World’s First Cruise Smartship: Tech from Quantum of The Seas
Note: Travel and accommodations were provided by Royal Caribbean. All words and photos are mine. Video is courtesy of Royal Caribbean.
I have to admit, the thing I got most excited about when boarding Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas for the first time was the promise of tech. We were able to sign up for mini-tours and this cruise was so chock full on innovations that a newbie cruiser like myself was over the moon. We got to visit the bridge and hear about safety from the captain himself. We went below deck to see how the ship recycles or reusues every single thing. (Seriously. Nothing goes to a landfull.) But frankly, my favorite thing was how tech made the experience more FUN.
Enter Makr Shakr at the Bionic Bar. Two robotic arms who make drinks (that you have ordered to your exact specifications from various tablets around the room) and then serve up via conveyer belt. All while cracking jokes on the display wall.
But it was much more than that. During our meetings, I realized that Royal Caribbean had thought about how to make technology work for them all over the ship. Of course many of the fun family adventures I mentioned in my last post require tech ingenuity, but obviously safety is first thing on the mind of the Captain.
Captain Srecko “Felix” Ban met with us on the bridge and explained how the route is actually put into the computer system before we leave port, and that while it is not exactly “autopilot,” the ship itself does much of the heavy lifting in terms of getting from port A to B. The crew is there to ensure safety and adjust for issues along the way.
He clearly loved his new home and said more than once how amazing Quantum of the Seas is. There are a ton of innovations on the ship to make it more efficient, from a line of bubbles that run under the ship for it to sail with less friction, all the way to practices that handle the fumes from lightbulbs as they are recycled back into their parts.
All this technology translates into smoother processes for passengers like Royal Caribbean’s Smart Check-in system which gets you from curbside to ship in 10-minutes. Their WOW wristbands and App help you manage purchases and activities while the Focus Gallery will help you see shots from the ships photographers in a whole new (easy) way.
But what really blew me away were the Virtual Balconies. Not kidding. VIRTUAL balconies. Meaning, every single stateroom on the ship has a view. There are cameras all over the ship pointing out, catching the view and piping it in to each stateroom just as if that room had a huge window. I was in one of the interior cabins as the sun went down, and the feeling was amazing. You could tell what the weather was like, and got a complete sense of time. So smart. Which makes sense… for a smart ship.
Thanks again to Royal Caribbean for sharing all these wonderful details about Quantum of the Seas, which of course made a tech geek like me feel right at home!