Royal Caribbean innovates cruising with Quantum of the Seas
The name of Royal Caribbean International’s new cruise ship may sound like a James Bond movie, but it’s quite fitting given all of its high-tech gadgets and features.
In November, the Royal Caribbean unveiled its first Quantum-class ship, Quantum of the Seas, which offers tech savvy ideas and a smarter way of vacationing when it sets sail year-round in May 2015.
The “smart ship” was christened on Nov. 14 during the pre-inaugural celebration hosted by the ship’s godmother, singer/actress Kristin Chenoweth. Richard D. Fain, chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises, said the ship isn’t just changing cruising, but how today’s traveler vacations.
“It’s not just how you travel, it’s the experience from start to finish,” said Fain in a written statement. “With Quantum we are empowering our guests to customize every aspect of their journey, providing them with an unprecedented level of freedom and flexibility.”
Passengers will enjoy the convenience provided by radio-frequency identification (RFID) wristbands. These double as the passenger’s room key and method of payment, and don’t run the risk of becoming demagnetized. For example, guests can use it to order a drink at the ship’s Bionic Bar, where robots mix perfect and precise drinks.
(Video courtesy of Royal Caribbean International)
Similarly, RFID tags will provide an easy way to track luggage, while cruisers can download a Royal iQ app to make dining or entertainment reservations. High-speed Internet is installed throughout the ship, and even small conveniences like outlets next to beds so passengers can keep their devices close by create a smart atmosphere.
Many firsts for cruise liners are found on the ship, such as RipCord by iFly, a skydiving simulator utilizing an indoor recreational vertical wind tunnel; a trapeze circus school and even a roller-skating rink. Passengers can also ride in the North Star, a jewel-shaped glass capsule that rises 300 feet above the deck to offer 360-degree views of the ship and ocean.
Every room in the ship boasts a view thanks to virtual balcony staterooms that provide real-time images of the ocean with high-definition screens and video cameras. In addition, rooms dubbed “Family Connected” provide separate bedrooms and bathrooms for groups or families traveling together.
The ship’s Two70 lounge, located at the stern, gives guests 270-degree ocean views accompanied by an ice bar, café and digital displays. The space converts into a performance venue complete with retractable chandeliers and LCD screens controlled by robots.
A total of 18 restaurants can be found on the ship, with main dining split into five rooms with their own ambiance and menus. Servers are equipped with tablets to keep track of dining requests, food allergies or any special occasions being celebrated.
Other attractions from Royal Caribbean make a return, such as a rock-climbing wall, surf simulators, a sports court and an art and photo gallery.
The 1,141-foot-long ship can carry 4,905 passengers and 1,500 crew members and spans 18 decks. The ship’s home port is in Shanghai, China.
Quantum of the Seas is the first of three in the Quantum-class family. The others include Anthem of the Seas and Oasis of the Seas, set to debut in April 2015 and fall 2016, respectively.