Quantum of the Seas, Royal Caribbean's innovative smartship arrived at Cape Liberty in Bayonne, N.J., to much fanfare this week. Quantum is loaded with all sorts of goodies and gadgets, including "Dynamic Dining," robot bartenders, hi-tech Two270 entertainment space, virtual balconies, hi-speed Internet and more.
But I'm going to focus on what this 4,180-passenger ship has to offer the active traveler who likes to combine keeping fit and having fun while on vacation.
I've identified seven things you'll really like about Quantum of the Seas . . .
7. SeaPlex -- This play space offer sessions for bumper cars, basketball, circus school trapeze lessons and more! Adults and kids alike have a ball here.
5. FlowRider -- Another favorite for loyal Royal Caribbean cruisers. The surf simulator is awesome fun and very challenging -- with surfing and boogie board sessions.
6. Rock-climbing wall -- This staple of Royal Caribbean ships is available on Quantum, too. But on Quantum of the Seas, your climb offers views off the side of the ship while the gigantic magenta bear (it's named From Afar) serves as your spotter.
4. Swimming pools -- Of course, all big cruise ships have pools for you to enjoy. Quantum's Solarium adults-only pool area is especially gorgeous with wonderful views of the front of the ship. You also can cool off or swim a few laps in the main outdoor pool or the indoor pool, which features a retractable roof.
3. Devinly Decadence -- We can't forget the food, can we? I love my tasty meals on cruises, and I've been known to overindulge. (Read how I gained 25 pounds on a weeklong cruise.) But this restaurant on Quantum of the Seas offers healthful, delicious meals in 500-calories-or-fewer portions designed by celebrity chef Devin Alexander of TV's "The Biggest Loser" fame. And the foods taste fantastic. I enjoyed a delish salad with Thai beef and papaya and samples of barbecue chicken flatbread (on whole wheat lavash), chicken satay and free range beef meatballs. The desserts are incredible, too.
2. The gym -- The fitness center on Quantum is massive and the best I've seen at sea. It offers plenty of space, large range of free weights and cardio machines and a group-class pit area at the front of the ship that gives participants great views through tall glass windows. The set-up includes TRX suspension training.
1. RipCord by iFly -- The skydiving simulator is another first-at-sea activity for Royal Caribbean. This is popular. Groups of 10 at a time go through an orientation before heading into the wind tube for blast off. Wait till you see what your expert instructors can do in this ride!
All of the above are included in your cruise fare. Not too bad at all.
Thanks for reading. Remember: Travel fit! Travel happy! Travel often!