Royal Caribbean’s newest member of the fleet may be starting its service in Bayonne but the taste of America is set to be relatively short lived. After just six months Quantum of the Seas will relocate to the bustling Chinese port of Shanghai.
Asian cruise market is booming
Cruising is rapidly growing in popularity within the Asian market thanks to a substantial increase in cruise line marketing campaigns. Quantum of the Seas joins RCI’s other fleet members, Mariner of the Seas and Voyager of the Seas in a move that will increase the company’s continental presence by a huge 66%.
While the demographic is significantly different, RCI has pledged to keep its services and on-board experiences relatively unchanged from those found on its Western fleet. That said, localisation will be implemented to some extent in the form of retail, casino gaming and menu option modifications.
The move is an exciting prospect for both the line and Asian holidaymakers, Christopher Allen, RCI’s associate vice president of global deployment and itinerary planning saying “This is a fantastic opportunity for us and for the marketplace.”
Liberty of the Seas set to replace Quantum
Quantum’s departure will result in a shuffling of the RCI fleet that will see Florida’s Liberty of the Seas redeployed to Bayonne. The change marks a Freedom-class vessel first for the New Jersey port. The majestic ocean liner will set sail on five night to eight night Bermuda and Eastern Caribbean itineraries that call at sun kissed ports including San Juan and RCI’s private island, Labadee. Liberty will finish off the season with a 12 night cruise from Bayonne to Galveston where it will operate seven night Western Caribbean voyages throughout the winter months.
Anthem and Navigator also affected by changes
Liberty’s absence will be filled by Anthem of the Seas, RCI’s second Quantum-class vessel. The luxury liner is set to spend the summer servicing seven to 12 night routes calling at exotic Caribbean destinations such as Grand Cayman, Costa Maya, Roatan and Falmouth. As for Galveston’s long term resident, Navigator of the Seas? The RCI Voyager-class favourite will set its sights on Fort Lauderdale where it will offer passengers six and eight night cruises around the Eastern and Western Caribbean.
Despite all the ship servicing changes, the line maintains that it has North America’s best interests at heart. Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, RCI’s executive vice president of operations explains “Sometimes our decisions are strategic, not just financial. North America is at the forefront of everything we think about.”
Loyal RCI customers remain somewhat divided on the changes. Some welcome the chance to experience both Quantum-class vessels while others are mourning the loss of their favourite liners.
One thing is for certain – Asian cruisers are in for a treat! Quantum-class ships offer deluxe accommodation, premium service and unique on-board experiences that will ensure the Asian market is blown away by the cruising concept. These include an exhilarating sky-diving simulator, first-rate Seaplex sports and entertainment complex and the all new RCI Dynamic Dining concept.
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Image sourced via Royal Caribbean Cruises Media Center. Credit: Royal Caribbean.