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Quantum of the Seas — SO Special

QuantumWhen Quantum of the Seas was introduced to the world, at a press conference in New York two and a half years ago, everybody in the room that day quickly realized that “revolutionary” would not be an exaggeration, nor a buzzword to be flaunted by public relations people trying to find a word that bordered on hyperbole.

It was the right word.

We happened to be in New York that day — pinch-hitting for our Ports and Bows colleague Phil Reimer — and we’d never seen a cruise ship that was anything like this ship-to-be. That was understandable, because neither had anybody else. For all the Northstars, RipCords, bumping cars and glitz that came with naming Kristin Chenoweth as the ship’s godmother, it turns we didn’t know the half of what a special ship Quantum of the Seas was.

Again…logical, because neither did anybody else.

Until last week.

That’s when Royal Caribbean was presented with the Maritime Safety Award, as chosen by Royal Institution of Naval Architects. It’s the first cruise ship to be so decorated by the prestigious award…in 155 years!

It goes to “an individual, company or organization which has made a significant technological contribution to improving maritime safety” and Quantum caught RIBA’s North Starattention for “the design and implementation of an integrated Safety Command Centre.” In  layman’s terms — as opposed to seaman’s terms — what it comes down to is this:

While those of us who like cruising were “wowed” by the pod (North Star) that takes passengers out over the sea, the safety people were “wowed” by different types of pods: the incident pod, the evacuation pod, the command pod and the communication pod. The efficiency of all make Quantum of the Seas a safer ship.

The ship has, of course, left North America to operate in Asia. That’s the bad news. The good news is that presumably it is a template for Royal Caribbean ships to follow, including Anthem of the Seas, which made its debut this spring, and the two ships to follow next year: Harmony of the Seas and Ovation of the Seas.

There’s a lot of minutia that explains why RINA was so impressed with Quantum’s safety and its ability to react to an incident. For we who don’t usually react to such things until there is an incident, the fact that it’s the first time a cruise ship has been given the award is, at least, comforting.

In the news…

• Princess promotion free upgrades, specialty dining, gratuities until October 29
• Costa, AIDA donate 200,000 euros for refugee relief In Germany
• More than half a million people celebrate "cruise days" in Hamburg

Today at portsandbows.com: Port of Miami looking at a boom

Royal Caribbean Navigator of the Seas
7 nights
October 25, 2015
Galveston (return): Cozumel, Belize, Roatan  
Inside: $479
Cost per day: $68

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