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Royal Caribbean activates new high speed internet on Quantum of the Seas


Royal Caribbean's Quantum of the Seas will get her first taste of high speed internet tomorrow, when the brand new satellite internet service is put to the test.

The new service by O3b has gone live and Royal Caribbean is promising the ship will have more bandwidth “than all other cruise ships in the world put together.”

The first real test for the internet will come on November 12, when Quantum of the Seas takes her first cruise with the satellite service activated.  The two-night cruise will be a good test for how well it works.

“We are delighted to support the launch of the world’s first smart ship with Royal Caribbean,” said Simon Maher, VP Enterprise for O3b.

“Quantum of the Seas uses O3b’s maritime offering O3bMaritime to provide lightning fast download speeds and performance for both passengers and crew at one fourth the response time of traditional satellite systems.”

“O3bMaritime is the only satellite system capable of enabling cruise line guests and crew broadband services on par with onshore telecommunication standards.”

Royal Caribbean creates virtual reality headsets for agents to explore Quantum of the Seas


Royal Caribbean is once again using technology to make business better for them.  This time, they have created wearable glasses to train agents on what its newest cruise ship, Quantum of the Seas will offer.

Travel Weekly is reporting Royal Caribbean partnered with Jason Bradbury, an expert in technology, to create a new video for agents which is built into a pair of glasses and shows them the facilities on board Quantum of the Seas as well as sister ship Anthem of the Seas.

Starting on July 10, Royal Caribbean sales teams will visit agents with the glasses to test out the glasses.

Royal Caribbean chooses Agilysys InfoGenesis for point-of-sale system for Quantum-class ships


Royal Caribbean announced today that it has selected the Agilysys InfoGenesis point-of-sale system for its two newest Quantum-class cruise ships, Quantum of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas.

Agilysys is a leading provider of innovating hospitality software solutions and services.

Royal Caribbean CIO Bill Martin commented on the deal, "The InfoGenesis POS system continues to be well-suited to our needs.  It is among the most versatile point-of-sale systems on the market, combining an accessible user interface with a variety of reporting tools. With this technology in place, we are well positioned for the future, with a comprehensive POS system that will enhance guest service and give us a competitive edge."

InfoGenesis markets itself as an easy to set up and maintain system that integrates with many other applications and is designed to process transactions in the highest volume environments without any loss of performance at the point of sale.

"We have had a long relationship with Royal Caribbean and are delighted the company has once again selected the InfoGenesis POS system," said Tony Ross, vice president of sales for Agilysys. "In the highly competitive cruise market, companies must implement technology that enables them to streamline operations while creating lasting connections with guests. The InfoGenesis solution, with its scalable architecture, flexible configuration and superior integration capabilities, will enable Royal Caribbean's two newest ships to operate at peak efficiency and deliver the five-star guest experience for which the company is known."

Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas get high speed internet upgrade


A new satellite network is giving Royal Caribbean flagships record internet speeds and more Wi-Fi capacity than all other cruise ships--combined.

A set of new, custom-built antennae were shipped from Israel to Florida last month, and installed on Oasis of the Seas. Testing confirmed the ships' ability to match the fastest broadband connections on shore.

The internet is being provided by O3b Satellite Communications and works by pairing a new generation of medium-Earth-orbit satellites (originally designed to bring the Internet to emerging markets like sub Saharan Africa) with sophisticated antenna arrays aboard the cruise ships.

The higher internet speeds will make it feasible for a guest to download streaming video or post video clips to Facebook. Royal Caribbean is developing new pricing plans for added service.

The entire process was started in 2012 when Royal Caribbean signed a deal with O3b and is now starting to come to fruition.

And by the time the new system becomes available on Royal Caribbean's newest ship, Quantum of the Seas, Royal Caribbean CEO Adam Goldstein said guests can anticipate "several new, show-stopper uses of the bandwidth."

What surprises? That information, he said, is not yet available for download.

Said Goldstein, "If you're a first-time guest on one of these ships, you won't realize how much work it took to make the wireless so pervasive – or that your cell 'tower' is 4,900 miles over your head. If you are a return guest, you'll be blown away by the improvement. It's that dramatic."

According to Bill Martin, Chief Information Officer, Royal Caribbean, the key to unlocking a land-like experience was reducing satellite latency – the time it takes for something to happen after you hit 'enter.' This breakthrough technology solves that problem, reducing latency from 750 milliseconds to approximately 140 milliseconds. And with each ship's overall capacity exceeding 500mbps during system tests, there will be more than enough bandwidth to go around.

UPDATE: According to Royal Caribbean, the new high speed internet connections will be available beginning August 2014.

Royal Caribbean chooses 802.11ac as its Wi-Fi standard


Royal Caribbean has selected Meru 802.11ac as its standard for wireless LAN (WLAN) connectivity on all new onboard deployments. 

Royal Caribbean had been using Meru 802.11ac since 2011 on some ships but will now make it its fleet-wide standard.

The new wireless internet technology helps Royal Caribbean saturate its cruise ships with a WiFi signal and has become an important revenue source for the cruise line.  For guests, it has meant an easier means of staying connected while at sea.

The Meru wireless LAN supports up to 8,000 passengers and up to 24,000 clients on a typical Royal Caribbean ship. Guest migration to 802.11ac clients will occur over time but those using 802.11n devices already see clear benefits, including faster data rates, when using the new 802.11ac networks. In its 802.11ac pilot on Navigator of the Seas, Royal Caribbean is seeing 20 percent higher throughput with 802.11n wireless clients.

Royal Caribbean director of IT operations, Gregory Martin, commented on the decision, "Our wireless environment is changing all the time, and Meru's MobileFLEX architecture gives us the high performance and reliability that we need to ensure guest satisfaction and staff productivity.  Deploying Wi-Fi onboard ships is difficult, due to the all-steel construction and closed spaces, but Meru worked very closely with us to ensure comprehensive coverage and to optimize performance of voice and video, the key drivers for our 802.11ac implementation."

New state-of-the-art data management system installed on Allure of the Seas


The world's largest cruise ship, Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas, has received a new state-of-the-art, customized data management system that operates over a global, secure and highly scalable infrastructure called K-IMS.

K-IMS includes a number of applications in one package that gives engineers and management access to high level vessel data. The user interface is available on board and on the Royal Caribbean office network in Miramar, Florida. K-IMS data is also accessed on board using tablets and is displayed on a large screen in the Engine Control Room on Allure.

K-IMS was installed during a significant upgrade to the existing Kongsberg Maritime K-Chief automation system on board. The new K-Chief on Allure of the Seas is one of the most extensive ever installed by Kongsberg Maritime, consisting 76 Remote Control Units (RCUs) controlling over 40,000 Input/Output (IO) points. K-IMS replaces the exiting K-Chief History Station and as the data logging system of choice on board, will provide data from 21,000 I/O points (up from 14,500) and data storage for seven years (up from one year). This provides Royal Caribbean with extensive data and statistics with which to improve vessel operational performance.

K-IMS provides the ability to review statistical data, condition based monitoring, alarms and events and ship performance monitoring data. Condition Based maintenance on Allure provides a long term overview of the equipment performance and mechanical degradation, which supports preventative maintenance. Alarms and Events reporting provide the ability to review the most commonly repeating alarms and fix issues with equipment before they become emergencies.

The K-IMS solution on Allure is a triple redundant data access and storage system with servers located in three zones – two on board and one in a hosted cloud service. This configuration enables Royal Caribbeanmanagement to access the vessel’s data without having to use satellite communications, thereby saving on communication costs. A malware protection system to filter out any malicious attacks from the web or via USB on board is included whilst an admin server allows secure remote access to the vessel from authorized locations including the Kongsberg Maritime customer support team.

Royal Caribbean offering e-brochure for tablets


Royal Caribbean UK is now offfering a new brouchure for families that is in digital format, perfect for today's generation of iPad enthusiasts.

Travolution reports that Royal Caribbean is calling it an "industry first" by having an e-brochure that offers videos and interactive content to help showcase the family-friendly features offered by the cruise line.

With the new e-brochure, you can get access to special early booking offers and a selection of the most popular family-friendly itineraries.

Other features of the e-brocure app are planning guides for parents and a link to the Royal Caribbean's kid-friendly Penguin Ahoy! app.

Marketing and PR director Jo Briody said: “Our new tablet friendly brochure is designed to allow families to plan their holidays together, and to showcase all of our family friendly videos and onboard features in one place.

“We hope that its ease of use and inspiring content will urge more families to consider a cruise for the first time."

The new app is free and available from the iTunes app store.