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Wednesday, June 8, 2016
'Smart' cruise liner comes a-calling
Drone photography by SE VENA NETWORKS
GEORGE TOWN: A “smartship” with the largest ever number of passengers to call at Swettenham Pier berthed here at 7am Tuesday.
The Ovation of the Seas is carrying 4,091 passengers with a crew of 1,647.
Penang Port records show that the cruise liner chartered 41 buses, four vans and two cars to enable the passengers to see as much of Penang as possible before the ship left at 4pm.
The arrival of the ship was celebrated because she is practically brand new.
The 18-deck cruise liner entered service on April 14 and this is her maiden voyage from Germany, where she was built, to her first home port in Tianjin, China.
Royal Caribbean International managing director Sean Treacy said this is the most technologically advanced cruise ship.
She has a "bionic bar" that has robotic arms to make cocktails for passengers. There are more robotic arms spinning giant LCD panels to make creative video performances in the disco-cafe called Two70.
The ship’s satellite-powered WiFi keeps everyone on board connected to the Internet at broadband speeds in the middle of the ocean.
In the interior staterooms, 2m-high HDTV screens mimic windows and display real-time footage of the ocean and port manoeuvres captured by external cameras.
Throughout the ship are gadgets and gizmos to give passengers the paradise holiday of their dreams.
Present to greet her arrival were Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and several state exco members, Tourism Malaysia director-general Datuk Seri Mirza Mohammad Taiyab, Penang Port Sdn Bhd chairman Datuk Syed Mohamad Aidid Syed Murtaza and Penang Port Commission general manager Mohamad Puzi Mohamad Nazir.