Royal Caribbean Cruises Creates a Wireless OasisBy Susan Nunziata
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. is embracing mobility aboard two of its new cruise ships, Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas, using wireless devices for passenger-facing services as well as for a host of staff functions.
Oasis of the Seas, which accommodates as many as 6,000 passengers, launched in November 2009 and offers up a range of wireless services for guests and staff, alike. Allure arrived in the United States in November 2010 and was scheduled for its first cruise in early December. The company is planning to expand use of mobile computers across its fleet of ships throughout 2012.
Passengers on Oasis of the Seas can rent an unlocked iPhone for use on board during their journey. There are approximately 800 iPhones available to passengers, at a charge of $35 per week. Families traveling with children can give them a WiFi tag and then use an iPhone app designed by Royal Caribbean to keep track of the child's movements around the ship. Travelers can also follow their fellow iPhone-carrying companions via the app.
Passengers can use the iPhones to communicate with one another while on board. The phones are linked into the on-board VoIP PBX, and the ship has a pervasive WiFi network. The WiFi network, which comprises 900 wireless access points, accommodates six virtual networks for use by both passengers and crew.
A range of Cisco tools are the backbone of the wireless network and PBX. In addition, more than 1,000 Cisco WiFi phones are provided for the ship's 2,100 crew members, according to Bill Martin, VP/CIO of Royal Caribbean Cruises.
Behind the scenes, mobile applications run on Motorola MC55 and MC70 enterprise mobile computers carried by the Oasis of the Seas staff. These mobile applications include mobile point of sale (MPOS), mobile mustering, work order management, show ticketing and asset management.
Want more on this topic? Read the feature article Mobility's Rise in the Enterprise.