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Travel industry news

01 Feb 2018

BY Sophie Griffiths


Royal Caribbean announces new 'Skypad' for Independence

Royal Caribbean’s newly revamped Independence of the Seas will feature a trampoline virtual reality experience inside a vast dome, the line has revealed.


New Virtual Reality trampolining experience announced for Independence of the Seas

The experience, called the Skypad, will debut on the UK-based ship, but the line’s president and chief executive Michael Bayley confirmed to TTG it would also be added to a number of other ships in the fleet as part of Royal Caribbean’s $800 million Royal Amplified programme, which will see the line’s fleet “modernised”.


“We’re very excited about Skypad,” Bayley said. “It’s pretty amazing, we’re combining trampolines and virtual reality experience”.


The Skypad, which will be located on the ship’s top deck, will comprise four trampolines, with customers fitted with VR headsets and placed in a bungee harness, Bayley explained. The VR headsets will then “transport them to another time and planet to bounce over moon craters or compete in intergalactic games", Royal Caribbean said.


Bayley added that there would be no charge for the experience, but admitted this may change depending on demand.


“There’s no cost attached to it currently but we’ll have to manage demand. If it gets crazily popular then we will have to charge,” he said.


The new experience is one of a number of new additions to the 3,634-passenger Independence of the Seas when it undergoes its multimillion pound refurbishment in April.


Other new features will include a children’s waterpark called Splashaway Bay, which will include the Perfect Storm waterslide, a fish and chips shop, Planet Z – an interactive laser tag venue and Izumi, an Asian-inspired restaurant.


Meanwhile Bayley revealed to TTG the new Playmakers Sports Bar and Arcade would not only feature food and sports matches on TV, but also a Virtual Reality experience.


“It’s a sports bar combination,” he said. “You can watch every game, have a burger, and then if you go deeper into the bar there will be a VR space for games.”


Bayley added that Playmaker would also be added to new ship Symphony of the Seas, which launches in April, as well as other ships in the Royal Amplified programme.

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