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Stay tuned for Royal Caribbean tech reveal this week

Richard Fain - At 'Sea Beyond' events this week, RCL will demonstrate 'how advanced and how broadly based our use of technology has become' Richard Fain - At 'Sea Beyond' events this week, RCL will demonstrate 'how advanced and how broadly based our use of technology has become'

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. plans to show 'how pervasively we're using technology in everything we do,' in the words of chairman and CEO Richard Fain, at a reveal later this week.

During a series of 'Sea Beyond' events—for the financial community, trade partners and media—the company will show 'how advanced and how broadly based our use of technology has become,' Fain said.

As a teaser, the company mailed a preview packet that features Fain giving a personalized welcome on a mini-screen.

Events are taking place mid-week at the Duggal Greenhouse in Brooklyn. Watch this space for a report on Thursday.

'We feel that RCL’s vision for cruising will focus on technology to further enhance the customer experience, and company data analytics,' Wells Fargo analyst Tim Conder said in a research note that pointed out the company has been developing a next-generation application that also will harness its significantly enhanced fleetwide Wi-Fi backbone infrastructure.

More than two years ago Royal Caribbean debuted its wearable technology, WOWbands, which could be used in place of a SeaPass card for passengers to open cabin doors and make purchases on board.

Early this year Fain disclosed the company was working on a new application, internally called 'Excalibur.' Last March at its first Celebrity Edge reveal timed to the opening of Seatrade Cruise Global, Royal Caribbean officials gave a taste of the technology advances at its Innovation Lab in Miami.

The new mobile app offers a host of functionality such as the ability to breeze through embarkation—thanks, in part, to facial recognition tied to a pre-loaded security photo, the possibility to plan and schedule activities, order drinks delivered where desired, and to make restaurant and excursion reservations and more via a virtual concierge.

At the time Fain said 15% to 20% of the total RCL fleet, including Royal Caribbean International and Azamara Club Cruises brands, will have at least parts of this functionality this year.

This week's 'Sea Beyond' reveal is also expected to showcase some Celebrity Edge features along with more immersive shore excursion offerings.

But first, RCL is scheduled to report third quarter financial results on Tuesday.

Carnival Corp. & plc had been planning to preview its own technology-pervasive Ocean Medallion cruising to media next week aboard Regal Princess, but recently decided to delay that cruise until sometime in early 2018. The new strategy sees a phased implementation of Ocean Medallion, with features to be made available to a select number of passengers on each cruise for the next few months.

 

Posted 06 November 2017

© Copyright 2017 Seatrade UBM (UK) Ltd. Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Seatrade UBM (UK) Ltd.

Anne Kalosh

US editor of Seatrade Cruise Review and Seatrade Cruise News

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