You can now visit the world’s largest cruise ship by taking a Google Maps “Street View” tour
Royal Caribbean today became the first cruise line to launch a tour of its largest cruise ship, Allure of the Seas, using Google’s Street View technology. Over 20,000 images were taken over the course of 60 man hours and eight days to complete the virtual representation of the ship.
Allure of the Seas is currently the largest cruise ship in the world. At 240 feet high it is some 30% taller than Nelson’s Column in London. It can accommodate more guests per sailing than the capacity of the Royal Albert Hall (5,544 seats).
The images were taken using a basic DSLR camera using a fisheye lens and a panoramic head resting on a tripod. This method takes twelve photographs at each point and uses high-dynamic-range imaging to ensure the best exposure for areas of different light.
The process making this tour available is a newly established off-shoot of Google’s “Street View” called "Business View.” According to Deborah Schenker - Program 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."
The technology allows Royal Caribbean to offer an immersive and interactive experience to consumers searching for a vacation. In the same way that Google Street View users can navigate a land-based neighborhood, they can now navigate Allure of the Seas, at least many of the public areas such as the top sports and pool decks, the interior open spaces such as “Central Park” and the “Boardwalk.”
The topmost Pool and Sports Decks feature a zip line, twin FlowRider surf simulators, a full-size basketball/sports court, a nine-hole miniature golf course, 15 pools and whirlpools and 22 restaurants.
The Boardwalk features a hand-crafted carousel, two rock-climbing walls and the AquaTheater, a high-dive aquatic performance venue with the deepest pool at sea.
From the Boardwalk it is possible to “walk” inside, down a staircase and explore the Royal Promenade, a three deck tall open space that looks like a boulevard running nearly the length of the ship, flanked by restaurants, boutiques and lounges.
Central Park, above the Royal Promenade, is an outdoor park longer than a football field. It has over 12,000 live plants and trees and is surrounded on both sides by seven decks of staterooms with balconies overlooking the park – the only interior-facing balconies on any cruise ship in the cruise industry.
Entertainment Place on deck 4 features a full proscenium theatre, night club, comedy club, jazz club and an ice-skating rink for the guests, which also offers professionally produced ice shows.
Vacationers can access Allure of the Seas, the world’s largest cruise ship and the first one to use Google “Business View” at http://www.royalcaribbean.co.uk/royalview or via Google Search results, Google Maps and Google+. The cruise ship tour is available on computers, smartphones and tablets.