Middle East Cruise News

Everything we know about humanoid robot bartender aboard UAE-bound MSC Virtuosa

MSC Cruises has introduced the world to Rob, the world’s first humanoid robot bartender aboard a cruise ship, as part of the debut of its new cruise ship MSC Virtuosa.

MSC Virtuosa, which will homeport in Dubai later this year, sailing roundtrip in the Arabian Gulf, features a bar called MSC Starship Club, where a humanoid robot bartender will take passengers’ orders.

MSC Virtuosa will be deployed in Europe in mid-2021 and Dubai later in the year.

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MSC Virtuosa is the latest in the cruise line’s Meraviglia-Plus class of ships. She was delivered to MSC earlier this month and will enter service on April 16th, 2021 in the Mediterranean according to the latest itinerary plans.

“This integrated bar and entertainment experience … includes 3D holograms, an immersive digital art wall and a 12-seater infinity digital interactive table, giving guests the possibility to explore space with their own personalized galactic tour,” MSC Cruises said in a release.

Rob will mix and serve signature cocktails – alcoholic and non-alcoholic – and various personalized drinks, while engaging the guests with his human-like expressions for a “fully immersive bar experience,” it added.

The bar has been designed with a futuristic, Star Trek-inspired theme, that is intended to make passengers feel as though they are travelling in space.

“Rob’s skills and emotional responsiveness combined with bartenders dressed as if they had just stepped out of a sci-fi movie supported by the immersive surroundings and technology will ensure that the MSC Starship Club is a must-visit attraction for all ages,” MSC said.

To order drinks, guests will have to use “specifically designed vertical digital cockpits.” The status of the cocktail preparation will be displayed through digital monitors within the area and a ticker-tape-style LED strip above the robotic island, the cruise line wrote.

The MSC Starship Club aboard Virtuosa.

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Rob can also speak an impressive eight languages, but sadly, Arabic will not be one of them. He will be able to converse in English, Italian, Spanish, French, German, Brazilian Portuguese, Chinese and Japanese – according to the language chosen when the guest makes the order.

Even the glasses that the order is served in are custom-designed to evoke the future, and will be available for collection as a lasting souvenir of the MSC Starship Club experience.

According to MSC, the Starship Club took six years to develop in close collaboration with specialists in robotics and automation, as well as interior design, entertainment and digital experience solutions.

After completing several 3-, 4- and 5-night cruises in the Mediterranean from April, 2021 onwards, MSC Virtuosa will be deployed to Northern Europe in summer 2021 with a range of itineraries to the Norwegian fjords and Baltic capital cities.

She will arrive in the Middle East in November, 2022, cruising 7-night roundtrip voyages from Dubai to Abu Dhabi, Sir Bani Yas Island, Muscat and Khassab.

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