What is a Smartship?

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Royal Caribbean recently announced their two upcoming Quantum Class ships, Anthem of the Seas and Quantum of the seas, will be the world’s first Smartships, eliciting excitement from cruise fans and tech-heads alike. Here, we will explore what exactly makes a Smartship.

Improved Connectivity

One of the biggest challenges faced by cruise companies over the past two decades has been bringing high speed internet to the seas. With our ever-increasing dependency on internet connectivity whilst on land, it is important cruise liners keep up despite the difficulty of providing a fast connection in the middle of the ocean to 4,000+ passengers.

The Anthem of the Seas and Quantum of the Seas will benefit from revolutionary technology from O3B Networks, providing uninterrupted high-speed web access for the ship’s passengers – allowing them to perform bandwidth-hogging practices such as video streaming, video conferencing and picture sharing.

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The O3B Networks achieve this increased level of connectivity by utilising low-orbit communication satellites with a low level of orbit than traditional alternatives.

Improved Technologies

The two Quantum Class ships are designed to really take advantage of this increased technology with a number of features and flairs allowing guests the most technologically advanced experience at sea aboard the Smartships. The ships host a number of high-definition screens with access to Skype and Xbox Lives – allowing guests to keep connected with friends and family back on shore.

 

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Akin to Star Trek crew members, passengers will wear Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) bracelets to help them effortlessly access their cabin, make on-board purchases and reservations. Wireless money transactions are made simpler and more efficient with VeriFone payment sleeves attached to Windows tablets with built-in card swipes, bar-code readers and RFID readers.

Information Access

It won’t just be the guests who have access to the new technologies aboard the Anthem of the Seas and Quantum of the Seas, all crew members will be presented with Windows tablets, pre-loaded with helpful programmes and applications. Crew members will be able to use these to access passenger information quickly and effortlessly, tailoring their services to the specific needs and tastes of the passengers they are serving.

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If a passenger has a specific dietary requirement, this information will be made immediately available to the crew, allowing them to tailor their service accordingly.

Futuristic Flairs

Alongside the pragmatic and innovative developments, Royal Caribbean has also decided to have a little fun with the technological advances. One of the headline-grabbing features presented to the press recently was the Bionic Bar aboard the Anthem and Quantum, complete with robotic bartenders, mixing up your favourite cocktails with an automated accuracy.

The Anthem of the Seas will be coming to the UK in April next year for its maiden voyage and a selection of subsequent trips – for more information and booking, visit our dedicated page, here, or call our expert team on 0800 230 0655.

Images via Royal Caribbean Press Center and Flickr Creative Commons. Credit: Chris Harrison

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About Author

Claire Wilde

Claire has worked in the travel industry since leaving college in 1994. One of this blog's most regular contributors, Claire covers cruise news and industry trends.

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