You may’ve heard that Anthem and Quantum of the Seas are the most technologically advanced cruise ships at sea – (we’re sure we’ve mentioned it once or….a hundred times!) However, we also know some of you prefer your traditional cruise ships.
So it was with you in mind that we decided to look at what Anthem can offer and see if we could dispel the myth that she’s only for the tech savvy!
Smart Check In
One of the “smart features” vaunted by Royal Caribbean on Anthem and Quantum of the Seas is the ‘smart check in where you check in online before you go. You upload a picture of yourself online, fill in a few forms and it’s said to cut check in times down to just ten minutes. To put this to the test we asked one of our specialist cruise consultants not to check in online before she went to see how those who can’t or just won’t check-in online would fare.
It took us less than ten minutes to get on-board took her only a little longer than that!
Here’s what our consultant Sophie had to say about her check in…
“When I arrived I was directed over to the check in desks without any problems. It was a quick process with just a few questions to answer and photo taken but it did mean I was at least 10 minutes behind the rest of the team who had chosen the smart check in.
“There were still plenty of check in staff members ready to help if you prefer to do things the old fashioned way!” You can learn more about Sophie here.
So there you have it! It won’t impact your trip if you don’t want to check in online or don’t have access to a computer.
This is the Royal iQ app you can use as a cruise planner to change reservations and appointments, track your luggage or view your on-board account. You can also access this from iPads in one of the free standing stations around the ship but you don’t have to use the app if you don’t want to!
Just head on down to reception as you normally would if you’ve run out of milk for your tea in the cabin (we’ve all been there!) and speak to someone – instead of trying to figure out the app.
As you would expect on any cruise, the staff will be happy to help!
This Royal iQ app can also be help you get “Smart Service” – as you can let Royal know about your preferences. This could be anything such as letting them know what your favourite drink is. However, you could easily just do things the old fashioned way and tell your waiters what you do and don’t like or speak to your cleaners in person!
The Bionic Bar is where you can have a robot make your cocktail (you can read more about the Bionic Bar here!) But if you don’t like technology – don’t let it put you off Anthem! If you don’t want to go to the hassle of making the robots work – just go along to one of the many, many other bars around – all of which have human bar tenders! Michael’s Genuine Pub serve a good pint, Schooner bar has some great cocktails and Vintages has an amazing selection of wine. With many more to choose from – technology certainly won’t get in the way of you and your tipple!
Those of you that make use of the ships Wi-Fi will know the difficulties of trying to maintain a connection at sea, despite the fast speed cruise lines claim to have… But Anthem and Quantum class ships promise unrivalled and unprecedented broadband bandwidth to keep guests connected 24/7. This is down to the fact that they have their very own dedicated satellite in low orbit, to keep guests connected. But we know some of you aren’t interested in this – so you don’t have to make use of this service just because it’s there! If you’d rather leave your phone at home and disconnect from the online world – do it!
Royal have also introduced a wristband that you can wear all day to save you carrying around your room card. It can be used to open your door, pay for purchases or drinks and even sign you in at a muster drill. The band is also waterproof – so it doesn’t matter if you go dive bombing in the pool!… But if you’d still rather use a room card for all of these functions – you can! (The only thing we’d say about these bands is that they are brightly coloured, so the very fashion conscious amongst you may not want to wear them – but come on – it’s all part of the fun!)
Whilst Royal Caribbean’s virtual balconies have a great wow factor and make it feel as though you have a window – you don’t have to opt for one! If the thought of a virtual window giving you a view of the outside of the ship doesn’t appeal to you, but you’ve ended up with a virtual balcony… Just turn the screen off and close the curtains – and it’ll be as though your’re in a normal room!
Many cruise lines have been trying to make their cruises more interactive but none have Royal’s unique digital dashboard. The screen shows a social feed (it reminded us of our cruise wall – we wonder where they got the idea??) which picks up any instances of #AnthemOfTheSeas being used on social media. It then shows these posts on the screen, so you can take a selfie with GiGi and see it on the screen afterwards!
Selfie’s aren’t everyone’s thing… so if you’d rather not document your every move on Anthem – don’t! Just sit back, relax, and let the other guests enjoy the social feed (and maybe avert your gaze from the dashboard when you’re up on the top deck).
RoboShow in Two70
Two270 is an intriguing venue which combines technology with liver performers.
Our specialist cruise consultant Lisa West explained what the show was like:
“The first night saw the Spectra’s Cabaret in the café Two70. What a transformation this room is from day to evening! In the day it’s a great room to enjoy a picnic-style meal providing 270 degrees panoramic sea views through floor to ceiling glass walls spanning two and half decks high, to the evening where Spectra and his Agents of Rhythm invite you to an eclectic multi-dimensional cabaret, it blends live performance with pop music and digital imagery. I can honestly say it was mesmerizing, I loved it!”
You can learn more about Lisa’s time on Anthem of the Seas here.
However, if this kind of high tech spectacle isn’t appealing to you, why not go and watch a normal performance in the Royal Theatre? Shows such as We Will Rock You will still dazzle audiences, without moving robot screens and high-techno operations!
Our consultant Marie explains how it works: “It may look like a modern Chandelier, but this beautiful piece of art is simply amazing as it can mimic your heartbeat. By placing your hands on this sensor, the device senses and saves the rhythm of your heart beat which then gets released throughout the 200 lights in the chandelier which each in turn dance to your own unique light show.
Once you remove your hands the magic doesn’t stop, as the sensor then remembers your rhythm then adds it to all the other heart beats patterns it has taken during the cruise and turn not in use combines the heart beats into an amazing light show. Now that is truly spectacular.” You can read more about Marie’s time on Anthem here.
This is probably one of the simplest pieces of tech on Anthem that anyone can use! However, if you really don’t want to give it a go, just enjoy the lightshow from all the heartbeats the chandelier has imitated so far.
Whilst it may seem like a very technical ship (helped no doubt by Royal Caribbean’s description of her), we never felt that the technology was ‘in your face.’
In fact, when we spoke to the Gadget Show’s Jason Bradbury (who had a look at all the technology on Anthem) he said that: “what you’ve got is this layer of technology that’s not overt, it’s quite covert actually. The use of technology is subtle and integrated.”
We have to say we agree with him! You can read our full interview with him here.
What do you think of the technology on the ship? Do you think that it’s overdone or that it’s way ahead of its time? Let us know in the comments below
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