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Spotted: Expanded functionality Wayfinders on Anthem of the Seas

In:
28Oct2015

Royal Caribbean has been adding digital wayfinders to their cruise ships since they were first introduced on Oasis of the Seas, but recently, they have gotten a software upgrade that gives them much more functionality.

Royal Caribbean's digital wayfinders are interactive kiosks found in the elevator lobbies of most ships. It offers guests access to what is happening on the ship, directions to anywhere on the ship and even restaurant information.

Recently, Royal Caribbean upgraded the software for these wayfinders to allow guests to locate any ship in Royal Caribbean's fleet, read more information about the officers and more.

When using the wayfinders, guests can choose from a variety of options.

The "Ship Locator" is one of the new links, that will give guests a look at the location of every ship in the fleet.

In fact, the Ship Locator will also show the location of sister company ships, such as Celebrity Cruise and Azamara Club Cruise ships.

Guests can also look up information on the officers onboard their Royal Caribbean ship and learn more about each one of them.

Big thanks to Royal Caribbean Blog reader Rich Freudenberg for providing these photos!

In addition, the wayfinders feature a Port Explorer feature, which highlights the itinerary you are on and allows guests to explore the port from a Google Maps experience

These new features were first introduced on Quantum of the Seas, and will also be available on Harmony of the Seas and Ovations of the Seas.

How to bring Royal Caribbean to your new iPhone 6s

In:
25Sep2015

For those unaware, Apple released today its brand new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus phones and all over the world, and already there are lots of people are waiting in line (or at home for the delivery man) to get their hands on the hottest phone.

So once you have your brand new iPhone unwrapped and ready to use, here are some ways to bring a little Royal Caribbean to your phone so you have one more way to get a quick virtual escape!

Buy a Royal Caribbean inspired case

Show off your new iPhone in style with a snazzy new case that not only protects your iPhone, but tells everyone you love to cruise.

Even though the iPhone 6s just launched, there are plenty of cases already available to suit your needs.

We went through what was available and picked some of our favorites!

Anchors Case (available in black or pink)

ULAK Heavy-Duty Anchor Blue case

ULAK Heavy-Duty Case Red Anchor-Neon Pink

 

Play Penguin Ahoy

Did you know Royal Caribbean released a side-scrolling race game based on the Oasis class cruise ships?

In Penguin Ahoy, users try to avoid the sprinklers, dodge the basketballs, slide under the inflatables to keep the penguin running for as long as possible without being caught by the crew! 

The game is a fun way to spend some time seeing the FlowRider in action, the Rock Wall, H2O zone, Ice Skating, Golf and Basketball court.

The game is free from the App Store.

Get the official app

Of course, we would be remiss if we did not mention downloading the official Royal Caribbean iOS app.

The Royal Caribbean app allows users to see where Royal Caribbean sails, explore unique onboard features that are only on Royal Caribbean’s ships, learn about our many destinations, and see what is happening onboard the Oasis & Allure of the Seas.

Like the game, it too is free!

Download Royal Caribbean wallpaper

If you like seeing Royal Caribbean more often, try setting your lock screen or wallpaper to something Royal Caribbean!

iPhones allow you to change the image you see when your phone is locked or have something behind all of your icons.

To find a perfectly cropped photo for your iPhone, do a Google Image search for "royal caribbean iphone wallpaper".

You should find plenty of choices to pick from and then you can always see something Royal Caribbean when you turn on your phone!

Share with us how you bring a little Royal Caribbean to your phone or tablet in the comments below!

Previewing Harmony of the Seas: Technology

In:
24Sep2015

Royal Caribbean has built a reputation for itself in being a technological leader when it comes to the technological advancements it brings to its cruise ships and on Harmony of the Seas, guests can expect the very latest innovations.

Technology will be at the heart of what Harmony of the Seas offers, so here is a look at what guests can expect to find at their fingertips when they get onboard the largest cruise ship in the world.

True high speed internet

When folks think of using the internet on a cruise ship, there is usually a groan and sigh involved because traditionally internet at sea has been mid-1990s slow.  

On Harmony of the Seas, guests can enjoy the high-speed internet experience known as Voom.  

Voom is Royal Caribbean's new satellite internet service that allows guests to post to Facebook and Instagram, post videos on YouTube, tweet about your shore excursion, and have face-to-face conversations via Skype and Google Hangouts. Plus, you can even stream movies, games and apps via your personal accounts with Hulu, Netflix, Amazon and more.

The Voom speeds are the real deal and Royal Caribbean even says if you need to do business work onboard, with Voom you can check email, transfer files, host video conferences, Skype and more, just as if you were on land.

Everything on your wrist

An undeniably cool innovation coming to Harmony of the Seas are the RFID bracelets known as WOW Bands.

WOW Bands give guests everything they have been accustomed to having in a SeaPass card, on their wrist.  This means getting access to staterooms, making purchases and checking in for entertainment has never been easier.

Guests can use their WOWband to enter their staterooms, purchase beverages, merchandise and anything else Royal Caribbean sells. Plus, WOWbands serve as an easy way to distinguish which muster station each guest is assigned to.

WOW Bands are an optional feature but once you try the WOW Bands, you will likely be leaving your SeaPass card behind in your stateroom.  

Get drinks made by robots

What happens when you mix your favorite beverages with cutting-edge robotics? You get the Bionic Bar on Harmony of the Seas.

Makr Shakr created Bionic Bar for the Quantum class ships and they have brought this impressive creation to Harmony of the Seas, where guests can order drinks from iPads and then marvel in the spectacle of robotic arms creating the drink on the spot.

Combining robots and mixology, Bionic Bar is something you have to see to appreciate because every time you walk by, it is so tantalizing to watch the robots in action.

The single armed robot will get the ice, mints and lemon and then squeeze and shake them to make your drink. Eventually, there wont be a limit on what the drinks the robots can make. The customization is what Royal Caribbean is aiming for.

A room with a (virtual) view

Staying in an inside stateroom does not mean you do not have a view anymore. On Harmony of the Seas, guests will be able to enjoy virtual balconies in their inside staterooms.

What is a virtual balcony?  Inside staterooms on Harmony of the Seas offer a floor-to-ceiling high-definition LED screen that shows real-time views from specific points on the ship.  

Royal Caribbean designed the virtual balcony to look (and sound) like the real thing, so guests can see everything going on in a port or just the vast serenity of the ocean passing by.

Guests can turn the virtual balcony off at any time, especially at night when sleeping but it's available anytime they want.

There's even natural sounds that are piped into your stateroom to provide as authentic an experience as possible.

The only thing missing is the balcony stateroom price tag!

There's an app for that

With the Royal iQ smartphone app, everything is easier to do onboard Harmony of the Seas.

Royal iQ allows guests to track their luggage as it comes onboard the ship, book shore excursions and dinner reservations as well as chat or call friends and family onboard.

Available for iPads, iPhones, and Android phones, Royal iQ gives you the flexibility to decide what to do and when to do it.

Royal iQ allows guests to manage details during the cruise, includes a convenient calendar that provides at-a-glance views of the cruise or conference program.

If you prefer not to carry a phone or tablet with you, Harmony of the Seas will offer eight freestanding iQ stations at Guest Services that give you the same functionality as the mobile apps. You will also find roaming Guest Services staff to assist as well.

Get to the fun faster

Royal Caribbean wants the boarding process for Harmony of the Seas to be the simplest yet.  Why waste time in the pier doing paper work?

Guests sailing on Harmony of the Seas can take care of all necessary documentation online including uploading your own photo and receiving digital boarding confirmation.

Without a check‑in counter, there aren't any forms to fill out or lines to wait in.

All of this means less time spent waiting in lines and filling out forms and a quicker way to get onboard and having vacation start a whole lot sooner.

Which tech innovation excites you the most? Tell us in the comments below!

Video: An inside look at the making of Royal Caribbean's azipods

In:
Category: 
25Aug2015

Always on the cutting edge of technology, Royal Caribbean uses azipods to propel and safely maneuver its ships on the high seas. Watch as these powerful propellers make ship navigation more precise than ever before.

Royal Caribbean connects high speed internet on Anthem of the Seas in the Mediterranean

In:
18Jun2015

Royal Caribbean's Anthem of the Seas had its high-speed internet access enabled while the ship is in the Mediterranean, according to O3b Networks.

O3b uses a new type of sattelite internet that reduces latency, increases internet speed and improves voice and video quality for the user.

O3bMaritime has already provided four of Royal Caribbean’s ships (Oasis of the Seas, Allure of the Seas,Quantum of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas), each with more bandwidth than the rest of the cruise industry combined.  In the near future, Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas will move across the Pacific, bringing exceptional cruising experiences and at-sea high speed broadband to the Japanese ports of Okinawa and Kyoto, as well as other Asian destinations.

Royal Caribbean President and CEO Michael Bayley commented on the partnership with O3b, "With O3b we have added a dimension to cruising that has never existed before.  Our new internet capabilities allow our guests to surf, stream and share their vacation experiences with their friends and family back home. It also allows us to provide our business clientele a new way to stay connected with their colleagues."

Royal Caribbean debuts a new website

In:
Category: 
04Mar2015

Royal Caribbean debuted a brand new site redesign on its flagship site, royalcaribbean.com.

The new site look is a full-width layout that is a responsive design that adjusts its look conform to the screen resolution of your device.  

This is not the only site design Royal Caribbean has trotted out recently.  Royal Caribbean relaunched its blog with a new design and focus in January 2015.  Royal Caribbean also revamped its Cruise Planner software for guests to book shore excursions, dining reservations and more last year in coordination with Quantum of the Seas' launch.

Based on the Internet Archive Wayback machine, the previous site design has been in use for a number of years going back to late 2011.

Video: Inside look at the IT room on Royal Caribbean's Quantum of the Seas

In:
12Feb2015

Recently TechCrunch got a tour of the IT never center behind Royal Caribbean's Quantum of the Seas.

The tour looks at how Royal Caribbean manages to provide a 600 Mbps connection with a satellite and provide Wi-Fi access across the ship for everyone.

Royal Caribbean selects ElevenOS for onboard internet access on all ships in the fleet

In:
Category: 
10Feb2015

Royal Caribbean has selected ElevenOS as the guest Internet management platform for all the ships in the fleet.  ElevenOS' parent company Eleven has completed deployment of ElevenOS on all 22 ships at the end of 2014.

ElevenOS is used to manage all aspects of the onboard Internet service including custom branded portal pages, guest authentication, billing, and advanced reporting. With the help of ElevenOS, Royal Caribbean is able to deliver a faster, more reliable onboard connection and seamless online guest experience that works across multiple guest devices (phones, tablets, etc.)

ElevenOS also enables Royal Caribbean to offer tiered bandwidth options, so users can choose the level of service that meets their needs and budget.

"ElevenOS provides us the power and flexibility that we need in order to revolutionize Internet communications at sea for Royal Caribbean International guests,” commented Bill Martin, vice president and CIO for Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. "Only in the last year can cruise vacationers enjoy the fiber-like Internet connectivity that can only be found aboard select Royal Caribbean International ships, as well as more than 10 times faster speed than the industry across the fleet. ElevenOS helps us effectively manage a range of products, pricing, accounting, and reporting, which has helped us deliver a seamless and stress-free Internet communications solution for our guests on vacation.”

Quantum of the Seas sets broadcast record for IP TV channels in HD

In:
05Jan2015

Royal Caribbean's Quantum of the Seas has had a lot of firsts but not to be overlooked is the fact Royal Caribbean's newest ship has also set a benchmark in the broadcasting industry.

Royal Caribbean chose VSM by L-S-B Broadcast Technologies for all of the on-board digital broadcasting requirements of the ship, which is the first to feature 36 on-board IPTV-channels in HD, broadcasting from various locations on board.

Controlling all the broadcasts onboard Quantum of the Seas is the Broadcast Control Center.  This is where the incoming and outgoing signals are controlled, switched and processed. Signals stemming from 20 satellite receivers, from the event locations or self-produced footage are collected. Further control rooms are in use in the various event locations.

Ten to 15 of the IPTV channels will be reserved for self-produced content on-board the vessel and all audio, video and intercom signals are being distributed on the ship via a Riedel MediorNet network with 30 nodes – currently the biggest fixed MediorNet installation worldwide.

O3b Networks succesfully launches four more satellites to add additional support for Royal Caribbean cruise ships

In:
Category: 
19Dec2014

O3b Networks launched four more satellites out of the Space Center in French Guiana that will provide more coverage of its super-fast internet to cruise ships like Royal Caribbean's.

The launch yesterday was a complete success and adds substantial capacity and performance to the O3b constellation that is already powering high-speed internet to select Royal Caribbean ships.

The new satellites will now go through a period of in-orbit testing before being fully integrated into the O3b network early in the new year.

The O3b system delivers fiber like performance, with throughput exceeding 1 Gbps per connection and latency comparable with terrestrial networks, but retains the flexibility and ubiquity of satellite. The company has now launched 8 satellites in 5 months, adding more than 80 Gbps of capacity and growing the fleet capacity to over 100 Gbps.

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