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I recently attended the cruise 3 sixty conference in Vancouver, B.C. One of the most exciting innovations coming from Royal Caribbean is the virtual balcony. I was quite impressed with the screen and how it changed the whole feel of the ‘room’. They are being built on the up and coming Quantum of the Seas. However, the Navigator of the Seas is getting a face lift in January and will be the first ship to offer them.
The virtual balconies will be an 80-inch LED project screen that shows images of the ocean that is taken from elsewhere on the ship. There will not be a specific charge for interior cabins with virtual balconies, but the cruise line is hoping they will bring higher yields. I expect these cabins to sell out more quickly than other room types. I will certainly be targeting them for my clients!
Royal Caribbean is not the first to come up with the concept, Disney cruise lines added virtual portholes to their inside cabins in 2011. The virtual portholes are currently on the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy. They have been a hot ticket item and I expect more cruise lines to follow suit.
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Dominique Barba, CTIE, ECC, TAE