In the future, cruisers could sleep in staterooms that blend seamlessly with the night sky.
Sea Beyond Stateroom
Credit: Diane Bondareff/ Invision for Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd./AP Images

At an immersive experience in New York City, Royal Caribbean showed how cruise-goers will in the near future be able to unlock rooms with a smartphone or watch, and board the ship using facial recognition.

But one of the most exciting advances the cruise line is working on is the so-called “stateroom of the future.”

“We really try to innovate on every aspect of our vacation experience,” Jay Schneider, senior vice president of digital at Royal Caribbean, told Travel + Leisure.

The stateroom plays a key role in helping travelers go to sleep, wake up, relax, and connect to the sea, according to Schneider, who said the cruise line wants to reimagine how to “use technology to make those experiences even more amazing.”

During a demo of the stateroom of the future, representatives from Royal Caribbean explained how technology (like 4K video) could be used to transform an interior stateroom. Screens could act as a balcony, create an in-room river on the floor, become windows on the walls, and even cover the ceiling.

With the push of a button, the ceiling of a stateroom could recede like a moon roof to reveal a a dazzling night sky or a brilliant Caribbean sunrise.

On a stormy day, travelers could request sunshine in their cabins or change the display to see their destination port before arrival. The technology would allow guests to sleep under the stars or experience a tropical rainstorm without getting wet. Instead of an alarm clock, you could even opt to rise with the sun.

Since this is a concept, cruisers shouldn’t expect the stateroom of the future to roll out exactly as demo'd. And it also won't be bookable on sailings anytime in the next few years.

But in the meantime, travelers can look forward to the Celebrity Edge, an impressive ship arriving next November. The cabins will feature plenty of new technology, including some low-tech breakthroughs like panoramic windows, interior cutouts that allow an ocean-view from every angle.