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.

Royal Caribbean Spanish app reaches 18,000 downloads


Earlier this week Royal Caribbean launched an iPhone app for Spanish and Portuguese languages and in just 3 days, the app has been downloaded 18,000 times from the iTunes store.

The software allows for checking out Royal Caribbean's ships, destinations and itineraries available, and present prices in the currency of the country. Through one of the tools we can track in real time what happens inside the two largest ships in the world - Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas - which come with a camera installed on board.

Royal Caribbean is also planning now to add a version of the app for the Android operating system. 

Soon Royal Caribbean shall make an application version for the Android operating system.  You can download the Royal Caribbean iPhone apps on the iTunes music store.

Royal Caribbean releases new iPhone app in Spanish


Royal Caribbean International has released today its new iPhone application in Spanish, a free download that allows users to manage and view any information about the company's cruises.

Director of communications for Royal Caribbean in Spain, Marc Pedrol, noted that the application is a new active channel with which to maintain contact with the cruisers.

"We've always made innovation one of our core values ​​and this tool allows us to take a step further in this direction. We want to be close to our customers and we can see from how many more channels the better," he said.

The search for cruise is one of the strengths of this application that the user can obtain information on the available outputs and real-time price of all the routes chosen by the cabin for travel.

Also possible to other information on Royal Caribbean International as news, promotions, ports of call, complete descriptions of ships and cabins and all the entertainment and dining options on board.

Among the most intriguing sections of the application is a WebCam, you can see live the life of the ships 'Oasis of the Seas' and the 'Allure of the Seas'.

Underwater lifts on Allure and Oasis of the Seas made possible by Handling Specialty


The brand new Oasis and Allure of the Seas cruise ships can thank Handling Specialty for creating the three huge underwater lifts, two tilting diving boards and one rotating trampoline for Royal Caribbean's newest ships.

These innovations are what make the AquaTheater shows possible.  These systems, manufactured in Canada were shipped to Turku, Finland, where they were installed over the course of about 18 months to create the AquaTheater stage area for the largest and deepest freshwater pools at sea.

"This is very high profile and very exciting," said Handling Specialty president Tom Beach, adding the devices have already been featured in a couple of documentaries, including a Discovery Channel show, The Mighty Ships.

Northrop Grumman provides Allure of the Seas' navigational systems


Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas is the largest cruise ship in the world and the technology behind what makes this ship get from port to port is provided by aeronautics giant Northrop Grumman.  Northrop Grumman’s Sperry Marine business unit supplies the navigation, communication and safety systems for Allure.

Allure of the Seas'  integrated bridge system was custom built, with its base technology by Sperry Marine’s VisionMaster FT and then added proprietary otalWatch multi-function workstations using extra-largeWideView high-resolution screens. Each of the TotalWatch stations can be individually configured to show conning information, the ship's radars or electronic chart systems.  It can also show closed-circuit TV images.

Allure of the Seas primary navigation consoles have been configured in a U-shaped layout to provide easy control and access for all control and navigation functionality.  In addition, all the functions are incorporated into the control stations on both bridge wings.  The Sperry Marine IBS also includes a separate wireless computer node that permits the master to view the ship’s navigation status in his or her cabin or on the bridge. In accordance with Royal Caribbean’s rigorous safety requirements, the IBS has been designed with redundant network architecture, providing built-in duplication for all critical components.

Northrop Grumman Sperry Marine also supplied the operator equipment and consoles for the separate Safety Command Centre, which is located directly behind the main navigation bridge. A “first” for cruise ships, the dedicated facility serves as the nerve centre for all of the ship’s critical safety systems. The four super-wide displays provide enhanced situational awareness over the entire ship. Royal Caribbean officers observed that removing these non-navigation functions from the wheelhouse enhances navigation safety by reducing distractions for the ship’s conning officers and bridge crew. 

Allure of the Seas powered by engines from Wartsila


Allure of the Seas is primed to make her maiden voyage later this month and the Wärtsilä engines that are installed in Allure of the Seas, are what power Royal Caribbean's newest ship.  In addition, the Wärtsilä engines have common-rail systems, which provide lower fuel consumption and reduced emissions, giving smokeless operation at various engine loads.

The brand new largest cruise ship in the world sports six Wärtsilä 46 engines, including three 12-cylinder and three 16-cylinder Wärtsilä 46 engines in V-configuration, and Wärtsilä 7500-horsepower bow thrusters with a combined power output of some 20 MW that make the vessel easy to maneuver.

Royal Caribbean and Wärtsilä have a history of cooperation going back 40 years and the last ship in Royal Caribbean's line to feature the enginers is Allure of the Seas' sister ship, Oasis of the Seas.

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.