Quantum of the Seas joined the Royal Caribbean fleet in October 2014. This incredible superliner elevates cruising to a completely different level and will amaze you from the moment you step aboard. As the cruise line's inaugural Quantum Class ship, she was the first to showcase innovative features such as: the North Star glass capsule, RipCord by iFly skydiving experience, Two70 technology and entertainment, Bionic Bar with robotic bartenders, and SeaPlex active space with the first dodgems at sea. It has superb eating venues with the new Dynamic Dining experience, as well as SMART check-in facilities for a speedy service and RFID WOWbands for making payments at sea.
Life on-board is all about doing as little or as much as you wish. Learn to surf like a professional on the FlowRider surf-simulator or meet the challenge of the rock climbing wall. Splash around in the H20 Zone mini-water park or chill-out at the child-free solarium. Fun times are on the cards for kids with the Adventure Ocean Youth Programme, or throw on some roller skates and take a glide across the rink. Joion in an exercise class in the ship's fitness centre or indulge with a hot stone massage at Vitality at Sea Spa. On top of this, Quantum of the Seas docks in exciting ports with sightseeing and adventures on the agenda.
There's plenty to tempt your taste buds in the on-board restaurants and eateries too. Windjammer Marketplace is the ship's casual eating, serve-yourself dining venue, and also features 24-hour The Grill for rotisserie chicken, Philly cheesesteaks and all-day breakfasts. Feast on gourmet hot dogs in the SeaPlex Dog House, or enjoy snacks, sandwiches, pastries and drinks in Cafe Promenade. Picnic-style The Cafe @ Two70 serves toasted sandwiches, custom-made salads and homemade soups, while Grand Suite and Pinnacle Members have exclusive access to the fusion of Mediterranean and Californian cuisines at Coastal Kitchen.
A selection of speciality restaurants enhances the on-board culinary journey. Johnny Rockets all-American diner serves up sides, shakes, hamburgers, and desserts. Venture into the unique Wonderland restaurant, which presents post-modern cuisine based on elements: Ice, Sun, Fire, Earth, Water and Dreams. American Icon Grill offers the best comfort foods in a setting reminiscent of the classic American roadster, while you can savour contemporary cuisines including prime beef, Maine lobster, dry-aged steaks, and irresistible desserts at Chic eatery. The Grande Restaurant harks back to a sophisticated bygone era with formal dining on timeless classics, but you can also enjoy the exotic Far East and Asian dishes that adorn Silk Restaurant's menu.
Chops Grille American Steakhouse serves hand-cut prime beef steaks, veal parmesan, grilled branzino, Maine lobster and delicious desserts; and the adjoining Chef's Table presents a five-course gourmet menu with wine tasting. Jamie's Italian by Jamie Oliver is his first seafaring venture, featuring a menu of rustic Italian recipes, freshly-made pastas, and specials such as Jamie's Italian Meat Plank. Authentic New York pizzas are served in Sorrento's, and sushi and sashimi treats are made-to-order in the Izumi eatery. But don't worry if you're just after a light bite, you can savour the healthy menu of firm favourites at Devinly Decadence - all less than 500 calories.
From beers and smoothies in the sun to champagne and cocktails after dark, the plethora of bars and lounges on-board Quantum of the Seas offer something for everyone. No need to wander too far from your tanning-spot with The Pool Bar and Sky Bar only steps away. Smoothies, cocktails and healthy drinks are served at The Sunshine Bar, while Music Hall has two bars that serve a wide choice of drinks and musically-inspired cocktails. Lively salsa music accompanies refreshments in the Latin-themed Boleros or you can discover piano music and quizzes at Schooner Bar. Michael's Genuine Pub serves Michael Swartz's craft beer and signature cocktails, while robotic bartenders tend to your drinks at Bionic Bar. Lovers of good wine can sip their favourite glass of Chardonnay or Shiraz in the relaxed setting of Vintages Wine Bar, or others can head towards Two70 for a long menu of hot drinks and cocktails. The North Star Bar is the perfect pit-stop after a trip on the North Star ride and specialises in signature cocktails, champagne and panoramic views.
The night-time scene on Quantum of the Seas can't fail to impress. Thrilling musical extravaganzas and production shows hit the stage each night in The Royal Theatre. Once evening hits, Two70 transforms into an entertainment venue like no other with dancing, robotics, video projections, and headlining artistes, while Music Hall hosts live bands, dancing, signature parties and tribute acts. Alternatively, see if luck's on your side at the blackjack tables and slot machines in the swanky Casino Royale, or dance until late at bustling Bolero's Nightclub.
Day 1: UK to Bangkok, Thailand
Fly from your chosen UK airport to Bangkok, Thailand. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm on Day 1. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place, and have your insurance details and next of kin information ready for collection. Bangkok has so much to offer those with time to explore, so perhaps arrive a day or so early and take a riverboat to Chinatown and explore the crowded streets, uncover the magnificent Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, wander down the tourist mecca of Khao San Road, or indulge in some Thai massage. After the meeting tonight perhaps gather your fellow travellers together and tuck into some into world famous street food.
Day 2: Bangkok, Thailand – Overnight train
Begin the day with a river cruise down the Chao Phraya River to explore the famous ‘khlongs’ (canals) (approximately 1 hour). Life along these canals seems a world away from the chaotic streets of the capital. Pay a visit to Wat Pho, one of the ‘trinity’ of Bangkok temples, with a 46-metre long gold plated Buddha reclining inside. Even the feet of this statue are incredible, three metres long and intricately decorated with mother of pearl. The temple grounds are equally fascinating, filled with beautifully decorated stupas, halls, and shrines. No trip to Thailand is complete without an overnight train journey. This evening you’ll head south to Surat Thani on an overnight train journey, accommodated in air-conditioned sleeping berths (approximately 12 hours). Multi share compartments have bunk beds, with sheets and pillow provided. Your baggage travels in the carriage with you. There is a food and drink service available on board.
Day 3: Khao Sok National Park, Thailand
Arrive into Surat Thani in the morning and then travel by minivan to Khao Sok (approximately 2.5 hours). Set amid hectares of thick jungle, waterfalls, limestone cliffs and topped off with an island-studded lake, the national park of Khao Sok is a nature lover's paradise. Here you’ll have free time to explore one of the oldest rainforest in the world. Walk along the dirt trails that snake through the quiet park, looking out for wildlife as you head for rivers and waterfalls. The flora is also top-notch, with the rare Rafflesia Kerri, one of the world’s largest flowers, only found in Thailand here. There are longer hiking trails also available and in the rainy season there's an option to take to the water in inner tubes and float down the river through the rainforest. Spend a night in a rustic hut amid ancient gnarled rainforest trees.
Day 4: Khao Sok National Park, Thailand
Travel through pristine jungle, rubber and oil plantations before boarding a long tail boat for a ride across stunning Cheow Lan Lake, with one of its island as your destination. With limestone karst hills rising almost 1,000 metres into the air and surrounded by beautiful green waters, the area is incredibly picturesque. Trek to the an island cave and discover its eerie stalactites and bats hanging from the celling, with subterranean streams at your feet. You’ll enjoy lunch in a local raft-house before having free time to relax, swim or kayak around the lake to search for wildlife – the water is clear and teems with aquatic life, and you might spot hornbills, langurs, macaques or gibbons above water. Return to your accommodation for the night.
Day 5: Homestay at Krabi Province (to be confirmed), Thailand
Sit back and enjoy a local bus ride to Krabi province – you’ll travel by private minibus to your village homestay (approximately 3 hours). When you arrive, enjoy a walk with your homestay host around the village, try out rubber tapping and enjoy the great food and hospitality of the region. Thailand is one of the world’s three largest producers of rubber, and you can try your hand at ‘tapping’ a rubber tree – skimming the bark off the tree to create a path for the milky white latex to run down. There is also an opportunity to assist with the preparation of tonight's meal – learn some of the delicious secrets of southern Thai cooking and enjoy a dinner that tastes all the better thanks to your handiwork! This is a wonderful opportunity to absorb some of the daily rituals of Thai culture.
Day 6: Ao Nang, Thailand
Make the short journey by private minibus to the stunning surrounds of Krabi and your base at Ao Nang (approximately 30 minutes). Famous for the incredible limestone karst scenery of the headland, sun-seekers will fall in love with Krabi's unspoilt beaches, the spectacular cliffs will tempt avid rock climbers, while scuba fans can embark on a Krabi diving adventure. If you love getting out on the water and exploring islands, then consider taking a trip by boat to explore Phi Phi and Khai Nok, islands surrounded by white sandy beach perfect for swimming and snorkelling. The area around Krabi is also home to some of the most spectacular climbing routes around. Whether you're a novice or a pro, being securely tied high up a limestone cliff-face looking down on jungle and crystalline seas is unforgettable. In the evening, look out for a beautiful sunset and consider dining on seafood in a beachside restaurant, followed by a drink in one of the many clubs and bars along on the beach.
Day 7: Ao Nang, Thailand
This morning you’ll enjoy an included half day Sea Kayaking trip to the mangrove forest of Ao Thalane. About half way along the coast between Than Bok Khoranee and Krabi town is a bay of mangroves that might just be the most beautiful bay in Thailand. Surrounded by towering karst formations and many small offshore islands, let the waterways become your pathway as you move slowly through the bays and canyons, discover inlets, caves and hidden lagoons, and check out the local wildlife up-close – the birds overhead and monkeys in the trees. If you do see a monkey, make sure you secure your belongings and any food! If you have time today in the afternoon, you could explore the beautiful underwater world around Ao Nang with some scuba diving, which includes three dives, or maybe absorb Thai culture through the tastes of a Thai cooking class. In the evenings, you can stroll the beaches, sample local fare at a seafood restaurant, enjoy a relaxing massage on the beach, or simply sit back with a good book and a cool cocktail to watch the sun slip beneath the waves.
Day 8: Penang, Malaysia
Get out your best book or find your entertainment at the scenery out the window, as today’s a long day of travel (approximately 9 hours). The journey by private minibus sees you say goodbye to Thailand and wave hello to the cultural melting pot of Malaysia. The fascinating island of Penang was the first destination of the colonial British in 1786. They invited the Chinese, as well as others from all over Asia, to live on this island in the tropics. Today, this exotic fusion of cultures still exists and the World Heritage site of Georgetown contains a fascinating mix of religious places of worship. When you arrive, you’ll take an orientation walk around the blend of colonial buildings, tumble-down shops and hawker-filled alleyways to get your bearings. The food here might just be the best in Malaysia, so seek out some food stalls with your leader, and get a taste of this food paradise on an included Hawker food tour. Sample some local specialties such as Nasi Kandar, Penang Laksa, and Char Kway Teow.
Day 9: Penang, Malaysia
This morning you’ll take a half day sightseeing walking tour around Penang and Georgetown, soaking up the relaxed pace of life and the mix of cultures on show in this heritage area. See the original 19th century shophouses, the street markets, and the strong cultural and religious identity still on display in each neighbourhood – Little India, Chinatown or the Muslim Quarter. Check out the street art that adorns the walls and stop by a clan jetty. Clans were formed by 19th century immigrants, banding together based on the area of China that they came from, and they built rival waterfront societies on wooden jetties. You’ll also pay a visit to Thai and Burmese temples, and see Kek Lok Si Temple, the largest Buddhist temple in South East Asia. You’ll have this afternoon free and, aside from sauntering along the interesting streets (or hoping in a trishaw for a ride that will take you back in time), you might want to see the clan house of Khoo Kongsi. Check out the ornate carvings on the walls, roof and pillars, and maybe see more Chinese architecture in the memorably blue Courtyard House of Cheong Fatt Tze, a fabulously wealthy merchant. Don’t forget to feast on the island’s culinary delights tonight.
Day 10: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Continue south on a local bus to Kuala Lumpur (approximately 5 hours). This is a great opportunity to try and chat with the locals and maybe get some tips out of them for your next destination. Kuala Lumpur, the cosmopolitan capital of Malaysia, is affectionately known as KL and you'll almost always hear locals refer to it by its acronym. Communities of Indian, Chinese and ethnic Malay people mingle peacefully, allowing travellers to get the best of all three worlds. KL has grown from a sleepy little village to a skyscraper-lined multi-million-peopled metropolis. The city can seem vast, but the main focus is the traditional core of the old town (the former colonial centre), the luxury hotel and shopping mall district of the Golden Triangle, and bustling Chinatown and Little India. Once again, you’ll be incredibly spoilt with the breadth and quality of dining options on offer. From simple-street side fare that attracts queues of customers eager to try the latest dish said to be the best around, to seriously high-calibre, world-class cuisine.
Day 11: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Jump on the local metro (MRT) this morning, and take a half-day guided food tour that will let you absorb the fascinating multicultural mix of Malay, Chinese, and Indian cultures through sampling some of it's best food. Walk around local neighbourhoods and visit a Chinese Temple, local grocers and street vendors, and finish up in the Chinese influenced Petaling Street. Eat your way around through Kuala Lumpur and learn about the history of the city through it's dishes. This afternoon enjoy some free time. Perhaps visit the National Monument (commemorating those who died in Malaysia's struggle for freedom and based on the Iwo Jima Memorial in the USA), the vast National Mosque, featuring a bold and modern design, or the Istana Negara (National Palace). You might like stroll Dataran Merdeka (Independence Square), or shop in Suria KLCC (one of Malaysia’s premier shopping destinations) and then head up to the Skybridge & Observation Deck of the iconic Petronas Towers to gain another view on this cosmopolitan city. Those with a head for heights can also climb up the KL Tower at dusk and watch the city lights come to life. Lake Gardens is home to a number of sights, including the National Planetarium and the superb Islamic Arts Museum, home to a standout collection.
Day 12: Melaka, Malaysia
Transfer by local bus to the old port town of Melaka (approximately 3 hours). Back when Penang, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore left little impression on a map, the historic city of Melaka was the most important trading port in Malaysia, attracting Chinese, Indian, Dutch, Portuguese and British traders. These visitors sought wealth or an opportunity to control the Straits of Malacca, a vital trading route between the Indian and Pacific oceans, which lead to 400 years of colonial rule. Today, Melaka's wealth of historical sites remind visitors of times gone by, and its multicultural past is revealed in its distinctive cuisine. Like Georgetown, the Melaka was declared a World Heritage Site in 2008, and like its Penang sibling, the city is a harmonic mix of cultures, a place where colonial buildings sit next to Chinese shophouses and temples.
Day 13: Melaka, Malaysia
Today you’ll get to know this port city better with a quaint trishaw tour along the narrow winding streets. You’ll admire Chinatown's unique Peranakan architecture, get a taste of old Melaka, and learn about the ancient spice trade. Take in sites such as Harmony Street (so called because it contains the prayer houses of Malaysia's three main faiths), and stop by a mosque, Chinese Buddhist Temples, and a traditional Muslim house-museum. In your free time this afternoon there are plenty of historic sights and museums to check out. From 17th century Dutch buildings and ships, to museums that showcase the local history of ethnic Chinese-Malays, the travels of diplomat and explorer Zheng He, and even a museum that focuses on concepts of beauty in different cultures. If you’re looking to get more active then you could perhaps jump on two wheels for an Eco Bike tour around the city, or see Melaka from a different perspective with a boat tour along the river.
Day 14: Singapore
Travel by local bus to your final destination of Singapore (approximately 5 hours). Singapore has few areas untouched by modernisation, but wandering the streets of Little India and Chinatown is a great way to see the old parts of the city. To explore further, check out the renowned shopping precinct of Orchard Road, or stop by Raffles to experience the old world charm of a Singapore Sling. An evening in Singapore is not complete without a stroll along Clarke Quay, or even a river cruise to learn more about the fascinating history of this city. Your accommodation tonight is a centrally located hotel, perfect for easy exploring. Whatever you choose today, maybe gather together your fellow travellers for a celebratory drink or meal as your Bangkok to Singapore adventure comes to an end.
Day 15: Singapore (Embarkation Day)
After check out, make your way to the port to board Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas for a five-night cruise.
Day 16: Port Klang, Malaysia
The largest port in Malaysia, Port Klang serves the country’s capital, Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia has both a large Muslim and Buddhist population; and a visit to the FGS Dong Zen Monastery provides a tranquil look into a Buddhist monk's life. Head to Bagan Hailam, where restaurants line the roads and are built on stilts over water. Here, taste the fresh seafood which the area is famous for. If you visit in early May, you may catch sight of the Chitra Pournami Hindu Festival which celebrates the Chitragupta, a Hindu deity. If you're looking for a glimpse of local life; take a ferry over to the mangrove-covered island of Pulau Ketam, otherwise known as Crab Island. This island has an entire village built on stilts and a visit will reward you with awe-inspiring sights.
Day 17: Penang, Malaysia
Penang is located alongside the Strait of Malacca on the north-western coast of Peninsular Malaysia. Comprising two parts - Penang Island with its capital George Town and Seberang Perai on the Malay Peninsula. Ride a trishaw around the bustling streets and discover authentic local cuisine at the China House shophouses in Road Town. Travel on the cable car up Penang Hill or climb the 500 steps to Waterfall Hilltop Temple for stunning views. Explore the tropical oasis of herbs and spices at the Tropical Spice Garden or admire the winged beauties at the Butterfly Farm. While away a few hours at Batu Ferringhi beach or enjoy outdoor activities at ESCAPE theme park. Say a prayer at the Street of Harmony or gaze in awe at Wat Chayamangkalaram - Asia's largest reclining Buddha.
Day 18: Phuket, Thailand
The ship drops anchor today on the island of Phuket. Be sure to head to the picturesque Patong Beach along the western coast — perhaps the most popular attraction. Take a short drive and see the famous Simon Cabaret show with its full ladyboy cast. For gorgeous scenic views over the island visit the Big Buddha statue or watch the sunset from Promthep Cape. Take a trip through the historical Old Phuket Town with its various cafes, restaurants, museums, shrines and temples. A visit to 19th-century Wat Chalong Temple is a truly magical experience.
Day 20: Singapore
Today your cruise comes to an end. Make your way to Singapore airport for your return flight back to the UK.