Carnival Investing in Connectivity Experience

Carnival Mardi Gras

“Stable, fast, affordable, and easy to connect to and use,” said John Harshaw, vice president of global infrastructure, describing the connectivity experience aboard the Carnival Cruise Line fleet.

Harshaw said Carnival had been consistently making what he called significant investments to enhance shipboard internet access across its fleet.

“This includes accessing high-capacity links, deploying resilient infrastructure, creating service offerings consistent with our guests’ expectations, and an increased focus in overall guest satisfaction,” he said, in an interview with Cruise Industry News.

“In a typical home or office environment, we see a significant increase and adoption of video conferencing, content streaming, and social media applications, and we expect this demand to continue.”

Social media and video-hungry guests and crew means bandwidth requirements are always increasing.

“The overall capacity a single ship consumed just a few years ago is now available to a single user,” Harshaw said. “This trend will only continue and the expectation of high throughput bandwidth readily available to a single vessel will be the norm.”

Helping drive more capacity has been upgraded satellites beaming down internet to the ships.

"There are now many new high throughput satellites available serving the ocean regions where we operate in,” Harshaw explained. “Though we utilize GEO- and MEO-based networks to serve our fleet, deployments of new LEO networks and constellations are now being launched, with several industry disruptors providing potentially greater options for connectivity in the years ahead.”

Throwing bandwidth at the problem isn’t the only solution, as that capacity needs to be managed, leading to improving automation and utilizing machine-learning data driven bandwidth management.

“As we migrate static bandwidth pipes to more intelligent routing traffic pipes, creating better visibility into demand usage, we can meet and exceed the price and performance requirements of our guests,” continued Harshaw.

“We have seen a significant measurable increase in guest and crew satisfaction with our internet experience onboard, largely due to the investments and increased focus we have made in this area.”

Excerpt from Cruise Industry News Quarterly Magazine: Summer 2021

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