Cruisinomics: How Integration is Generating Growth and Happier Customers in the Travel Industry

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People don’t go on a cruise because they have to; they take one because they want to. Cruising is a true discretionary spend, and it’s imperative that travel companies focus on knowing who their customers are and engaging with them based on what they understand about their preferences. The use of an integration platform is fundamentally changing how Royal Caribbean Cruises exceeds the expectations of each and every one of its guests.

Customer Data the Size of a Cruise Ship

Delivering a seamless experience, however, requires a deeply integrated, highly-connected platform—one where centralized customer data is available and can be accessed from anywhere, by any application in real time. The type of customer data extends far beyond simple preferences, but includes location on or off the ship, activities, and purpose of visit. For massive cruise ships this can amount to unruly amounts of data if there isn’t a well-organized system that understands which information is relevant to those on board—like a receptionist working at a rock climbing activity or how many times a guest left the ship during the vacation, which would be more relevant to guest services—to create a customized booking experience for the next time the guest wants to cruise. 

For Royal Caribbean, realizing this feat requires modernizing a legacy infrastructure—and it’s a welcomed challenge. Why? The business knows that learning more about a customer allows them to deliver a personalized experience, resulting in repeat customers. This is important because those who cruise once usually cruise again.

Personalized Service for All On Board

While the company has embarked on the first step of its integration journey, it is already using data to enrich the customer experience in multiple ways, creating better outcomes for both the business and its customers. Here’s one example: A traveler boards one of the company’s 22 modern cruise liners on a Sunday, then books a massage for Monday. When it’s recognized that the passenger didn’t leave the ship on Thursday—and there’s an open spa appointment for that day—the company can send that passenger a real-time offer for a second appointment, and at a discounted rate. The guest is happy because he/she received a discount on a spa treatment they already had, but would really like to do again. The company is happy because they filled an empty slot—inventory that would otherwise go unused. Without the systems in place to coordinate this information, this would be a missed opportunity for the customer and the business.

An enterprise service bus is pivotal to Royal Caribbean’s ability to manage customer and ship data. This platform assists the company in increasing customer satisfaction and reducing waste. As applications on and off the ships continue to grow, managing more than 200 separate applications into one efficient system—with the flexibility to move and change applications as needed—is key.

This kind of real-time personalization based on who they are and what they’ve done on a cruise previously, coupled with the ability to take action to benefit the guest and the company, ultimately leads to growth, a better cruise experience, and happier guests.

Learn more by exploring our Integration Maturity Model.