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Author Topic: Virtual Balconies
Malcolm @ cruisepage
Cruise Director
Member # 301

posted 04-19-2013 07:14 AM      Profile for Malcolm @ cruisepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
RCI are introducing inside cabins with Virtual Balconies on 'Navigator' and 'Quantum':

http://youtu.be/dsQVOXQWElE

What do you think?


Posts: 18997 | From: Essex (Just Outside London) | Registered: A Long Time Ago!  |  IP: Logged
sea4me
First Class Passenger
Member # 4564

posted 04-19-2013 09:07 AM      Profile for sea4me     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Since it is virtual, why have the faux railing?
Posts: 22 | From: California | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged
DEIx15x8
First Class Passenger
Member # 14958

posted 04-19-2013 09:14 AM      Profile for DEIx15x8   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by sea4me:
Since it is virtual, why have the faux railing?

I think it's to complete the illusion of it being a real balcony. Without the railing it's just a large window or more likely it would just look like a large TV. That's why they have the curtains as well. They are only there to complete the illusion of having a real balcony.


Posts: 520 | From: Kutztown, PA | Registered: Apr 2008  |  IP: Logged
FL_Cruiser64
First Class Passenger
Member # 13706

posted 04-19-2013 01:41 PM      Profile for FL_Cruiser64   Email FL_Cruiser64   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Smoking allowed on these balconies?
Posts: 218 | From: Florida | Registered: Feb 2008  |  IP: Logged
Johan
First Class Passenger
Member # 4458

posted 04-19-2013 04:55 PM      Profile for Johan   Email Johan   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The most essential element, the free sea air is lacking...
it is gimmicky, and it diminishes the appeal of cruising

Posts: 1890 | From: Antwerpen, Belgium | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
reeves35
First Class Passenger
Member # 6021

posted 04-19-2013 05:55 PM      Profile for reeves35   Email reeves35   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Bit of a gimmick maybe you could install one in your bedroom at home and have a virtual holiday
Posts: 332 | From: Melbourne, Australia | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged
FuzzyFish
First Class Passenger
Member # 33185

posted 04-19-2013 06:25 PM      Profile for FuzzyFish   Email FuzzyFish   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Johan:
The most essential element, the free sea air is lacking...
it is gimmicky, and it diminishes the appeal of cruising

I actually like it quite a bit. I know it won't look good when you're somewhat close to it but it does seem to "open up" the cabin a bunch.

Definitely gimmicky, but I really like it.


Posts: 143 | From: Toronto, ON | Registered: Jun 2010  |  IP: Logged
DEIx15x8
First Class Passenger
Member # 14958

posted 04-19-2013 07:29 PM      Profile for DEIx15x8   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
It may be gimmicky but I like it. I've never done an inside cabin but this'll make me consider it. I always leave the bridge channel on in the cabin even with a window or balcony. The only complaint I have is that its view is tied to your location on the ship. I would love to be able to switch between cameras. I prefer a forward facing view from above the bow.
Posts: 520 | From: Kutztown, PA | Registered: Apr 2008  |  IP: Logged
FuzzyFish
First Class Passenger
Member # 33185

posted 04-19-2013 07:47 PM      Profile for FuzzyFish   Email FuzzyFish   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by DEIx15x8:
It may be gimmicky but I like it. I've never done an inside cabin but this'll make me consider it. I always leave the bridge channel on in the cabin even with a window or balcony. The only complaint I have is that its view is tied to your location on the ship. I would love to be able to switch between cameras. I prefer a forward facing view from above the bow.

I don't know if it'll make me want to sail on an inside, but it'll definitely make it more interesting if you have to.


Posts: 143 | From: Toronto, ON | Registered: Jun 2010  |  IP: Logged
FL_Cruiser64
First Class Passenger
Member # 13706

posted 04-19-2013 11:23 PM      Profile for FL_Cruiser64   Email FL_Cruiser64   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Johan:
The most essential element, the free sea air is lacking...
it is gimmicky, and it diminishes the appeal of cruising

I heard that as a new amenity for these virtual balcony inside cabins you get a bottle of Fabreeze "Ocean Air" and a battery operated fan to simulate the wind.


Posts: 218 | From: Florida | Registered: Feb 2008  |  IP: Logged
FL_Cruiser64
First Class Passenger
Member # 13706

posted 04-19-2013 11:25 PM      Profile for FL_Cruiser64   Email FL_Cruiser64   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by DEIx15x8:
It may be gimmicky but I like it. I've never done an inside cabin but this'll make me consider it. I always leave the bridge channel on in the cabin even with a window or balcony. The only complaint I have is that its view is tied to your location on the ship. I would love to be able to switch between cameras. I prefer a forward facing view from above the bow.

Now wait a minute. That would be unfair to those who pay more for a real balcony. They can't change the view. You book a balcony you are stuck with the view. You book a virtual balcony inside cabin you are stuck with the channel.



Posts: 218 | From: Florida | Registered: Feb 2008  |  IP: Logged
Ernst
First Class Passenger
Member # 5369

posted 04-20-2013 03:34 AM      Profile for Ernst   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Johan:
[...]it is gimmicky, and it diminishes the appeal of cruising

I feel the same way - these gimmicks seem to 'take over' - it's getting too much.

quote:
Originally posted by FL_Cruiser64:
Smoking allowed on these balconies?

Virtually, yes.


Posts: 9721 | From: Baden-Württemberg, Germany - originally from Vienna, Austria | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
Malcolm @ cruisepage
Cruise Director
Member # 301

posted 04-21-2013 08:12 AM      Profile for Malcolm @ cruisepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by sea4me:
Since it is virtual, why have the faux railing?

It's obvious! It is to stop you having a virtual fall.

It would not be that difficult to design a mega-ship without inside cabins, would it!

[ 04-21-2013: Message edited by: Malcolm @ cruisepage ]


Posts: 18997 | From: Essex (Just Outside London) | Registered: A Long Time Ago!  |  IP: Logged
Tim in Fort Lauderdale
First Class Passenger
Member # 953

posted 04-21-2013 10:33 AM      Profile for Tim in Fort Lauderdale     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Johan:
The most essential element, the free sea air is lacking...
it is gimmicky, and it diminishes the appeal of cruising

Diminishes the appeal of cruising how?

If anything, these "gimmicks" have broadened the appeal of cruising. More and more people cruise every year as the "gimmicks" such as ice skating, rock climbing walls, diving shows, indoor promenades, flowriders (surfing), etc, have attracted millions of new cruisers.

Very few people today want to go on a cruise to sit in a steamer chair on a promenade as that is what their grandparents did.

What the new generation of cruisers want is an active, resort-style vacation. They want to do things they would not normally do at home or activities they don't have access to on a daily basis. It's called going on vacation to have fun.

However, if one wants to sit in a deck chair, promenade around the deck and wax nostalgic having an experience that makes them feel they have stepped back in time, one can always travel on the Marco Polo or go stay on the Queen Mary in Long Beach.

The new, larger, "gimmick" laden ships have proven themselves as the public votes with their wallets.

That's my view.

Tim


Posts: 1467 | From: Fort Lauderdale, FL | Registered: Dec 1999  |  IP: Logged
Tim in Fort Lauderdale
First Class Passenger
Member # 953

posted 04-21-2013 10:39 AM      Profile for Tim in Fort Lauderdale     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Malcolm @ cruisepage:

It's obvious! It is to stop you having a virtual fall.

It would not be that difficult to design a mega-ship without inside cabins, would it!

[ 04-21-2013: Message edited by: Malcolm @ cruisepage ]


Malcolm,

no it would not. However, it would waste valuable "real estate" in that ships are designed to maximize revenue. And by eliminating inside cabins, you would be eliminating the all to valuable entry-level price point. There's still a good number of people who just want a cabin as a place to sleep, shower and dress or choose one for budgetary reasons.

I've met many people who perennially choose the cheapest accommodations as they can take one or two cruises per year in a balcony cabin or five in an inside. Or cruise every year in an inside or cruise once every few years in a balcony.

Cheers,

Tim


Posts: 1467 | From: Fort Lauderdale, FL | Registered: Dec 1999  |  IP: Logged
Johan
First Class Passenger
Member # 4458

posted 04-21-2013 04:32 PM      Profile for Johan   Email Johan   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Tim
i think it makes the ship more and more claustrophobic, and overcrowded.
these "gimmicks" are lore price/quality value when in bigger landbased hotels, and not on the confined limited space of a ship.
Besides, it is all more and more "fake" , a certain amount of "fakeness" is quite charming on a cruiseship, but here also, too much is too much.
The likes of Marco Polo are vanishing quickly.
9 years ago my first cruise was on board the "Oceanic", and in 2012 it was on the MSC Divina, the ship was nicer, but the experience was not.
I understand that the price could be more or less the same because of the higher number of passengers, but still ...

Interesting to see that in Europe at least, the quieter ships are disappearing together with the shorter trips, Very difficult to find some good ones, as compared to only a few years ago, btw

This is only my view


Posts: 1890 | From: Antwerpen, Belgium | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Carlos Fernandez
First Class Passenger
Member # 6432

posted 04-21-2013 06:23 PM      Profile for Carlos Fernandez   Author's Homepage   Email Carlos Fernandez   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Tim, you hit the nail on the head. Interior staterooms represent an accessible price point, often for passengers who are not able to afford an ocean view or balcony stateroom. Im sure these passengers will welcome the virtual balcony concept.

Gimmicks or not the innovations introduced with Quantum of the Seas increase the appeal of cruising for people who would otherwise not choose a cruise for their vacation as well as for experienced cruisers. If you don't like them, theres always a lounge chair waiting around.


Posts: 1325 | From: Miami, Florida (Cruise Capital of the World) | Registered: Apr 2006  |  IP: Logged
joe at travelpage
Administrator
Member # 622

posted 04-21-2013 08:37 PM      Profile for joe at travelpage   Author's Homepage   Email joe at travelpage   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I am curious to see how durable these are.

When sailing with a group we often park the kids in the inside cabins and I shudder to think what would happen to a virtual balcony after a week with some of them. On the other hand, maybe they will be only available for some inside cabins and people will be smart enough to book the appropriate type of passenger.


Posts: 8624 | From: Great Falls, Virginia | Registered: A Long Time Ago!  |  IP: Logged
Linerrich
First Class Passenger
Member # 4864

posted 04-22-2013 03:22 PM      Profile for Linerrich   Email Linerrich   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Royal Caribbean has just announced that they will install the virtual balconies in all interior cabins aboard NAVIGATOR OF THE SEAS during her refit later this year (the ship is based in Galveston.) So one of their middle-aged vessels will actually be the first one to utilize this new feature, perhaps as a test case, should things need to be "tweaked" before QUANTUM goes into service.

Rich


Posts: 4207 | From: Miami, FL | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Globaliser
First Class Passenger
Member # 4153

posted 04-23-2013 05:18 AM      Profile for Globaliser     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Well, there is one clear advantage.

It'll make it much easier to investigate whether a virtual suicide (or virtual murder) took place.


Posts: 1841 | From: UK | Registered: Sep 2003  |  IP: Logged
Malcolm @ cruisepage
Cruise Director
Member # 301

posted 04-23-2013 11:44 AM      Profile for Malcolm @ cruisepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Tim in Fort Lauderdale:

And by eliminating inside cabins, you would be eliminating the all to valuable entry-level price point.


Hi Tim, I see your point of view. I've booked the occasional inside cabin and spent the savings in the bar etc.

However, I assume the 'entry' level cabin was once four beds and no private bathroom. I am suggesting that inside cabins could be abolished to history.

I see no reason on-board these mega-ship with thousands of cabins that a balcony cabin could not be the future 'standard'.

All cabins could be on the outside and many of the public spaces on the inside. Public-spaces without windows is already common-place on many mega-ships (Voyager, Freedom, Oasis and epic etc.).

In fact even if the lounges and dining rooms do have windows, you may be seated so far a way from them, that you cannot see out anyway.


Posts: 18997 | From: Essex (Just Outside London) | Registered: A Long Time Ago!  |  IP: Logged

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