To say that cruise lines haven’t been getting very good press over the past several years would be an incredible understatement. With everything from viral outbreaks to drownings to ship malfunctions, cruise lines have been wrestling with all kinds of problems that have dealt a severe blow to their image.
How have they dealt with this image problem? Instead of attempting to fix the issues that caused it in the first place, mostly they’ve opted to try to distract people with newer, bigger, and more impressive ships that offer better entertainment than ever before.
Royal Caribbean is taking a slightly different approach with their flagship Quantum of the Seas, though. Rather than focusing on building more impressive pools or landing a deal to let passengers watch The Blue Man Group on the open water, Quantum is set to become the most technologically advanced cruise ship in the world – and many of the futuristic additions should go a long way towards improving passengers’ overall cruise experience.
Futuristic Additions Should Ease Frustrations and Impress
While it’s true that some of the technological “advancements” appear to be gimmicks (a bar where robots mix your drinks?), others have a much better chance at truly making your trip better. Here are just a few of the changes that will hopefully become standard across all ships and cruise lines:
Smart Check-in. Anyone who has ever taken a cruise before knows that checking in is a long, tedious, frustrating process. You wait in long lines so that someone can make sure you have all the proper documentation and take a security photo of you. But with Smart Check-in, passengers will be able to check in from home – they can even take a selfie and use that as their security photo. Royal Caribbean believes this change will do away with those long lines and allow most passengers to get from sidewalk to ship within 10 minutes.
Baggage tracking. Have you ever lost a bag on a cruise? It seems like something that shouldn’t be possible since you’re in an enclosed area, but it does happen. The Quantum aims to eliminate this issue by placing an RFID tag on all bags that will allow passengers to see where their luggage is in real time and follow it through the seven steps it takes to get to their room.
Broadband internet. In this day and age, broadband internet seems like it should be a given, but on most cruise ships that’s just not true. Connections are not only intermittent, but typically operate at dial-up speeds. Passengers on the Quantum, though, will feel like they haven’t left home when they host video chats from the high seas or stream their favorite shows on Netflix.
Royal iQ. Passengers will be able to download this as an app or access from freestanding stations around the ship to view cruise details and calendars, as well as call and text other people on the cruise.
WOW Bands. Carrying around your keycard, credit card, and other personal items isn’t always convenient on a cruise ship. WOW Bands are wristbands that hope to solve this problem by acting as room keys, allowing people to buy things onboard, and helping them to navigate around the ship.
Technological Advancements Can Make Things Safer
The interesting thing about several of these technological advances is that by aiming to make passengers more comfortable, the cruise line has actually made changes that should improve safety and security as well – if they are implemented in the right way. iQ stations and broadband internet will improve communication and potentially reduce accidents, and WOW Bands may lead to fewer thefts and attacks.
Of course, no technological advancements are ever going to eliminate cruise ships injuries completely, and if you or someone you love is harmed on a cruise due to the negligence of the cruise line, you owe it to yourself and other passengers to contact an experienced attorney and make sure they take responsibility.
About the Author:
Andrew Winston is a partner at the personal injury law firm of The Law Office of Andrew Winston. He has been recognized for excellence in the representation of injured clients by admission to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, is AV Rated by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, and was recently voted by his peers as a Florida “SuperLawyer”—an honor reserved for the top 5% of lawyers in the state—and to Florida Trend’s “Legal Elite.” His experience in successfully handling numerous cruise ship accident cases recommends him as one of the most competent and skilled lawyer in the area of maritime personal injury law and wrongful death.