We don’t always think of Cruises from Southampton as being particularly hi tech types of holiday, do we? This is why I was so surprised when I saw my partner packing her laptop and iPad before setting off. We hadn’t even left the house and it already seemed that we had different ideas about what kind of experience was going to be waiting for us.
Here I was, packing away some books and magazines and saying a fond farewell to my PC, while my other half looked like she was getting ready for a technological frenzy. One of us had failed to understand what a modern cruise trip was all about, and I had a horrible feeling that I knew who it was.
The first thing I had missed was that the ships now come with Wi-Fi. This seems pretty obvious now but it wasn’t at the time. Not to me anyway. I guess that since restaurants, bars and parks now have Wi-Fi I should have expected it on my holiday as well. It’s just that the image of cruising past an idyllic island in the Caribbean and being able to go online at the same online sounds too good to be true.
A Caribbean Call
My mum recently caught up with the technology age and got a laptop, so I was pretty pleased to be able to communicate with her by Skype, even if she continually claims that someone else’s face appears on the screen instead of mine. I have absolutely no idea what she looks at when she is speaking to me.
Apparently there is talk of some of the top cruise lines stocking out their best rooms with iPads, but for the meantime there is a connectivity centre which lets you hook up all of your gadgets with the telly. Until they start putting free tablets in the rooms I’ll need to make do with watching my partner use hers.
Apparently the different cruise lines are also working hard on different ways of making sure that the journey is tailored to the needs of each individual passenger. There is talk of retina eye scans, smart phone control and RFID wristbands. Some of these developments are still a bit of a way off but there is no doubt that they are on their way. As it is, right from the moment we checked in the entire behind the scenes action obviously went smoothly. I had half expected to be given a luminous orange armband like in a Magalluf hotel or to be questioned by suspicious staff as to my identity every time I tried to enter a room. Neither of these things happened so whatever guest registration technology they use just now seems just fine to me.