Five Ways Royal Caribbean Uses Emerging Technology


With huge new ships like Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas, new technology has been the solution for Royal Caribbean to make the experience onboard for guests as easy as possible.  Royal Caribbean CIO Bill Martin spoke with InformationWeek magazine about five innovations Royal Caribbean has used to make the experience better for guests.

  1. Facial Recognition Software
    When you board the ship for the first time, a high resolution photo is taken of you and this photo is used for security as well as for merchandise systems such as the point of sale system.  Facial recognition software allows computers to categorize photos taken all over the ship by Royal Caribbean photographers for easy pick up later.
  2. Shape Recognition Cameras
    At each of the 24 restaurants on the ship, shape-recognition cameras count the number of people seated and if any are waiting.  Royal Caribbean works to ensure there is no waiting at its restaurants.
  3. Interactive Media
    Remember the shape recognition cameras from the previous entry?  Well that data on restaurant crowds gets sent in real-time, in the form of red-yellow-green signals, to 300 digital signs around the ship, so that people can self-select the least-crowded restaurants.
  4. Wireless Everywhere
    There's Wi-Fi internet coverage onboard, along with wireless wristband for children to allow parents to track their kids movements on an iPhone app.  The specially equipped iPhones are for rent during cruises.
  5. Real-Time Analysis
    Royal Caribbean is using the data it receives during the cruise to help make decisions "on the fly" and bring attention to problems as they occur, not after.

Royal Caribbean has more real-time data than ever before because every point of sale terminal and booking system is networked, so analysts can know what’s selling well, what services are being under-used, plus the demographics of who’s on board. Analysts onshore have started crunching that data while the cruise is sailing. Combine that with the interactive media on the ships, and Royal Caribbean has a chance to put customized offers in front of people, say for a particular type of spa treatment that has more openings than usual, to a person most likely to want such a treatment, delivered direct to their interactive TV.

Royal Caribbean shows its commitment to Malaga and introduces the Adventure of the Seas


Adventure of the Seas has made its debut in the Spanish port of Malaga and the city couldn't be happier.  After a series of short cruises out of Barcelona earlier this spring, Adventure of the Seas has moved to Malaga, along with its 3000 passengers, becoming the largest cruise ship in the Mediterranean.  Officials expect about 72,000 passengers to pass through this summer.  

To commemorate the special occasion, a special ceremony was held in port that was attended by representatives of Royal Caribbean in Spain. Emmanuel Joly, the Director of Marketing and Sales of Royal Caribbean in Spain, highlighted the "commitment" of the company with Spain and the south and said "Proof of this is that we are the only shipping company that has a ship in Malaga the size of the Adventure of the Seas to sail and landed more than 3,000 passengers on each output having an important direct benefit to the region. "

Joly also highlighted the fact that the city of Malaga is a city "high prepared for tourism and interesting options that make it an interesting attraction for passengers from the cruise line" and that thanks to "Puerto de Atocha", the agreement signed between Royal Caribbean and Renfe, "is even closer to the center of Spain."

The Adventure of the Seas will be offering seven-night cruises from Malaga during the summer, with stops in Sardinia, Rome, Corsica and Palma De Mallorca. 

Allure of the Seas Progress Update


Lisa Bauer, Senior Vice President, Hotel Operations for Royal Caribbean, posted a progress update on Allure of the Seas construction.  Here are the highlights.

  • Allure seems to be further along at this point in time than Oasis of the Seas was
  • The scaffolding is down in the Royal Promenade and tile is being added
  • Carpet installed in most areas
  • Rita’s Cantina, the Boardwalk Doghouse, and the Guess store are starting to "take shape"
  • More stores also taking shape, but yet to be announced what they will be
  • Royal Caribbean will be taking delivery of Allure of the Seas a few days earlier than planned
  • Costumes for Dreamworks characters will require planning to find space for them all

We had several operational meetings with Captain Hernan Zini, who will be the Master on Allure, as well as the hotel start up team, lead by Raimund Gschaider. The team is very pleased with how the inspections are going, as well as the operational planning.

Royal Caribbean July 4th Sale


Royal Caribbean has launched a special July 4th sale on last minute cruises as well as cruises throughout the year. The sale runs July 2nd through July 6th on select sailings. New bookings only.  Some great rates to be had if you can act quickly!

Interestingly enough, there are two Oasis of the Seas sailings on sale as well.

Travel Weekly reviews Oasis of the Seas


A river cruise expert at Travel Weekly, Michelle Baran, wrote a review of her experience on Oasis of the Seas.  She had heard a lot about the newest Royal Caribbean ship and wanted to see what it was all about.

The Oasis of the Seas is a destination, it is a spectacle, it is a vacation unto itself -- but a very specific type of vacation. It's a floating, mostly inclusive (with plenty of opportunities to spend additional cash), family-friendly resort, with something for a lot of different people: people who enjoy food, active people, people who want to relax, people who want to be entertained.

Overall, Baran seemed to be impressed with the ship and a fan.  Her passion are river cruises and she makes a number of comparisons between the two varieties of cruises.  It's a good quick read about the different amenities offered on the ship, especially interesting to get a different perspective on the ship.

Royal Caribbean Names Michele Nadeem Vice President, Global Corporate Communications


Royal Caribbean has announced that Michele Nadeem will be their new Vice President of Global Corporate Communications.  As the VP of Global Corporate Communications, Nadeem will be responsible for "leading Royal Caribbean's overall global communication strategies and community relations efforts throughout all of its brands". She will report directly to the company's chairman and CEO, Richard D. Fain.

Before joining Royal Caribbean, Nadeem was the vice president of Corporate Communications, Public Affairs, Corporate Social Responsibility, Media and Industry Analyst Relations for DHL Express.

"We are delighted to have Michele join our team," said Fain. "We feel Michele's extensive international and domestic accomplishments and experience in corporate communications leadership roles will make her invaluable when the company needs to deliver clear and consistent messages across the organization and to the public."

Asian cruise market to reach 5 million by 2020


At the Seatrade All Asia Cruise Convention 2010, Michael Bayley, Vice President of Royal Caribbean Cruises Limited, talked about Asian source market size and where it is headed.  Bayley compared the penetration rates versus population in other markets: Cruising’s penetration is 3.2% in North America, about 1% in Europe and less than 0.05% in Asia. With a population close to 3 billion, Asia has the potential to reach 40 million cruisers in 30 years, he said.

"Whilst that is an outrageous number there were only 500,000 cruisers in North America 35 years ago. I think 5m Asian cruisers by 2020 is not unrealistic at this stage"

The cruise market in China has seen a lot of growth recently and fast. The change in atmosphere is thanks to regulations being eased, there has been a lot of government support for the industry and ports have been investing in the development of terminals and infrastructure.

E-docs not part of direct-sell strategy


At the UK Cruise Convention held in Southampton, England, Royal Caribbean UK general manager Jo Rzymowska denied that moving to e-docs was a way of driving up the level of direct sales. Ryzmowska said online was “critical for search” for cruise customers but that the level of bookings remained very small, at around 2%.  She went on to say, “That will change over time as cruisers become more experienced and the next generation will use the internet as a norm,”

“But the point of e-docs is not about driving more online business. It’s about getting documents to clients as quickly as possible and in the most efficient way possible.”Rzymowska said just as travellers no longer expect to be sent airline tickets they will be comfortable not having paper documents for cruise.And she said having all the documentation online gives clients opportunity to find out more about their cruise and agents to provide a better service.

Royal Caribbean to expand Dubai based season


Royal Caribbean is going to increase the length of its Dubai-based season for Brilliance of the Seas for the winter 2011-2012 season. Brilliance of the Seas began operating from the United Arab Emirates in January 2010 but would split it's time back in Europe.  Now, Brilliance of the Seas will return to Dubai two months early in November 2011 and will offer an increased range of itineraries including longer cruises up to 12- and even 18-nights.

Royal Caribbean's General Manager Jo Rzymowska had an explanation for the change in itinerary, citing high demand for the middle eastern cruise

Dubai is very popular with UK & Irish travellers, and cruises consistently offer significant value for money. We have adjusted the itinerary based on our trade partner feedback and replaced Bahrain with an overnight stay in Muscat. Also included within this cruise itinerary is an overnight stay in the city onboard the ship at the end of the cruise which makes this an affordable way to enjoy this fascinating Emirate. The chance to explore more of the Middle East, Arabian Sea and even India make these additional longer sailings truly exciting options for agents to maximize.

Given the longer six month season that Brilliance of the Seas will now serve, she will visit ports such as Muscat, Oman; Cochin, Goa and Mumbai, India as well as the first time ever visiting the New Mangalore port in Panambur on the west coast of India.  The town is famous for its beautiful beaches on the Arabian Sea, the Nandaneshwara Temple and the Gurupura River.  Brilliance of the Seas will be the first Royal Caribbean ship ever to stop at this port.

Royal Caribbean and other cruise lines encourage early booking


The cruise industry as a whole wants you to book your next cruise vacation early, rather than later.  At the recent annual UK Cruise Convention, cruise lines including Royal Caribbean held a summit regarding cruise pricing and defended their pricing strategies.  Royal Caribbean General Manager Jo Rzymowska felt that the value of cruising should be more important than the pricing structure, "What ships offer today is phenomenal, we just don't focus on it".

The recent trend has been to have some great deals for last minute bookings but some in the cruise industry want the industry to give more incentive to book early rather than wait for a last minute deal.  Furthermore, the cruise industry needs to give customers reason to book early.  Cruise experts claim that booking early allows for better deals on airfare as well.