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Royal Caribbean's latest: sky diving, bumper cars

Scott Mayerowitz, AP Business Writer

NEW YORK (AP) -- Here's the latest gimmick to lure cruisers to the sea: sky diving.

Royal Caribbean International unveiled its new Quantum class of ships Tuesday, which will be the first to offer guests a simulated sky diving experience.

The ships will also include a new thrill experience called North Star. A jewel-shaped glass capsule will hold 14 people and go over the side of the ship and then climb to 300 feet above the sea, offering passengers unobstructed views.

Interior staterooms that don't traditionally don't have a view will have a "virtual balcony" — an 80-inch LED screen providing real-time views of the ocean or port. Families will also be able to book three different types of staterooms that can connect in various layouts.

For entertainment there will be bumper cars, roller skating and a circus school with a flying trapeze.

"This new generation of ships gave us an opportunity to make another leap in vessel design. Innovation has always been part of our DNA and we have taken advantage of all that creativity to design Quantum cruising," Richard D. Fain, chairman and CEO, Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd. said in a statement.

The Quantum class will debut in fall 2014 with Quantum of the Seas, followed by sister ship Anthem of the Seas in spring 2015. Quantum ships span 18 decks, encompass 167,800 gross registered tons, carry 4,180 guests at double occupancy and feature 2,090 staterooms.

The ships will initially be based out of Cape Liberty Cruise Port in Bayonne, N.J.


Scott Mayerowitz can be reached at https://twitter.com/GlobeTrotScott.