Seabourn streamlines embarkation – straight to suite

LATTE learns more with Gerald Mosslinger, SVP Guest Operations

Seabourn has trimmed the elapsed time between voyage check-in and suite entry with the introduction of a streamlined embarkation process. Designed to have guests in their suites quicker than ever before, Seabourn is now utilising electronic and mobile boarding passes, as well as assigned embarkation times.

Gerald Mosslinger, Senior Vice President – Guest Operations for Seabourn says the pandemic pause provided the ultra-luxury line with the impetus to introduce the technology advancement.

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“If you look at the aviation industry, for example, airlines have been using mobile board passes for more than 10 years. It was only a question of time for us to adapt some of those procedures,” Mosslinger told LATTE.

Since resuming operation in July, Seabourn has introduced assigned ship boarding times for its passengers. Those times are derived from information supplied to the cruise line, such as flight arrival time, or pre-cruise hotel stay details.

Now, when Seabourn guests arrive at their embarkation terminal, they simply present an e-boarding pass to be scanned on arrival and again once aboard the ship. After which the guest will be escorted directly to their suite, eliminating the usual period of lingering in a lounge while the suite is prepared from the previous guest. Instead, the suite will be available immediately for the guest to settle into.

“It’s the natural progress and flow of what would happen anyway,” Mosslinger said.

Health and Safety protocols

The cruise industry already had some of the very highest standards in health and safety protocols pre-COVID-19, Mosslinger said, dealing with the likes viruses being brought onboard ships, rather than generating from within.

“Seabourn has very high standards in regards to health and safety anyway, so for us we have increased the frequency of certain cleaning, and in high traffic-flow areas. But the rest is what you’d expect anyway.”

“I was in a hotel recently and they now have plastic over the remote controls. How far do you want to go?”

“I can tell you that we clean our remote controllers every day. We have in the past, and we will continue to do so every day. It doesn’t matter because a guest is in the room that you don’t clean it, right?

“We have our protocols in place. We increased where we had to, or felt where we had to, particularly in public areas that people frequent, and it has been shown since the restart that our protocols are working really, really well for us,” he said.

“I’d rather be on one of our ships than anywhere else in public, like the bank, shops, or a restaurant. I’d rather be on a ship because I know that everyone has been screened, everybody is vaccinated, and it’s a safe area.”

Future enhancements?

Asked what other future enhancements might be on the table for Seabourn going forward, beyond the recent innovations and improvements, Mosslinger said:

“We constantly ask ourselves how can we make things better for our guests? What can we do better? That’s really ingrained in the DNA of our company.

“It’s always about the guest, and it’s always about our team members onboard. They create the experience for the guests.”

“You also need to gauge what the guests like. That’s how some of those innovations come along. For example, we tried having a DJ on the back deck playing modern-day music for some guests. We tried it and the back deck was jam-packed and it’s become an event that we are doing on every cruise now. It’s about making sure that people have different options.”

Guest response

Since resuming operation Seabourn has achieved some of its highest Nett Promotor Scores ever, Mosslinger said.

“The guest feedback has really been tremendous – super, super high.”

“I think that’s a combination of the innovations that we have implemented but, and not to take away from those scores, you need to appreciate that Seabourn guests are extremely pleased to be able to travel again. And many of them realised that this is not something that they can take for granted.

“For the first guests back on board it was so emotional. They were crying when they came up the gangway, our officers on the gangway and team members were crying…it was so emotional because there was an appreciation of this is what we’re supposed to do. This is our business. We want to take care of our guests.

“That’s what the ships are there for and for us to be able to do that was just tremendous.”

“But being able to travel, to enjoy, see the world – what you couldn’t see for the past two years or so – I think that impacts everything and I would hope in general, that what we have gone through, people think a little bit more, reflect a little bit more and are nicer to people they don’t know, as a side effect of the pandemic,” Mosslinger concluded.

With two ships already back in service, Seabourn recently brought forward the return of Seabourn Encore by two months to 19 February 2022. Seabourn Encore will operate a series of new 10- and 11-day itineraries to the Canary Islands and the Mediterranean roundtrip from Lisbon, Portugal over the northern winter and spring.

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