World's first smartship amps up tech to attract new cruisers
Say what you will, but I am obsessed with cruising. Ever since my first cruise a few years ago, I love everything that being at sea has to offer — and I promise you that I don't secretly work for a cruise line. Imagine my surprise to learn that other people don't share my love of giant, fun-filled ships whenever the topic comes up in conversation.
Seriously, what's not to love about getting onto a boat and spending a week surrounded by free food, not-so-free booze, fun in the sun and tons of random activities, like gambling and bingo? In case you can't tell, I had a great time on both cruises I sailed on, one out of Texas and the other out of California.
Beyond some of the bad press surrounding cruises lately, some travelers don't share my enthusiasm for being "lost at sea." I try my best to browbeat my friends into agreeing with me about my love of cruising, but I'm normally met with a few common complaints.
For starters, cruisers absolutely hate waiting in line to embark and disembark the ship. (For the record, I do too, which is why I normally soften the blow with a drink beforehand.) Other complaints on the laundry list include paying exorbitant amounts for Wi-Fi at sea, an overall distaste for lackluster onboard activities and a burning anger for being slapped with an unpleasant and surprising bill for all the "extras" at the end of the trip.
Popular cruise line Royal Caribbean has got it all figured out. Its new Quantum of the Seas ship is being hailed as the "world’s most futuristic cruise ship by a long shot when it launches in November." The tech-forward, smart cruise ship was designed to solve common cruising problems that might stop passengers from booking again.
If you have no soul and hate bingo, then maybe you'll enjoy skydiving in Quantum of the Seas' 23-foot indoor vertical wind tunnel or a round of bumper cars instead. If you hate spending your child's college fund on overpriced cocktails, then perhaps service from robot bartenders will cushion the blow.
The Quantum "smartship" shows its true colors in an array of technology intended to convert the anti-cruiser. You'll get on board in record time with an estimated 10-minute sidewalk-to-stateroom check-in. If you want to catch up on email at sea, Quantum provides more bandwidth than all other cruise ships combined. This technology did not exist until a few months ago.
And for all the cruisers who complain about being trapped like sardines in a can, Quantum has pulled out all the stops. Cheaper interior cabins feature floor-to-ceiling virtual balconies on 80-inch LED screens. There isn't a bad seat in the house.
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