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PUBS, PATIOS AND BARS:Cruise ship bar is out of this world

The world’s first humanoid, robotic bartender at sea is certain to be the star of the bar on MSC Cruise’s new flagship vessel, Virtuosa, which is due to come into service on April 16.

A “galaxy-trotter from a remote planet at the edge of the universe, ’Rob’ has learned mixology in the best intergalactic bars… and now he has decided to bring his abilities exclusively at the service of MSC Cruises’ guests,” says the cruise line (tongue, hopefully, in cheek).

Moreover, trivia- and joke-telling Rob “is not a cold machine,” MSC continues, “but a humanoid that can interact with guests using a witty and involving language, changing his facial expressions and, if he is in the mood, even showing his dance moves. He likes being at the centre of attention…”

Adept at eight languages (prompted by the language guests order in), Rob scans the environment around him to recognize and engage with patrons passing by through an intelligent human recognition movements system placed on his head.

Of course, first and foremost Rob is a bartender, who has 16 “signature cosmic” and “infinite personal” cocktail options that can be both shaken and stirred in his repertoire, which are served in collectible custom-designed futuristic glasses.

(MSC notes that Rob is not the only crew member in the area: Human bartenders – dressed as if they had just stepped out of a sci-fi movie – will also be on-hand as part of the overall experience.)

Rob the robotic bartender, however, is just part of the integrated bar and entertainment experience at the MSC Starship Club, which is inspired by the cruise line’s vision of the spaceship of the future. Enabled by state-of-the-art technologies designed to create a futuristic atmosphere, the venue includes 3D holograms, an immersive digital art wall, and a 12-seater infinity digital interactive table designed to give patrons of all ages “the possibility to explore space with their own personalized galactic tour.”

Nearly six years in the making, the Starship Club utilized leading experts from companies specializing in robotics and automation, interior design, as well as entertainment and digital experience solutions “to create something unique, to develop new innovations on board to elevate the guest offering to the next level” all in the name of re-imagining the traditional bar experience to “literally transport guests to another world.”

After completing a few three-, four- and five-night cruises in the Mediterranean in April, MSC Virtuosa will be deployed to Northern Europe in summer with a range of itineraries to the Norwegian fjords and Baltic capital cities.

With glass purposefully in hand, we at Travel Industry Today continue our series on some of the planet’s most unique bars, patios and rooftop venues. For more articles in the series, click here:



First published at Travel Industry Today

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