Neural networks

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Good ideas spread throughout Royal Caribbean Cruise Ltd.’s fleet.

When Royal Caribbean International’s Quantum of the Seas debuted Dynamic Dining – letting guests eat whatever they want, whenever they want it – the positive feedback bred plans for spreading the concept to other ships in the fleet, starting with Royal Caribbean International’s Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas in 2015.

“More choices for our guests is one of the key elements of our business strategy,” says Kevin Douglas, vice president of technical projects for Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. “We must make sure that the product we deliver is as good as it can be. Ultimately, every ship has to be our best ship.”

Douglas, a member of the Royal Caribbean team for more than 10 years, has overseen about $1.7 billion in revitalization projects. While that figure might seem high, the investments are strategic and balanced. Each decision is based on the unique market segment targeted by each of the company’s cruiselines.

TUI Cruises’ German-speaking guests, for instance, are particularly interested in health and fitness choices, so the casino on board is smaller than those on other ships.

Celebrity Cruises’ guests expect a sensational dining experience.

We’re continuing to upgrade our ships across all the brands as we go forward to ensure the best possible experience for our guests, while maximizing the return on investments in all our ships.

And those on Royal Caribbean International are looking for innovations with a real “wow factor,” such as Quantum of the Seas’ North Star, a jewel-like capsule that lifts guests more than 300 feet above sea level for spectacular 360-degree views.

“We make sure that the real estate onboard is best purposed to meet the trends and demands of the market,” Douglas says.

This also means adding more capacity without building new ships. When Royal Caribbean International’s Navigator of the Seas was revitalized in January, a new deck of staterooms was added over the spa in the front of the ship. Royal Caribbean International’s Freedom of the Seas will get a similar upgrade.

“It was the right thing to do,” Douglas says. “This provides our guests fantastic cabins with great views – and will bring in more revenue for these ships.”

Last year, Royal Caribbean rolled out increased satellite-based Internet bandwidth on 30 ships across the fleet, allowing guests to be connected throughout their voyage for a reasonable price. Now, the company has invested in an even faster onboard Internet technology on Quantum of the Seas and Oasis of the Seas.

“I’ve seen so many changes in 10 years,” Douglas says, “and we’re continuing to upgrade our ships across all the brands as we go forward to ensure the best possible experience for our guests, while maximizing the return on investments in all our ships.”