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Time zone confusion at sea (and a solution)

by Asa Sargeant | August 24, 2022 | Cruise & Maritime, Products & Services | 0 Comments

If ship time, on board computer time and ships’ time zones are your responsibility then you have to read this. If these are not your responsibility, send this to the person who is responsible and they will be your friend forever. Time zone confusion at sea is sure to be a thing of the past.

The cruise industry is one we have worked in for many years. Challenges in the sector are rife across the board. There are still many left to be tackled which emerged as a result of the pandemic. As IT specialists, we are constantly seeking ways to augment the overall cruise experience. One particularly long-standing problem we identified was time zone confusion at sea. Perhaps that does not sound like a major issue but you may be surprised…

38 Million Time-Related Problems At Sea

You read that correctly. At this moment in time, there are 38,000,000 time zone device changes required at sea. There are close to 80 thousand time zone changes and over 200 cruise ships which must action these changes. With more than 2,000 devices on board each ship and time zone changes occurring every 0.8 days at sea… well, you see the problem. Or did you think these changes were all automated? Not by anybody except for theICEway and our tzChromar clients but we’ll get around to that.

What Is The Big Issue?

Imagine being in a situation where you have multiple times; the ship says one thing, your own device may say another. As a cruise guest, when do you go for dinner? When do you get ready to go on an excursion?

As a worker on board, when do you open a shop or restaurant? When do crew members start and end a shift? For the cruise experience as a whole, there is arguably nothing worse than having confusion on a vessel.

For the majority of cruise lines, times are changed manually. Those in charge must be ready to action literally thousands of time changes. As you can imagine, it is quite an effort. Then when you consider the propensity for human error, it becomes a potential minefield.

This is where our tzChromar IT solution for cruise steps in.

TzChromar In Action

Currently, the solution is deployed on 9 major cruise ships with a plan to roll out more in the months ahead. To ensure optimum performance, we have worked closely with IT heavyweights including:

- Samsung
- Otalio
- Oracle
- GetSlash

These have helped us to achieve seamless integration. The key benefits of the solution are numerous, with a small selection as follows:

- Cruise lines can see the physical position of all ships on a global map
- tzChromar advises of the near-to-ship time zones based on AIS
- All devices are updated automatically
- The solution offers detailed reports on device status
- Daylight saving time changes are also seamless, with full scheduled control of the on-board ship’s time
- If required, this can be fed into cruise line guest APPs

We are delighted that large and small cruise lines have chosen to deploy tzChromar at the time of writing. Feedback has been positive thus far:

“We see a financial and time return on investment with tzChromar allowing on-board IT staff to manage time zone changes quickly and easily on both crew devices and customer facing Apps.”

“Before tzChromar, they had many issues with transaction and SSL encryption. Authentication errors with Active Directory due to incorrect time offsets have been eradicated.”

Time zone confusion at sea is rapidly becoming a thing of the past and we’ll continue to work hard to this end. If you see an opportunity here then we’d love to hear from you.

Read more about tzChromar.

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