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Princess Cruises Sets Sail with Engaging Passenger Experiences

Princess Cruises, one of the best-known names in cruising, first set sail in 1965 with a single ship cruising to Mexico. Today, the line has grown to become one of the largest cruise line in the world, renowned for innovative ships and an environment of exceptional customer service. Since the line’s beginnings, Princess has frequently paved the way in the cruise industry, evolving to meet the needs of today’s vacationer.

When the company started exploring how to further enhance the passenger experience through innovative cruise technology and strengthen its position in the market even more, Princess Cruises was led to Xevo.

The Challenge

Princess Cruises wanted to deploy an in-room entertainment and digital signage platform that would not only raise the bar in passenger experience, but also provide the extensibility needed to continue to set the pace for years to come.

Deploying in-room entertainment and digital signage solutions on Princess’ fleet involved several challenges, some unique to the cruise industry. Princess Cruises wanted to leverage their existing content management system (CMS) and maintain control over branding and messaging at the corporate level. They also wanted to provide crew with the ability to manage messaging in order to maintain relevance to their passengers.

The solution they were searching for would need to be hosted locally, function in a lightly-connected environment and be integrated with local ship systems to access information like time, location, and weather.

Princess Cruises also needed to satisfy several safety considerations. The solution needed to require passengers to view a mandatory safety video at the outset of the cruise. The solution needed to interrupt in-room entertainment and digital sign experiences so that passengers could focus on instructions from the Captain and crew during a “hard mute” scenario, where network traffic is suspended manually from the bridge.

In addition to an in-room solution, Princess Cruises sought an effective way to update their digital signage content quickly and easily. They faced a challenge of uniformly communicating with passengers in a way that elevated their brand, making the entire passenger experience immersive.

The Solution

Princess Cruises partnered with Xevo to deploy ExperienceManager, a next generation platform for in-room entertainment and digital signage. ExperienceManager was first deployed on the Royal Princess in 2013.

ExperienceManager provides engaging and personalized passenger experiences, tapping into the power of mobile and the cloud to connect digital signage and on-premise TVs – all in one single platform. The platform is a user-friendly, customer-centric solution that passengers interact with on various screens. The platform builds long-term brand loyalty and engagement, while ensuring seamless integration with Princess Cruises’ back-end systems.

We are delighted to work with Xevo to offer innovative technology and entertainment services to our passengers and crew. The new system which debuted on the Royal Princess has received enthusiastic feedback and is being called the new standard in the industry.

– Jan Swartz, President of Princess Cruises

The Result

With Xevo’s ExperienceManager in place, passengers and crew are able to leverage state of the art video-on-demand (VOD) technology to select, start, pause, and resume video content of their choosing; they no longer have to settle for tuning in to scheduled programs already in progress. Music, news, and apps are also accessible on demand using the same hardware.

The cruise line was also able to elevate its digital signage strategy. Princess Cruises can now send content to networked digital signs via the cloud, so they can instantly present contextually relevant messages to passengers. Prior to implementing ExperienceManager, Princess Cruises crew members had to walk the ship with USB sticks to update sign content. Xevo delivered a cost effective HTML5-based digital sign solution for Princess Cruise with a Digital Media Player powered by Android and a suite of web tools that make it easy to manage messages and screens.

The results were so positive that Princess Cruises deployed ExperienceManager on four more of their vessels within a four-month timeframe in 2014. In addition to the Royal Princess, ExperienceManager is live today on the Regal Princess, the Diamond Princess, the Sapphire Princess and the Sun Princess, all retrofitted in the spring of 2014. The latter three ships were retrofitted with ExperienceManager on coaxial distribution, all with no major disturbance of normal ship activity and business.

Utilizing ExperienceManager, Princess Cruises crew can now quickly and easily manage, schedule and deliver content to passengers on their network. Multiple screens throughout the ships provide passengers with entertainment and information.

Xevo provides Princess Cruises with a flexible, all-in-one solution to display dynamic messaging and content, and to support the integration and management of open standards for content, apps and the latest technologies. ExperienceManager provides a versatile and reliable vehicle for delivering information – both necessary and entertaining – to millions of Princess Cruises passengers.

The response to ExperienceManager aboard the ships was, and continues to be, overwhelmingly enthusiastic.

“The cabin television system. In a word, it’s great. And as anyone who cruises a lot knows, that’s a rarity in the cruise world. It’s a perennial frustration for vacationers. But Princess has finally gotten smart about it.”

– Gene Sloan, USA Today in his review of the Royal Princess

“The result is a simple-to-use library of TV shows and movies along with live television channels, music stations and information like local weather and a map of the ship’s position. Add it to the list of positive things to say about taking a cruise.”

– Tom Stieghorst of Travel Weekly

“I particularly enjoyed the new 42-inch interactive television with complimentary programming, including new release movies.”

– Ralph Grizzle, The Avid Traveler, singling out ExperienceManager’s in-room entertainment system in his review of the Royal Princess

Learn more about ExperienceManager.