Last updated: 05:00 PM ET, Wed February 24 2016

Crystal Cruises Goes High-Tech with New App Platform

Cruise Line & Cruise Ship | Crystal Cruises | Jason Leppert | February 24, 2016

Crystal Cruises Goes High-Tech with New App Platform

Photo courtesy of Crystal Cruises

While it continues to expand and announce unprecedented new offerings, Crystal Cruises has partnered up with Intelity to create a “Digital Directory” and app platform for its fleet, starting with its Crystal Esprit yacht. I chatted exclusively with the line to see what sets the new technology apart to better the guest experience.

Intelity is a hospitality technology provider, now bringing its knowhow to the luxury cruise segment aboard Crystal Yacht Cruises’ first vessel to start. Penthouses have access to daily news and voyage port and programming information including dining menus via tablet computers. Guests can even reserve shore excursions digitally onboard.

Do you have your own device? Crystal says, “the Crystal Esprit platform can be downloaded on your personal tablet. When you download the app at home prior to boarding, you will have access to vessel information and onboard dining. Once you’ve boarded the vessel and log on to the yacht’s Wi-Fi network, the application’s interface on your tablet will resemble much of what is available on the shipboard devices, including shore excursions, movies, newspapers, room service and other guest amenities.”

READ MORE: Princess@Sea Now Covers the Entire Fleet

“A key component to my vision for Crystal to continue as a leader in redefining luxury is to embrace technology and allow it to help streamline our guests’ experience,” said Edie Rodriguez, Crystal’s president and CEO. “Not only does the Intelity platform make a significant step in this direction, it also helps us reduce our paper consumption and inform our guests in a more efficient way.”

A fleet-wide mobile iOS and Android app for Crystal Cruises is also on the way. As to its timeline, the line says, “we have a long-range plan to introduce similar digital features to the Crystal ocean and river vessels, but we chose Crystal Esprit first, as its more positioned for guests that are well versed and attracted to the ease of streaming services and digital features.” App features will include ship information, voyage details, programming notes and pre-cruise planning and notifications.

As other cruise lines such as Princess Cruises release similar web-based apps, how Crystal intends to differentiate is also important. The line says, “It begins with our partners in Intelity because of the sleek design and easy-to-use interface, and the advanced flexibility to customize the application with our Crystal messaging and brand standards. It was important for Crystal to work with a company that already has an existing level of high-end luxury clients and has the ability to deliver a six-star service from a technology standpoint.”

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Crystal adds, “the application is personalized with the guest names on the screen, and our guests will find it extremely easy to use. Behind the scenes, the application is user friendly for our crew to update and customize as needed, as well as allows us to streamline our guest requests directly to the appropriate personnel which aligns perfectly with Crystal’s standard of delivering six-star guest service.” Crew integration is definitely crucial as the platform incorporates system tools like application content control, business intelligence metrics, ticket management and direct marketing and messaging.

Intelity CEO & President David Adelson says, “It’s an incredible privilege that our company is making its cruise line debut with the luxury cruise line ranked number one by U.S. News & World Report and so many other revered publications. The fact that a company of Crystal’s caliber is embracing Intelity’s technology is an early sign of changing standards across the entire hospitality industry. Going digital is one of the leading ways that modern hospitality brands can ensure impeccable service and a truly distinguished customer experience.”

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