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How to make cruise ship time zone changes easier to manage

by Asa Sargeant | April 7, 2021 | General News & Events, Cruise & Maritime | 0 Comments

According to our good friends at CLIA, time zone changes are required every 0.8 days at sea. As cruise ships pass through the different zones, their systems must be changed regularly to align with that in which the ship is currently sailing. As things stand, there are two completely manual ways to make these changes. So as innovators, the question of how to make cruise ship time zone changes easier to manage is one theICEway has long contemplated…

The aforementioned time zone changes number just shy of 78,000. These are experienced by over 200 ships with up to 2,000 devices on board. Add these numbers together and you end up with a lot of work for those responsible for making the changes.

A Logistical, Manual Headache

One way to complete the changes is to amend the ship’s master clock. This communicates current time zone settings. When changed, all shipboard systems are updated across all applications. The other way is for a system administrator to set the ship’s time zone in PMS and POS applications.

This may sound simple enough but in reality it is anything but. Errors can be made and often are, leading to general confusion, breakdowns in transactional activities and more. Worse still, the experience for both crew and guests can suffer.

There are measures that can be taken to mitigate the risk. All checks can be closed before the time zone is changed. A daily change during a slow period of operations can also help to reduce issues. However, confusion over time zones is not seen as a long-standing issue in the cruise industry without good reason.

Time Zone Issues At Sea

For crew:

• The time spent keeping ship times as accurate as possible is huge, with laborious daily maintenance processes in place
• One cruise industry insider revealed that accounting issues alone require up to 2 full days to resolve each week
• Transaction encryption, due to a lack of synchronisation between domain controllers and clients, leading to broken SSL connections
• Incorrect mobile device times lead to transactions being posted at the wrong time, a huge source of guest complaints
• These complaints must then be dealt with

For guests:

• Missing excursions due to an incorrect ship time
• Confusion over when shops and restaurants on board are open
• Being locked out of their cabins
As mentioned in previous blogs, there are literally millions of Google searches made each day about cruise ship time errors. Which, for those on the ‘inside’, begs another question: How to make cruise ship time zone changes easier to manage?

TzChromar, Powered By TheICEway

Created with a security by design ethos and tested by software testing experts, this IT solution for cruise is set to change the industry. The experts at ICE have spent over 20 years working with IT teams from the sector. We know the challenges faced and our collaborations have yielded a great many answers – answers that have helped us to create solutions.

We know that cruise ship device time management is critical to the smooth running of onboard and landside operations. Incorrect times on devices leads to technical, transactional and financial issues. They add to the strain on both crew and guests, ultimately affecting the on board experience for all. We therefore set out to find a way of resolving this, coming up with tzChromar.

This cloud or on board solution for ship and fleet-wide device time management ensures that all devices are set to the correct ship time.

How Does It Work?

• Simply login to view your ship’s dashboard and select the ship you want to manage
• We plot the ship’s position and give you a choice of relevant time zones
• You select a time zone and either make the change now or set it to a scheduled time – the registered devices are then synchronised

To find out more, contact us or visit our tzChromar page.

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