Cruise Ships Get Wired For Connected Customer Experiences

The Internet of Things is taking to the high seas.

Cruise ships are being retrofitted and reengineered to include the latest IoT technology to enhance the experience of passengers.

MSC Cruises, which bills itself as the world’s largest privately-owned cruise line, just unveiled a fleet-wide digital innovation program for all its coming ships.

The first mega-ship with the technology will come into service in June and will be fitted with 16,000 points of connectivity, 700 digital access points, 358 interactive screens, and 2,200 staterooms with RFID and NFC access technology.

This follows the introduction of passenger connectivity in the ships of Princess Cruises, highlighted in a major keynote presentation by Carnival Corp. CEO Arnold Donald at CES in Las Vegas earlier this year.

In that implementation, cruise passengers are given an ocean medallion, a small gadget that includes the passenger’s identity and communicates with readers throughout the ship and in select ports. The medallion can be used for unlocking stateroom doors, payments and future reservations.

The MSC Cruise program, branded a ‘MSC for Me,’ was conceived with tech and behavioral science experts with Deloitte Digital, Hewlett Packard and Samsung. Some of the features of the connected program are:

  • Concierge – Allows passengers to book services, restaurants and excursions in real time
  • Capture – Digital immersive discovery using virtual reality to preview the trip
  • Organizer – A planning tool so passengers can check in with their mobile device, book trips, seats for shows or best dinner table, before embarking or during the trip
  • Navigation – Like smart maps, a digital way finder provides passengers with advice and how to find their way around a 1,000-foot long ship
  • Tailormade – A digital personal advisor for personal recommendations based on preferences and includes facial recognition technology, including interactive bracelets and 3,000 Bluetooth beacons throughout the ship

With two major cruise ship companies transforming their vessels into totally connected travel experiences, the bar is being raised for what consumers will come to expect.

Some travelers likely will opt out of the connected services offered, being totally fine with missing the boat on IoT services.

3 comments about "Cruise Ships Get Wired For Connected Customer Experiences".
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  1. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston, March 13, 2017 at 9:54 a.m.

    The first step is admitting that you're an addict.

  2. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin replied, March 13, 2017 at 10 a.m.

    Will be very interesting to see how many opt out, Douglas.

  3. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, March 13, 2017 at 10:54 a.m.

    So why bother going ? Cruise ships are a big help destroying the waters and sea life. No, they are not registered in the US with US regulations. 

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