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• The MSC Starship Club is a unique futuristic immersive experience launching on new flagship MSC Virtuosa
• MSC Cruises’ Humanoid Robotic Bartender, Rob, and his cosmic cocktails will be the star of this unique bar and entertainment experience

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.

To find out more about MSC Virtuosa visit here.


More About Rob
Rob comes from a remote planet at the edge of the universe and is a galaxy-trotter. He has traveled all the way around the galaxy and, during his journeys to many different planets, he has learned mixology in the best intergalactic bars. He perfected his technique on small satellites far in the galaxy, on colonized Mars and many other places, and now he has decided to bring his abilities exclusively at the service of MSC Cruises’ guests.

Rob loves to interact with humans! He is not a cold machine but a humanoid that can interact with guests using a witty and involving language, changing his facial expressions and if he is in the mood, even showing his dance moves. He likes being at the center of attention, something he does by telling everyone who surrounds him jokes, riddles and space trivia.

This humanoid robotic bartender moves his arms, body and head in a highly natural way, all collaborating to give the impression that a real bartender is preparing the cocktail — a very unique engineering feature. Different facial expressions and a voice have been designed to give Rob a human-like personality.

When Rob is not preparing cocktails, he can scan the environment around him and recognize guests passing by, through an intelligent human recognition movements system placed on his head and he will be able to greet and engage with them. Rob can speak 8 languages (English, Italian, Spanish, French, German, Brazilian Portuguese, Chinese and Japanese), according to language chosen when the guest makes the order.

Rob is not the only crew member in the area. Human bartenders will be always be on-hand to assist and prepare unique beverages too as part of the overall experience.
About the MSC Starship Club Lounge

This is not just a bar but a live entertainment experience. Partnering with leading creative and digital agencies, MSC Cruises has worked to design and deliver an end-to-end digital content bringing to life on board/ashore activities of the futuristic imagined space cruises, to entertain and engage the guests.

The robotic island solution is completely automated and integrated with all the catering machines and tools needed for the end-to-end drink preparation and delivery. Safety glass and the 2-level safety laser barriers have been installed to avoid any mishaps.
In line with current health and safety protocol, the human bar menu is accessible scanning a QR code from the Guest’s smartphone as well as reading the futuristic LED-based bar counter menus.

The MSC Starship Club also offers an extensive futuristic menu served from the human bar in addition to the cocktails served by Rob. These cocktails are not included within the beverage packages.