Are they shopping malls? Are they amusement parks? Are they resorts? Well, they are all three clubbed together in one! And it is easy to experience this when you spend a few days aboard two spectacular Royal Caribbean International ships, Quantum of the Seas® and Spectrum of the Seas, coasting along the high seas of Japan. The state-of-the-art vessels, taking the joy of cruising to unparalleled heights, will depart from China and make their way to exotic ports of the Land of the Rising Sun on various dates throughout the year. Indian travellers just need a Chinese visa in tow to begin their Japanese adventure from Beijing or Shanghai, and they will go back thinking—why didn’t I look eastwards for my cruising sojourns in the first place?
Quantum of the Seas is a revolutionary cruise, complete with cutting-edge technology. People can enjoy attractions and amenities such as iFlyer, the first skydiving simulator at sea; Bionic Bar®, where you can befriend a robot mixologist (who manages some fine tipple); SeaPlex® that—take a load of this—brings amusement park favourites such as bumper cars, roller skating and circus school on board; North Star®, a glass capsule which will take you 300 feet in the air, where you can enjoy panoramas of the high waves and Japan’s quaint ports; and Two70®, which uses projection screens to transform its atmosphere, guaranteeing an ethereal, immersive experience. Quantum of the Seas sails between June and October from Beijing, with many four, five or seven night itineraries to pick from; the voyages begin from Shanghai (four, five, seven or eight night itineraries) from January to May. Bonus: there’s a 30 to 40 per cent discount on every ticket, depending on the chosen dates.
And then there’s the all-new Spectrum of the Seas, one of Asia’s largest and the first Quantum Ultra Class ship. It packs a universe of entertainment among its 16 decks, an entire ‘spectrum’ of activities and features, if we may say so. Imagine Sky PadâÂÂÂ , a virtual reality gravity-defying experience; suites with private dining rooms, lounges and a solarium allowing one to sunbathe as if on a beach; and the Ultimate Family Suite, with its own 3D cinema, which will appeal to parents and children alike. Pick among four, five, seven and eight day itineraries as Spectrum of the Seas heads to Japan between June and December. There’s 30 to 40 per cent off on every ticket here as well.
The itineraries allow you to visit destinations either individually or with two or more places clubbed together, and include Nagasaki, which has a natural harbour fringed with lush hills; Fukuoka, with its wealth of ancient temples and unspoiled beaches; Shimonoseki, an island known for its biodiversity; Kumamoto, a land of art and kings; Sasebo, with a Dutch-town-inspired amusement park being its biggest draw; Hakodate, home to the panoramic Mount Hakodate; Kyoto, with its Buddhist temples; Nigata, with its sea resorts and national parks—among others. This way, expect to be completely immersed in Japan’s attractions and culture, while the days at sea will allow you to explore every nook and cranny of the ships. Indeed, these are cruising escapades like never before.
If you thought that was all to the vessels, you are mistaken. Quantum of the Seas has over a dozen ways to feast (Jamie’s Italian by Jamie Oliver and Izumi, with its fresh sushi rolls, being two of them), while Spectrum of the Seas has a similar culinary repertoire, including Leaf and Bean, a treat for the tea connoisseur. Plenty of bars and lounges, and a host of activities—whether in the spa or at an exciting, visually stunning performance—means you will never run out of things to do.
So now that the undulating waves and charismatic hamlets of Japan beckon, and these two ships by Royal Caribbean International seem to be the best way to get there, it is time for you to get planning as soon as possible.
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