In a recently announced partnership, Royal Caribbean Cruises will be providing its 40,000 crew members with Windows 8.1 tablets and taking the tech to oceans abroad. Crew members of Royal Caribbean’s newest ship, Quantum of the Seas, will be the first to receive the 8-inch Windows-based tablets built by HEXA for the cruise line.
The tablets will feature services such as Bing, Skype, Office 365 and OneDrive. Rollout will begin in October and is expected to be completed by the end of December with every shipboard employee in the Royal Caribbean fleet receiving a tablet.
Richard D. Fain, chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises, made the announcement Monday in Papenburg, Germany, at a technology reveal of the Quantum of the Seas, a new ship reimagined with technology to take the vacation experience to a whole new level. Fain said, “The Royal Caribbean men and women who provide such great vacations are the real heroes of our fleet, and these gifts demonstrate our appreciation in a tangible way. This technology isn’t only about giving our guests a better vacation — it’s about giving our crew and their families a closer connection than we’ve ever been able to.”
The Windows tablets will enable crew members to keep in closer contact with family members and friends while away from home. With a personal tablet, crew members will be able to keep family members up to date by talking face-to-face via Skype, sharing photos on OneDrive and getting things done with Office 365. With Windows 8.1, the device provides a modern, touch-friendly experience that will easily accommodate the active and mobile lifestyle of crew members.
“Royal Caribbean is using technology to transform experiences for guests and crew members, and we’re thrilled to partner with them on their journey. Microsoft cloud and mobile technologies are going to help Royal Caribbean crew members who represent so many countries around the world stay in touch with their family and friends,” said Jane Boulware, vice president of U.S. Windows Devices. “With a tablet in hand, a father can attend a parent-teacher conference, a mother can review her son’s book report and friends can check each other’s Facebook posts.”
The Quantum of the Seas will include Microsoft technology onboard as well. Guests aboard the Quantum will be able to take advantage of Xbox One consoles on board to play games with friends around the world or enjoy entertainment at sea — all available for the first time through Xbox Live and via the ship’s unprecedented connectivity. The new ship also will leverage a mobile point-of-sale system that is powered by sleek Dell Venue 8 Pro tablets featuring the VeriFone payment sleeve, which includes card swipe, bar code reader and RFID reader.