A cruise ships are essentially floating hotels on the high seas. Every ship comes with all the amenities of a hotel, plus awesome service, dining and entertainment. While the concept of luxurious travel dates back many, many years, Royal Caribbean has unveiled the Quantum of the Seas, a cruise ship that incorporates the latest in technological advance into the cruise experience. Whether that's a good thing or not remains to be seen.
The Quantum of the Seas opened to customers this November, and will cruise Asia, the Caribbean and Europe, as well as Transatlantic routes through 2015.
For starters, the ship comes equipped with 24-hour Wi-Fi service, so passengers can stay connected to their landlubbing responsibilities if they so choose. The cruise package even comes with an app that helps manage and schedule the vacation. In terms of the physical, the ship also features 18 restaurants, live entertainment and plenty of activities including bumper cars, trapeze lessons and even skydiving.
The ship features a glass observation deck called the North Star, which can be extended for a 360-degree panoramic view.
The North Star observation deck when extended.
That's all well and good, but the prize for the most technologically impressive, yet completely useless feature of the ship is the robotic bartender. Actually, two robotic bartenders named B1-0 and N1-C, who are powered by Carlo Ratti and MIT Senseable Lab's Makr Shakr. The Makr Shakr's bionic arms can create a nearly endless variety of cocktails thanks to their ability to execute precise and subtle motions. In fact, the motions were patterned after Roberto Bolle, one of the principal dancers of the American Ballet Theater.
B1-0 and N1-C cranking out cocktails in the Bionic Bar. No, they can't recommend something for you.
Despite their bartending abilities, B1-0 and N1-C are stuck behind the bar, and their creations are brought to passengers' tables by human waitstaff. So, yes, that means you still have to tip.
We'll have to wait for reports on whether the robots can make a drink worth drinking, but from a technological standpoint, this is a pretty interesting achievement. Plus, it's one step closer to making those sci-fi movies you loved as a kid into a reality.