As November 2nd draws increasingly closer, 4,180 lucky passengers are getting ready to experience the ultra-modern technology of Quantum of the Seas. Or, as Royal Caribbean describes it, ‘the world’s first smart ship.’ The 1,142-foot long mega-liner is the most technologically advanced ship ever to set sail, and boasts a plethora of next-generation features that put its predecessors to shame!
What’s on-board the world’s first smart ship?
What can passengers expect to see aboard Quantum of the Seas? One of the most exciting features is the rollout of robotic bartenders at the aptly named, Bionic Bar. Using specially programmed iPads, patrons will be able to place an order and watch the robots mix up their favourite drinks before their very eyes!
As far as entertainment goes, Quantum passengers definitely won’t be short on activities. In fact, Quantum houses an array of at-sea firsts that are guaranteed to have passengers giddy with excitement. For adrenaline junkies, RipCord by iFLY offers passengers the chance to feel the rush of a simulated freefall skydive. A FlowRider surf simulator lets passengers catch waves without leaving the ship while a 30-foot high rock climbing wall, roller skating rink, circus school and bumper car track also make an appearance.
The jewel-shaped North Star glass capsule takes passengers 300 feet in the air where they can soak up panoramic views of the open ocean. Dynamic Dining gives passengers complete flexibility over meal times, as well as the choice of 18 tastebud tantalising restaurants. Cabins are also state-of-the-art, featuring the all-new virtual balcony which gives indoor rooms a spectacular sea view.
What’s next for modern cruising?
While Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas may have been the undisputable trump card for 2015, we’re already setting our sights on the future and wondering what’s in store for the next generation of cruise ships. While new developments might be kept under wraps for the time being, we’ve got a few suggestions as to what the leading lines could include next!
1. On-board helicopter
Why wait to be transported to shore via boat or walkway when you could get there via helicopter! An on-deck helipad would be perfect for beating the queues and for catering to the needs of special guests and VIP passengers.
2. Transparent solar glass
Over the past few decades, the world has developed an increasing appreciation for eco-friendly and sustainable operations. The cruise industry is no different, with lines such as Norwegian leading the way with environmentally friendly waste disposal policies and a commitment to reducing its carbon footprint. We think lines should take their eco-friendly credentials a step further and kit out vessels with transparent solar glass that uses sunlight to create energy. It would also be a fantastic opportunity to create spectacular ocean views!
3. Zero gravity weightless room
Skydiving simulators, surf machines and elevated glass pods may seem pretty out there, but what would really impress us would be a zero-gravity weightless room where passengers can get a taste of what it’s like to travel to outer space. Now that would be cutting edge technology!
4. Self-sustainable cruising
With all the eco-friendly technologies out there, it’s only a matter of time before cruise ships become self-sustainable. Solar panels could power cabins, wind turbines could harvest energy and rooftop gardens could sustain the kitchen.
5. Sunscreen pills at the on-board pharmacy
For most people, cruising is all about soaking up the sunshine by the pool or beach. However, a new innovation will make sunbathing so much easier – a sunscreen pill that protects the skin from harmful UV rays in a matter of minutes. While they haven’t quite hit the market yet, they are in the developmental stage and could be on shelves by 2016. Goodbye, awkward red patches!
6. Futuristic med centres
Every cruise ship has a fully equipped medical centre in case of emergencies. While they’re currently stocked with bandages and antiseptic, the next generation of smart ships could be using portable laser pens that heal wounds at a rate that would impress even Wolverine himself.
7. On-boards zoos
These days, the facilities for child-friendly cruising go above and beyond expectations. Ships seem to have everything else so why not an onboard petting zoo?
8. Submarine expeditions
Cruise ships revolve around water so it makes sense to give passengers a glimpse at what life is like under the sea. A recreational submarine would be a great addition to any passenger liner, whether it sails the warm waters of the Mediterranean or the icy fjords of Norway.
9. Virtual reality entertainment
Cruise ships have already jumped on-board the 3D cinema trend and what we’d love to see next is the rollout of virtual reality entertainment. Using holograms and microchips, this sort of technology could redefine entertainment as we know it. Underwater adventures and destination-specific themes would be a great idea.
10. On-board observatories
Thanks to the pristine air and complete lack of light pollution, the open ocean is the perfect place to engage in a little star gazing. We think contemporary cruise ships should take advantage of their unobscured view of the Milky Way and offer passengers access to state-of-the-art observatories. With the right level of planning, lines could even start to run exclusive star gazing themed voyages – perfect for star-struck honeymooners!
What do you think of our suggestions?
While some of our ideas may not make an appearance in the next 10 or even 100 years, you can experience Quantum’s cutting edge technology right now by checking out the great deals on offer from Cruise 1st. Whether you embark on the maiden voyage from Southampton to New York or book a spot for one of 2015’s scheduled itineraries, you’re sure to come back with a whole new appreciation for the wonders of modern technology!
Image sourced via Royal Caribbean Press Center. Credit: Royal Caribbean Cruises.