Royal Caribbean Cruises has unveiled a new app to remove the frustration out of cruising.
Available on all 48 ships in RCL brands by the end of 2019, it will enable guests to skip embarkation lines with streamlined boarding using facial recognition.
Guests are able to book shore excursions, restaurant reservations and order drinks directly from the app.
“We are harnessing a range of technologies to enhance every facet of our business, every minute of our guests’ vacations, and on every inch of the ships we build,” said Richard D. Fain, chairman and CEO.
“Consumers are buying experiences now, not things. we are creating ways for them to design vacations rich in made-to-order, memory-making moments, and even providing recommendations based on what they have enjoyed before or shared with us about their preferences. Our strategy is to constantly upgrade the guest experience across the fleets of all our brands.”
The app will be able to power VR and AR experiences such as turning stateroom ceilings into a starry night sky, said Jay Schneider, RCL’s senior vice president, digital.
“Our vision is to make the guest experience hassle-free, personalized and fun,” said Schneider.
Various technologies will be used shipboard to improve the guest experience including facial recognition, RFID tagging GPS wayfinding and Bluetooth-enabled beacons.
It is already available on some ships.
“Our aim is to have the app enabled on about 15% of our fleet by the end of this year, and more than double that by the end of 2018,” said Schneider.
There will also be tech-forward tools aimed at ship management and improving energy efficiency.
The company is planning greater adoption of fuel cells to reduce ships’ environmental footprint, with the aim of extensive use of fuel cells and liquefied natural gas (LNG) propulsion on its future Icon class ships.