MSC Cruises revealed details of the immersive, futuristic MSC Starship Club, which will be be exclusively available on the line's newest flagship, MSC Virtuosa, which begins service on April 16.
What's unusual? MSC Starship Club will feature Rob, the first-ever humanoid-like, robotic bartender at sea. (Royal Caribbean International has robotic bartenders on several vessels but they are not "humanoid-like" in the same way.)
MSC Cruises will feature Rob, the world’s first humanoid-like robotic bartender at sea. // Photo by MSC Cruises
The integrated bar and entertainment experience is inspired by MSC Cruises’ vision of the spaceship of the future. MSC Starliner One's state-of-the-art technologies 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 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 will complement the "live" bartenders who will wear attire seemingly out of a science fiction movie.
Guests will use vertical digital cockpits in the area to place their order. Rob will then prepare the cocktails—pouring spirits, juices and syrups, shaking, building or stirring the concoctions, and garnishing.
Rob can not only prepare a 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. The humanoid-like robot uses his LED face to convey emotion so guests can enjoy his performance while sipping their cocktails.
The MSC Starship Club aboard MSC Virtuosa // Photo by MSC Cruises
The status of each 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.
Cocktails will be 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.
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 itineraries to the Norwegian fjords and Baltic capital cities.