iPad takes to water – cruise liner passengers to be given Apple device

From garbage collectors in the UK to astronauts on the International Space Station, Apple’s iPad is certainly getting around. Pilots and flight attendants are using them to improve work efficiency, while doctors in Hong Kong have discarded the traditional clipboard in favor of the device.

And now the cruise liner industry is the latest to embrace the Cupertino company’s tablet, with Royal Caribbean recently announcing that every cabin of its 1,804-passenger Splendour of the Seas ship will soon include the device.

USA Today’s Gene Sloan reported that Apple’s popular tablet should be sailing the seas aboard the cruise liner by the middle of February 2012, with plans to include it in the cabins of five more of its liners within the next two years.

The idea is that the tablet will allow passengers to get the latest information and updates regarding events happening on board the liner during a voyage. The iPads won’t be fixed inside the cabins, so passengers will be free to take them around with them on the ship.

Information about locations where the ship docks will also be included on the tablets. In addition, passengers will have the chance to study menus, order room service, surf the web and watch movies. “In short, the iPads will act much like the interactive television systems found on many ships,” Sloan wrote.

Whether the ship’s on-board facilities – such as the swimming pool, rock climbing wall and miniature golf course – will suddenly become hauntingly quiet as people instead spend all of their time engrossed in their iPad remains to be seen. It would certainly be a shame if passengers up on deck became lost in a game of Angry Birds while behind them a beautiful sunset spread out across the ocean.

The eleven-deck Splendour of the Seas operates along the coastlines of Europe and South America and has been in service since 1996.

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