Have you ever had one of those ideas in life that’s been so good, you’ve decided to rush to get it out there as soon as possible? Turns out Royal Caribbean has, as we’re about to find out in February.
Earlier this year, the cruise line announced the Quantum of the Seas, including a wealth of great features across the ship including the first dodgems at sea, the first skydiving at sea and more. But one that really caught the imagination was the idea of the virtual balcony.
This is where an entire wall of interior staterooms is a screen that shows a live image from the ship, as if people had their own balcony to enjoy. It’s something new, exciting and most importantly it’s very intriguing, but it’s been so well received that the decision has been made to push up the launch of this feature.
So when the Navigator of the Seas goes into dry dock for refurbishment in February, it will be the first ship to gain this new benefit. Unlike the Quantum though, it won’t be in every interior stateroom. Instead it’ll be in 98 of the rooms, including 81 double occupancy and 17 quad cabins.
The screens are full HD, and are floor-to-ceiling, making them 80” windows to the world. They’re all live, including live sounds, and depending on whether the screen is facing port or starboard you’ll get a port or starboard view. The volume is adjustable and, in case you were worried, you can turn them off too.
What’s really interesting is one quote about pricing for the rooms. Nothing concrete has been set but “we would consider it unusual to find a virtual balcony stateroom priced higher than an ocean view stateroom.”
This, to me, makes it sound like an ocean view stateroom and a virtual balcony stateroom will be priced at the same level. Which I think poses an interesting question – would you prefer a smaller, ‘real’ view, or a live virtual view that took up a whole wall?
I can’t decide. So let me know what you think instead.
By Ian Lewis