Due to set sail this fall, the cruise operator's new flagship will be outfitted with several high-tech innovations for a more enjoyable journey.
A luggage tracking app, robotic bartenders and apps that let crew members keep track of passengers' individual preferences are among the new technologies coming to the Quantum of the Seas.
Like airlines, cruise operators are constantly looking for new ways to improve the passenger experience, namely by leveraging new technologies.
Royal Caribbean, the owner of the world's largest cruise ships, is taking a giant leap into the 21st century with the launch of its next ship, the Quantum of the Seas.
Before leaving home, cruise guests can now print their boarding card and receive digital confirmation of their trip, avoiding long check-in and boarding lines upon departure. Luggage will be tagged curbside with RFID tags, meaning that passengers will be able to track their bags in real time through a dedicated smartphone app.
Each passenger will also receive an RFID bracelet, which works as the room key and can also be used to make on-board purchases and navigate the ship.
Robots of the sea
For travellers looking to stay connected during their cruise, Royal Caribbean promises on-board internet speeds to match those of onshore broadband connections. Vacationers will be able to download videos, chat with their contacts and check their e-mails just like they would at home.
Beyond improving convenience, high-tech innovation is also about entertaining and surprising guests, as seen in the ship's robotic bartenders. At the Bionic Bar, passengers place their order through a tablet and then watch as humanoid mixologists prepare their cocktails.
A new solution will allow the ship's crew members and concierges, each equipped with a tablet, to keep track of travellers' individual preferences through a dedicated app. The technology is meant to allow crew members to better anticipate each guest's needs, whether it's gluten-free meals or early seating for a show.
The Quantum of the Seas, the first ship in the new Quantum class, will set sail for its maiden voyage from New York on Nov 23 with 4,180 passengers.
Brand new attractions
Royal Caribbean is touting the Quantum of the Seas as the first in a new class of game-changing ships. Each of these new 16-deck ocean liners will offer attractions and shows never before offered on the sea.
Among these are the North Star, a glass capsule in which riders rise 90 meters above the ocean to take in a panoramic view, and the SeaPlex, a large activity arena where guests will enjoy bumper cars (the first ever on a cruise ship), roller skating, or even circus arts lessons.
Another highly anticipated attraction is the Ripcord, the first sky-diving simulator on the sea, which allows passengers to experience the feeling of free fall from the safety of an enclosed air machine.
Royal Caribbean has already earned a reputation for cruises with impressive attractions, and some of its current ships include climbing walls, ice skating rinks and even a surfing simulator. The company even operates the two largest ships ever built, the Allure of the Seas and the Oasis of the Seas, each with a record length of 362 meters and a capacity of 5,400 passengers.
After the launch of the Quantum of the Seas, Royal Caribbean will turn its attention to the second ship in the class, the Anthem of the Seas, which is due to set sail in 2015. — AFP/Relaxnews 2014