Royal Caribbean International is changing the way how people plan their vacations by working with Google to be the first cruise line to launch Google Maps Business View using Google’s Street View technology onboard the world’s largest cruise ship, Allure of the Seas.
“Business View allows people all over the world to explore a range of businesses and organisations in great detail in just a few clicks,” said Deborah Schenker – Programme Manager at Google UK. “You can check out anything from restaurants to aircraft in Google Maps, and now for the first time you can sail the seas too with the first ever cruise ship coming on board.”
With just a few clicks, guests will be able to virtually walk through the various decks of Allure of the Seas including the Royal Promenade, a boulevard that runs nearly the length of the ship, flanked by restaurants, boutiques and lounges; Central Park, an outdoor park longer than a football pitch complete with over 12,000 live plants and trees; the Boardwalk, featuring a hand-crafted carousel, two rock-climbing walls and the AquaTheatre, a high-dive aquatic performance venue with the deepest pool at sea; Entertainment Place, with an elaborate theatre, night club, comedy club, jazz club and ice-skating rink, which offers professionally produced ice shows; the Pool and Sports Deck featuring a zip line, twin FlowRider surf simulators, full-size basketball/sports court, nine-hole mini-golf course, 15 pools and whirlpools and 22 restaurants, and many, many more.
Vacationers will be able to access the technology, a first for the cruise industry at http://www.royalcaribbean.co.uk/royalview or via Google Search results, Google Maps and Google+ whether they are using their computers, smartphones or tablets.
Jo Briody, Director of Marketing & PR, Royal Caribbean International, said: “We are thrilled to be at the forefront of the industry when it comes to delivering innovative consumer facing technologies, whether it be Roboscreens and digital shows on our newest ships or Google Street View technology on our website. Consumers go online to research their vacations and this is the closest they can get to actually being onboard. We are confident that once people get virtually immersed in Allure of the Seas’ various decks and features, thanks to Google Street View technology, they will be eager to experience the real thing.”
Over 20,000 images were taken over the course of 60 man-hours and eight days to complete the virtual representation of the ship. The images were taken using a basic DSLR camera using a fisheye lens and a panoramic head resting on a tripod. This method takes 12 photographs at each point and uses high-dynamic-range imaging to ensure the best exposure for areas of different light.