This year, I will be setting sail on the brand new Spectrum of the Seas. Not only is it a new ship, it will be my first Royal Caribbean cruise and the inaugural cruise! Waiting for the Spectrum of the Seas to launch is an exciting time so I’ve created a list of the top 10 things I’m most looking forward to experiencing on my cruise.
1. Spectrum of the Seas is launching in 2019
Spectrum of the Seas is Royal Caribbean’s newest cruise ship, to be launched in April 2019. It will be the newest and most expensive ship to sail in Asia. Spectrum is the first in the Quantum Ultra Class and is being built in Germany. At the end of February, Spectrum of the Seas had its ‘float out’ before its conveyance along the River Em and the sea trials commence.
Part of the excitement for my cruise is watching the ship being built. Learning about what’s been fitted and seeing photos of the construction. I’ve been surprised that Royal Caribbean is not sharing more news with Western passengers but it is focusing on attracting Asian cruisers. I’m not sure how this works. Do Asian passengers only cruise in Asia? I certainly think that Spectrum of the Seas could be an excellent option for Western cruisers to explore Asia but only time will tell.
2. New Sichaun Red on Spectrum of the Seas
The new ship is designed for the Asian market and so there will be some delicious dining options available on Spectrum of the Seas, with a huge pinch of Asian spices and flavours.
The specialty dining option, Sichaun Red (Deck 4, Royal Esplanade), will be exclusive to Spectrum of the Seas. The cuisine is inspired by dishes from the Sichaun province of China so expect pork and beef dishes with hot and spicy flavours. As this is a new specialty dining option for Royal Caribbean, I think it would be rude not to try it!
3. Wonderland’s DaDong
The popular Wonderland specialty restaurant (Deck 5, mid-ship) will be
a new outpost of Chinese chef Dong Zhenxiang, who is renowned for his much-coveted roast duck dish. Not much is known at the moment about how this will influence the menu but watch this space! Wonderland is already on other Royal Caribbean ships and the food looks almost too good to eat. You can read a review of Wonderland by Donna from Cruising with Kids.
4. Noodle Bar
The new noodle bar will be found in the Grand Windjammer Marketplace and will offer live chef demonstrations and fresh noodles made daily. The Windjammer will be 20% larger than those on Quantum Class ships so is tipped to be an excellent casual dining option with plenty of choice on offer for Asian and Western palets.
5. Hot Pot
Also situated in the Windjammer is the Hot Pot. Hot Pot is a Chinese cooking method, that uses a simmering pot of soup stock at the dining table, containing a variety of East Asian foodstuffs and ingredients. While the hot pot simmers, ingredients are placed into the pot and cooked at the table, similar to a fondue. I’m looking forward visiting the Hot Pot on Spectrum of the Seas as I’ve never tried something like this before. I’m also intrigued at the idea of getting involved in cooking my own food.
6. Largest Ultimate Family Suite yet
Spectrum of the Seas will have the largest Ultimate Family Suite in the fleet. The suite will be split over two-levels, and accommodate an incredible 11 guests! I’m not sure I’d want to share with so many people but for multi-generational family cruises, this could be a perfect option.
The three-bedroom suite will include a master bedroom with a bathroom that extends over the side of the ship to provide unparalleled ocean views.
There will also be two additional suites for grandparents and other family members.
Children have their own space on the upper level, complete with an in-suite slide that will transport them to the living area below. Everyone in the family can enjoy time together in the suite’s recreation room, featuring surround-sound equipment for a night of karaoke, movies or video games.
7. First ‘Star Moment’ on Spectrum of the Seas
New to Royal Caribbean and first on Spectrum of the Seas is Star Moment (Deck 4), a lively and energetic karaoke venue where family and friends can belt out and sing like stars.
It makes sense that Royal Caribbean has included a karaoke venue onboard Spectrum of the Seas because karaoke was developed in Japan and is a popular pastime in Asia.
Singing karaoke is quite possibly my worst nightmare and so although I won’t be participating, I will be sure to visit Star Moment to enjoy the passengers’ performances as they step into the limelight.
8. New Shows on Spectrum of the Seas
Information about the entertainment shows onboard is slowly being revealed by Royal Caribbean’s Entertainment Team. It appears that technology will play a huge role in productions with drones, robotics and real-time video tracking. I am more accustomed to traditional entertainment so this will be interesting and hopefully awesome.
There is also news that The Silk Road production will be featured in Two70 and will incorporate robotics. I’m looking forward to enjoying the entertainment onboard Spectrum of the Seas as it’s an aspect of Royal Caribbean that always seems to be highly-rated by passengers.
9. Sky Pad
I’m always slightly amused about what they’re going to put on a cruise ship next! I’m not one for the gimmicks and therefore I wouldn’t choose to go on a cruise ship just because it had a laser tag/race track/roller coaster (delete as appropriate) BUT I had a go at something very similar to the Sky Pad in Ibiza about 20 years ago and enjoyed it. So, when on Spectrum, I will have a go! The virtual reality headset, which is supposed to make you feel like you’re bouncing through space. This is sure to add to the weirdness and disorientation but I have told myself to give it a try to ‘experience it’. I think it’s going to best enjoyed without a stomach full of food or cocktails!
10. The Itinerary
The initial reason I was drawn to Spectrum of the Seas, was its itinerary. The ship will leave the dockyard and re-position from Europe to Asia and therefore the Suez Canal itinerary was a huge attraction.
The cruise itinerary is always the selling point for me and so everything else is a bonus! To find out about the ports of call that I’m most excited about you can read my blog post.
When the ship reaches Asia, Spectrum of the Seas will cruise out of Shanghai. Initially, itineraries will be short 3-5 day cruises, with the opportunity to book back-to-back cruises to explore different ports. During its first season in Asia, Spectrum of the Seas will visit: China, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam and Russia.