Its owners call Quantum of the Seas the most technologically advanced ship in the world. She boasts a host of innovative features, including a new robotic bartending system that allows users to order a drink from a tablet and then watch two robotic arms mixing up their cocktail of choice. Matthew Stock went aboard.
Shaking things up on the high seas - this robot bartender makes its debut aboard what her designers call the world's first 'smart ship'. Quantum of the Seas is a new 18-deck luxury liner that can accommodate at least 4,000 guests. The Bionic Bar is just one of a host of features cruise line Royal Caribbean hope will revolutionise the future of holidays. Guests place their order on a tablet. Two robotic arms then whip into action, mimicking the actions of a bartender. Alessandro Incisa, from designers Makr Shakr, says there is virtually no limit to the libations on offer. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ALESSANDRO INCISA, MECHANICAL AND PRODUCTION ENGINEER FOR MAKR SHAKR, SAYING: "Almost infinite combination. You have more than 31 spirits, you have eight sodas, juices, mixers, sugar, mint, lime; I can't even remember how many. So if you mix them, the beauty of this is that you can mix them exactly as you like. You might want to have the mint before the sugar, or before rum or after it. And you can just do the exact combination with the appropriate actions." The ship also features these six robo-screens that move and dance in a synchronised routine. Other on-board attractions include an observation pod that raises 300 ft. above sea level, as well as surfing and sky diving simulators. But President and COO Adam Goldstein says it's the ship's connectivity that makes it truly a game changer. Partnering with service provider O3b Networks, Goldstein says Quantum of the Seas has more bandwidth capability than all other cruise ships in the world put together. This not only lets guests stay connected, but lets them customise almost every aspect of their cruise. (SOUNDBITES) (English) ADAM GOLDSTEIN, PRESIDENT AND COO ROYAL CARIBBEAN INTERNATIONAL, SAYING: "They have the apps and they have the technologies and the offerings so they can have the cruise experience that they want to have. They can arrange it for themselves; they can manage it for themselves from the beginning of the cruise to the end. They're in charge of their cruise vacation in a way they haven't been before." Quantum of the Seas will cruise the Bahamas and the Caribbean for her first season, before heading for her new homeport of Shanghai in May 2015. And while technology has a habit of breaking down, the team at Royal Caribbean are confident any glitches can be solved by on board technicians and remote fixes... delivering smooth sailing all the way.