Monday, 25 August 2014

Robots and the newest technology make Quantum of the Seas the most advanced cruise ship ever

Bionic barmen and a selection of ground-breaking apps for passengers and crew are coming to Quantum of the Seas – making it the most high-tech cruise ship ever.

From check-in to cocktail hour, holidaymakers on Royal Caribbean’s newest ship – calling at Southampton at the end of October – will be helped on their way by a gallery of gadgets.

The robotic mixologists will be serving drinks in the Bionic Bar, where passengers will pay by using radio-enabled wristbands – just one more example of what makes Quantum – and sister ship Anthem of the Seas, launching next year – a  true SMART ship. 
  • Check-In:  From shoreside to ship in record time – no more than 10 minutes. Guests will generate boarding documents online, upload their own security photo – using a selfie if they want – and receive digital boarding confirmations. On arrival, they will be able to track their luggage on their smartphones and monitor its progress to their cabin using RFID (radio frequency identification).
  • Concierge: The RFID WOWband wristbands require only a simple tap to quickly navigate the ship, make onboard purchases and serve as the room key. Cruise Planner and Royal iQ allow guests to book excursions and spa appointments 
  • Connection: A new generation of low-orbit satellites will provide internet connectivity as fast as broadband ashore. Royal say the bandwidth available for Quantum is greater than all the bandwidth provided for every other cruise ship in the world, combined. Guests can be online round the clock, no matter what personal device they bring onboard; that can Skype and even compete in Xbox video games live against players on oher ships.
  • Experiences: As well as shaking martinis, there are robots spinning screens, as part of the entertainment in Two70, where the floor-to-ceiling windows also transform into screens for 18 projectors transforming the scenery at the flick of a thousand switches. There are more screens in inside cabins, creating virtual balconies with views of the sea outside. Bionic Bar is not just the first bar with robot bartenders at sea, but anywhere in the world.
  • Service: Crewmembers will each have their own tablet to connect better with guests, and with family at home. Custom apps will allow crew members to keep better track of guests’ tastes and preferences, allowing staff to tailor personalised service to a higher degree. 
  • Sustainability: Cleaner and greener: All lighting will be provided by low-energy LEDs and fluorescents.  Motion sensors will dim hallway lighting when no one is present. And cabins will, of course, be equipped with USB outlets and charging stations for laptops and phones.

Quantum spends the winter sailing from New York before relocating to the Far East. Anthem will be based in the UK throughout next summer. Each ship carries up to 4,180 passengers.

Our editor is in Germany this week to see the ships nearing completion. Check back here for more reports.

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