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Royal Caribbean taps responsive design for seamless cruise planning on tablets

Royal Caribbean International has reinvented its digital Cruise Planner using responsive design and tablet-friendly features such as touch screen capabilities to make it easy for consumers who have booked a cruise to plan their vacation on multiple devices.  

Users of the new Cruise Planner can review onboard restaurants, shore excursions filtering by activity and interest and spa treatments and book any of these activities online. The Cruise Planner keeps a real-time online calendar of booked activities for a snapshot view of the customer’s vacation.

“The responsive design allows the tablet experience to be absorbing and engaging so that guests can interact with the content more intimately,” said James Lazar, vice president at Isobar, New York. “To that end, the user experience for the tablet is quite similar to desktop as they were designed for seamless cross-over.

“The first thing guests will see as they navigate the Cruise Planner tool is a landing page that features a variety of on- and off-board entertainment, excursions, dining and spa activities to help guests quickly visualize and realize the perfect cruise vacation,” he said.

“There aren’t any options exclusive to the tablet, as we wanted to keep the user experience as close to desktop as possible while providing some accommodations for gestures and touch.”

The Cruise Planner was developed in partnership with digital marketing agency Isobar.  

Overlapping use
With tablet users shown to be active shoppers who typically spend more than shoppers in other digital channels, merchants across a variety of categories are stepping up their efforts to reach these consumers.

Given that there is significant overlap between how laptops and tablets are used, Royal Caribbean chose responsive design for its ability to create one experience that works across multiple screens.

Key features include quick and easy menus that dive into product categories. Users can access entertainment and beverage packages with just one click.

When it comes to make dining reservations, the Cruise Planner enables guests to play a culinary journey for their vacation.

Users can also browse and book hundreds of shore excursions by day, port, activity type, number of guests and more. 

Small tweaks
The Cruise Planner’s order history and shopping cart have been streamlined and feature a categorized summary, a printable calendar that is color-coded for each guests.

Users are also presented with personalized activity recommendations and featured products.

The fully responsive solution enables guests to plan on multiple devices and be able to take advantage of the full solution no matter where they are.

The Cruise Planner is also available for Celebrity Cruises guests.

“The real opportunity for tablets is the interaction with people while they’re in a more relaxed and browsing state of mind,” Mr. Lazar said. “That said, we’ve designed the experience so that it’s quite simple to jump from perusing various restaurants and excursions, to easily making the transaction itself.

“Small tweaks like planning for touch, making the calls to action larger and adjusting image sizes were all that was really needed to provide another channel for seamless cruise planning for Royal Caribbean guests,” he said.

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York