The Ice Rink as seen by Street View, complete with creepy blurred faces
Today's latest gimmick: Royal Caribbean has invited Google Street View onto its (current) biggest ship, Allure of the Seas, enabling you to get 360-degree views of the ship from your computer.
As an idea, it's a great one, although its execution is not as revolutionary as you might suspect. Only a few major public locations and three cabin types (interior with window, oceanview with balcony, Loft Suite) have been offered up for scanning. And of the public areas, you'll spot nary a passenger even though the ship is capable of carrying some 6,000 at a time—when it's full, you really feel it. So what you'll see is like a ghost ship, suited for showing off the design and but terrible at giving you a real sense of what onboard life is really like.
Still, it's a step better than the flat photographs that we normally have to judge a ship by, and the stateroom views are fairly honest (and you can navigate into the bathrooms).
Have a little fun exploring the Allure of the Seas by going to www.royalcaribbean.co.