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4 Royal Caribbean features inspired by something else

13 Jan 2016
Matt Hochberg

When Royal Caribbean designed its cruise ships, they built these ships from the keel up to offer guests amazing experiences, and in some cases, the inspiration for new features or areas was from something outside the company.

In business, once a concept or idea is proven to be succesful, it is not unusual for companies to start adopting it into their products to improve their offerings. With Royal Caribbean, they are not afraid to branch out and try new ideas that have the potential to attract new customers.

Today, we look at a few different aspects of the Royal Caribbean cruise experience that were borrowed, adopted or inspired by something outside the company.

Virtual balcony

One of the most impressive innovations that Royal Caribbean has rolled out in the last few years are its virtual balcony staterooms, where inside staterooms offer real-time high definition views of the ocean.  It is essentially a balcony experience for an inside stateroom price.

The idea to display live outdoor views in inside rooms was first done by Disney Cruise Line with their virtual portholes when they debuted on the Disney Dream in 2011.

Photo by atlassb

Royal Caribbean took that concept and made it significantly larger.  Virtual balconies are 80-inch LED screens recessed into the wall, complete with curtains and faux balcony imagery.

Royal Caribbean chairman and CEO Richard Fain mentioned Royal Caribbean saw what Disney was doing and decided to improve upon it. 

"We actually had looked at the idea, and we didn't think that the technology and the receptivity from the public was there," Fain says. Disney "proved that the public does value something like this."

North Star

One of the signature features on Royal Caribbean's Quantum class cruise ships is the 300-foot observational pod known as North Star, which gives guests 360-degress views of everything around.

The idea for North Star was inspired by the London Eye, but instead of placing it on a ferris wheel, there is just one pod and it is attached to a giant robotic arm.

Photo by Khalid M.

Royal Caribbean chairman and CEO Richard Fain said in an interview, "Quite frankly, the success of the London Eye had a lot to do with this."

The Grande

When Royal Caribbean designed its formal night, all the time restaurant, The Grande, on Quantum of the Seas, it went back in time for inspiration.

The design for The Grande is evoked, "by the grandness and classic detailing of European ocean liners."

Photo by Retronaut

Essentially, The Grande is a throwback to the kind of dining rooms the golden age of ocean liners featured. It's when dining was not just a task, but a time-honored ritual.


On Royal Caribbean's Oasis class ships, the Boardwalk neighborhood is always popular with guests because of the pleasing aesthetics, fun activities and great views of the sea.

The Boardwalk neighborhood was inspired by both the seaside piers that dot the coast of England and the nostalgic boardwalks of yesteryear such as Coney Island.

Photo by Martin Nicolaus

The focal point of the Boardwalk is the traditional, hand crafted carousel, which would be common on many boardwalks.  There is also hot dog stands, ice cream, and even a candy shop called, "Candy Beach" (get it?).