Apps, selfies, bracelets and speed: 4 ways cruising has gone digital

Mobile technology is changing the way people connect while traveling for business and leisure. As mobile connectivity continues to explode, Amadeus research shows that an additional 4.3 billion users will come online by 2025. To put this in perspective, of the world’s estimated 8 billion population six years from now, roughly one mobile device will be in use for every two global citizens!

With mobile usage expanding rapidly on terra firma, so too will usage grow among the 33.5 million cruisers expected to hit the high seas by 2026. Here are four ways digital technology is changing the face of cruising.

  1. Ensuring hAPPy cruisers from shore to sea

Cruisers are demanding more convenience and connectivity, with smartphone apps making the biggest splash. For example, Norwegian Cruise Lines’ iConcierge, Royal Caribbean’s RoyaliQ, and Carnival’s Hub app enable passengers to do everything from pre-booking itineraries to creating post-trip summaries. From the app, guests can book on-board entertainment and activities, make dining reservations, plan shore excursions, and view schedules and purchases. Once on board, all reservations, bookings and favorites are seamlessly transferred to the ship.

  1. Boarding with biometrics and selfie check-ins

Earlier this year, the Celebrity Edge, one of the world’s most technologically advanced cruise ships, launched facial recognition software to shorten waiting in line as passengers check in for their sailing. In addition, cruisers can bypass traditional document checks by uploading a selfie via the Celebrity Cruise mobile app, which automatically checks them in and confirms their booking.

  1. Personalizing trips with AI and wearables

Another innovation is AI-enabled concierge technology. This March, MSC Cruises introduced Zoe, the world’s first voice enabled personal cruise assistant, available in every cabin on new ships. Zoe speaks seven languages, answers countless questions, and offers information about cruise services, activities and more.

Wearable devices like Princess Cruises’ pendants and bracelets let guests access their rooms and pay their checks. Bar and restaurant staff are privy to important information like the guest’s name and favorite cocktail, or whether a birthday or anniversary celebration is in order. The device can even suggest activities based on the wearer’s preferences. For example, if it’s time to head to the pool for a morning water aerobics class, holographic staff and other apps make announcements, answer questions, and guide you there with GPS navigation.

  1. Wi-Fi faster than a speeding Pinterest post

According to CLIA’s 2019 Trends & Industry Outlook, today’s cruise passengers expect 24/7 mobile connectivity. While some passengers view their vacations as a way to “unplug” from daily routines, a new generation is requiring instant access to stream music and videos, and fill their Facebook feeds with memorable moments. In the past, connectivity at sea was slow, but the tide has turned; streaming packages with unlimited data are the best options, such as Royal Caribbean’s Voom Surf & Stream package for around $20 a day.

Not your grandmother’s cruise vacation

Cruising in 2019 is nothing like it was 10 – or even five – years ago. Today’s cruise ships are fine-tuned, state-of-the-art vessels that offer industry-leading amenities and perform like smart, connected cities. As a result, travel planners need the best tools and resources to send their cruisers on the perfect vacation. Amadeus Agency Insight Booking Analysis helps you capitalize on booking trends and better understand traveler behavior. Our data helps you navigate the immense sea of data, and ensure you’re always selling optimally. With a little help from Amadeus and the cruise lines’ advanced technology, you’ll be perfectly positioned to give travelers what they want most: dynamic, personalized and connected journeys.

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