THE FULL SPECTRUM


The first Royal Caribbean Quantum Ultra-class ship is a delight for kids of all ages. Rebecca Rachel Wong sets sail on the vessel’s inaugural Asian voyage.

THE FULL SPECTRUM


The first Royal Caribbean Quantum Ultra-class ship is a delight for kids of all ages. Rebecca Rachel Wong sets sail on the vessel’s inaugural Asian voyage.

It wasn’t at all what we expected. It was a public holiday and 4,400 people were on board mega liner Spectrum of the Seas.

We imagined crowded pool decks, long lines during lunch and all the inconveniences that come with cruising on a mini city. But our big question throughout the cruise was: Where is everyone?

Spectrum is a well-oiled machine −and a massive one at that. At 347 metres long and 41 metres wide, she’s slightly larger than both Anthem and Ovation of the Seas − her sister ships in the Quantum class.


At present, she’s also Asia’s largest and most expensive ship, with a build cost of US$940 million. Fittingly, given she’s homeporting in Shanghai, Spectrum is very much designed for the Chinese market. This is apparent in specialty dining venues such as Sichuan Red, a new restaurant featuring delicacies from China’s Sichuan province. There’s also the debut of Star Moment − a glitzy karaoke venue where guests can belt out Mandarin and English tunes. The in-room TV offers Chinese movies and China-owned TV channels.


Nevertheless, Spectrum’s appeal is very much international. Ship decor is classy and minimalist, with modern paintings by artists from around the world.


We loved her layout and design. Though it did take a while to orientate ourselves, most dining places and facilities were extremely accessible from staterooms.


We were on a round-trip from Singapore, so the bulk of guests were Singaporeans. But the cruise also saw its fair share of guests from other parts of Asia, Europe and the US.


Spectrum is best enjoyed with loved ones, family or close friends. We saw families everywhere letting loose and genuinely having a good time. There were birthday celebrations, family selfies and even an Indian wedding in the main dining room. And this ship is made for multigenerational travel – the number one growth area in all travel sectors.


The Ultimate Family Suite is a two-level, 261-square-metre suite accommodating up to 11 guests, with three bedrooms, a slide to the living area and a sprawling recreation room for karaoke, movies and video games. Your extended family will love it.


But even if you opt for a stateroom, the ship itself has loads to see and do for guests of all ages. In fact, we didn’t get off for shore excursions at all, opting to stay onboard to enjoy the many features.

Fact File

CRUISE LINE: Royal Caribbean
VESSEL: Spectrum of the Seas
STAR RATING: NYR
PASSENGER CAPACITY: 5,622
TOTAL CREW: 1,551
PASSENGER DECKS: 14
ENTERED SERVICE: 2019
TONNAGE: 169,379

FACILITIES

Eateries, bars and lounges, pools, surf and skydiving simulators. North Star pod, rock-climbing wall, theatre, casino, spa and fitness centre, karaoke, library, medical centre, outdoor movie screen and kids club.

BOOKINGS

See royalcaribbean.com

It wasn’t at all what we expected. It was a public holiday and 4,400 people were on board mega liner Spectrum of the Seas.

We imagined crowded pool decks, long lines during lunch and all the inconveniences that come with cruising on a mini city. But our big question throughout the cruise was: Where is everyone?

Spectrum is a well-oiled machine −and a massive one at that. At 347 metres long and 41 metres wide, she’s slightly larger than both Anthem and Ovation of the Seas − her sister ships in the Quantum class.


At present, she’s also Asia’s largest and most expensive ship, with a build cost of US$940 million. Fittingly, given she’s homeporting in Shanghai, Spectrum is very much designed for the Chinese market. This is apparent in specialty dining venues such as Sichuan Red, a new restaurant featuring delicacies from China’s Sichuan province. There’s also the debut of Star Moment − a glitzy karaoke venue where guests can belt out Mandarin and English tunes. The in-room TV offers Chinese movies and China-owned TV channels.

Nevertheless, Spectrum’s appeal is very much international. Ship decor is classy and minimalist, with modern paintings by artists from around the world.


We loved her layout and design. Though it did take a while to orientate ourselves, most dining places and facilities were extremely accessible from staterooms.


We were on a round-trip from Singapore, so the bulk of guests were Singaporeans. But the cruise also saw its fair share of guests from other parts of Asia, Europe and the US.


Spectrum is best enjoyed with loved ones, family or close friends. We saw families everywhere letting loose and genuinely having a good time. There were birthday celebrations, family selfies and even an Indian wedding in the main dining room. And this ship is made for multigenerational travel – the number one growth area in all travel sectors.


The Ultimate Family Suite is a two-level, 261-square-metre suite accommodating up to 11 guests, with three bedrooms, a slide to the living area and a sprawling recreation room for karaoke, movies and video games. Your extended family will love it.


But even if you opt for a stateroom, the ship itself has loads to see and do for guests of all ages. In fact, we didn’t get off for shore excursions at all, opting to stay onboard to enjoy the many features.

Fact File

CRUISE LINE: Royal Caribbean

VESSEL: Spectrum of the Seas

STAR RATING: NYR
PASSENGER CAPACITY: 5,622

TOTAL CREW: 1,551

PASSENGER DECKS: 14

ENTERED SERVICE: 2019

TONNAGE: 169,379

FACILITIES

Eateries, bars and lounges, pools, surf and skydiving simulators. North Star pod, rock-climbing wall, theatre, casino, spa and fitness centre, karaoke, library, medical centre, outdoor movie screen and kids’ club.

BOOKINGS

See royalcaribbean.com

The Verdict

HIGHS

Comfortable cabins, quality food options and plenty of fun activities. The well-designed ship is very much the destination.

LOWS

We bought a WiFi package, but WiFi was spotty throughout the trip. The Seaplex could have used a locker area, as guests had to leave their bags lying around during activities.

BEST SUITED FOR

Multi-generational families, first-time cruisers and millennials travelling with friends.

Here’s what we did:

Activities

Spectrum’s a ship for families, and the endless activities on offer are a testament to that. We unleashed our inner kid and tried as many of them as we could. A new highlight is the Skypad, a virtual reality bungee trampoline experience. It’s good fun for kids, though we encountered some technical issues with the VR headsets and felt slightly motion sick afterwards. Our personal favourites were the FlowRider surfing simulator and a laser tag battle over at the Seaplex. The indoor sporting complex also features a rotating schedule of activities like bumper cars, fencing, basketball and soccer. We recommend making reservations in advance for favourites like the North Star observation pod and iFly skydiving simulator − those were completely booked out by the first evening. And if you want to do absolutely nothing, there are plenty of comfortable lounges to grab a cocktail and relax.

Cabins

We stayed in an Ocean View Balcony cabin on Deck 8. Decked in a modern blue, beige and brown colour scheme, our roomy cabin was equipped with a comfy Royal King Bed, good lighting, a long sofa, an in-room safe and ample storage space. We did wish it came with more amenities though. Only two bars of soap, towels and a shampoo dispenser were provided. Bottled water on each sailing day would have been nice, too − only one bottle was given on the first evening. Spectrum also includes Royal Caribbean’s first Suite Club, which we had a chance to tour. Located on decks 13 through 16 at the ship’s forward end, the keycard-accessed enclave houses guests in Golden and Silver Suite accommodation. In addition to a private elevator and exclusive dining and lounge venues, suite guests can also access a private outdoor balcony and a plush boutique for private shopping experiences.

Here’s what we did:

Activities

Spectrum’s a ship for families, and the endless activities on offer are a testament to that. We unleashed our inner kid and tried as many of them as we could. A new highlight is the Skypad, a virtual reality bungee trampoline experience. It’s good fun for kids, though we encountered some technical issues with the VR headsets and felt slightly motion sick afterwards. Our personal favourites were the FlowRider surfing simulator and a laser tag battle over at the Seaplex. The indoor sporting complex also features a rotating schedule of activities like bumper cars, fencing, basketball and soccer. We recommend making reservations in advance for favourites like the North Star observation pod and iFly skydiving simulator − those were completely booked out by the first evening. And if you want to do absolutely nothing, there are plenty of comfortable lounges to grab a cocktail and relax.

Cabins

We stayed in an Ocean View Balcony cabin on Deck 8. Decked in a modern blue, beige and brown colour scheme, our roomy cabin was equipped with a comfy Royal King Bed, good lighting, a long sofa, an in-room safe and ample storage space. We did wish it came with more amenities though. Only two bars of soap, towels and a shampoo dispenser were provided. Bottled water on each sailing day would have been nice, too − only one bottle was given on the first evening. Spectrum also includes Royal Caribbean’s first Suite Club, which we had a chance to tour. Located on decks 13 through 16 at the ship’s forward end, the keycard-accessed enclave houses guests in Golden and Silver Suite accommodation. In addition to a private elevator and exclusive dining and lounge venues, suite guests can also access a private outdoor balcony and a plush boutique for private shopping experiences.

The Verdict

HIGHS

Comfortable cabins, quality food options and plenty of fun activities. The well-designed ship is very much the destination.

LOWS

We bought a WiFi package, but WiFi was spotty throughout the trip. The Seaplex could have used a locker area, as guests had to leave their bags lying around during activities.

BEST SUITED FOR

Multi-generational families, first-time cruisers and millennials travelling with friends.

Dining

With 17 dining venues (including eight specialty restaurants), you’ll never go hungry. I confess that we ate practically half our bodyweight worth of food, and ended each day feeling more than satisfied. For breakfast, make a beeline for The Cafe at Two70, which serves an array of breakfast cereals, pastries, fruit, bread and burritos. The bagels are delicious, as is the chilli-con-carne burrito. Our experience at the main dining room was superb too, with attentive wait staff and timely food service. Unlike other Royal ships, Spectrum has an airy, grand main restaurant instead of four separate dining rooms.


While we found the fish options there a little bit dry and tough, the crab-cake starter, steak with baked potato and beef Wellington are well worth the calories. The apple pie with vanilla ice cream was a favourite with our dinner party as well. Another highlight was specialty restaurant Jamie’s Italian. Alongside the generous pasta portions, our group enjoyed the tasty starters, especially the crispy polenta chips, and mouth-watering desserts, such as lemon-meringue cheesecake and raspberry-rippled pavlova.

Entertainment

We saw shows on all three cruising nights, and were blown away by the high production values and talent. One of the highlights is The Silk Road at venue Two70. An original production by Royal Caribbean, it centres around the culture, music and dance of China, Persia and India. Featuring a mix of singers, contortionists, aerialists and dancers, the show impressed with lively performances all-round.

Over at the Royal Theatre, Showgirl! Present. Future. stunned with Broadway-worthy vocal performances, dazzling choreography and head-turning costumes.


An acrobatic dance duo from Ukraine’s Got Talent also wowed the audience with its death-defying feats on the cruise’s final night. Theatrical performances aside, you’ll encounter plenty of solid music acts just by wandering the ship and poking your head into the various lounges. From Beatles cover bands to silent discos, on Spectrum of the Seas, the music and dancing never really stop.

Dining

With 17 dining venues (including eight specialty restaurants), you’ll never go hungry. I confess that we ate practically half our bodyweight worth of food, and ended each day feeling more than satisfied. For breakfast, make a beeline for The Cafe at Two70, which serves an array of breakfast cereals, pastries, fruit, bread and burritos. The bagels are delicious, as is the chilli con carne burrito. Our experience at the main dining room was superb too, with attentive wait staff and timely food service. Unlike other Royal ships, Spectrum has an airy, grand main restaurant instead of four separate dining rooms.


While we found the fish options there a little bit dry and tough, the crab-cake starter, steak with baked potato and beef Wellington are well worth the calories. The apple pie with vanilla ice cream was a favourite with our dinner party as well. Another highlight was specialty restaurant Jamie’s Italian. Alongside the generous pasta portions, our group enjoyed the tasty starters, especially the crispy polenta chips, and mouth-watering desserts, such as lemon-meringue cheesecake and raspberry-rippled pavlova.

Entertainment

We saw shows on all three cruising nights, and were blown away by the high production values and talent. One of the highlights is The Silk Road at venue Two70. An original production by Royal Caribbean, it centres around the culture, music and dance of China, Persia and India. Featuring a mix of singers, contortionists, aerialists and dancers, the show impressed with lively performances all-round. Over at the Royal Theatre, Showgirl! Present. Future. stunned with Broadway-worthy vocal performances, dazzling choreography and head-turning costumes.


An acrobatic dance duo from Ukraine’s Got Talent also wowed the audience with its death-defying feats on the cruise’s final night. Theatrical performances aside, you’ll encounter plenty of solid music acts just by wandering the ship and poking your head into the various lounges. From Beatles cover bands to silent discos, on Spectrum of the Seas, the music and dancing never really stop.