Royal Caribbean’s rollout of RFID wristbands will be gradual

Royal Caribbean RFID wristbandFORT LAUDERDALE — Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. President Adam Goldstein said it will be several years before the Sea Pass wristbands being used for room keys on Quantum of the Seas can be rolled out fleetwide.

Goldstein said the radio-frequency identification (RFID) wristbands are simple, but they go hand-in-hand with a new shipboard property management system that takes a fair amount of time to install.

“The next-generation embarkation and the RFID bands will kind of follow that process,” Goldstein said in a speech at the CruiseWorld conference, a Travel Weekly event.

Royal Caribbean will proceed ship by ship with the installations. He did not say which would be the next ship in line for Sea Pass.

Goldstein said that older ships such as Majesty of the Seas that look their age next to Quantum have been given extended life by adding newer features in scheduled drydocks.

“We’ve found across the boCruiseWorld - Adam Goldsteinard — and this is industrywide — that we’ve been able to inject a lot more features from the newer ships onto the older ships than probably any of us thought possible.”

He also noted that RCCL has six brands and that older Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises ships such as Majesty of the Seas have traditionally migrated to its other, primarily European, brands.

Goldstein said pressure on concessionaires to be more efficient has resulted in smaller footprints for areas like the photo gallery on Quantum. That has freed up more space for a variety of extra features that make the ship more exciting overall, he said.

CruiseWorldGoldstein said he’s never been a big fan of the contemporary-premium-upper premium-luxury continuum that many use to label the market segments of the cruise business, and that the edges of those categories are increasingly blurring into each other.

“If you’re in a loft suite on Oasis of the Seas, you’re in a pretty luxurious product,” he said.

“Very often our bigger brands are the second choice for couples that are normally cruising on small luxury ships,” Goldstein said. He said those passengers want the attributes of a large ship with all of the luxury amenities of a small one. “It is an interesting marketing challenge.”

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