Digital technologies are making the cruise experience even better. Many cruise lines now offer smartphone software applications (or “apps”) passengers can use to access lots of helpful information, such as daily activity schedules, spa reservation assistance, or trackers for onboard spending.
Some cruise lines are now going beyond. For example, some Royal Caribbean ships now equip passengers with WOW bands: wristbands with RFID chips that serve as stateroom keys and onboard credit cards. Passengers love them because they eliminate the need to carry around one of Royal Caribbean’s SeaPass cards, which are easier to misplace or forget. Royal Caribbean intends to make WOW bands available on all of its ships within a few years.
Princess Cruises is also introducing a digital wristband, the OceanMedallion, which debuted this fall on the Caribbean Princess. It serves as a stateroom key and onboard credit card, as well as an onboard wayfinder and a means to locate your travel companions. Plus, there are portals all around the ship where passengers can use their OceanMedallions to check itineraries and activity schedules, stream travel shows, and play games with family and friends.
MSC Cruises offers a digital wristband, too – called MSC for Me – and a digital personal assistant, called Zoe, now available on the new MSC Bellissima. In every stateroom, Zoe uses interactive voice technology to answer questions that passengers would otherwise need to take to the guest services desk. Zoe understands seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, German, Brazilian Portuguese, and Mandarin.
Some ships already use facial recognition technology to match the candid photos taken by ship photographers with on-file passenger photos (usually taken at check-in). In the future, facial recognition and other biometric data may be used to help streamline passenger boarding and off-boarding, and to make onboard payment for extra services even easier.
Who knows – future cruise ship technologies might mean you’ll arrive at breakfast with your coffee already poured and your eggs cooked just the way you like them; or, you’ll return to your cabin after a day of activity to find your bathwater ready, at just the right temperature!
To check out the latest digital innovations on ships like the Anthem of the Seas, the Caribbean Princess or the MSC Bellissima, talk with Anita, your professional travel advisor.
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