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Carnival, MSC ramp up mobile offerings with shipboard gaming platforms, apps

Carnival Corporation & plc and MSC Cruises are further integrating mobile strategies onto their cruise ships as consumers look to personal devices for betting and gaming functions, as well as quick access to trip itineraries and the latest ship offers.

Carnival is leveraging the iGaming Mobile Platform to offer its travelers the casino experience by enabling them to engage in wager-based and free-to-play mobile games, including poker, sports betting and bingo. Meanwhile, MSC Cruises is introducing a new mobile application designed to drive customer engagement by offering more details on ship experiences, itineraries and the latest deals on cruise packages.

“In adopting a mobile gaming platform we are essentially providing an on-demand gaming experience, where the guest selects both the content and the location,” said Paul Jarvis, vice president, global casino operations for Carnival Corporation, Miami, FL.

“The platform allows us to serve up a much broader variety of game types than we are able to offer in the physical casino, and to provide this service for extended operating hours, including times when the physical casino may be closed.”

Casino on mobile
Adult guests on Carnival ships will be able to access the Mobile Casino, which provides content from gaming brands such as Scientific Games’ Bally product line and PokerTrek. Interested consumers can download the Carnival Casino app, which is free for Android and iOS devices, to play top games including Blackjack, Roulette, Texas Hold’em and Cash Spin.

Guests can mimic the casino experience while lounging at one of the ships’ pools, relaxing in their staterooms or exploring anywhere onboard.

Bally’s iGaming Platform offers a slew of features to enhance user engagement and maintain standards associated with gambling, such as age verification, geo-location capabilities and compliance with Nevada laws for wagering on poker.

Regular casino operators will be providing the mobile, online and social games through the platform.

“Guests are keen to leverage the familiarity and security of their personal mobile devices as a medium for receiving entertainment and informational content,” Mr. Jarvis said.

The Carnival Casino app is currently functioning on the Carnival Freedom and Carnival Breeze ships, and will be launching soon on the Regal Princess. Installations are pending for the AIDA Cruise, P&O and Holland America Line brands as well.

Carnival has been ramping up mobile strategy in 2015, as it recently introduced a new shipboard app boasting enhanced social media and chat functions for guests onboard (see story).

Easy itinerary viewing
MSC Cruises is following in Carnival’s footsteps by launching its namesake mobile app that enables vacationers to explore tips and information, easily view cruise itineraries, locate latest cruise deals and track the fleet in real time.

Users trying to decide on the perfect ship for their vacation may also take virtual tours of the fleet for insights on the staterooms, lounges and restaurants.

MSC Cruises, which is an Italian cruise line, is hoping that the app will generate more brand awareness as it expands its services to the United States. Features such as the live onboard webcam will be able to provide a real-life glance at a vacation aboard each of its ships.

The app’s homepage offers users easy-to-use search functions for specific ships, destinations and latest deals. The brand aims to roll out enhanced travel agent and consumer platforms in 2015.

Users that want to stay up-to-date with seasonal deals can also sign up to receive push notifications on their mobile devices.

“We are committed to mobile as a medium through which we will provide many different types of services and guest interactions, and our focus remains on providing high quality content in an intuitive and entertaining package,” Mr. Jarvis said.

Final Take
Alex Samuely is an editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York