Virtual Balconies Will Make Your Cheap Room Seem Less Cheap on Royal Caribbean Cruises
Why not just install a "virtual cruise" screen in your house?
If you needed to be oddly unsettled today with shades of a dystopian future where we need pretend windows with virtual, serene landscapes to keep us from getting depressed, take a look at how Royal Caribbean is trying to make its less upscale rooms seem less depressing. They now have 80-inch TV screen seascapes.
Sure, if you’re paying a bunch of money to ride around the ocean on a boat, it seems a little silly to pretend that you’re looking at the real ocean on a TV screen—even sillier than riding a floating hotel normally seems. Hey, most people out there prefer to view the world through their smartphone screen, anyway, so maybe no one will even notice the difference.
Royal Caribbean seems to think so, because they’re outfitting 373 interior rooms of their newest ship, Quantum of the Seas (starring Daniel Craig?), with the “virtual balconies.” The screens will also roll out on its sister ship Anthem of the Seas and an older ship called Navigator of the Seas. To add a level of realism to your pretend ocean view, the video on the screens is streamed live from cameras at the front and back of the ship, so you’re seeing the same thing as someone who’s, you know, actually looking out at the ocean.
According to Royal Caribbean CEO Adam Goldstein, there will be no extra surcharge for rooms with the virtual balconies, but he’s hoping that it’ll lead to increased sales of the less impressive rooms on their ships.
That, of course, depends on just how little you’re unsettled by being told, “Hey, don’t sweat it if you can’t afford a nice room with a view. We can give you a fake view to trick your brain into being happier with what you can afford—at no extra charge!” Congratulations, you now live in Fahrenheit 451.