Research showing one in two MSC Cruises travellers are looking to customise their cruise experience has led the European line to design and roll out a heavily interactive technology system which will debut on its upcoming cruise ship MSC Meraviglia.
Dubbed ‘MSC for Me’, the system has been developed in collaboration with some of the world’s major technology firms including Deloitte Digital, Hewlett Packard, Samsung, Kodak, Accenture, Bell and Bosch.
Calling upon 3,050 Bluetooth Beacons covertly installed throughout the ship, MSC for Me will provide over 130 “smart features” for guests to use as they sail, both through everyday interaction with the ship’s crew as well as through their own smartphones and tablet devices. Each guest will receive, on check-in for their cruise, a bracelet which will be their primary link to the technology available onboard.
These features work to optimise a guest’s ability to plan and tailor their cruise to their own preferences, access information and services of interest and to enhance the overall experience by allowing guests to pre-book products and services they like without having to disrupt their day by physically visiting a service desk.
On each ship, MSC for Me works through 16,000 points of connectivity, 700 digital access points and 358 interactive screens, while all 2,244 staterooms and suites will be fitted with RFID/NFC technology, allowing each one to react to the bracelets worn by passengers.
Among the features available as part of the program will be:
- A digital way finding system accessible through interactive screens throughout the ship and through a guest’s smartphone or tablet. These devices will show daily entertainment guides, smart maps accurate to a margin distance of less than five metres. Parents will also be able to locate their children through their own bracelets via this feature.
- An e-concierge allowing travellers to book spa treatments, hair appointments and other services, tables at specialty restaurants, shore excursions and more.
- Speaking of shore excursions, these and destinations in general will be available to view in virtual reality.
- A personal adviser providing recommendations based on a guest’s behaviour and booking preferences. Facial recognition technology will enable staff to anticipate guests in order to greet by name as they encounter them. For more details, see this video.
The same research conducted by MSC Cruises recently found that one in six guests actively makes an effort to customise their cruise holiday once they’re onboard and that nearly three quarters of travellers said they were interested in sailing on a more connected vessel.
MSC for Me will next be installed as part of the finishing touches on MSC Seaside, which will make its debut in November this year, followed by MSC Seaview and MSC Bellissima in June 2018 and March 2019 respectively. Elements of the program will then gradually be rolled out to the line’s existing fleet of 12 ships operating primarily in the Northern Hemisphere.