Richard Fain Bumper Car Quantum of the SeasToday 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 theQuantum of the Seas Virtual Balcony 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?

Quantum of the Seas North StarThen 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.

  • Richie Suraci

    Can we hire u now to sue now before we get on the ship just in case all of or any of this happens out of poor planning…

  • Sure, I’ll go ahead and file a 100 Quantum lawsuits now. Just call me when you disembark next year.

  • Eric Wright

    Saw the video myself this afternoon. All I can say is WOW! I think I’ll stick to Carnival. At least all I have to worry about are non working toilets and engine room fires.

  • Philipp Kuhn

    Don´t overdo it, Jim. When I read about the Bumber Cars I thought about some neck-pain, too. Totally superfluid for me (hate them in amusement parks, too). But what´s wrong about a LED-screen making an indoor room much more comfortable? In my eyes absolutely nothing. And I think that leads us to a general difference between the European and American way how lawyers, judges and the law deal with risks.

    But safe features on a cruise ship are ok and a LED-screen definitly doesn´t harm you.

  • NMoore

    Sailing that thing in the Atlantic? I’m no engineer, but she looks like she’ll go down like a box of rocks.

  • Vanessa

    Wow – way to be completely negative. Should we outlaw amusement parks too? Common sense has to come into play somewhere. If you don’t like it, don’t go. If you are already planning on hurting your neck, stay off the bumper cars. Unless of course you’re just the type of person that looks to sue any and everyone.

    You risk injury just taking a shower or crossing the street, but seems like you are all excited about all the possible injuries you can talk people into suing for. Vacations are suppose to be fun. So if you’re version of fun is sitting in a safe chair reading a book, go for it! Please don’t chance going swimming in a pool in case someone accidently jumps on you and you drown. Or you have too many drinks and then go swimming and drown. I mean really? You think that they are going to let drunk people in the bumper cars. Obviously you have not sailed with Royal Caribbean. They have staff that clear you before getting on the Big Toys.

    If people get hurt because they are stupid and drink or run into the “fake balcony” then that’s on them! If they are going to hurt their little noses on the LED then thank God they didn’t have a “real” balcony or they may have accidently thrown themselves overboard! Oh and I guess drunk people falling overboard is the cruise lines fault too. Seems to me people should be sued for being stupid. Not fair to sue company’s for being stupid and greedy.

    If you don’t think this ship will be fun then don’t go, what’s the big deal?! If you think you’ll get hurt, then stay home. Geez!

  • Tim

    With the exception of the North Star, what specifically do you find more dangerous about bumper cars and simulated sky diving out at sea vs on land? Both of those activities have been around for quite some time.

    I can totally agree that this north star is a really bold and stupid move. I honestly don’t think we’ll see it come to fruition once the actual fabrication and testing begins. If it does it won’t last.

    A final and irrelevant personal note, the best thing out of the entire video would be seeing my two favorite entertainer’s in the whole world, Penn & Teller in it. 🙂

  • Tony

    On a 3 or 4 day cruise with 4000+ passengers, who gets to use the 30 bumper cars? Somehow “screaming brats” would be given preference! I understand that you can book a time slot, but finding that time slot to suit one, is near impossible as the bumper car venue, (SeaPlex), changes many times in a day into other entertainment formats. This would include dance lessons and sporting events.

    The marketing for North Star is stunningly brilliant, but realistically North Star takes 13 passengers. How on earth can 4000+ passengers get a chance to experience the North Star on a short cruise?

    I would sorely miss the vast open spaces and atriums of the Voyager and Freedom class ships. There are no indications of such open spaces on the deck plan, other than large entertainments’ venues. Imagine 3500 passengers all converging into what looks like an amazing venue, TWO70′ for an evening’s performance followed with drinks? I would hate to be turned away at the entrance because the venue is bursting at the seems! Would this venue be able to accommodate 4000+ passengers in absolute comfort?

    The exterior of the ship looks absolutely stunning, but some are questioning the amount of actual deck space for 4000+ passengers? Retractable glass domes or not, where would 4000+ passengers sun themselves on a hot glorious day?

    The promenade life-boat deck is just “a deck or 3” above the water line. That could be a little “spooky” in really rough weather conditions.

    With the promise of so many speciality restaurants, one could be broke after the voyage 🙂

    The ship is being marketed to a “young, but sophisticated adventurous” market which is fine.

    I would still love to sail on her.

    Old man Tony!