When it comes to new technology, the Cruise Ship industry is catching up very quickly, especially when it comes to their newer ships, plenty of which are being built at this very moment.
The cruise of the future will be very much interconnected, and on some cruise lines, the future is already here. Wrist bands have already been helping parents track their kids and helped everyone check into your room. Take this a bit further and you’ll have an app that remembers all your preferences, from the pillow you like to toiletries, saved for future cruises. And we can look forward to self-driving shuttles and servers who’ll find you anywhere to give you a drink… now that sounds relaxing.
For some, the new technology will kick in before they even book their cruise. Virtual Reality devices should soon enable us to undertake a ship inspection before choosing which one you would like to book.
Let’s have a look at what four Cruise Line Companies are doing to introduce more technology to make your cruise experience even better:
Carnival Cruises Embraces Ocean Medallion
Their pre-cruise service allows you to register all your details before you go, from passport credentials to food preferences, and you will be sent your wearable Ocean Medallion (the size of a coin, this can be worn as a bracelet or necklace) in advance. The Ocean Medallion (and partner Ocean Compass app) launched in November 2017 on Princess Cruises’ Regal Princess.
One very nifty feature of the Ocean Medallion is that it will alert all cabin crew of your food allergies, especially helpful when it comes to children and when you’re unsure what you can order with a seafood allergy, for example.
MSC Cruises has Faster and Easier Check-ins and Apps to Improve Your Experience
On many ships, such as MSC Meraviglia, all documentation, such as uploading your photo and receiving digital boarding information, can be done via online check-in to make for a more pleasant experience.
When you get on board, you can use the MSC for Me app, public interactive screens, cabin TV and wearable bracelet, to streamline and enhance life on board.
Chief business innovation officer at MSC Cruises, Luca Pronzati, describes the line’s new generation of ships as “like smart, connected cities, but with the added complexity of being at sea”.
They are right up there in terms of embracing technology and sailing into an AI assisted future. They also have smart check-in, but their newest feature is their radio frequency WOWbands.
They launched their new WOWbands on board their Anthem of the Seas. Passengers can access them for a nominal fee and its radio frequency ID technology promises to improve your experience on board as well as to simplify it. The wristband will open your cabin door, have access to the Royal IQ app, and allow you to make onboard purchases with just one tap.
Royal Caribbean is undertaking a large digital transformation initiative to rethink the guest experience. According to CIO Giresi, Royal Caribbean’s goal is providing guests with a personalized experience that is also easy to understand. In his words, to create a “frictionless and immersive vacation experience for our guests:”
Princesses Cruises Rolls out Ocean Medallion Wi-Fi and Will have Virtual Assistants Soon
Princess Cruises have launched their new interactive Wi-Fi service, Ocean Medallion and are previewing it on their ship, the Regal Princess. They are phasing in the service on their staterooms throughout this year. This means that you will stay connected to friends and family at all times – and who doesn’t like posting selfies and travel pics on Instagram and Facebook while on holiday? To access the service, you can wear the quarter-sized device as a wristband or pendant or simply pop it in your pocket. This will open doors for you, literally, to your cabin and the experiences you’ve booked in for.
With the Wi-Fi comes a series of apps to enhance your digital vacation experience. And you can download them before you step aboard to help make your journey even more convenient.
If you have a virtual assistant at home and feel slightly lost when you can’t ask Alexa to play your favourite song or ask OK Google to set your alarm, the next bit of news will really excite you. In March this year, MSC Cruises claimed to have a ‘cruise industry first’ with plans for new in-cabin virtual technology. That’s right, they plan to install Amazon Alexa-style virtual assistants in every cabin in future. The first ship to feature it will be the MSC Bellissima next year and the rest of it will be rolled out to the rest of the fleet over the next five years.
Meanwhile, MSC Splendida will be installed with translation technology for guests and crew when it is deployed in China in May.