Cruise vacations offer a number of advantages over land alternatives. A snappy internet connection is not one of them. When making a direct comparison between land vacation options where hard-wired Internet access is available for a modest fee, cruise ships have always fallen short, until now. As Royal Caribbean International continues revealing the unique features of their new Quantum class vessels, super fast and efficient DSL service is on the horizon.
Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas will be “the first cruise ship with super-fast Internet service,” says USAToday, adding “Royal Caribbean says new satellites launched by tech partner O3b Networks will allow for broadband speeds that match fast connections onshore, allowing for streaming video, image sharing, video conversations and other tasks that until now have been difficult or impossible from cruise ships.”
Sound like a dream come true? That’s not all that was revealed this week from the German shipyard where new Quantum of the Seas is being built.
Other high-tech features include:
Robot Bartenders– similar to those used in automobile manufacturing, robot bartenders will man the Bionic bar, a venue where passengers order drinks on tablets then watch as the machine prepares the concoctions
Wow Wristbands embedded with radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology that will serve as room keys (Disney fans, think “Magic Bands”) and make passengers trackable around the ship, said to be for navigational purposes. In a way, wristbands will address the “I have to use my card to pay for everything” objection of some cruise travelers.
Streamlined Check-In Process– Called “Smart Check In”, guests can upload their own ID photo to be used on the ship and receive digital boarding confirmation before arriving at the cruise terminal. No check-in counter or lines to stand in.
Smart Crew With Tablets– Royal Caribbean is handing out 40,000 Microsoft tablets to crewmembers, allowing them to keep better track of guest tastes and preferences and anticipate their needs.
Smart Ship-Royal Caribbean, already deeply committed to being environmentally friendly, takes another Quantum leap with energy consumption, dimming hallway lights when no one is around, eliminating the use of incandescent bulbs in favor of low-energy LED or fluorescents and more.
Royal Caribbean promised that their new Quantum class ships would be the most revolutionary yet, continuing a tradition of introducing new, different and exciting features as each class of ships had come to market. This one looks to be a worthy addition to the line’s diverse array of hardware with an extra special focus on the passenger experience.