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The payoff? Happy customers equipped to broadcast their happiness to the world.

Earlier this week we released our new Skift Trends Report, The Rise of the New Connected Cruise which looks at how cruise lines are rethinking on-board connectivity to deepen relationships with cruisers as well as connect with future customers. Below is a short extract. You can get the full report for in-depth analysis and context, and interviews with CIOs of Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean Cruises, and Carnival Corporation.

Screen Shot 2014-05-01 at 8.12.07 AMTo meet customer expectations and drive brand penetration, cruise lines and their third-party service providers are innovating communications and information technologies within a set of constraints that have no parallel in the land-based resort business.

They’re pushing beyond the traditional satellite-based systems that have long limited connectivity and bandwidth at sea. They’re developing mobile applications that facilitate easy communication between guests on today’s plus-size ships.

They’re deploying pattern and shape recognition technologies to measure the crowds at restaurants and other onboard venues, then beaming that information to guests via interactive signage around the ship. And they’re leveraging the phenomenal penetration of mobile devices among guests to bring new information, entertainment, and sales solutions online without the need for multi-million dollar refits of existing vessels.

For cruise lines, today’s customer-facing IT landscape is tightrope walk between satisfying guest expectations, maintaining sustainable return on investment, predicting future trends and consumer demands, and finding workarounds to one of the most challenging communications environments faced by any of the world’s industries. The payoff? Happy customers equipped to broadcast their happiness to the world.

Above is an extract, get the full picture with the new Skift Trends Report, The Rise of the New Connected Cruise.


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Tags: Travel Trends

Photo credit: Quantum of the Seas, a new Royal Caribbean ship. Royal Caribbean International / Associated Press

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