Center
- Taste of Sitka
- Fortress of the Bear
- Volcanic Coast Exploration by Ocean Raft

Juneau


Totem Pole in Juneau, Alaska

- Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center
- Dog Sledding
- Salmon Bake
- Goldbelt Tram
- Last Frontier Food Tour

Victoria


- Bug Zoo, Miniature World and Victoria Highlights
- Butchart & Butterfly Gardens
- City Tour of Scenic Victoria
- High Tea

Summary


DLT! at the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center

Ultimately, we enjoyed our time on Royal Caribbean's Quantum of the Seas during its Alaskan itinerary! Holistically, it may even be our favorite cruise to date. It is completely different than any Caribbean cruise, and the amount of entertainment in the SeaPlex alone was enough to keep us entertained the entire time. 

We also had excellent staff tending to our room and serving us dinner, making it all more enjoyable. Moreover, Alaska is a magnificent place with majestic mountains and beautiful scenery. We had a great time on this beautiful ship and cannot wait to go again.

Is Royal Caribbean's Quantum of the Seas the only Alaskan Cruise Option?


No, Royal Caribbean's Ovation of the Seas, Brilliance of the Seas, and Radiance of the Seas also cruise to the Last Frontier! You can also enjoy an Alaskan cruise with Celebrity Cruises, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Carnival Cruise Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Disney Cruise Line, and more.

How to find the best cruise deals?


5 cruise ships docked at a port with words in the middle that say: How to Get a Cheap Cruise: The Do's and Don'ts

Check out my blog post, How to Get a Cheap Cruise: The Do's and Don'ts, to learn about the best practices to score the best deal on your next cruise.

Not sure what to pack for an Alaskan cruise?


Check out my blog post, Your Alaska Cruise Packing List (PDF Checklist Inside). In this blog post, you will find a visual listing with links to purchase the items.

Do you just want the checklist emailed to you?


Preview of the Free Printable Packing List for your Alaskan Cruise created by Dale, Let's Travel! LLC

Fill out this form with your first name and email address below to receive the link for a downloadable PDF version of this listing that you can print out and treat as a checklist.


It's Time to 'Seas' the Day! 


Mountain views and water in the ice in the Alaskan Inside Passage

A Royal Caribbean Alaskan cruise aboard the Quantum of the Seas offers an unforgettable journey filled with excitement and relaxation. Despite occasional challenges with port disembarkation and embarkation, the cruise experience surpasses expectations with exceptional service and a wide range of amenities.

Dining options cater to every palate, and shore excursions unveil natural wonders and cultural treasures. With its unparalleled service and breathtaking destinations, Royal Caribbean remains a top choice for discerning travelers seeking the ultimate cruise vacation.

Have you ever been on a Royal Caribbean Alaskan Cruise? Let me know in the comments below! Share this article with the person or people you want to go on your next adventure with! Also, be sure to SUBSCRIBE below to learn about other places you should add to your "To Visit" List! Ready? Okay, vamos. Time to have fun!

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