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Cruise of the Future: Stay on Board?


With all the amusement parks, water slides, space journeys and more that seem to be the heart of new cruise ships, perhaps it's only natural that a cruise company would come up with a ship that hosts virtual excursions to shore points.

Arthur Frommer, a few years ago, famously suggested that cruises had reached the point it was no longer necessary for them to sail away from the dock, and Royal Caribbean now seems determined to prove him once again right. 

RCI, which operates 48 ships among its brands, showed off a prototype last week of a cabin that features video walls of beach scenes, starry night skies, or whatever you like best; the sounds of rainshowers, waves, or whatever nature suits you.

The company says it's all meant to "bring a little bit of the outside make the walls feel less solid. ...We wanted to create a space where people could see views of the ocean and skies from inside their cabin, without having to necessarily go to the promenade of the ship."

Later steps in the plan include virtual-reality dining, with passengers transported to different locations to match their food choices. And yes, there are virtual shore excursions. Supposedly, it's to give passengers a chance to see if they really want the actual excursion, but for many, it may be a substitute.

Arthur, are you sure you didn't sell them the idea?

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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