Royal Caribbean mixes innovative iPhone app with on-board Wi-Fi

Cruise ship technology is pretty advanced – on many cruise ships, you can surf the Internet, make and receive phone calls, and even check email on your smartphone, no matter where in the world the ship is.

Royal Caribbean is taking things to the next level with their “Royal Connect” service. Royal Connect combines the 1000 hotspot locations on the ship with an iPhone app and Wi-Fi enabled wrist bands.

Once installed on your phone, you pay $17.50 for the duration of the cruise, to get access to stateroom calling, online restaurant and spa reservations, guest locator, daily schedule and best of all – a kid tracker.

Children can wear a special tracking wristband, and parents can use their phone to track exactly where on the ship their kids are.

Additional features allow Royal Connect users to call or text each other without having to hunt for a shipboard phone.

Of course, as technology like this evolves, we become less “unconnected” on vacation, though I do think larger families can really benefit from the free phone-to-phone service, without having to pay insane roaming charges.

The service is currently only available on the massive Oasis of the Seas.