Quantum Technology Sets Benchmark
Touted as taking the cruise travel industry to the next level, Royal Caribbean's mega-liner Quantum of the Seas has been unveiled, with high-quality broadband and download speeds changing the face of the cruise industry in terms of internet technology. The latest advancements have never been seen before,so what exactly is the new 'SMART ship' delivering? And will all the other top brands be forced to follow suit?
Getting Connected on your Cruise Holiday
Most cruisers can relate to slow broadband speeds or a complete lack of internet coverage on-board. And in the modern world, where most youngsters demand online access, this is a continuing issue for cruise brands. But with Quantum, the problem has been solved. Although exact costs have yet to be confirmed, a partnership with O3b Networks will deliver the fastest internet and download speeds ever seen on the ocean wave. Applicable with all personal devices, you can even connect to a worldwide global video gaming site, something the kids are sure to be happy about. You may be in the middle of the sea, but your tweets and Skype messages will still be instantly seen and heard. And you can of course share the stunning views and memories of your Quantum holiday at the touch of a button.
Hi-tech Genius for all the family
Royal Caribbean is focusing in particular on Quantum's Radio-Frequency identification chip (RFID) technology to speed up the boarding process. Boarding documents can be generated online from home - you can even book excursions and dining reservations. When you arrive to board, RFID will help get you from 'sidewalk to ship' in 10 minutes - check-in paperwork has already been eliminated. Luggage is then tagged and linked to the RFID technology, so you know where your bags are at all times. Royal Caribbean even claims that lost luggage could be a thing of the past. The RFID WOWband wristbands also allows you to communicate with other passengers, buy drinks, immediately navigate the ship and wirelessly access your room. Downloadable app Royal iQ gives you the freedom to manage details and presents a program calendar - it is connected via freestanding iQ stations on-board.
The robots are here: Not quite as essential but still interesting, the Bionic Bar presents robotic bartenders mixing cocktails. Two70 offers six Roboscreens that have lives of their own and interconnect, with spectacular Virtual Concerts and the mysterious Starwater telling a mythical story of mermaids and star gods!
In virtual heaven: Virtual Balconies are 80-inch, high-definition LCD screens, showing real-time video of the sights and sounds of the ocean. They can be found in all interior staterooms.
The battle for new cruisers
Having made such a significant financial investment in the technology, Royal Caribbean is confident they can attract the new cruisers market and get a jump on their competitors. Of course the key is to not alienate loyal customers, who enjoy their traditional aspects of cruising.
All will be revealed when the ship starts cruising from Southampton to Cape Liberty on November 2. The Quantum of the Seas itinerary is then set for Bahamas and Caribbean cruises during 2014-15 before being based permanently in Shanghai.
Quantum itineraries take in the world
In May 2015, the ship will really raise the bar with a 53-night around-the-world cruise. Departing from New York to Shanghai, the Quantum Global Odyssey is already on sale and will travel via the Atlantic, Mediterranean and Indian Ocean, incorporating Barcelona, Naples, Athens, Dubai, Singapore and Malaysia amongst other stop-offs.
With their new technology and sheer scale of luxury on offer, Royal Caribbean's Quantum of the Seas could be the start of a technological revolution in cruising.