Cruise lines are always trying to outdo each other on the amenities that they offer to guests. For example, on a cruise I took in September, our large suite not only had a walk-in closet, but came with a laptop and a butler for our use. Of course, I didn't use the crappy HP laptop because I had my Apple devices with me, but it's the thought that counts. Now a major cruise line is equipping every stateroom on a ship with an iPad.
Royal Caribbean's 2,074-passenger Splendour of the Seas is currently in dry dock being refurbished, and one of the new additions to the ship will be an iPad for every stateroom. The idea is to give guests a new way to get information. The daily Cruise Compass newsletter will be accessible from the iPad, providing a list of events and activities, personal daily itineraries, and shore excursions. Guests can also watch movies or surf the Internet. Want to look at a restaurant menu or check your ever-growing bar tab? There's an iPad for that.
Guests will be able to take the iPads around the ship, accessing information from staterooms and any location with a good connection to the ship-wide Wi-Fi network. How Royal Caribbean plans on keeping the iPads from going home with the passengers is a question that needs to be answered. I'm guessing that each device will be outfitted with an RFID tag to keep it from going ashore with guests.
Splendour's sister ships in the Vision class -- Vision, Grandeur, Rhapsody, Enchantment, and Legend of the Seas -- are expected to take on iPads as regular travelers as they also go through renovations over the next two years.