Well, that's the big rumor going around on the Internet and in cruise forums.
I'm strongly inclined to think that Quantum will indeed forgo the traditional MDR concept (the first main line ship to do so) for a few reasons.
1. Too much chatter about dining plans for Quantum of the Seas.
A sampling of the discussion from the Cruise Critic message boards under a thread titled "Changing MDR on Quantum" indicates the topic is growing hotter:
From poster OhioOtter . . .
"Was just looking over the deck plans of Quantum and didn't see the Main Dining Room layout anywhere. Guess it could be associated with the 'more to come' designations but seems pretty strange that it's not shown when the theater and casino are.
I do know that when I booked a cruise on Quantum while on my last cruise and noticed that I was listed as My Time Dining when I requested the 6 PM time slot, I was told by the C&AS rep that "they might be doing things differently on Quantum when it comes to dining."
Others stated on the forum that they had heard there would be no main dining room, but did not name the source of this info. Posters also noted that they cannot yet pick their dining preference, early, late or My Time, citing reservation paperwork that states "Dinner Seating: Dining preferences will be available Spring 2014."
2. Another clue indicating Royal Caribbean will be drastically changing the way they offer dining on Quantum of the Seas: Read into what top executives of the line said last year when the first details of Quantum were unveiled.
"Innovation has always been part of our DNA and we have taken advantage of all that creativity to design Quantum cruising," Royal Caribbean Cruises chairman and CEO Richard Fain said.
Harri Kulovaara, Royal's executive vice-president of Maritime and Newbuilding said "Quantum of the Seas, I think, is clearly a quantum leap forward. We don't settle for something what has been done before. We don't get satisfaction out of that. We really want to do something that is extraordinary."
Also, note that no current deck plans indicate a main dining venue, and Royal Caribbean has left out mentions of the specific dining options in any published details of Quantum, indicating the line is preparing for a big reveal.
This revolutionary dining concept could be explained March 26 at an event in New York City. Pinnacle level members of the Royal Caribbean's Crown and Anchor Society loyalty program received invites to join the line's president and CEO, Adam Goldstein, for an exclusive preview of more "firsts" that will be featured onboard Quantum of the Seas.
3. Royal Caribbean is the industry leader in innovation. The line brought ice skating rinks, virtual balconies, the Royal Promenade, rock climbing walls and the FlowRider surf simulators to the oceans. It makes sense to me that it also would be the first out of the gate with a dining concept that could revolutionize the main meal experience on a big cruise ship. Imagine 20 or more restaurants throughout the ship -- a mix of for-fee specialty eateries and complimentary smaller space dining options -- that give cruisers a better overall experience during their weeklong sailings. No cacophonous din of the enormous main dining room. Instead, more relaxing and authentic meals with a wider variety of food styles that you can eat on your own schedule.
I know cruisers are excited to see what the dining will look like on Quantum of the Seas, which we already know features some unique touches like the North Star London Eye-like attraction, Two70 multilevel great room, Ripcord skydiving wind tunnel and bumper cars.
Elsewhere . . .
Expedia CruiseShip Centers announced the inaugural voyage of its Legend All-Stars Tribute Series on Norwegian Gem. The rock and roll theme cruise features tribute artists for Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and Neil Diamond. The seven-day cruise leaves Aug. 2 from New York City to the Bahamas.
Celebrity Cruises has announced a set of suite class services to debut April 2015. Included in the new experience for suite class cabinholders: a dedicated restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, serving meals not available anywhere else on the ship; VIP lounge; unlimited Internet; premium beverages; dining at the specialty restaurants; butler service; and priority check in and embarkation.