MSC Cruises passengers to get onboard mobile payments and tailored holidays with NFC, beacons and biometrics

MSC for Me
SAIL AWAY: MSC for Me aims to ‘meet needs of guests for years to come’ (Click to enlarge)

Holidaymakers aboard ships belonging to MSC Cruises will soon be able to make onboard payments, tailor their individual holiday preferences and access features such as a digital personal advisor through facial recognition technology, NFC and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons, plus a mobile app and interactive cabin TV screens.

The MSC for Me service will make its debut on the MSC Meraviglia in June, which will be fitted with “16,000 points of connectivity, 700 digital access points, 358 interactive screens and 2,244 cabins with RFID/NFC access technology,” which will allow guests to use interactive bracelets for entry.

The digital personal advisor will use facial recognition to recognise passengers and then provide tailored recommendations, based on preferences, helping staff to “take care of guests in a highly personalised way,” MSC Cruises says. The interactive bracelets, meanwhile, will “connect guests to the ship’s services and will activate geo-located suggestions through 3,050 Bluetooth beacons”.

MSC’s announcement comes after rival cruise line Carnival Corporation announced in January it would roll out an NFC and BLE-enabled wearable device, designed by the man behind Disney’s MagicBand, that can access a range of services across its entire Princess Cruises fleet from November 2017.

Among the other key features of MSC for Me are:

  • Navigation: A digital way finder will provide guests with advice, guidance and information on what’s on;
  • Concierge: The service will allow guests to book services, restaurants and excursions;
  • Capture: A “digital immersive discovery” through virtual reality to preview excursions and a gallery with interactive screens showing the story of a guest’s trip;
  • Organiser: A planning tool feature will allow guests to check in with their mobile device, book trips, seats for shows and dinner tables before embarking or when onboard.

“MSC for Me will bring to the sea some of the very latest advances in customer-centric technology in a programme designed to meet the needs of guests for years to come,” says MSC Cruises. “Overall, MSC for Me will provide guests with over 130 smart features geared toward a fully optimised holiday experience.

“These include a dedicated app to help guests tailor their holidays at any point on their journey, whether they are booking their excursions prior to embarkation or a specialty restaurant whilst relaxing by the top-deck pool.”

The programme — which was developed in partnership with 11 other companies including Deloitte Digital, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Samsung — will be rolled out on the MSC Seaside in November, before heading to MSC Cruises’ entire fleet.