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Do You Tip a Robot?

Washington DC Dining DC

Will they make small talk? Can they cut you off after too many? These are some of the playful questions about the robots mixing drinks inside Bionic Bar aboard Royal Caribbean’s new ship Quantum of the Seas.

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We snapped the robots “BIO” and “NIC” shaking and stirring during a two-day launch voyage and naming ceremony out of Cape Liberty Cruise Port in Bayonne, NJ. Bionic Bar is symbolic of Quantum of the Seas’ status as the most technologically advanced ship to date.

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Dining is a little different on Quantum. There are more choices to make than whether to join the early or late seating in a 1,000-seat main dining room. “We have 32 unique concepts, none of which were ‘copy pastes’ from our other ships,” Royal Caribbean International Culinary Director Cornelius “Neil” Gallagher tells us on a behind the scenes tour. Neil, who’s worked at 3 Star Michelin restaurants, and even Barcelona’s El Bulli, lit up as he showed us the galleys staffed by 291 onboard chefs. We snapped Neil (right) with Royal Caribbean Corporate Chef Michael Gillian.

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The fleet of restaurants includes an Italian concept from celebrity Chef Jamie Oliver, a pub from James Beard Award-winner Michael Schwartz, and a restaurant featuring a menu from Chef Devin Alexander, whom you know from The Biggest Loser. Or try Wonderland—a down-the-rabbit-hole, whimsical dining experience. Priced at $45 per person, it starts by utilizing a paintbrush and water to uncover the menu featuring dishes like duck liver beignets or liquid lobster. Quantum of the Seas will make trips through April 2015 to the Caribbean before crossing the Atlantic to its future homeport in Shanghai, China.