Carnival Cruise Line has launched a free mobile app to provide guests with instant access to a range of onboard information and communicate with friends while onboard Carnival Breeze.
Available for both iPhone and Android users, the Carnival Hub app is being piloted onboard Carnival Breeze and offers a daily schedule of onboard events, a ‘favourites’ option that allows guests to see what events other passengers are participating in, information on casual dining options; and interactive deck plans. Guests can also use the app to find itinerary details, including arrival/departure times for upcoming ports of call, as well as real-time information about their current Sail & Sign shipboard account balance.
In addition, the app includes a ‘chat’ feature to allow guests to send messages to other passengers using their mobile devices for a fee of US$5 for the entire cruise.
“Consumers expect a high level of connectivity even while on vacation and these new enhancements provide our guests not only with helpful tools for getting the most out of their cruise, but also a convenient and cost-effective way for keeping in touch with their family and friends while onboard,” said Gus Antorcha, Carnival’s senior vice president of guest commerce. “We recognise the increasingly important role that technology plays in people’s daily lives and the launch of this application and new internet packages provides us with a strong platform for introducing additional innovations and ways to use technology to enhance our guest experience even further.”
Carnival is also piloting enhanced new, cheaper internet access plans for guests sailing on Carnival Freedom, Carnival Breeze and Carnival Sunshine.
Designed to significantly increase the bandwidth and speed, the internet package also includes the cruise industry’s first social media package. Guests can use the social media package to access popular sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat and Pinterest for a fee of US$5 per day or US$25 per voyage during the initial testing period.
By upgrading to a value package, guests can gain unlimited access to the internet to check e-mail, sports scores, weather updates and a wide range of other applications. Meanwhile, the premium package provides the fastest available connection speed allowing guests to access video-calling sites like Skype.
“In creating both the internet plans and the app, we spent a lot of time listening to our guests to understand their needs and develop these products accordingly,” said Gabriela Gonzalez, Carnival’s vice president of guest technology and photo. “While we trusted the plans and the app would be well received, we are stunned by how quickly and widely they have been embraced during the pilot period. We’re excited to bring these innovations to more ships over the coming months while we continue to work to make them even better.”
Carnival aims to make the mobile app and enhanced internet packages available onboard all ships within the next 18 to 24 months. The line will also add features to enable guests to purchase shore excursions, view photos taken by the ship’s professional photographers and more.