Imagine sitting down at dinner and a waiter already knowing what bottle of wine you like based on past choices. Or ordering a drink on your smartphone and having it waiting at the table when you sit down to watch a show. More and more cruise ships are moving in this direction with the help of technology. Select ships on Royal Caribbean, Carnival Cruise Line, Princess Cruises and Disney are now offering passengers bracelets or medallions that serve multiple purposes, all aimed to make your cruise experience more enjoyable and hassle-free. Rather than using a cruise card, that has in the past served as your room key and on-board spending account, this snazzy little accessory would replace the plastic card of the past.
Each technology works a little differently depending on the cruise line and the ship, but each version offers some pretty cool options. The most obvious feature is the ability to unlock a stateroom without digging around for your cruise card. Passengers will be able to pay for merchandise and excursions with their bracelet. They can get information on how to navigate the ship’s amenities by interacting with digital displays on the walls. On select ships, guests can make reservations at the spa or specialty dining restaurant, view photographs, learn about the destinations they will visit and more. And of course it will alleviate the confusing and sometimes stressful check-in process for a cruise. The bracelet contains a person’s sailing information, so passengers will not need to switch back and forth between printed bar codes and key cards to check in, embark, disembark or buy something on-board.
“Where technology like this is wonderful is when you are hanging out at the pool or on the beach and getting to your card is difficult, but you can now go around the ship or out onto a private island and just charge away,” explains John Mast, VP of marketing at Expedia CruiseShipCenters.
We expect more cruise lines and ships will be offering technology like this, so keep an eye out and prepare to enter the next stage of cruising into the future!