Although Richard Fain is keeping everyone up to date in his Chairman’s Blog on Oasis of the Seas, the amazing features of this ship cannot be contained in just one blog. So I have asked Lisa Bauer to write about several innovative uses of technology that will bolster the guest experience on Oasis of the Seas, Allure of the Seas and (over time) elsewhere in our fleet.
Oasis of the Seas ended up the size she did because of the variety of guest amenities we wanted to include on our newest, most innovative ship. Similarly, the number of new technological enhancements on Oasis has also been driven by our desire to substantially enhance the guest experience. We never want to use technology simply because it’s cool or new, but rather because it somehow makes the guest experience better in a transformational way. I would like to share just a few examples of new technologies we have onboard this remarkable ship and what they will do for our guests on Oasis:
1. Two new advanced reservation options
First, guests will be able to customize their Oasis experience by utilizing our entertainment reservations system prior to sailing. We call this “show tickets.” Guests can pre book shows (including Hairspray) and each guest’s Seapass card will act as their reservation and will be swiped at entry at showtime. For those that don’t pre book their shows, we will also have a Box Office onboard for reservations as well. We recently piloted show tickets on Liberty of the Seas and it was very well received by our guests.
Second, starting September 20th, guests will be able to pre purchase spa treatments. There are several new spa offerings, including a 24 Kara Gold Facial, a dedicated Brow area in the Salon and a Thai Yoga Massage. As a reminder, we also just recently launched the ability to also make reservations for the fabulous array of specialty dining restaurants on Oasis.
2. One simple waiver either in advance or when the cruise starts
Another pre-cruise enhancement is the ability to complete one universal waiver, where guests can sign for Flowrider, rockwall, ice skating, and zipline. Everything can be done in advance, and when arriving at the activity, the sea pass card will simply be swiped and no more papers and signing at every activity :) In the event a guest doesn’t complete the waiver pre-cruise, we will now have electronic waivers, so you only have to sign once as well onboard. This will be a major time and paperwork savings for our guests and crew.
In a previous blog entry, we already shared the exciting news about electronic mustering (not to mention the elimination of the requirement to wear life jackets to the mustering!). The key message for enjoying the benefits of electronic mustering, the universal waiver and show tickets is to have your seapass with you and easily accessible at all times. This will ensure a speedy experience.
3. Digital signage comes to life
Our digital signage around the ship will be amazing. A good number of the 377 electronic signs are interactive and will assist you with navigating around the ship with unique state of the art way-finding graphics. [Adam’s note: in 10 years I do not remember any complaints from guests on a Voyager- or Freedom-class ship about having difficulty finding their way around. This is probably due to the remarkable manner in which the Royal Promenade organizes the ships for our guests. We are confident guests will find Oasis equally intuitive]. You may also view various dining options menus, videos about the treatments in the spa, show times for the various theatres, or even see each dining area and how the seating currently is at a particular venue. Unfortunately the way we will know the current seating count is classified information that I cannot reveal!
4. High Def comes to your stateroom
Our new in stateroom television system will be in high definition with a lot of new bells and whistles. This would include everything from the ability to make specialty dining reservations, view your seapass account, order a movie, pre reserve your show tickets and much more.
5. Another Wow, literally
Oasis will also be the first ship to have our new WowPhone, a handheld WiFi device that will enable telephone calling between devices and the shipboard telephone system, text messaging between devices and real-time ability to locate a member of your party. In addition, guests will also be able to view their weekly calendar and the Why Not Today (our daily program formerly known as the Cruise Compass). These devices will be available for a charge that will be determined and communicated shortly.
6. The situation is in hand
We will also be introducing hand held technology in several areas to expedite our service. Examples would include everything from the photo gallery to the pool bars. For example, by using the hand held technology at the pool, the bar servers can take an order and enter it electronically, and by the time they get to the bar, the drink will be ready and the bar server can then ensure the guests are served more quickly than our current process. This hand held technology will also be seen in several of the retail areas.
Ensuring our ships are well maintained is a hallmark of our brand, and Oasis will be the first ship to have remote hand held capabilities for our facilities team. As soon as a guest or crew member reports a maintenance issue, we will be able to electronically send the issue to the closest team member, rather than having to go through a central area and then dispatch our facilities team. This will ensure we are able to quickly address any issues.
7. Pooling our resources
Finally, perhaps the most expensive and innovative technology onboard will encompass the lifts and fountains we will have in the Aquatheatre pool. The multi million dollar ensemble will allow the floor in the Aquatheatre pool to go to a depth of 17 feet, or rise to a flat surface the divers can walk on. In addition, we will have programmed fountains set to customized music, and the skill to operate both of these new technologies is quite complex and adds yet a new skill set to our onboard team. The entertainment in the Aquatheater will be an amazing compliment to the entertainment you already expect from us in the main theater and Studio B.
Adam’s note: Please excuse the length of this entry. We thought about dividing this information into parts and releasing it slowly, but we couldn’t restrain ourselves. Thank you Lisa.