Say goodbey to your walkie-talkies cruise-goers! Royal Caribbean's "Royal Connect" custom app has arrived.
When I was first looking into this so-called "app," I was under the impression it was indeed an iPhone App, which is kinda is, but isn't. Confused? Me too. Royal Connect is actually a service provided on the world's largest cruise ship, the Oasis of the Seas (and presumably all future ships) that runs off an iPhone. Here's the catch. You can't download it. It's a location-based navigation phone + service which you can rent on board the ship on a first-come, first-serve basis. Unofficially, Bill Martin, Chief Information Officer of Royal Caribbean, noted there will be up to 800 of the Royal Connect iPhones on board the Oasis of the Seas by January 2010.
Royal Connect's recent launch makes sense. On a ship that's akin to a small city, using an old-fashioned walkie-talkie would be difficult and so passe. The greatest feature offered by Royal Connect is the ability to stay in touch with friends and family while on board AND keep track of your kiddies. Since the waterborne behemoth offers something for everyone, you family and friends can divide, conquer and explore all while still 'royally connecting.'
RCCL's Royal Connect Details - $17.99 - locate friends and family on board (ie - find their exact location) - view daily cruise compass & activities - instant message & text - dial shipboard extensions using digital voice - make reservations onboard the ships’ restaurants and spas - parents also can choose to fit their children under 12 with an id wristband integrated with a Wi-Fi locator chip, linked to the parents' Royal Connect device
Note - you can only use the custom app on the iphone offered by Royal Carribean - at this point, you cannot download the app from the app store - does not inlcude free internet - people you message with also have to rent a device
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