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The Independent Travel

Robot bartenders caught the public’s attention, with Royal Caribbean's Quantum of the Seas introducing the concept. Passengers can order via iPads and watch the robot mix the drink - though normal gratuities apply. The new German-built Royal Caribbean ship also features on-board dodgems.

On the subject of gimmicks, one or two people used the term to describe Hurtigruten’s “Northern Lights Guarantee”. The Norwegian coastal ferry line says: “We're so confident that the Northern Lights will make an appearance during your 12 day Hurtigruten voyage in Norway, that if they don't, we'll give you another 6 or 7-day Classic Voyage free of charge.”

Fred Olsen is the latest line to join the Cuban party, with an overnight stay in Havana for the Braemar. Meanwhile Viking has extended its offering with its first ocean-going ship, Viking Star. The river-cruise specialist has a range of European cruises featuring an Aquavit bar - staffed by humans.