World's largest ship showcases passenger technology at sea
Tuesday 12 January 2010
Anxious parents on board the world's largest cruise liner will be able to find their children using new on-board technology, the world's first such system.
Royal Caribbean claims that Oasis of the Seas is the most technologically advanced vessel in the world and will offer passengers the "ultimate guest experience." Children who are registered in Royal Caribbean's Adventure Ocean program, for example, can wear a tag that sends their location, so that parents can pinpoint exactly where their child is on board the 16-deck, 225,282-ton monster. The information is sent to "Royal Connect" branded smartphones rented to parents for a reported $17.50 (€12.05) a day.
Later this year, Royal Caribbean will roll out rental handsets for passengers, allowing guests to call or text each other and view daily events on board. For those wanting a quiet night in, each of the 2,706 guestrooms is equipped with a flatscreen television that uses IPTV (internet television) to deliver programs even in severe weather conditions. The entire ship is also bathed in wifi and includes over 300 interactive digital signs for guests to view dining menus and restaurant availability, watch videos about spa treatments and other services, and check showtimes in the various theaters.
On-board wifi access and cellular phone signal in the middle of the ocean is nothing new for regular cruise-goers, although the child-tracking service is believed to be a world first. In 2009, Carnival Cruises announced plans to rent 10-inch netbook computers, complete with onboard social network, interactive maps and food menus, onboard its newest ship, the Carnival Dream.
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