Royal Caribbean reveals new multi-million dollar features on Independence


Travel Weekly

Royal Caribbean reveals new multi-million dollar features on Independence

Royal Caribbean has revealed Independence of the Seas will feature a bungy trampoline onboard following its multimillion-dollar revamp.

Michael Bayley, the line’s president and chief executive, told a Travel Weekly business executive lunch the trampoline, called Skypad, would debut on the UK-based ship before rolling it out on other Royal Caribbean vessels.

The decision was taken by Royal Caribbean after the line ran a competition through Travel Weekly, calling for new onboard feature ideas.

Before explaining what new features had been installed onto Independence of the Seas following the “100 million-dollar investment” Bayley hailed the partnership between Travel Weekly and Royal Caribbean.

Skypad has been developed in Royal Caribbean’s Innovation Lab facility in PortMiami, which is located next to the line’s HQ in the US.

Bayley said: “The number one thing that came back [in the competition feedback] was the bungy trampoline, but we thought we needed to make it more innovative than just a bungy trampoline.

“We are building this giant planet shaped structure up on top of the deck by FlowRider [Royal Caribbean’s surf simulator].

“You can see from a distance that it is going to be prominent. It looks like a soccer ball or a planet and we are painting it bright yellow – in case you miss it. At night time it goes LED-blue.

“Inside we have bungy trampolining and we have added virtual reality. If you can imagine standing at the edge of a cliff with a virtual reality headset on with a drop into the ocean and then leaping physically and visually, that is what is going to happen. It is a virtually, bungy jumping, planetary existence.”

Mariner of the Seas will also have Skypad installed onto its ship as part of a $90m refurbishment this year.

Bayley added: “If [Skypad] goes well we will put it on all of our ships.”

Ben Bouldin, Royal Caribbean’s associate vice‑president and managing director for the UK and Ireland, later confirmed four of the top 10 features suggested by agents through last year’s competition have been included on the redesigned ship.

Planet Z Laser tag, Perfect Storm water slides, Playmakers Sports Bar and the puzzle game Escape room are other features that will be on Independence.

Bayley said Planet Z was the “largest laser tag” on any ocean, adding it was being built onto Symphony of the Seas, Mariner and Independence.

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