Is This Your Next Royal Caribbean Stateroom?
Royal Caribbean unveiled a bunch of new technology offerings in New York City this month, from a driverless pier shuttle to giant video screens that move in a synchronized dance to an app that does everything but drink your umbrella drinks for you.
I can’t say I was wild about all of it–especially the app. But I did loved getting a preview of the stateroom of the future, which they estimate is about five years away. My guess is that it would be rolled out first as a premium offer. But features like a fake sky on the ceiling and lighting that changes with the time of day could completely transform the cruise experience for passengers who book windowless inside state rooms.
Royal Caribbean’s View of the Future
The folks overseeing this project to overhaul staterooms say they were keenly aware that your fun, colorful cruise experience usually ends when you return to state room. Cruise ship cabins are small and bland– built for efficiency and function, not style and experience. If you’re in an inside room without a balcony or at least window it can be downright dreary – a place to sleep and change your clothes, but not to hang and relax. Their goal with the stateroom of the future is to bring the outside in, particularly the ocean and sky.
Walls are curved and have a soft seashell–colored covering, which is more relaxing and visually appealing than the usual paneled straight lines and sharp corners.
A Sneak Peek at Your Next Stateroom
A glass ribbon winding its way across the floor has lights that undulate to make you feel like a stream is running through your room. Or perhaps as though your floor has the ocean trickling through.
A seashell-colored ceiling retracts via a remote control to reveal another ceiling that projects lights and images. In the morning it might turns lovely pale shades of pink and white to mimic the sunrise happening over the water outside. During the day it might offer dripping rain-forest leaves, the roofs of a Mediterranean village or glaciers and pine needles to reflect the port you’re sailing into. At night you get a perfect star-filled sky.
Adults will appreciate the effects and the ambience it creates. To kids it will seem magical and they would be absolutely crazy about it. I’d have a hard time getting my kid out of this room to the pool deck.
Interestingly, Royal Caribbean’s cabin takes the company down a path similar to one NASA has been exploring. The space agency has been delving into ways to bring the feel of natural earthly environments to the space stations and capsules where astronauts will spend extended periods of time. So the two organizations have lately been talking and sharing ideas.
It’s tempting to make a joke about Rosie, the Jetsons’ robot maid being your steward for this stateroom of the future. But this is a rare instance I saw at Royal Caribbean’s event where technology is a means to an end rather than the point in itself. It delivers a cool high-tech experience, but you’re far more aware of the enjoyable experience than the tech that delivers.
The Best of Cruise Ship Technology
I can’t say the same thing abut their all-pervasive app, which made me feel like I’d have to go through my entire vacation with a phone clutched in my hand, not idea for those of us who attempt to disconnect when we go away. (And for many women, the whole point of going on a cruise is the rare ability to walk around hands free.)
But I would book this stateroom of the future in an instant. I hope Royal Caribbean will be sure to let me know when the future arrives!
Pin it for the future!