Smart cruise liner readies for maiden voyage

A shipyard in Germany is preparing to add a cruise liner to the multitude of products that carry the appellation ‘smart’. The Quantum of the Seas is set to join the likes of smart phones and smart homes when it begins sea trials at the end of this month. After that, the Quantum is off to New York where crew will make final preparations for her inaugural voyage with passengers onboard.

A spokesperson for the Meyer Werft Shipyard in the northern German town of Papenburg announced recently that the Quantum was already out of dry-dock. The ship was commissioned by Royal Caribbean Cruises and is the company’s contribution to taking luxury sea cruises to new heights. Richard Fain is Royal Caribbean’s CEO and he gave reporters an outline of what passengers can expect when they take a cruise aboard the Quantum of the Seas.

ADSL quality internet is a must in today’s high-tech savvy environment. The CEO stated that the Quantum would offer passengers internet latency that was on a par with, or superior to, their home connections. The latency will enable passengers to snap photographs of their swanky cabins or staterooms, the ship’s eclectic amenities and ports of call and then instantly upload them to Facebook and other social media sites. The wireless signal is strong enough to make clear calls home with Skype and stream high-definition videos. While this internet quality is a given while on dry land, it is worth remembering that voyagers will be traversing the Caribbean, and the Atlantic and Indian oceans and the quality will be the same. This premium quality internet connectivity does not only enhance the shipboard experience. Customers booking cruises on the Quantum can do so from the comfort of their homes and even upload photographs for their identity cards. This convenience extends to check-in. Passengers can do this with any smartphone and all they need to do when arriving at departure ports is to deposit their luggage at the pre-designated zone.

Once on board the Quantum, there are plentiful amenities and entertainment options to satisfy the whims of toddlers right through to fun-loving octogenarians. SeaPlex is a versatile venue in which voyagers can take in a circus and trapeze during the day and enjoy the thrills of roller-skating and bumper-cars in the evening. The iFLY RipCord is definitely a first for cruise liners. This innovate amusement gives the full experience of sky-diving without any of the inherent dangers of the real thing. North Star is an enclosed, elevating capsule which hoists people high above sea-level to give panoramic vistas that are simply sublime. The onboard rock-climbing-wall is a nice little taster for those who have never tried the activity before. The elevated position also gives pleasing views out to sea. FlowRider is a surf simulator in which riders cling to a board while whooshing through artificial waves. Swimming pools include an exclusive one for adults only and an outdoor one with a large-screen cinema.

Night-time entertainment options are certainly not lacking. For the first voyages, Broadway hit Mamma Mia! is set to enthral audiences. The Quantum also has a full programme of shows and films for younger audiences with all their favorite cartoon characters in attendance. Casino Royale is the place to try your luck on a good collection of gaming tables and slot machines.

The Quantum of the Seas will embark on its maiden passenger voyage from Cape Liberty Port in New Jersey on 23 November 2014. The eight-night cruise is to the Bahamas. Ports of call are Port Canaveral in Florida and Nassau and CocoCay in the Bahamas. The ship will eventually offer 60-day cruises between Cape Liberty and Shanghai which can be booked as individual sectors. Payless Cruises is already accepting reservations for Quantum of the Seas cruises.

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