Royal Caribbean took delivery of the world's largest cruise ship today, but the crew of the Oasis of the Seas have been using a high-tech simulator to prepare to take over the monstrous 16-deck, 225,282 ton cruiser.
The STAR centre in Florida uses incredibly realistic high-tech bridge simulators to prepare a crew to take over a ship. The simulator features walls of screens that display the view from a ship's bridge as well as all of the controls found on board. The simulator can recreate anything from a calm day to 70 knot winds and seas up to 10 metres high.
The video shown through those screens include accurate modelling of landscapes and buildings and of course the instruments track the details of the sea bottom and even the currents from port to port.
The idea of the centre, Larry Reimer, instructor at the Star centre, says, is to simulate reality, not to simulate a video game.
"If you get into it playing it like a video game then you don't accept it as reality up there on the bridge," he said. "If you're on a simulator and you make a mistake, you don't have to go into a court of inquirer or write a report, you just press the reset button and you start again."