This is SO cool!
When Blanca and I were onboard the Oasis last weekend, we met up with some guys from England who had been on for over a month. They explained they were setting up a complex telephone system onboard unlike anything that had ever been on a ship. Today, RCCL announced just what the system was for...
If you've ever been on a ship with kids, especially teenagers, you know how much they love to be independent and do their own thing...well, now you can rent a device onboard that allows you not only to track where they are on the ship, but also text or call them!
The system is called 'Royal Connect,' and works in two ways:
Firstly, smaller kids are required to wear wristbands in conjunction with their muster stations; these wristbands will have a passive electronic device that will allow their parents to track them in real time as they wander the ship! How cool is that?
The other new feature on Oasis is the introduction of Royal Connect Phones.
Passengers will be able to rent Royal Connect phones for $17.50 a voyage that they can use to track their children, call and text other passengers who have Royal Connect phones and call cabins. Basically they will be cell phones that work within the ship. The phones are Apple iPhones configured to only work on the ship (you can't call home). They will have 800 on board Oasis by January, and will be rented first come, first served. You will be able to rent them in three locations: the conference center of Deck 3, the Adventure Ocean kids area on Deck 14 and in the concierge lounge.
There's no age limit to who can have one of the phones. A parent could rent one for his or her 10-year-old child to carry so they could call and text each other while roaming the ship. One caveat, though, that may keep some parents from letting their kids have them: Renters who don't return the phones or return them damaged will be charged $1,000. eeek! If you don't want to rent one of the phones, you can always go to Guest Services to check on the location of your child. (Many a night I have had to hunt down one or both of my kids after midnight! How wonderful it would be to have this technology!)
At this point, the Oasis (and the Allure) will be the only ships that have Royal Connect, but depending on how popular it is, RCCL may consider adding it to their other ships.
What do you think? Would you rent one of these phones for your kids?