Today was another weird day in the world of cruise law. Sitting in my office I watched CNN coverage of the bombing in Boston on my big screen TV's most of the day while also following the travel industry's internet coverage of the unveiling of images of Royal Caribbean's Quantum of the Seas (as well as filing a few lawsuits against my favorite cruise line).
It was a strange contrast watching the somber coverage of the deadly Boston bombing with the gushing praise by travel agents and cruise fans of artist-drawings of a silly looking, gigantic but-not-yet-built-cruise ship which touts all types of frivolous contraptions.
I didn't see any photos or video of larger and better equipped medical facilities to take care of the residents and guests of this gigantic floating city, or police substations for this sometimes dangerous maritime community, or helicopters to medevac ill guests and crew to safety or to assist in rescuing overboard passengers, or top notch security systems to keep the terrorists at bay.
The cruise ship has not been built yet (it is scheduled to come on line in the fall of 2014) but that did not stop the cruise line CEO and cruise president from showing digital images and video of all types of weird and futuristic things.
One of the first images I saw on Twitter was a photo taken by the popular @CruiseGuy of Royal Caribbean CEO Richard Fain arriving at the Quantum of the Seas presentation in a bumper car with a Royal Caribbean logo painted on the top. You guessed it - Royal Caribbean will offer the first cruise ship with a bumper car rink! Hundreds of drunk passengers without helmets smashing into each other on the high seas! That should keep the defense lawyers at the cruise line busy for a decade.
CEO Fain seems like a good sport. Years ago he was photographed riding on the carousel on the new Oasis of the Seas and he surfed a FlowRider when the Independence of the Sea debuted a while back. So why not ride a bumper car which he could smash into President Goldstein on stage?
A big hit seemed to be the "virtual balcony" for the dark, interior cabins for those passengers who can't afford the real thing. Hhmmhh . . . a virtual view. Sounds depressing to me. Every time I look out at my virtual view I realize that I can't afford a real view, like from the Royal Loft. But the real question is who will be the first lawyer to file suit when a tipsy passenger breaks his nose smashing into the wall after forgetting its just a virtual balcony? It won't be me, but trust me it will happen. How many broken noses will it take before the virtual balcony doors have virtual warning signs?
Then there is something called simulated sky-diving which the Quantum will premier. Sure sounds dangerous, but again it is "simulated" right? Looks like flying to me (broken neck anyone?). Take a look at the video here.
Royal Caribbean has been sued for injuries and death on its FlowRiders (simulated surfing), rock walls, skating rinks and zip-lines. Simulated sky-diving may continue Royal Caribbean's tradition of having the most innovative and dangerous attractions on the seas. Let's hope that the sky-diving injuries are just "simulated" too.
But the best "gee-wizz" attraction will be a Jetson-famiy futuristic mechanical arm that magically transports passengers high above the ocean in a glass capsule. Its called the "North Star." Kinda like a amusement park ride of the future that has never been tested on land, so-let's do-it-on-the-high-seas!
I'm going to go ahead and file a lawsuit on that one today.
If you missed the debut, watch below for a summary!
Leave a comment or join the discussion on our Facebok page.