Improving the guest experience with hotel operations

Hotel operations teams set impeccable standards across every onboard public area. Richard Humphreys asks some of the key players from the supplier community about the products and services that enable onboard teams to improve the guest experience

Improving the guest experience with hotel operations
Suppliers work with hotel operations teams to set high standards across public areas

Daniel Lockyer, Head of Interiors, and Darren Smith, Head of Business Development at The SMS Group:

”During the pause in cruise operations, we conducted a review of the company’s supply chain with regards to the gold standard of sustainability, carbon neutrality, and antimicrobial materials and lighting. 

Taking the lead from the end user – the paying passenger – it became apparent that cruise operators are facing an increasing number of queries about their green credentials. Social and environmental responsibility is definitely becoming important to the average consumer. 

Our entire supply chain now replicates the best-in-class carbon-neutral credentials and antimicrobial materials. We’re comfortably ahead of the game, we’ve considered the owners’ challenging budgets, and we look forward to passing our innovations and endeavours to the hotel operation teams within our core customer base as economically as possible.” 

Alex Orban, Global Business Development Manager at Intercard:

“Cashless technology is transforming the cruise industry. Intercard, a pioneer in the field with over 30 years of innovation experience, has always been at the forefront of the cashless evolution. We have brought our proven, cashless technology onboard digitally connected cruise and ro-pax vessels, allowing passengers to spend more time enjoying the onboard experiences and less time paying for them. 

Intercard’s cashless technology lets guests use one card for all ancillary services including arcades, laundry service, attractions and dining. Our systems integrate with leading management systems, and we have developed integrations for Carnival Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean International, MSC Cruises and Costa Cruises. Recently, we have also integrated with cruise line property management system provider OTALIO for the launch of MSC Virtuosa. Our system can control multiple global sites from a central office or allow for offline operations.” 

Mike Kosla, Vice President of Hospitality at LG Business Solutions USA:

“LG Business Solutions USA has introduced a line of smart TVs specifically designed for cruise staterooms and crew cabins, delivering a superb viewing experience with customisable hospitality and entertainment interfaces for cruise ship operators. 

As operators begin to welcome back their valued guests, our Cruise TVs will allow them to deliver a catered, carefree digital environment where guests can easily navigate digital video programming and ship-related information. Our Cruise TV line will benefit both cruise operators and passengers with increased functionality, simplified operation and a thoroughly enhanced guest experience, just in time for a return to the seas.” 

Paul Pringle, Managing Director at Solarglide:

“Passenger and crew safety is paramount at Solarglide and is ingrained into the design of our window coverings and products. For example, the recently redesigned Solarglide Privacy blinds not only use International Maritime Organization approved fire-retardant fabrics, but also the Carnival fabric range can be easily wiped clean and is treated with Ultra Fresh to protect against the growth of bacteria and fungi. The fabric surface is coated with an anti-allergen treatment, which means a deployed blind can denature up to 50 per cent of grass and weed pollen that enters the ship when in port. Carnival fabric is also Covid-safe because it eliminates 99 per cent of coronavirus particles from the fabric’s surface in just one hour, thus helping to prevent the spread of the virus onboard ferries and cruise ships.” 

Garry Annett, CEO of MJM Marine:

“Interior outfitter MJM Marine has partnered with Vyv, a producer of clean light technology, to offer a range of antimicrobial light solutions designed to continuously clean the environment in which they are installed. MJM has secured its first marine industry contracts and will be installing these solutions during the upcoming refurbishment of public restrooms onboard a number of well-known cruise ships. The Vyv lighting control systems will help to offer guests and crew a sense of safety and security at a time when people are demanding higher environmental wellness standards as the cruise industry begins to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic and adapt to a new way of operating. 

We see this as the beginning of an extensive roll-out across the industry and a way of helping cruise operators to return to service safely again.” 

Terry McGillicuddy, Director at Richmond International:

“At Richmond International, we have been dedicated to designing five-star luxury for hospitality projects for over 55 years, and we are accustomed to adapting our designs to meet the needs of both the client and their customers. 

“The sophisticated and elegant interiors we created on P&O Cruises’ newest ship Iona follow the cruise line’s design vision, which was to make Iona ‘the star of the sea’. Richmond International was tasked with creating an environment that brings the outside in, as well as spaces where guests can relax in comfort and where they are delighted every time they visit. 

It was a pleasure to work with P&O Cruises again on this fantastic new project following the success of our work on Britannia. With Iona we have created an elevated guest experience through meaningful design touches that create a sense of luxury and sophistication.” 

Robert Walton, Managing Director at Sileather UK:

“As we become increasingly aware of the need to be more sustainable and to look after our well-being, ship operators are focusing more attention on the construction of materials and their potential effects on the environment and personal health. 

Sileather is a pioneer in performance upholstery fabrics with the surface made of 100 per cent silicone and is inherently flame retardant, stain resistant, soft to touch, and free from plasticisers, formaldehydes and other potentially harmful chemicals. Sileather has ultra-low volatile organic compounds emissions enabling it to be Indoor Advantage Gold certified, the highest level of indoor air quality performance for furniture. 

We’re redefining high performance fabrics through the best combination of leather texture and the superior advantages of silicone. 

Jessica Efford, Senior Hygiene Specialist at Waterless Limited:

“Nilaqua is the ultimate all-in-one surface and hand sanitising solution available with various fragrances, or as a fragrance-free option. Used daily in the UK’s NHS since 2016, Nilaqua is the only solution in the world with real-life testing and proven six-hour protection, making it ideal for vastly reducing cross infection on cruise ships. 

Not only does Nilaqua’s multi-surface range have a huge germ-killing capacity across a range of viruses, spores, fungi and bacteria – including clostridium difficile, norovirus, HIV, Ebola and coronavirus – but it is also suitable for food preparation areas, bars, toilets, restaurants, check-in areas and a range of surfaces due to it being non-tainting. Better yet, there are no travel restrictions or storage issues. 

Nilaqua has also undergone specific skin-safe testing to ensure it is suitable for young passengers and it is both vegan friendly and halal compliant. It is made in the UK with 100 per cent renewable energy and recycled plastic.” 

Daniel Aris, Chairman and Senior Partner at Tower Supplies:

“We have supplied a number of innovative products for the return to service and making cruising more sustainable. We work with Carnival UK, MSC Cruises, Royal Caribbean International and Saga Cruises across the hotel operations space. The biggest impact in this area for us has been equipping ships in Carnival UK’s P&O Cruises and Cunard fleets with our generating machines, which produce their own disinfectant cleaning solution using only salt, water and electricity. 

The Helm Pure C generation units enable the production of a highly effective disinfectant and cleaner that delivers a 99.999 per cent kill rate for norovirus, coronavirus and more, while being safe to the user, the environment and the ship. It can be used safely on all hard surfaces as well as soft furnishings and is being used in Scandinavia as a laundry detergent due to its effectiveness.” 

Erik Schobesberger, Vice President of Modernisation and Newbuild Support at Almaco Group:

“As the cruise industry is gearing up for a full restart, it is more important than ever to ensure that the onboard product is safe, inclusive, and appealing to all, including people with disabilities. While the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed over 30 years ago, challenges related to accessibility remain, especially since the scope of ADA is not limited to facility accessibility, but also mandates equal access to hospitality services such as bars and entertainment. 

With our experience in both accommodation and catering areas and our long-standing commitment to equality in accessibility, Almaco is the ideal partner for any cruise or ferry operator for both modernisation and newbuild projects where accessibility is important. Almaco can provide customised solutions for areas such as cabins, corridors, bars and other food and beverage facilities. With almost 30 million disabled travellers in the USA alone, a policy of leaving no one behind is not just a legal and moral obligation, but also good customer care.” 

Sebastian Pilups, Sales and Operations Manager at Ipinium:

“Ipinium is well-known for providing food-thawing solutions to the marine segment. Our thawing cabinet TINA is most frequently used on cruise ships, but we have other products that are being used daily in all kinds of kitchens worldwide, such as our oven pans. 

If a shipowner aims to reduce costs, raise the quality of food, use less space, save time and be more environmentally sustainable in a galley onboard its vessels, it may look to ‘vertical cooking’ as a replacement for the traditional frying table, which demands a lot of time, creates environmental problems and uses a lot of unnecessary energy. With Ipinium oven pans they will get the most out of their kitchen and their oven.” 

Lyane Lind, Head of Research and Development at SleepAngel:

“Reducing the risks of contamination in guest cabins is a challenge for cruise operators, especially during the pandemic. However, the risk to health and well-being posed by contaminated or dirty bedding, pillows, mattresses and duvets, is unknown to many. 

PneumaPure filtered SleepAngel bedding is the key to clean, intimate bed environments and an easy way to improve safety for guests and staff. 

SleepAngel is the hygiene leader and clinically proven to block viruses, allergens, bacteria and humidity – it not only is a barrier to the ingress of microorganisms and is waterproof, but it is also ventilated through mechanical a nano-porous filter to secure user comfort. SleepAngel bedding helps to save time, money and environment as it does not require laundry services (wipe clean) and keeps its shape and as-new look and feel for a longer period of time. 

This article was first published in the Autumn/Winter issue of Cruise & Ferry Review. All information was correct at the time of printing, but may since have changed. 

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Richard Humphreys
By Richard Humphreys
18 January 2022

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