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Carnival Turns To Tech To Turn The Tide



Carnival Cruise Lines has always been known as “the fun ship”. Now it looks like the company is changing that to “the smart ship”. Carnival, the largest cruise operator in the world just unveiled a digital concierge program that will turn ships into connected, floating hotels which will anticipate passenger needs like never before. How can tech transform a cruise? What can we expect from the cruise line moving forward?

Carnival Cruise Lines Turns To Tech To Become A “Smart Ship”

Just 6 months ago, Carnival plc was at a 52-week low of $40.52. Now, the company is back to previous highs as it turns to tech to transform passengers’ experiences on their ships. Carnival has unveiled “Ocean Medallions”, a 1.8-oz wireless sensor which will connect to thousands of onboard sensors around the ship, allowing crew members to service passenger needs faster than ever before.

The concept isn’t a new one. Disney parks has done it for years, using tech to allow guests to move around the parks and hotels with ease, charging amenities to guest accounts. And Carnival competitor Royal Caribbean uses key cards which allow passengers to charge services to their account, as well. But Carnival plans on blowing by the simple act of paying wirelessly for things.

But Carnival’s tech is a bit different.

It uses a series of sensors positioned throughout your ship that are able to locate you based on where your medallion is located. The medallion can recognize when a guest is walking to their suite and automatically turn on the lights and air conditioner or heater before the passenger even arrives at the door. The medallion then acts as a room key, minimizing what a passenger has to carry.

The tech ties right into a smartphone app, allowing guests to order drinks and anything else they want through the app. The medallion then automatically gives your exact location to the crew so your drink comes directly to you.

But the real brilliance of the digital concierge program is that it is designed to anticipate needs beforehand. The ocean medallions will store preferences which guests can program ahead of time on Carnival’s website. Then the app suggests different, personalized recommendations for passengers to utilize while cruising, including dining and entertainment – which guests can reserve from their app.

And to make a big ship smaller, the medallion acts as a navigation tool, linking to either the app or onboard computers spread throughout the ship for passengers to find themselves and their destinations. Equally intriguing is that the app also allows for messaging other passengers. That makes it easy to keep in touch with a group or to meet new friends. The app even allows for a passenger to give one time access to their room to another guest digitally.

Here's a look at their latest ship, Carnival Vista, by Cruise Ships Info:

The technology, which was unveiled Thursday at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, has the potential to influence other vacation markets and even other industries. As such, it’s no surprise Carnival PLC (CUk) shares are UP on the news. Expect shares to continue to rise, especially as the technology is installed in April, and goes into effect later this year.

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