Adventure on the seas

  • Features
  • Saturday, 14 Sep 2013

Quantum leap: The Royal Caribbean

Newest cruise ship boasts bumper cars and skydiving, among its new attractions.

IT’S being pitched as a game-changer in the cruising industry – a ship that will offer a string of firsts, including bumper cars, skydiving, and a glass capsule that will lift guests more than 90m above the ocean for 360° views of their surroundings.

To much fanfare, Royal Caribbean released details on the next generation of cruise liners to set sail next year, positioning the ship as a “quantum leap” forward in cruise vacations.

Among some of the most innovative and exclusive features of the new Quantum Of The Seas includes Ripcord, the first skydiving experience that simulates free-falling inside a safe, controlled chamber above the sea.

The ship will also feature a jewel-shaped capsule dubbed North Star which lifts guests more than 90m above the ocean and over the side of the ship to provide sweeping 360° views of their surroundings.

And at SeaPlex, described as the largest indoor active space at sea, guests will be able to take either a spin on the first-ever cruise ship bumper car ride, or go roller-skating as a floating DJ plays tunes hovering over the rink in a suspended booth.

The space also converts into a circus school with flying trapeze lessons, and a full-size regulation basketball court.

At nightfall, the court transforms into an adult-only dance floor.

Named for its panoramic 270° view of the ocean, the Two70 multi-level room is also expected to be a major attraction for guests, given the floor-to-ceiling windows which will span nearly three decks. Designed as a space for guests to relax and congregate, the room will also double as an entertainment venue at night.

Meanwhile, actress Kristin Chenoweth, best known as a Broadway actress and for her appearances in TV series such as Pushing Daisies and Glee, has been tapped as the cruise ship’s “godmother”.

Royal Caribbean has introduced unprecedented firsts; on other ships as well, including rock-climbing walls, an ice-skating rink and a surfing simulator.

They’re the latest developments in a luxury travel industry that is continually tripping over itself trying to outdo the competition with grandiose announcements of biggest, bests, and firsts.

Earlier this year, Europe’s largest cruise ship, the MSC Preziosa – a behemoth longer than the span of the Eiffel Tower – set sail from western France and was touted as a symbol of the country’s shipbuilding prowess.

Princess Cruises also tapped some celebrity star power to christen the latest addition to their fleet.

One of its signature features will be the SeaWalk, a cantilevered glass-bottomed walkway that extends beyond the ship’s edge for a view of the sea with 9m drop. The ship is also said to boast the largest pastry shop at sea. – AFP Relaxnews

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