As a younger cruiser, I’m naturally a part of the technology age. I have an iPhone, iPad, and all the gadgets associated with today’s youth. Yet, ironically, when Royal Caribbean announced the addition of the WOWbands to the tech lineup aboard Quantum of the Seas, I winced in terror.
Like I said, I’m a young cruiser, but I’m actually old at heart. I don’t fit in with today’s younger mentality, mostly evidenced by my current position as a travel writer. I love the ages of yesteryear, especially when it comes to cruising. Bigger ships with amusement park amenities don’t typically mix well with me, so I was naturally skeptical over Royal’s new Quantum of the Seas. I enjoy a classic cruise experience with smaller ships, a main dining room, a teak promenade, and ship that utilizes the traditional room key. So, when Royal Caribbean announced the utilization of WOWbands, I – you guessed it – winced in terror. I thought, “Why would anybody wear a wristband to open doors? This doesn’t make practical sense. Royal has taken innovation too far, what is this, a cruise to space?” Well, my tune changed pretty quickly upon boarding Quantum of the Seas in Bayonne.
After an incredibly quick and painless check in (thanks to SMART check in), I found my WOWband waiting for me in my stateroom. While I had a traditional room key, I decided to try it out anyway and strapped the band to my wrist. I was actually surprised at how comfortable the band fit, as I had expected it to be either obtrusive or annoying. So as the sailing got underway, I got used to wearing my band. I noticed many of my fellow cruisers were also sporting their colorful WOWbands. As we continued sailing throughout the weekend, I started using my traditional room key less and less. I began opening my stateroom door with a simple wave of my wrist. I realized how nice it was not to rummage around my pocket for my room key, but just to hold my wrist in front of my cabin door. I was getting a hang of this new technology.
Could the WOWband get any better? Yes. I used my WOWband to make purchases in the onboard shops and even to sign a waiver for Ripcord by iFly. I soon realized the utilization of this band was genius. Not only does it simplify the process of entering your stateroom and making onboard purchases, but it’s very difficult to lose or forget as it’s constantly attached to your wrist. Gone are the days of tearing apart your stateroom looking for your room key. When you decide to head up to Windjammer for lunch, walk out at your leisure. Need to make a quick purchase? Swipe your wrist. Want to sky dive? Swipe your wrist. Need to embark? Swipe your wrist. Looking for the future of onboard technology? Swipe your wrist.