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Digital transformation in cruise: Data and the customer journey

by Asa Sargeant | November 20, 2019 | General News & Events | 0 Comments

Once upon a time, the cruise and travel industry enjoyed huge success through ‘in-person’ exchanges but nowadays the playing field is a completely different one...

Cast your mind back to the last time not having enough cash in your wallet or purse was an issue. Not an issue in the sense that you simply had to retrieve a card of some sort, or switch on an app on your mobile phone, but rather an issue where you either had to go and find a cash machine, or – heaven forbid – you actually had to go to the bank.

It surely does still happen from time to time in 2019 but we’ll wager that this type of scenario is very much a thing of the past, much like cassette decks and multi-stack hi-fi systems (which were once very trendy indeed).
Or how about the last time you booked a holiday and needed to print off reams and reams of paper just so that you didn’t miss out on any meetings or transfers? True, many people still do this and yes, cruise companies do still send out beautifully-produced binder itineraries but now that most information is available in electronic format, printing is more of an option than a requirement. This new format is also vastly more agile, thus allowing communications to be specifically targeted to the individual ‘on-the-fly’ and with the minimum of fuss – how very ‘2019’.

As part of theICEway ecosystem, a complete end-to-end IT solution, we at ICE Technology Services have worked alongside a number of cruise lines for over 20 years and have noticed the developments and trends that have gradually come to re-define the customer journey in the cruise industry. The simple fact of the matter is that people today are now so accustomed to having a wealth of options at their fingertips that the fewer options on offer, the less likely they are to be completely satisfied.

The truly savvy players in the cruise industry recognised this trend and turned to data insights to delve into the details behind it, unearthing a wealth of potential opportunities to meet and exceed customer expectations. They know exactly how useful it is to be able to use data as a way of enhancing the overall customer experience, as we touched upon above, and here are a couple of interesting examples in line with that:

• P&O’s mobile app

After testing their mobile app last year, P&O found to their dismay that users were experiencing delays of up to 30 minutes during checkout. To rectify this, they selected and implemented a testing and optimisation tool which used data insights to reduce the amount of steps in the booking process. Going further, they also used KPI's to measure the tools impact upon the customer experience, which helped them in their understanding and led to greater wins for all.

• Fred Olsen Cruise Line and the entire customer journey

At next week’s International Cruise Summit in Madrid, theICEway’s co-founder and CEO, Ian Richardson, will be moderating a session entitled “Data – The New Gold”; during the session, those in attendance will see presentations from a number of cruise experts on the fantastic advances being made in the cruise industry, plus there will be an interactive element. As a taster for this, Fred Olsen will outline the improvements they have made to their overall customer experience by using data insights at the ‘pre-board’, ‘on-board’ and ‘at-home’ stages...

(Interestingly they are using good, old-fashioned Excel spreadsheets for this, not a multi-million pound solution; hearing more about that has got to be worth the price of admission alone?!)

We have touched upon digital transformation in the cruise industry before and will no doubt do so again in the future, simply because it is gaining momentum with every new ship-build and actually is the future. As IT specialists in the cruise industry, these are our two favourite subjects and we are therefore extremely proud to embrace this development – long may it continue!


For anyone above the age of 25:-

Cassette decks and multi-stack hi-fi systems – Musical systems popular in the 80’s & early-mid 90’s.

For anyone 25 years or under:-

Cassette decks and multi-stack hi-fi systems – Think of when you add songs to your phone or to your favourites on Spotify; the phone essentially becomes a cassette deck for the song (“the cassette”). Then think of 4 phones stacked one on top of the other, all playing music but from a different source; perhaps Spotify, Play Music, Samsung Music and YouTube. That is essentially a multi-stack hi-fi system.

Top Tip

For insights and advice on technology in cruise, contact our experienced professionals today.

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