Cruise Ship Technology

Innovative technology is a key part of our day to day lives, so it's no surprise that cruise ships boast some of the best advancements out there. From exciting on board activities you never thought you'd find at sea, to wearable tech to streamline your experience and in-cabin additions, keep reading to find out just what new technology you can expect to see on a cruise ship.

Innovative Activities

There's nothing more exciting than stepping onto a cruise ship and exploring all of the exciting features onboard. With all the technological advancements over the past years, you can now expect even more innovation during your voyage, from where you drink and eat to activities and entertainment, and even how you explore ashore.

Magic Carpet

Cruise Line: Celebrity Cruises

A true feat of engineering, the Magic Carpet is a cantilevered platform which floats off the side of the ship, exclusive to Celebrity Edge. Reaching 13 stories above sea level, not only will you get to enjoy incredible ocean views, but you'll also get to make the most of amazing different venues depending on which deck the Magic Carpet is found:

  • Exclusive dinner venue on Deck 16
  • Vibrant bar with seating on Deck 14
  • Open-air dining on Deck 5
  • Luxury embarkation to transportation to shore on Deck 2
magic carpet

Robotic Bars

Cruise Line: MSC Cruises and Royal Caribbean

Few things give us a glimpse into the future more than robots, and on a Royal Caribbean or MSC Cruises' voyage, they might just be serving your drinks. At Royal Caribbean's Bionic Bar, two robotic bartenders show off their creative side as they mix up incredible cocktails. From classic drinks to signature concoctions and tempting mocktails, this is bound to be a truly unique experience.

Meanwhile, MSC Cruises takes robotic bartenders one step further courtesy of Rob. Available on MSC Virtuosa, this interactive, multilingual humanoid robotic bartender, is a must-visit at the space-age Starship Club bar on MSC Virtuosa.

robotic bars


Cruise Line: MSC Cruises and Royal Caribbean

While there are few feelings as good as exploring fantastic ports of call as you spend time on breathtaking ships, one of the greatest aspects of new cruise ship technology are the unexpected experiences you can enjoy even when you're at sea.

On select MSC Cruises' ships, try your hand at racing around some of the world's most famous tracks on the F1 simulators. Alternatively, immerse yourself in the action and forget you're even on a cruise ship at the 4D cinema. With a 3D film and special effects such as moving seats, you'll soon find yourself transported to another world.

It's not just MSC Cruises who offer simulator experiences. For those who love sports, the Flowrider surf simulator on Royal Caribbean ships is the place to go to show off your skills or try your hand at something new, while the sky diving simulator offers exhilarating thrills without having to jump out of a plane.

flow rider royal caribbean

Helicopters and Submarines

Cruise Line: Scenic Cruises

Alongside the world-class service and sumptuous suites, new cruise ship technology is also something which makes an ultra-luxury voyage so incredible. Nowhere is this more obvious than on Scenic Eclipse. Not only does this yacht have its very own helicopter to give you unrivalled views such as icy landscapes, the Norwegian Fjords or Scottish coastline, but it also boasts a submarine. Dive up to 300 metres under the water in this groundbreaking vessel with space for 6 guests and an expert pilot, and see the ocean from a completely new perspective.


Science Center

Cruise Line: Hurtigruten

Hurtigruten likes to give guests the chance to learn more about the destinations they visit during their cruise, and there's no better way to do just this than at the Science Center. As well as fascinating lectures and photography workshops led by the Expeditions Team, guests can also make the most of a host of scientific and educational equipment to help feed their curiosity, including microscopes and interactive maps.

science center

Futuristic Dining

Cruise Line: Celebrity Cruises and Disney Cruise Line

There's no reason why modern technology can't be combined with dining experiences to create interactive and immersive meal times, and this is exactly what Celebrity Cruises and Disney Cruise Line have done.

At Celebrity Cruises' Le Petit Chef not only will you get to indulge in exemplary dishes, you'll also see your food brought to life at your table-top courtesy of amazing animations. Sit back and watch as 4 mini chefs cook up a culinary storm in a unique show right before your eyes, available on Millenium and Solstice series ships, as well as Celebrity Edge and Apex.

However, the culinary fun doesn't stop here, as you can expect even more immersive dining onboard Disney's brand-new ship Disney Wish. Head to the Avengers: Quantum Encounter restaurant where you'll get lost in the action of Marvel thanks to holographic characters including Ant Man and Wasp.

le petit chef

Apps and Wearable Tech

As well as innovative onboard experiences, apps and wearable technology have also become integral to the cruise ship experience. From online check-ins and pre-booking restaurants, spa and Wi-Fi packages before you even step onboard, to wearable bands which can be used to unlock your stateroom or pay for drinks and services on your ship, being able to do everything from your phone or tablet makes your time at sea even more enjoyable.

As well as the practical value of apps and wearable technology, these advancements are also being used to enhance health and safety following on from the coronavirus pandemic. Whether it's contactless payments, virtual queuing, or pre-booking your space in the theatre, all of this helps to reduce contact between guests and crew and keep everyone safe.

Here are few pieces of wearable technology and apps which are currently being used by different cruise lines:

  • OceanMedallion- wear it on your wrist and enjoy contactless boarding and payment, and keyless stateroom access
  • P&O My Holiday- download onto your phone or tablet and use for virtual queuing, pre-booking onboard activities and even virtual GP services
  • MSC For Me App and Wristband- MSC Cruises' app lets guests check-in on their phone, register a credit card to their account, access interactive maps and more. The Wristband is for guests over 12 and can be used instead of a cruise card for payments, bookings and unlocking your cabin
  • Virgin Voyages' Sea Band- instead of a cruise card, Virgin Voyages' guests have a bracelet made from recycled plastic and works as a room key and payment method, as well as streamlining boarding and debarkation.
apps and wearable tech

In-Cabin Technology

The amazing cruise ship technology doesn't stop once you get to your cabin. Many cruise lines have added exciting innovations to their staterooms and cabins to make cruisers' time inside even more enjoyable.

Muster Drills

Cruise lines are taking a step away from traditional muster drills, with those such as Royal Caribbean and MSC Cruises leading the way. Instead of heading to the theatre with hundreds of other passengers, guests can now watch the safety video in the comfort of their cabin on the TV. Once this is over, you can just make your way to your muster station where a crew member will be on hand for any questions and to confirm that you have attended.

Virtual Balconies

As the cheapest accommodation on a cruise, Inside Cabins are a popular choice for those who want to enjoy an ocean voyage at the best prices, but without a window, you do miss out on the stunning sea views which make life on board so special. However, Royal Caribbean has come up with an ingenious solution: Virtual Balconies. Using floor-to-ceiling displays, you'll get to enjoy the realtime sights and sounds as the ship sails. The view will be from the bridge or wake of the ship depending on which wall the display in your cabin appears on. This feature is available on the following ships:

  • Anthem of the Seas
  • Quantum of the Seas
  • Ovation of the Seas
  • Navigator of the Seas
  • Explorer of the Seas
  • Voyager of the Seas
  • Harmony of the Seas
  • Symphony of the Seas
virtual balcony

Artificial Intelligence

The in-cabin technology doesn't stop there, as MSC Cruises boast ZOE in their cabins. Working as your very own virtual personal assistant, ZOE speaks seven languages and is on hand to answer all of your questions. From information about onboard services to helping with how to book activities and answers to 100s more queries, all you have to do is say OK ZOE to get started.

Meanwhile, help on a Virgin Voyages' cruise comes in the form of a tablet found in your cabin. This fantastic bit of technology lets you:

  • Cast a film onto the TV
  • Choose which mood lighting you'd like
  • Control the temperature in your cabin
  • Open and close the curtains
msc cruises zoe

From the moment you book your cruise until the time you disembark, you'll find yourself surrounded by innovative technology. Whether you're getting involved in exciting activities, dining or simply relaxing in your cabin, there's bound to be a modern piece of technology streamlining the process and giving you access to unforgettable experiences. Now you've read about what to expect when it comes to cruise ship technology, be sure to check out our cruise deals so you can see for yourself! Or, if you want to read about all the latest ships which boast groundbreaking technology like that mentioned above, be sure to read our guide to new cruise ships 2022.