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Royal Caribbean plans iPads for cruisers

travel Updated: Nov 24, 2011 16:52 IST
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Royal Caribbean's Splendour of the Seas is to become the first ship at sea to offer an iPad in every stateroom as part of a wider roll-out plan from the cruise line.

The ship, which will emerge from dry dock November 25, is set to offer passengers use of Apple's hot-selling device in order to replace some of the services traditionally provided by phone, such as ordering room service and enquiring about menus.

Passengers will also be given the opportunity to browse events and activities aboard the ship, view shore excursions, check their onboard account and watch movies, Royal Caribbean said November 23.

The devices will be added to Splendour from February and will then be installed on every Vision-class ship undergoing revitalization over the next two years.

Splendour is one of several vessels currently in dry dock, undergoing a significant refurbishment program which will see new features and restaurants imported from Oasis-class ships.

New establishments include the Asian Izumi restaurant, the line's signature steakhouse Chops Grille, a Britto art gallery and a new nursery for children.

However, by far the largest refurbishment currently underway is taking place on board the Costa Romantica, which is being thoroughly overhauled as Costa Cruises attempts to turn the vessel into a new offer dubbed the Costa neoRomantica.

Work includes the installation of 111 new cabins, a new pizzeria, wine and cheese bar, lounge and club and a 4,200 square meter spa complete with spa restaurant.

The refurbishment is expected to be completed by February 20, with the neoRomantica sailing a series of European voyages before departing for a half-year fall trip to Oceania.