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Virtual balconies become a viable option for Galveston cruise travelers

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Inside or interior staterooms onboard cruise ships have always been the most feasible option when travelers wanted to cruise at a minimal cost. As balcony rooms gained popularity over the past decade, we witnessed an increase in price, which for some, was not an option. Revealed earlier this month, Royal Caribbean has come to the rescue by introducing the stateroom of the future which allows you to experience cruising like you have never been able to before.

The Navigator of the Seas, currently sailing out of Galveston, TX, became the first cruise ship to offer virtual balconies. Only available in interior staterooms (windowless cabins), virtual balconies are floor to ceiling LED television screens that stream real-time footage from various cameras around the ship. It basically provides the same views, sights and sounds that one would expect to have if booked in a balcony stateroom. Now located in 81 interior staterooms, guests can experience this incredibly innovative and new way to cruise.

These high resolution, 80-inch projection screens have been been thoroughly tested by researchers from Harvard and MIT to ensure cruisers wouldn't suffer from motion sickness and become seasick. The images projected will also include a balcony railing as this was proven to provoke a feeling of being safe. You will also have the option to turn off the projection at any time and it will work both at sea and when you are docked at a destination port.

To make sure the projections were as realistic as possible, the screens have been constructed to allow for minimal latency, controls and power cords have been hidden, graphics adjust to lighting conditions, and projections align with your stateroom direction (forward or the aft end of the ship).

Although Royal Caribbean is using Navigator of the Seas as the "testing ground" for this brand new concept, virtual balconies will also be available on the new Quantum of the Seas, Anthem of the Seas, and other Quantum ships planned for future releases. In addition, when the Voyager, Adventure and Explorer of the Seas are up for refurbishment starting this year, their interior staterooms will receive a similar upgrade.

With a lower price point than the standard balcony stateroom, would a virtual balcony be a viable option for you?

Visit Urban Swank for more travel news and trends.

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