Travel briefs

Cruise Lines

Royal Caribbean going high tech

Royal Caribbean International announced a slew of technological innovations that will be rolled out with its next new ship, including robot bartenders.

The Miami-based cruise line will launch the 4,180-passenger Quantum of the Seas in November. The company announced some of the ship’s “smart” features last week. They include:

• Expedited check-in that allows passengers to download boarding documents, upload a photo and get confirmation from home.

• Real-time luggage tracking thanks to radio-frequency ID tags.

• Wristbands using the same technology that lets guests make purchases and get into their rooms.

• Apps that allow passengers to plan and book reservations on their phone as well as communicate with talk and text options.

• A venue, Bionic Bar, where guests will order by tablet and robots will prepare drinks.

• Microsoft Windows tablets for shipboard employees on Quantum — and, eventually, across the Royal Caribbean fleet.


Aquarium plans seashore exhibit

The National Aquarium says it’s adding an interactive exhibit in which guests can explore the seashore without leaving the building in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. When it opens next spring, the “Living Seashore” exhibit will include crashing waves, sandy beaches and encounters with more than 150 animals, including clearnose skates, horseshoe crabs and moon jellies.

CEO John Racanelli says the $5.5 million exhibit is part of a $10.5 million upgrade to the museum campus.



Aeromexico said it will expand its service between Miami and Merida to four flights per week beginning Nov. 8.

American, US Air DROP ORbitz

Merger partners American Airlines and US Airways are pulling flight listings from Orbitz after they were unable to reach agreement on a long-term contract. American said it has already dropped its fares from the travel website and that US Airways listings would be pulled on Monday.

Corporate customers of the airlines will still be able to book travel on Orbitz, but individuals will have to go to the airlines’ websites or other travel agents, including Expedia and Travelocity.

Las Vegas

Early ticket sales for Rock in Rio

Rock in Rio USA organizers say they’ll start selling tickets to the inaugural festival on Sept. 26. The music festival is scheduled for May 8-9 and May 15-16 on the Las Vegas Strip. Tickets are $295 for a one-weekend pass.

A group including casino company MGM Resorts and show producer Cirque du Soleil recently announced plans to build a 33-acre open-air music venue between the Circus Circus resort and Sahara Avenue called the “City of Rock.”

Organizers expect more than 300,000 people.

Miami Herald

wire services