In what may be a first aboard a cruise ship in North America, Chinese travelers can now use Alipay and WeChat Pay payment options while shopping in the boutiques aboard Ruby Princess.

Princess Cruises partnered with Blackhawk Network, a financial technology company specializing in stored value products, to make cruise gift cards available in more than 3,500 Kroger, Harris Teeter and Giant Eagle locations nationwide.

SIX Payment Services launched Saferpay an e-commerce solution for the cruise and ferry sectors.

An update on the rollout of Royal Caribbean's technology platform Excalibur shows increasing use and acceptance of the application that eases embarkation, facilitates daily planning and bookings for on-board products and services and, one day, will involve elements like facial recognition.

Carnival Cruise Line is going to transform and rename a third Destiny-class ship when Carnival Victory becomes Carnival Radiance in 2020. This $200m refit represents the final phase of what Carnival tallies as a whopping $2bn fleet enhancement—the largest and most extensive in cruising—of more than 20 vessels since 2011.

MSC Cruises partnered with Mohegan Sun, one of the world’s largest casino and resort destinations, to extend benefits of MSC Voyager’s Club—the line’s loyalty program—to Mohegan Sun Momentum members.

Celebrity Edge was designed to provide a closer connection to the ocean, and The Spa—inspired by the soothing, rejuvenating elements of nature—is a prime example. 

Shifting away from the standard art auction program, Holland America Line is working with ArtLink to give cruisers the opportunity to participate in a number of interactive art events, delve into the arts and crafts of regions visited and to purchase art.

Holland America Line is introducing a new retail experience on board featuring new products and services, including an expanded logo collection, locally cultivated items, a new Fujifilm photo space and new supplier partnerships.

Starboard Cruise Services, an LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton company, will have innovative retail concepts on some of the most exciting new cruise ships of 2018, including Carnival Horizon, Symphony of the Seas and Celebrity Edge.

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