Navigator of the Seas to get virtual balconies

By Tom Stieghorst
Quantum's Virtual BalconyNot content to wait for them to appear on Quantum of the Seas, Royal Caribbean will install its first virtual balconies on Navigator of the Seas when it undergoes revitalization early next year.

Royal Caribbean International CEO Adam Goldstein said the virtual balconies — an 80-inch LED projection screen that shows exterior images — will change how interior cabins are viewed.

"It's going to bring a completely different feel to the experience," Goldstein said at Royal Caribbean's media conference on Tuesday to reveal some of the features of Quantum.

Disney Cruise Line introduced outside views from inside cabins in 2011, with the launch of Magical Portholes on the Disney Dream.

The 4,100-passenger Quantum is under construction and is expected to enter service in November 2014.

The 3,100-passenger Navigator, which entered service in 2002, will go into drydock next January to get the Royal Advantage upgrade package. It is scheduled to sail from Galveston when the upgrades are complete.

Virtual balconies were one of the new features rolled out for Quantum, along with bumper cars, a sky diving attraction and a large observation pod on a mechanical arm.

Goldstein said there will not be a specific surcharge for interior cabins with virtual balconies, but added that he hopes they will bring higher yields.

"The whole experience will be more valuable to our guests and we expect that to be reflected in the ticket price," he said.

Follow Tom Stieghorst on Twitter @tstravelweekly.
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