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    6 Unusual Cruise Ship Amenities

    Cruise industry folks know that vacationers have literal boatloads of sailing options to choose from these days, inspiring the trend to outfit ships with the most whiz-bang attractions and amenities at sea.

    Today you'll find souped-up ships oozing outrageous features -- such as amusement park-worthy diversions (racetracks with hairpin turns), high-tech innovations (robot bartenders) and Instagram-worthy settings (from ice bars to underwater lounges) -- as the lines try to one-up each other to get you to travel with them.

    Here are 6 unusual cruise ship amenities to ensure you'll be anything but bored once you're onboard ...

    Submarine on Crystal Cruises

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    This pressure- and temperature-controlled submersible, large enough for a pilot and two guests, can bring passengers down to depths of nearly 1,000 feet.  The sophisticated C-Explorer 3 vessel is outfitted with a see-through, 360-degree acrylic capsule for optimal observation. It is agile enough to allow viewing of whatever ocean treasures await below -- from colorful coral reefs to shipwrecks -- on the roughly 30-minute dives.

    Robot bartenders on Royal Caribbean International


    Let Royal Caribbean's robotic bartenders shake things up on your next cruise. A duo of them literally shake and stir drinks up at the "mixology meets technology" Bionic Bar, found aboard several Royal Caribbean ships (including Harmony of the Seas, Symphony of the Seas and the line's three Quantum-class ships).  Place your drink order via tablet. You can pick from specialty drinks or design customized cocktails with more than 30 spirits on tap. Then watch the show-stealing pair of robotic arms get to mixing before serving up your concoction.  The one caveat? There's no program for them to listen to your problems -- yet.

    Racetrack on Norwegian Cruise Line

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    Got a need for speed that your ship's leisurely knots just can't satisfy? Norwegian answers the call with the largest racetrack at sea aboard its new Norwegian Bliss.  The open-air, 1,000-foot-long track offers great views out over port and sea -- that is if you manage to catch them while reaching speeds of up to 30 mph.  The winding, two-level track offers hairpin turns and the chance to leave your competition (of up to 10 drivers) in the dust -- though note you won't be able to actually rev your engines since the electric race cars run silently.

    Snow Grotto on Viking

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    Part of the LivNordic Spa's thermal suite area aboard Viking's four ocean-going sister ships, the "snow grotto" pays tribute to the line's Nordic heritage and Scandinavian sensibility.  Designed to invigorate and stimulate the circulatory system of guests who don't mind a chill, the small, snow-covered room pipes in cold air as snowflakes fall from the ceiling.  And if your preferred way of chilling out is to heat up, you can always get your fill at the adjacent steam room and sauna.

    Underwater lounge on Ponant

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    Upscale French expedition line Ponant is rolling out an industry-first underwater lounge dubbed the Blue Eye aboard six of its new Explorer-class ships, debuting through 2020 (the first, Le Laperouse, launched in June 2018).  Designed by architect Jacques Rougerie -- known for creating transporting underwater structures -- the high-tech space is angling for a multisensory experience that will invite guests to a mod, vibrating lounge set below the ships' water line.  There, two large glass portholes offer a window out onto the underwater world, further augmented by digital screens projecting live images from a trio of underwater cameras, as well as a sound system streaming in subaquatic hydrophone-captured sounds.

    Bike ride in the sky on Carnival Cruise Line

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    Get ready for your very own E.T. moment aboard the SkyRide aerial attraction, found aboard Carnival's newest ships, Carnival Vista and Carnival Horizon.  The innovative offering lets adventurers put their pedal power to an 800-foot-long suspended outdoor track that's elevated atop the ship's top deck, 150 feet above sea level.  The quartet of dangling recumbent-style bicycles can reach speeds of up to 18 miles an hour on twin tracks, but you may want to take it slower to enjoy the killer views.

    By Elissa Garay, CNN
    Re-posted on CruiseCrazies.com - Cruise News, Articles, Forums, Packing List, Ship Tracker, and more
    For more cruise news and articles go to https://www.cruisecrazies.com

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    Wow!  the submarine is amazing, and the robot bartender would be fun to watch, but then you would miss out on getting to know the bartenders which is really nice on a cruise.  The racetrack on the "Bliss" is pretty neat.  I might even use that one. The snow grotto on "Viking" is pretty cool...no pun intended...LOL  It looks like a nice way to cool off on a very hot day, but reminds me too much of our cold MN weather. The underwater lounge does look amazing...and also the Blue ride in the sky.  That one would be pretty scary for me.  Thanks, Jason!

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    Yes some interesting ideas here.  The mini Sub looks great but with only 2 guest able to use at one time how many guests will be able to use this during a cruise?  Lets say it takes 30 minutes for two guest, from start to end,  and day time operation only and not while cruising.... Seems like the demand will out weight the available time to use.

    Underwater Lounge, another really neat sounding idea but really what will you be able to see? Maybe some dolphin swimming along around the bow wake but very little else. It will be really hard to keep the viewing ports clean, after a few months of operation the sea will cause many viewing problems I believe.

    Robot bartenders-  The cruise line will now be using what really is a self service vending machine. It great cut crew and staffing costs, and makes for a interesting show, But why do they charge a service gratuity fee on the drinks?: Will Royal be charging a service  charge  on the  generators in the future  too?  Robotic Bartenders are self self and allow Royal to cut costs... so they should not charge a service fee on product from these machines.  A service charge for  a machine a new low for Royal.... 


    Like I said these things sound great but once placed on the ships how much use and benefit will they really be for most guests.


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    On 8/5/2018 at 6:50 PM, Jan115 said:

    Robot bartenders. Sounds like something from 1960’s sci-fi, doesn’t it? The Jetsons or maybe 2001 A Space Odyssey.? I guess the future is really here. ?

    We saw that on the Ovation. It’s pretty cool but also takes time probably because so many used it and BTW there were two crew members on duty to keep the replace MT bottles, trouble shoot and so on. 

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