Royal Caribbean’s lead Quantum-class cruise ship, Quantum of the Seas, is to get a refurbishment ahead of her upcoming Singapore cruise season that will likely make her appeal more to Western and Indian cruise passengers alike.
When Quantum of the Seas was deployed to China to operate roundtrip Shanghai cruises, she was heavily customised for the local market, with speciality dining venues such as Johnny Rockets turned into a Kung Fu Panda noodle house and Wonderland’s menu reimagined by Michelin-star chef Da Dong.
The popular ‘bar grub’ venue Michaels was converted to the Harp & Horn and all menus in the main dining rooms became heavily Asian-influenced. While the Asian-influence in the main dining rooms is likely to remain on her Singapore season, it’s also likely that some Indian cuisine will be introduced.
Quantum of the Seas original speciality dining venues though, are likely to be reintroduced to appeal to the more international make-up of passengers cruising out of Singapore, as well as the Indian source market.
Indian cruise passengers have started using Singapore and Dubai as a base for fly-cruise holidays, and in the Dubai cruise market lines such as MSC Cruises and Costa have put a lot of effort into appealing to the tastes of this burgeoning source market.
About 100,000 Indians cruised from Singapore in 2016, 29 per cent more than in 2015, making India the biggest market for cruises departing from Singapore, according to the Singapore Tourism Board.
“Singapore is a regional hub and port which is near many attractive South-east Asian cruise destinations in Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam,” explains Royal Caribbean’s Asia-Pacific managing director Sean Treacy.
And Royal Caribbean is a popular cruise line with the Indian public. The number of Indian passengers on Royal Caribbean ships has jumped 149 per cent so far this year, compared with the same period last year.
It’s partly because of this growing demand from India, and Royal Caribbean’s popularity with them, that the cruise line is homeporting Jewel of the Seas in Dubai in 2019/2020, and it’s also why Quantum of the Seas is being homeported in Singapore during the same period.
To better accommodate guests from India, Royal Caribbean will offer vegetarian meals, local cuisine and culture, and special events that appeal to South Asian guests.
“More Bollywood music may be played at the pool or disco parties, and more jewellery gift sets, which are popular with Indians, may be procured for sailings that host a higher number of them on board,” says Royal Caribbean’s Treacy.