Cruisers: Is your ID watching you?

 

More and more cruise lines are giving passengers interactive IDs that allow them to use guest facilities, pay for drinks and souvenirs and more. And now it turns out that part of the more is keeping a close eye on where you are and how long you stay there.

Princess Cruises told the International Cruise Summit in Madrid that it uses its Ocean Medallion to track how passengers move through the ship, which routes they use, how long they linger and more. VP Tony Roberts says the data is used to design future ships to speed up passenger flow—or perhaps slow it down near opportunities for spending.

Roberts told the industry meeting that “There is a vast array of things you can do with the Ocean Medallion data because for the first time ever we are really understanding passenger flows and the dwell time in the same areas. So that allows us to do all sorts of things in terms of presenting them with opportunities or prompting them to do things... A lot of cruise ships have for example a design where you come out of the dining room to a stairwell and we know that we lose people into the lifts back to cabins. Understanding the flow of people will help us direct them to the entertainment spaces, the bars—this sort of information really helps with that.”

Royal Caribbean is using data for design, too, but a different sort. It's using a passenger tracking system called MFlow in its Barcelona terminal. Each passenger is photographed repeatedly, every five feet, as they move through the embarkation lines. The data is then used as part of a project to redesign terminals not only to possibly speed up boarding but also to eliminate wasted space in future terminals. After Barcelona, Fort Lauderdale is the next port slated for the system and re-design.

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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