Royal Caribbean's use of iPads highlighted in Information Week


Royal Caribbean introduced iPads in every stateroom aboard Splendour of the Seas last year and it's got the IT world talking.  Royal Caribbean was mentioned in Information Week magazine as utilizing tablet computing for business.

One use for tablets is for companies to put them in the hands of their customers, which is what Royal Caribbean is doing on its most recently remodeled cruise ship. Here we're not talking about creating a tablet app for customers, but actually giving them a device to use. A related customer use is encouraging tablet use while they're at your venue, whether it's a resort, baseball game, restaurant, or retail store.

Royal Caribbean this month will put iPads in every stateroom of its revitalized Splendour of the Seas cruise ship. Guests can check daily activities on the ship, book shore excursions, and receive personalized promotions from Royal Caribbean, based on analytics the company runs in real time during a cruise. Royal Caribbean has used interactive TVs to provide that kind of information, but iPads are a more intuitive and enjoyable way for guests to receive it, says CIO Bill Martin.

Video: How technology makes Splendour of the Seas more efficient and stable


Royal Caribbean to offer iPads in every cabin


When Splendour of the Seas comes out of drydock next week, she will be offering all of her passengers soon an iPad in every cabin.  In addition, Royal Caribbean is planning on rolling out iPads to every Vision class ship (Vision, Grandeur, Rhapsody, Enchantment and Legend of the Seas) by 2014.

With the iPads, passengers will be able to

  • Access the daily Cruise Compass of events and activities
  • Access personal daily itineraries, including shore excursions
  • Monitor their onboard account
  • Order room service
  • View restaurant menus
  • Access the internet
  • Watch movies

All of the features of the iPad will be complimentary, except for the Internet access.

Royal Caribbean senior vice president of Hotel Operations, Lisa Bauer, commented on the news, "Based on consumer research, we added the iPads to greatly enhance guest communication, interactivity and to continue to offer industry leading technology that helps enhance the guest experience.  This is just one of the many exciting ways that Royal Caribbean continues to provide our guests with the ultimate cruise experience."

Royal Caribbean expects every cabin onboard Splendour to have an iPad by February 2012.

Royal Caribbean using new technology to help environment


Royal Caribbean discussed some of its environmental policies with the Sun Sentinel to help show their committment to reducing Royal Caribbean's environmental "foot print".

Royal Caribbean claims its cold storage room aboard Oasis of the Seas is the largest cold storage room of any ship in the world.  The cold storage room can be used to store many of the recycled items on the ship, such as hazardous waste, incinerator ash and cooking oil.

In addition, Royal Caribbean installed new photo kiosks to reduce paper waste from photos that were never purchased.  Royal Caribbean's Associate Vice President of Environmental Programs thinks the kiosks make sense, "Being environmentally-friendly is good business and every organization should strive to cut the amount of waste in their business".

Oasis of the Seas is also equipped with an advanced hull design with ecological coatings that reduce the water resistance of the ship, which has an effect of reducing the amoung of fuel needed.  Oasis also has an advanced energy management system to conserve power usage, and thin-film solar panels on its top deck.

Modern hull designs can result in up to 15 percent energy savings and ecological hull coatings up to five percent, according to the Fort Lauderdale-based trade group Cruise Lines International Association.

Pruitt said the Oasis is about 25 percent more energy-efficient than older ships in Royal Caribbean's fleet.

Royal Caribbean among leading websites in most visits in travel category


comScore, Inc, a company that measures Internet statistics, released its monthly analysis of web activity in the United States at the top online properties for June 2011 based on data from the comScore Media Metrix service.  Summer seems to have propelled the Travel category of websites as several Travel subcategories ranked among the top-gainers in June.

Within the surge came 116 million people visiting the Travel category in June, a record for the category, and of particular interest is the Ground/Cruise sites saw the strongest gains, up 14 percent to nearly 13.5 million visitors.

  1. 2.6 million visitors (up 14 percent)
  2. FirstGroup plc 2.2 million (up 22 percent
  3. Carnival Cruise Lines 1.5 million visitors (up 9 percent)
  4. Royal Caribbean 1.1 million visitors (up 19 percent)

"Summer getaways were clearly top-of-mind for many Americans in June, sending millions of people to hotel, cruise, car rental and travel agent sites," said Jeff Hackett, executive vice president of comScore Media Metrix. "And with school letting out for the summer, parents turned to the web to shop for ways to keep their kids active with sporting goods and other fun activities."

Royal Caribbean selects Emsys Emissions Monitoring System for the Independence of the Seas


Royal Caribbean has awarded WR Systems the right to supply its Emsys (Emissions Monitoring System) to Royal Caribbean's Independence of the Seas ship.

The Emsys system will monitor performance and provide emissions compliance data for an EcoSpec Exhaust Gas Cleaning System. This new tech will be installed sometime in mid-2011.  This is a test program to see if it can be implemented fleet wide to reduce Royal Caribbean's environmental footprint.

The Emsys system is based on solid-state Laser technology and has been awarded full Type Approval from the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) in line with the International Maritime Organization's (IMO) MARPOL Annex VI NOx Regulations, and the IMO Exhaust Gas Cleaning System Guidelines. The system also carries the MED wheelmark.

The Emsys system is unique in that it includes the first sensor that can measure Particulate Matter that is "outside of the stack".  This is important because it reduces the capital cost and eliminates the need to install sensitive measurement equipment in each of the monitored exhaust stacks. The integral Particulate Matter sensor has been developed to meet the requirements of the forthcoming US 'Emissions Control Area' (ECA) regulations, where Particulate Matter has been included in the regulatory language.

Royal Caribbean's Senior Vice President of Marine Operations, William S. Wright, chose Emsys because of its low maintenance and high accuracy capabilities, "It is important for RCL to demonstrate, with the highest accuracy and traceability, the emissions reduction performance of the EcoSpec emissions abatement system. As part of our on-going environmental commitment to reduce our air emissions, the Emsys system can provide the necessary data for both compliance purposes and our own internal technology evaluation criteria".

Royal Caribbean to talk about Enterprise Social Networking at LA conference


Royal Caribbean will be a featured speaker at  the Social Networking Conference and Strategic Communications Conference taking place on June 23-24, 2011 at the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills, California.

Royal Caribbean's Global Corporate Communications Manager, Cynthia Martinez, will be on hand at the conference to cover the topic of crisis management with social media.  Martinez will use the example of the earthquake in Haiti and the aftermath to discuss how Royal Caribbean leveraged their website, blog, Facebook, and Twitter to keep the media and general public informed.  

She will discuss how these social media tools helped mitigate some of the negative press Royal Caribbean received and how they helped prevent long-term damage to the cruise's brand.


Royal Caribbean tops list of hi-tech cruise innovations

03Jun2011 listed a top 10 list of the latest and greatest innovations at sea and not surprisingly, Royal Caribbean's innovations made a lot of the list.

  • Size: The largest cruise ships ever constructed are now on active routes throughout the world including Royal Caribbean International’s world record holder, Allure of the Seas, a 1187ft behemoth capable of carrying more than 6000 passengers.
  • Next-Gen Cinemas: With Hollywood’s latest blockbusters now being presented in 3D, cruise ship operators including Royal Caribbean have revamped onboard cinemas to deliver a seamless 3D experience.
  • High-tech fun: Royal Caribbean passengers can show off their surfing skills at the Flowrider, a purpose built, man-made wave on its Oasis and Freedom class vessels.
  • Onboard Shows: Licensed works of Andrew Lloyd Webber and critically acclaimed productions of Hairspray and Chicago have featured on P&O and Royal Caribbean liners.

Mobile health tech helps Royal Caribbean diagnose employees


The University of Miami Miller School of Medicine has been at the forefront of the field of telehealth solutions for many years.  They've been working on improving remote health screenings with the use of technology since the 1990s and they've been a partner with Royal Caribbean to help keep the Royal Caribbean work force healthy.

Royal Caribbean receives remote dermatology consultations from the University of Miami for consultations of its employees while they are on the cruise ships,  in both real time and with store-and-forward technology. Scott Simmons, director of telehealth for the University of Miami is excited about the possibilities,  “Dermatology is one that works really well with store-and-forward".

Royal Caribbean's ships have consumer-grade digital cameras along with encrypted software to ensure privacy and security for the patients.  To make this all work, the ships need Internet bandwidth of 384 kbps to 512 kbps to make the link between the ship and the university facility work correctly.  

With satellite internet onboard cruise ships already a costly and slow affair, Simmons thinks there's better tech coming to help, “The software-based videoconferencing systems are getting better".

Royal Caribbean embraces mobile technology to help cruises


Royal Caribbean CIO Bill Martin spoke with Network World about how Royal Caribbean uses various mobile tools to benefit customer service.

Royal Caribbean has deployed iPhones, iPads and handheld systems from Motorola and XRiver Technologies to its cruise ships as well as land based operations.  One such use is the kid tracking technology in stripped down iPhones that allow parents to track the movements of their children aboard a ship. The kids wear a Wi-Fi equipped bracelet that uses the ships' Wi-Fi access points to triangulate the position of the child.

Cruise employees use XRiver Technologies tablets to assist customers in enrolling in activities-such as the Waverider, rock climbing and zip lines-by selecting the activity a guest wants, swiping her stateroom key card and having her sign any necessary liability waivers right on the screen. The tablets replace the paper waivers required for each activity and speed up the entire process.

iPads are being used on Royal Caribbean ships for providing a wine list that suggests food pairings and shows photos and videos of the vineyards-but doesn't throw open the doors for any mobile device.

If you're an Android fan, you may be wondering why Royal Caribbean hasn't used any of that software yet and Martin says there are so many iterations of that operating system on many different devices. "We do try to simplify where we can," he says, adding that he's begun testing some Android applications.