Walking up the gangway to board Royal Caribbean’s tech-laden Quantum of the Seas, it was hard not to marvel. Across the harbor was Manhattan, and at 348 meters, the new ship is almost as long as the Empire State Building is tall. But it’s what the ship contains that made my inner geek salivate.

While most passengers were ogling the food options I checked the speed of the satellite Wi-Fi and tested the raft of other technology onboard — including robot waiters and virtual seascapes — that the company hopes will increase passenger convenience.

Billed as a smart ship, the Quantum of the Seas will make trips from New York harbor (Cape Liberty in Bayonne, New Jersey, specifically) to the Caribbean until the middle of 2015, when it embarks on an odyssey to reposition to its new home port of Shanghai. As a tech reporter invited on board for a few days to check it out, I was determined to maintain a skeptical stance, but some of the futuristic services enticed me to capture footage of gadget after cool gadget.

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