Quantum of the Seas was unveiled on Tuesday in Manhattan by the Royal Caribbean International (RCI) cruise line. The sneak preview included die-hard RCI cruisers like Barbara Lippincott who has cruised RCI a stunning 160 times. The devoted fans and travel agents learned at the Manhattan event that Quantum will be the first cruise ship to offer bumper cars, “simulated” skydiving, and a 300 foot observation capsule.
Royal Caribbean previously created a stir for the Quantum of the Seas, which is scheduled for its maiden voyage in November 2014, by announcing at the 2013 Oscars that actress Kristen Chenoweth would be its godmother.
The innovative cruise line is looking to create excitement with modular cabins that can be connected for large groups and an indoor complex called Sea Plex that will include trapeze instruction and basketball as well as the bumper cars. They’re previously been known for introducing zip lines, rock climbing walls, and Flowrider surf machines to cruise ships.
The skydiving attraction, called RipCord by iFly, was designed to give Quantum of the Seas passengers the opportunity to give skydiving a try without actually jumping out of a plane.
It does sound exciting but…
Seems to some of us that cruising has involved a little too much excitement lately, with Carnival’s Triumph taking the top spot for most exciting — and most digusting — cruise ever. After a fire in February, the troubled ship was cast adrift on the high seas for five days without adequate power or even sewer services.
It was a real-life version of Survivor, with some Triumph customers saying that they had to eliminate liquid into the sink or shower — and solid wastes into biohazard bags.
Everyone on the boat was eventually rescued more or less alive, but the Triumph itself was blown out of its repair dock during a windstorm in Mobile Bay earlier this month. A court may have to decide whether the unlucky cruise ship or the wind knocked a nearby guard shack into Mobile River, killing 64-year-old BAE Shipyard worker John Johnson.
Royal Caribbean loyalists will correctly point out that RCI is not Carnival. However, some cruisers are becoming disgruntled by the upward spiral toward glitz and excess.
On the popular Cruise Critic discussion forums, a frequent poster called the Quantum of the Seas “Six Flags of the Seas” and asked this question: “How carnival-esque will cruising continue to get?…I thought the Oasis class was over the top in the amusement-park-ification of cruising, but bumper cars? Observation cranes? What the….Sheesh.”
For my money, cruise ships got too big and jumped the shark a decade ago. But I was never a frequent cruiser to begin with.
Will you be sailing Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas?