Royal Caribbean International is to install what it terms the fastest internet at sea throughout its fleet of 24 ships – including the local Australian fleet when the ships return for summer.
The new internet service is called VOOM. It was first introduced on the Quantum class of ships, including the USD 1 billion Ovation of the Seas which is soon to call Australia home.
The line said yesterday the innovation would allow guests holidaying with Royal Caribbean to stay connected and to stream their favourite music, movies and TV shows. Instagram, Snapchat, FaceTime and Skype all become possible, letting travellers share their adventures in real-time with family and friends. You can also stream movies.
“VOOM is revolutionising the onboard experience for our guests as well as for our crew and it is truly a game-changer for the industry,” Royal Caribbean International’s president and chief executive, Michael Bayley, said.
“Everything our guests and crew can do online at home, they will now be able to do from onboard all of our ships around the world.”
In a statement released yesterday, RCI said it would harness a combination of Wi-Fi service providers to deliver “more overall bandwidth fleetwide than any other cruise line”.
The enhancements would provide speeds “at least twice as fast as before” at prices “less expensive than ever before – comparable to most land-based resorts”.
Travellers on all Royal Caribbean ships will be able to choose between two packages:
- Surf, which provides guests the opportunity to surf the web, stay in touch via email, and share their holiday photos on social media. Surf packages start at USD 12.99 per device per day with additional devices added at discounted cost. Family packages – five devices or more – start from USD 8.99 per device per day.
- Surf and Stream, aimed at guests looking to do more than connect via email or social channels, but who also want to be able to stream movies and music from Netflix or Spotify, and to connect using video chat apps such as Skype. This package is available for USD 17.99 per device per day. Additional devices can be connected at a discount and family packages – five devices or more – start from USD 11.99 per device per day.
The line says the pricing is a significant improvement on the standard programs currently on offer throughout the industry, “many of which charge on a per-minute basis”.
Over the 2016/2017 cruise season, Royal Caribbean International will increase its local fleet to five ships with the introduction of the giant USD 1 billion Ovation of the Seas, “ Australia’s biggest, newest and most technologically advanced cruise ship”. It will join Explorer of the Seas, Voyager of the Seas and Radiance of the Seas, home porting in Sydney, and Legend of the Seas home porting in Brisbane.
Celebrity Solstice will also sail its fifth local season out of Sydney, while Azamara Club Cruises’ boutique Azamara Journey will make its Australian debut during the 2016/2017 summer season.
Edited by Peter Needham