The cruise line has fixed a major problem in a very clever way that customers will enjoy.
Cruise ships mostly sail to hot weather locations. Yes, Alaska is a popular destination and some ships do sail to New England and Canada, but the vast majority of ships sailing from the United States sail the Caribbean and the Bahamas.
That means that cruise lines have to find ways to keep their ships cool. That’s an expensive proposition and an inexact science. Cruise ships. of course, have massive air conditioning systems, but some places are cooler than others. That’s to be expected as there’s no way to easily adjust for hallways that are sometimes empty and other times crowded.
Still, common spaces are under the control of the cruise line. Your stateroom, however, is a different thing. Every cruise cabin has a thermostat dial that allows you to control the air conditioning, On older ships, many people simply crank it all the way up as rooms tend to get hot (and balcony rooms get even hotter).
On newer Royal Caribbean Group (RCL) – Get Free Report ships. there’s a slot by the doorway where you need to (in theory) put your room key/SeaPass card for the AC and lights to switch on. The problem — and it’s a big one — is that those slot-based systems turn on with anything in the slot.
You can use a business card, a credit card, really anything that’s the right size, and people do. That’s not just to subvert the system and keep the AC going when you’re out, it also minimizes the risk of leaving your room key/SeaPass card in the slot when you go out (which, if you’re traveling alone or don’t know where your cabin mate is, requires a trip to guest services, which can be a long line).
Now, Royal Caribbean has an answer to the problem of guests wanting their rooms to be cool when they get there that will also help the cruise line waste less money cooling empty rooms.
Image source: Daniel Kline/TheStreet
Royal Caribbean Has a Smart New Idea
Royal Caribbean has shared a lot of details with the media on its latest cruise ship, Icon of the Seas, but there’s still a lot that’s not known about the first-of-its-class ship. The company’s Chief Product Innovation Officer Jay Schneider did recently share some more info about Icon of the Seas with travel agents, on a recent Allure of the Seas sailing, Matt Hochberg of the Royal Caribbean Blog reported.
He told the group that the cruise line has a new way to regulate room temperature that both passengers and the cruise line should love.
When you leave your cabin and walk off the ship for a shore excursion, the ship’s computer will detect when the last person scans their SeaPass card upon disembarkation and at that point, the air conditioning will go into eco mode since no one is on the ship to need it maintained.
As soon as the first person booked in the cabin scans their SeaPass card coming back onboard the ship, eco mode turns off, and the air conditioning turns back on to the previous setting.
That’s a fairly brilliant idea that won’t stop all the waste caused by leaving lights and AC on in your cabin all day, but it will cut it down on port days.
Icon of the Seas Is Full of Innovations
Icon of the Seas shares a lot of DNA with the cruise line’s Oasis-class ships. It will have a Central Park and a Royal Promenade as well as variants on many of the neighborhoods found on the various Oasis-class ships. Icon, however, will also have some very new touches.
CEO Jason Liberty talked about the new ship during the cruise line’s third-quarter earnings call.
“It is a game-changing, first-of-its-kind vacation experience where everyone can experience their version of the ultimate vacation,” he said. “Icon will have eight distinct neighborhoods, each a destination in and of itself, packed with an array of amazing experiences.”
Icon of the Seas can accommodate nearly 10,000 passengers and will sail in January 2024 from Miami.