Let’s face it: The basic design of cruise ships has not materially changed since the first steamers were zipping between England and New York. While there certainly have been major technological improvements in the decades past, we still see the hull, body and stern looking about the same.
Side thrusters, stabilizers, and bow bulbs have been the most noticeable.
I commend Aurora Expeditions’ ship, named “Greg Mortimer” for its nifty bow innovation. It looks a bit different than other cruise ships.
The ship is small – it features what they call “X-bow.” It resembles a bullet train, more than a boat. It has that “military” appearance. Even shouts a bit of “James Bond.” Take a look.
This sleek bow gives it greater speed since it can slice through the water with better stability – ergo – less drag / more available power / less fuel consumption. All good things.
This inverted bow concept is getting more publicity (i.e. this blog) even though it is used on 100+ ships already. Aurora has just launched a full program for its polar expeditions, the first to feature the Greg Mortimer.
The latest version will roll out in 2019 and head to Antarctica. This is a polar capable craft so the trip will be to the hard-to-get-to sites. Think Antarctic Peninsula, South Georgia and Falklands as well as up north: Svalbard, Franz Josef Land, East Greenland, Jan Mayen, Iceland and Norway.
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With an expected 25 million cruise ship passengers in 2018, the lines need to keep up to date with societal trends. As a older passengers get older, they need to be replaced by the next generation.
Like never before, millennials are beginning to enjoy the open seas. While many still are buried in college loan debt, we are seeing CEOs and “senior” VPs in their 30’s. They get huge salaries and stock options and are out there spending. This means they are discovering the fun of seeing the world. To attract them and feed their addiction to “devices,” many lines are upgrading their technology services.
Princess Cruises is rolling out a program dubbed Ocean Medallion. Guests are issued what the company has dubbed a token. With this wearable gizmo, suite doors can be unlocked by being in close proximity. It also stores a memory of what drinks they prefer to make serving faster.
A technology called “geotracking” provides for GPS mapping of where you are on the ship. The idea is that not only can your friends find you, but when you are near the art auction, it might suggest a few works that you might like to see. One of the handiest features I saw on a ship was on a voyage down to Chile. Princess was the brand. On every floor near the elevator was a decent sized monitor with several choices of buttons to push. You could point to restaurants. Then page down to your favorite to find out where it is. But then it will plot you a path from there to the place. Another bonus: it was an easy way to find a toilet! Passengers also can watch videos about the ports of call and play games once they board.
Ships are now incorporating passenger’s smart phonies into the mix. With apps to provide all kinds of help. Make reservations, find out where bingo is, and even what time the Enrichment Speaker is on.
My biggest disappointment is wifi access being a profit center for the ships. True, some control is needed to prevent bandwidth hogging. But I think it needs to be moved to being treated as a commodity. Rates of 75c a minute are truly absurd. I dampen the pain a bit by using Google Gmail Off-Line. This allows you to cache outgoing emails…i.e. write emails to anyone, then the next time you are connected it sends them….while also downloading any that have come into your account and are just sitting there waiting for you. That way you are only on for a few minutes to do the upload/download.
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Talk to us. We don’t bite (well – except for that one time.)
1: Bring a small flashlight up to the podium. We talked about this in a blog eons ago. Reread my discussion of the Emergency (aka Pearl Harbor) Kit. As I was setting up my laptop and other stuff, it was really dark up there except for a bright light on me. I could not see inside the shelves where the ship had its power strip. I fumbled around until the tech came in and plugged me in.
Then I could not even see the keys on the laptop. My screen put a shadow on the keyboard so I could not see my function keys. I guessed where the PowerPoint SLIDE SHOW pull-down was. I had to move way back to get some light on it. I could not see the slots to put in my slide clicker and power.
I brought my tiny LED light from then on.
2: I did not adhere to the cruise speaker’s RULE #1….get off the stage in 45 minutes. Ooops. I had a crowd of about 200 people and was lecturing on Aviation. A super talk….well, since the CD told me I could go an hour…I did. I even keep a small analog clock up there. However, the Activity Manager later reamed me out. It was a bit unfair IMHO since the next speaker had 25-minutes to set up – whereas the guy before me gave me seven minutes. Sigh.
So, do what I say – not as I do! Here’s my post on using a clock. I gave five more talks and got off after 45.
A tip that I preach is to monitor your clock…with 10 mins to go…recognize if you might go over….then slowly wrap it up – even if you have many slides yet to go. The audience will not know. Plan not to have key points at the end.
So the old dog learned. Contact us and join the fun. We are seeing dozens of our graduates land gigs on a variety of ships. You can too.