As the industry’s second-largest cruise line, Royal Caribbean has also worked diligently to lure non-cruisers into the fold by adding activities that most wouldn’t associate with the quintessential cruise experience. The company’s newer, larger ships— its Oasis-class ships can carry 5,400 passengers—already offer a wide array of “experience” offerings, from surfing wave pools and rock-climbing walls to zip lines and bumper cars, and more fantastical features are on the way.
“On Quantum of the Seas, which we’re bringing into service this year, you’ll be able to climb into a jewel-like capsule on a mechanical arm that extends 100 feet above the top deck—where you’re already 200 feet above water,” says Goldstein. “So you’ll have a bird’s eye view as you’re swung around a full football field’s length above the water. That’s certainly never been attempted before.” Both Quantum and Anthem of the Seas will also feature a wind chamber where passengers can experience the sensation of skydiving above the ocean.
“We do these things because guests love them and because having them tells people that the cruising experience is more active than you might have thought; it’s not just about eating in the dining room.”
In fact, Quantum will forego the traditional two-seatings at-6-and-8 in the main dining room entirely, instead featuring “Dynamic Dining,” or five themed dining rooms serving various cuisines. A new app will help its tech-savvy passenger population navigate their culinary options, letting them view real-time availability and make reservations that work with their other evening entertainment plans. “As people’s palates have become more sophisticated in terms of exposure to ethnic cuisines, we’ve branched into specialty restaurants to the point where on some of our ships there are more places to eat than there are nights of the cruise,” notes Goldstein.