The influx of smartphones and tablets is quickly changing the dynamic of on-board interactions with cruise lines. Norwegian Cruise Line, in partnership with Allin Interactive, has launched a new application that will allow Android smartphone and tablet users to interact with Norwegian Epic’s on-board guest information and service systems during their cruise. The app will also give guests the ability to communicate with other smart phone users via voice and text message on the same sailing.
Guests who download the free app will be able to interact with Norwegian Epic’s systems from anywhere on the ship using their smartphone or tablet to make shore excursion and dining reservations, gather information about on-board services and review their folio activity all from the palm of their hand. In addition, Norwegian iConcierge will be the industry’s first mobile app that allows guests to easily find and communicate with fellow cruisers. Guests who have the app installed on their SIP capable devices will be able to make and send unlimited calls and messages to each other while on board, at an introductory rate of $7.95 for the entire sailing.
Currently, the application is exclusively for guests sailing on board Norwegian Epic beginning March 24, 2012 but deployment to the remaining fleet is expected in the near future. Enhancements to the application for near-term deployment also include ship-to-shore and shore-to-ship calling capabilities using advanced voice over IP technology. Current “off-ship” calls using the existing cellular networks can be costly, but soon, Norwegian iConcierge users will have the opportunity to make even these calls at much more affordable rates.
This latest innovation is in line with the company’s impressive history of technological innovations. In 1999, Norwegian was the first cruise line to offer Internet access at sea; in 2002, Norwegian was the first in the industry to provide remote wireless Internet access to guests fleet-wide and in 2006 Norwegian became the first cruise line to fully implement cell phone service fleet wide.
Norwegian Epic currently sails from Miami on seven-day cruises to Eastern Caribbean through April 7, 2012, calling on Philipsburg, St. Maarten; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; and Nassau, Bahamas. On April 14, 2012, Norwegian Epic will embark on an 11-day transatlantic sailing to Europe; and from April 29, 2012 through October 14, 2012, the ship will sail a series of seven-day Western Mediterranean Cruises from Barcelona, Spain. Ports of call include Naples, Italy; Rome, Italy; Florence/Pisa, Italy, Nice, France; and Provence, France, some of Europe’s most spectacular destinations.
Norwegian Cruise has been an innovator in cruise travel with a 45-year history of breaking the boundaries of traditional cruising, most notably with the introduction of Freestyle Cruising which has revolutionized the industry by allowing guests more freedom and flexibility. Norwegian currently has 11 Freestyle Cruising ships, providing guests the opportunity to enjoy a relaxed cruise vacation on some of the newest and most contemporary ships at sea. The Company has two 4,000-passenger vessels, Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Getaway, on order for delivery in April 2013 and April 2014.