Celebrity Cruises new app welcomes a new generation of passenger

Celebrity Cruises new app is more than just another little program you an use to kill time. In a natural evolution of their programming, Celebrity Cruises has added its first app and mobile web site.Celebrity is a cruise line that has fully embraced technology, rolling top-shelf brands into their onboard experience. More importantly, with this roll-out of Celebrity Cruises new app the line opens the door and welcomes a new generation of cruise passenger.

Now, iPhone users have the opportunity to download the free, new app from the Celebrity web site or from the Apple store. Other apps have been available from third-party sources for quite some time. This is the first official app from Celebrity and there are some big differences in Celebrity Cruises new app vs. the third-party apps available right now.

Users of Celebrity Cruises new app will have a wealth of functionality allowing them to view the destinations Celebrity visits, check out onboard activities including iLearn and language courses offered in the Celebrity iLounge and more.

Technology can be a big part of the Celebrity experience. Prior to boarding, guests can go online to explore a number of activities and packages available on their sailing. On board, a Celebrity iLounge is a popular gathering place that includes an Internet cafe equipped with 26 workstations. As an Authorized Apple Reseller, there is also a retail area where guests can try out and buy various Apple products and accessories plus an “enrichment center” that will offer classes on the iLife suite of programs and other general topics.

Celebrity Cruises new app welcomes a new generation of passenge
r in many ways. One of the best parts of Celebrity Cruises new app is having the ability to see menus, wine lists and even walking tours of a ship’s art collection, a Celebrity Cruises first.

Guests can use iPhone, Android and BlackBerry devices with Celebrity Cruises new app to search for a Celebrity cruise and itineraries, obtain destination information, view details about each ship, connect with Celebrity’s social media sites, e-mail itineraries of interest to Celebrity’s Customer Service team, or contact Customer Service ‘live’ at any point during the experience.

Did you catch that last line?

“... or contact Customer Service ‘live’ at any point during the experience.”

That’s huge.
That’s engaging.
This is a cruise line that “gets it”.

Standard operating procedure for cruise line customer service:

Call on phone/work through problem/call back if you don’t like the result until you find someone who will tell you what you want to hear/Addressed problem but not feeling very good about it.

Glimpse at what might be coming:

“... or contact Customer Service ‘live’ at any point during the experience.”

Celebrity Cruises new app is definitely a step in the right direction.

Celebrity Cruises
new app is just one use of available Apple technology. The cruise line already uses the iPad for its menus and wine list in its Qsine specialty restaurant, which debuted this year on the Equinox, and its ships are home to “Celebrity iLounges,” equipped with MacBook workstations. Guests on board can take courses and get tips on Mac and iPod use.

“We knew our guests would relish yet another opportunity to capitalize on the latest technology in an entertaining, enriching way,” says Celebrity’s senior vice president of Hotel Operations, Lisa Lutoff-Perlo.

Celebrity Cruises photo

On Celebrity Cruises X marks a change to on board experiences

Cruise lines continue to hack away at what we think of them. Pretty much burried are images of shuffleboard, bingo, and “just old folks” on the ships. Now, they are moving forward with intense new branding efforts that are making for clear choices between lines.

It wasn’t all that long ago that if your answer to “Where did you go on vacation?” was “on a cruise” that similar images, impressions and perceptions would come up. Cruise vacations really were quite similar between lines and “on a cruise” was a good, accurate answer.

Now, cruise lines are clearly focused on defining their brands and making sure you know it.

Celebrity Cruises, traditionally seen as a more upscale line with a more fancy onboard experience, is taking it’s signature “X” icon to a different level with a new theme “X the rules”. This is different than Norwegian Cruise Line’s “Freestyle Cruising” that promotes how guests are “free to do whatever…” It’s different than sister-line Royal Caribbean’s “Land of why not?” campaign.

Celebrity Cruises is promoting change through a “trendsetting onboard experience”, different than other lines. Still upscale, Celebrity “iLounges” offer the latest Apple technologies and invite guests to become immersed in new applications through “iLearn” courses. Celebrity also offers vacationers the chance to learn a new language through Rosetta Stone, become immersed in the culture of the destinations with experts from Smithsonian Journeys, or taste the difference a glass makes in comparative wine tastings with Riedel Crystal.

Yes, there’s still bingo and you can find shuffleboard if you look for it. But Celebrity ships, new and old, are going after a unique onboard experience that won’t be for everyone. That’s a new direction for cruise lines in general who wanted to be everything to everybody for so long as the industry was developing.

While only an estimated 20% of the U.S. population has taken a cruise, the Cruise Lines International Association predicts strong growth in the future. If the individual lines have anything to say about it, they will find you, sail with you, and be everything you ever wanted in a vacation.

As Celebrity might have said in the not-nearly-as-well-defined past “It’s all about you”.

Flickr photo by sailorbabe80