Geneva, Switzerland (February 11, 2021) – MSC Cruises revealed today details of the immersive, futuristic MSC Starship Club featuring Rob, the first-ever humanoid, robotic bartender at sea. The MSC Starship Club will be exclusively available on board the line’s newest flagship, MSC Virtuosa, when she comes into service beginning April 16 this year.
The integrated bar and entertainment experience is inspired by MSC Cruises’ vision of the spaceship of the future. MSC Starliner One is enabled by state-of-the-art technologies to create a futuristic atmosphere with 3D holograms, an immersive digital art wall and a 12-seat infinity digital interactive table, giving guests the opportunity to explore space with their own personalized galactic tour. Rob will mix and serve his signature cocktails — both alcoholic and non-alcoholic — and countless personalized drinks, just like a human bartender would do, while engaging with and speaking to guests and using human-like expressions for a fully immersive bar experience. Rob’s skills and emotional responsiveness, combined with bartenders dressed as if straight out of a sci-fi movie and immersive technology, create a must-visit attraction for all ages at the MSC Starship Club.
Guests will use specifically designed vertical digital cockpits in the area to place their order. Rob will then get to work and use all of his customized robotic skills to prepare the cocktails — pouring spirits, juices and syrups; shaking, building or stirring the concoctions; and garnishing. Rob can not only prepare an impressive range of cocktails, but also speak eight languages (English, Italian, Spanish, French, German, Brazilian Portuguese, Chinese and Japanese), according to the language chosen when the guest places an order. He also has a clear personality that evolves with the surrounding setting and atmosphere, using his LED face to convey emotion so guests can enjoy his performance while sipping their cocktails.
The status of the cocktail preparation will be displayed through digital monitors and a ticker-tape-style LED strip above the robotic island while guests are immersed in the space-themed experience. The cosmic cocktails are served in custom-designed futuristic glasses for guests to collect as lasting souvenirs of the MSC Starship Club experience. Cruisers will be able to return to the club multiple times over the course of their cruise, experiencing a new interaction with Rob each time.
MSC Cruises is constantly looking to the future to continuously innovate the guest experience and seek out new ways to employ the latest technology to create something unique and elevate the onboard offering. This latest innovation uses cutting-edge robotics and digital technologies to deliver a futuristic, immersive entertainment lounge, completely re-imagining the traditional bar experience to transport guests to another world.
The MSC Starship Club has been nearly six years in the making since the first original concept, and the Company has pushed boundaries with the engineering that has gone into making this a reality. During this time, MSC Cruises has worked with leading experts from companies specializing in robotics and automation, interior design as well as entertainment and digital experience solutions to create a custom designed entertainment venue with a humanoid robot as the star.
MSC Virtuosa is the line’s newest flagship and will come into service in April 2021. Each MSC Cruises ship is unique, and MSC Virtuosa in particular will feature new experiences for guests, with the introduction of Rob being just one of them. The ship will also be highly equipped with cutting-edge technologies and environmentally conscious capabilities.
After completing a few three, four and five-night cruises in the Mediterranean, MSC Virtuosa will be deployed to Northern Europe in summer 2021 with a range of itineraries to the Norwegian fjords and Baltic capital cities.
About MSC Cruises
MSC Cruises is the world’s third largest cruise brand as well as leader in Europe, South America, the Gulf region and Southern Africa with more market share in addition to deployed capacity than any other player. It is also the fastest growing global cruise brand with a strong presence also in the Caribbean, North America and the Far East markets.
Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, MSC Cruises is part of MSC Group, the privately held Swiss-based leading shipping and logistics conglomerate with over 300 years of maritime heritage. MSC Cruises — the contemporary brand — has a modern fleet of 18 vessels combined with a sizeable future global investment portfolio of new vessels. The fleet is projected to grow to 23 cruise ships by 2025 with options for six vessel orders in place through 2030.
MSC Cruises offers its guests an enriching, immersive and safe cruise experience inspired by the Company’s European heritage, where they can enjoy international dining, world-class entertainment, award-winning family programs and the very latest user-friendly technology on board. To learn more about MSC Cruises’ itineraries and experience on board its ships please see here.
The Company’s number one priority has always been the health and safety of its guests and crew, as well as the communities at the destinations its ships serve. In August 2020, MSC Cruises implemented a new comprehensive and robust health and safety protocol to become the first major line to return to sea. To learn more about MSC Cruises’ health & safety protocol please see here.
MSC Cruises has long been committed to environmental stewardship with a long-term goal to achieve zero emissions for its operations. The Company is also a significant investor in next-generation environmental marine technologies, with the objective to support their accelerated development and availability industry-wide. To learn more about the Company’s environmental commitment please see here.
Finally, to learn more about the MSC Foundation, MSC Group’s own vehicle to lead, focus and advance its conservation, humanitarian and cultural commitments please see here.