Tourism & Cruises

MSC’s smart wristbands and new technology coming to the line’s Miami cruise ships

Smart bracelets are part of the new technological development three years in the making by Geneva-based cruise line MSC.
Smart bracelets are part of the new technological development three years in the making by Geneva-based cruise line MSC. MSC

Continuing a technology trend rippling through the cruise industry, Geneva-based MSC, which has a ship that sails from Miami, last week announced new smart bands built to enhance the cruising experience.

The line’s new MSC for Me encompasses 130 different technological functions, the result of a three-year project in collaboration with brands including Deloitte Digital, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Samsung, MSC announced at a news conference in Berlin. The smart watch, which is similar to Royal Caribbean Cruises’ WOW band, has geo-location (parents can see where there kids are at all times, for instance) and is attached to an app available for passengers on mobile devices, stateroom TVs and interactive screens around the ship.

Crew can also access passenger profiles on their own tablets, allowing them to offer personalized suggestion. Facial recognition in the app will also help crew identify passengers.

For travelers, the technology will feature way-finding navigation — think Google Maps, — facilitate purchases, including requesting services from staff and booking excursions, serve as a daily activity organizer, and offer suggestions based on guest preferences.

114 Interactive screens on MSC’s upcoming ships that will feature the line’s new technology

The technology will debut in June on the MSC Meraviglia in the Mediterranean and in December on the MSC Seaside from PortMiami. The program then will be rolled out along the line’s nine remaining ships in its 11-ship building program over the next 10 years. MSC will also retrofit its 12 existing ships with the technology at a later date.

The wristbands will come for an additional price, but kids get theirs for free.

The MSC technology will be dependent on an app or mobile phone for many features. Still, guests who don’t purchase the wristband can access some of the features on the app alone, such as checking how full restaurants are or booking excursions.

The MSC technology will debut in June on the MSC Meraviglia in the Mediterranean and in November on the MSC Seaside from PortMiami.

The announcement marked the second major tech development by a leading cruise line.

Carnival Corp. was the first to develop super-smart ship technology with a medallion the size of a quarter that is connected to a complex network of sensors, readers, interactive screens and an app designed to introduce a personal touch in the cruising experience.

In January, Doral-based Carnival Corp. became the first cruise line to incorporate smart technology. The company hired much of the team behind Disney’s MagicBand, a wrist band that unlocks features at Disney parks, to conceptualize a smart city.

The medallion will first be rolled out on Carnival’s Princess Cruises line aboard the Regal Princess in mid-November from Fort Lauderdale.

Monday, Royal Caribbean Cruises unveiled a new suite of smartphone-delivered apps that will launch on Celebrity Edge in 2018.

Chabeli Herrera: 305-376-3730, @ChabeliH

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