It was with great interest that I read Christopher Reynolds' story "Plugging In" [March 15] on the Quantum of the Seas.
I was on that same sailing. I am by no means new to cruising or Royal Caribbean, and I have to say that this was the single worst vacation I have ever had. For me, it was like being in the Beverly Center for seven days the week before Christmas (except you can pretty much eat when and where you want to in the mall).
Like Reynolds, I experienced connectivity issues constantly (the cruise line gave me a 50% refund, which was fair), and the assistant front-desk manager told me the ship did have issues with Samsung devices. Samsung is a huge vendor of smartphones and tablets, so an issue with Samsung, it seems to me, means Quantum's Wi-Fi is not ready for prime time.
I wish Reynolds had mentioned the interminable wait for elevators or that the show "Mamma Mia!" was limited to three performances, the first being the night we sailed (I've never seen that before) and two the next day, so many passengers like me who wanted to get settled and figure out what to do for the week had no opportunity to see it.
I am not a perennial complainer; I don't expect perfection even when sailing on Seabourn or Silversea, and I always find at least several aspects of my vacation highly enjoyable. But even the consistently high-quality food and gracious staff of Quantum couldn't turn this cruise into a positive experience.
Chills ran up my spine when I saw the photo of the masses of people crammed cheek to jowl on deck of the new floating behemoth Quantum of the Seas. Why would anyone wish to be trapped on board this monster, let alone pay good money to do so?
It's as close as any human being will come to being the proverbial sardine in a tin can. Fun on the high seas? I don't think so….
Port trip perils
Regarding "Be Sure You Won't Miss the Boat," by Rosemary McClure, March 15: One other possible way to miss the boat is to book an independent day trip while at port. The cruise lines will wait for officially sanctioned tours booked through them. They won't if a passenger takes an independently arranged excursion. It's worth noting that the ship might well leave without you.
Playa del Rey
Regarding "Fill Up on Austin," by Rosemary McClure, March 8: Austin is an oasis in the middle of an otherwise desolate Texas. With the university, music, food and art, as well as the race track that brings Formula 1 and MotoGP and their cosmopolitan vibe, you could almost imagine living there.
On the other hand, the city reminds me of West Berlin before the wall came down; there are 825,000 Texans with licenses to carry concealed weapons. And there is no wall to protect you. No thanks.
Kevin H. Park