The massive Ovation of the Seas cruise liner that berthed in Sydney this week, and which will be based in the Harbour this summer, is notable for being the fourth largest ship in the world, the biggest ever to visit Australia, and for offering unprecedented bandwidth and unlimited download limits at sea. With the Voom satellite service enabling broadband speeds as good as (and better) many landline connections, games-minded guests can enjoy playing Xbox Live and compete with other gamers around the world. (Just like they could if they stayed at home in their living rooms.)
“Ovation of the Seas is truly unlike anything ever seen in our region before,” says Adam Armstrong, Managing Director, Royal Caribbean Australia and New Zealand. “She introduces a whole new way to holiday – what we like to call supercruising. Technology plays a significant role in this, not only in her engineering but also in the guest experience.”
Vacationers, for instance, can order room service via tablets, and enjoy a cocktail perfectly mixed by robotic bartenders in the Bionic Bar. There’s a multimedia venue, where a group of six dancing Roboscreens hold performances during the cruise, either solo or together as one, and if you fancy a stateroom with a view, the ship has virtual balconies with 80-inch, high-definition LED screens that display the exact location of the ship through a camera placed on the ship’s bridge.
The ship also features an indoor sky diving experience, where 250km/h winds in a vertical tunnel allows guests to fly; dodge em cars and a 90 metre high viewing pod. There’s also a FlowRider surf simulator, for travellers looking to grab a wave without having to leave the deck.
Guests can manage their own activities – from spa appointments to dinner reservations – via the Cruise Planner system, or download the Royal iQ app to stay across all the schedules and cruising information relevant to their cruise holiday.
Ovation of the Seas claims technology also helps it be kinder to the environment. Computer modelling has helped reduce the ship’s energy consumption, with an improved engine design that increases fuel efficiency by up to 8 percent. All lighting on the ship is low-energy LED, with motion sensors to dim hallway lighting when no one is around.
Ovation of the Seas cost $1.3 billion, is 350 metres long and can carry 6500 passengers across its 16 guest decks.