Software solution provider, DeCurtis Corp, has installed the patented DeCurtis Experience Platform (DXP) on board Virgin Voyages’ fleet.
Leveraging the Aruba ESP network and partnering with DeCurtis Corp, Virgin Voyages has set out to deliver a technology-enhanced cruise experience unlike any other at sea, the company claimed.
Virgin has two ships in service and two more in the pipeline, each with a capacity of nearly 4,000 passengers and crew.
“From the time a ‘Sailor’ books his or her trip or uses mobile ticketing, all on board experiences, from departure to the end of their journey, are enhanced by technology,” said Frank Farro, Virgin Voyages’ Vice President of Technology.
“A favourite luxury indulgence for Sailors is our unique ‘Shake for Champagne™’ feature. By simply shaking a phone with the Virgin Voyages app open and pressing a button the crew is alerted to deliver chilled champagne to the ‘Sailor’ wherever he or she is on the ship.
“The same capability is extended to other services such as Ship Eats, to guarantee high-touch service to each Sailor’s on board experience,” he explained.
DXP enables both of these services, which are available in the Virgin Voyages app, along with a host of other features, such as ‘smart home’ capabilities in each cabin, on demand dining and activity reservations and contactless payments through ‘The Band.’
With a range of experience working with some of the world’s best, most-recognised hospitality brands, DeCurtis and Virgin Voyages looked to transform existing ‘Sailor’ experiences to make them better, faster and more seamless through creative application of the latest technology, the company said.
“We have built solutions that addressed many common pain points in the cruise industry for over a decade,” said Derek Fournier, DeCurtis Corp, President and CEO, “but the truly transformative nature of technology is when those pain reductions are part of a larger platform that can simultaneously drive revolutionary experiences and empower brands to amplify their unique differentiators.”
One of Virgin Voyages’ top priorities is to provide a premier ‘Sailor’ experience through exceptional customer service, and ‘Sailors’ are first introduced to this concept when they are encouraged to upload required documents in the ‘Sailor’ app prior to embarkation.
This allows for records verification that significantly reduces the waiting time in terminals and creates a streamlined, seamless embarkation process, DeCurtis claimed.
Once on board, crew members continue the service with the help of the DXP. Crew devices can submit requests, create maintenance tickets, help ‘Sailors’ make or change dining reservations, and facilitate the required muster drill with the option to watch the demonstration video on personal devices or on the cabin TV.
In addition, in co-operation with DeCurtis, Virgin Voyages has created a virtual queuing system so that ‘Sailors’ aren’t subjected to long lines. Instead, the Virgin Voyages app sends an alert when it’s their turn to board the ship, go to dinner, attend a show, or disembark at a port of call.
“One of our mantras at Virgin is ‘one team, one dream,’” Farro added. “DeCurtis has been hand-in-hand with us every step of the way from inception to engineering, install and configuration to operational assistance, and continued 24/7 monitoring and support. They have been true partners for the entire journey.”
From on board delivery options to muster drills, virtual queues for dining and entertainment, streamlined housekeeping requests and activity reservation management, the DXP modules power many key guest and crew experiences.
While applicable in several verticals, DXP was designed for and with the cruise industry in mind, always focusing on reduced operational friction, enhanced guest experiences and the safety and security of all involved.
DeCurtis Corp said that it can install this platform alongside current solutions without requiring a drydocking and ‘turn on’ modules at a regulated pace to ease adoption concerns.