Quantum of the Seas Rolls out Virtual Balconies


Gone are the days of dated décor, cramped cabins and that niggling feeling of claustrophobia. Today, cruise ships are bigger, smarter and more luxurious than ever before. Royal Caribbean’s 4,180 passenger Quantum of the Seas is the world’s very first ‘smartship’ and represents the next generation of cruising.

“Our thinking was that somebody’s going to build state-of-the-art cruise ships, and it might as well be us,” explains Adam Goldstein, President and CEO of Royal Caribbean.

Sea views aren’t just for outside balcony suites!

While stunning sea views were previously reserved for passengers with the deepest pockets, Royal Caribbean has decked out Quantum of the Seas with state of the art virtual balconies. Featuring high tech 80-inch LED screens, the Virtual Balcony Staterooms will treat inside cabin guests to floor-to-ceiling vistas. The balconies will work both at sea and in port, meaning guests can enjoy fabulous views, no matter where the ship is anchored!

A wonderfully realistic experience

Accompanying the virtual views is a soundtrack of natural noises which can be controlled according to personal preference. The gap between the real and the virtual was bridged with the help of tech and design consultancy company, Control Group. Adding even more authenticity is the use of RED Epic digital cinema cameras capturing real time images which are relayed back to the LED screens.

Charlie Miller, associate partner with Control Group, explains “Lots of science, user testing, design and engineering went into creating a realistic, enhanced passenger experience.”

While Goldstein maintains that there will be no additional charge for Virtual Balcony Staterooms, he does hope that they will attract more passengers and help cement Royal Caribbean’s status as an innovative industry leader.

Following in the footsteps of Quantum will be sister ships Anthem of the Seas and the third yet to be named vessel. As well as being featured on Quantum class ships, Virtual Balcony Staterooms also make limited appearances in the newly refurbished Navigator of the Seas.

Cutting edge technology throughout the ship

A similar concept is being rolled out in the ship’s majestic Two70° dining and entertainment venue. By day, the room’s towering three-storey glass panes will offer passengers panoramic views over the open ocean. When the sun goes down, 18 projectors transform the panes into a dynamic surface measuring 80 feet wide and 20 feet tall. Featuring crystal clear 12K resolution, Vistarama will display a series of breathtaking scenes, from the iconic New York skyline to underwater ecosystems.

Sailing from New York, Quantum of the Seas services picturesque ports peppered across the Caribbean, Bahamas and Bermuda. Most itineraries include visits to the line’s stunning private beach paradises of CocoCay and Labadee. If you want to experience the incredible technology of Royal Caribbean’s Virtual  Balcony Staterooms, get in touch with the experts at Cruise 1st to discuss upcoming Quantum of the Seas departures. With nine night Southampton departures starting at just £699 per person, you can secure a fantastic fly/cruise package deal that you’re guaranteed to love. Give the friendly sales team a call on 0808 2746 777.

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Images via Royal Caribbean Press Center


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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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