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Apr 9, 2024

Chart a Course for Success: A Customer Data Platform for a Cruise Line

In the fast-paced world of the cruise line industry, understanding and meeting customer expectations is paramount to success. That is why in recent years the business of attracting guests has shifted from a focus on the destination to the entire cruise experience. Customers expect personalized experiences that span the entire customer journey – pre-trip, the cruise itself and post-trip. To meet this expectation, cruise lines are turning to a customer data platform (CDP) to enhance customer relationships, improve operational efficiency and drive growth .

Let’s delve into the benefits of CDPs specifically tailored for the cruise line industry.

Making the most of First-Party Data

Personalization is key to engaging modern travellers, and CDPs empower cruise lines to deliver highly targeted marketing campaigns and communications. With the loss of third-party cookies for marketing use, it is imperative that cruise lines are making the most of first-party data that is available to them. By leveraging all customer data on past behaviours, demographics, and preferences, cruise lines can craft personalized offers, promotions, and recommendations that resonate with individual passengers. Whether it’s suggesting shore excursions based on past activities or sending targeted loyalty program perks, personalized communication enhances customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Unknown to Known Customers

For many cruise lines the guest booking journey starts from being an unknown prospect that visits your website. This unknown-to-known guest journey is a critical phase for cruise lines and the ability to tailor content on your website to the visitor’s interest is what will keep them engaged. Continually promoting Caribbean destinations to an individual who has shown an interest in a tour of Italy is a sure way to turn off your next prospective guest. Relevant content can be used to encourage your unknown visitor to engage further and provide you with the “all important” first-party data that can then be used to continue the customer journey in a more personalised way. Your CDP should be able to provide you with the ability to capture this “unknown” behaviour and append it to the customer record once the guest has made themselves known. At the point the guest has identified themselves the CDP will allow you to further personalise the journey based on information you know about them. As an example, using data insight from previous cruise trips, you can identify that the guest enjoys spa treatments and that they are vegan. This will allow you to tailor your communication and serve up relevant content and offers that are appealing. Generic marketing content can be swapped out based on this knowledge. “Sports activity offers” exchanged for “spa offers” and “steak restaurant” images exchanged for images of vegan dishes. Personalised campaigns will move your prospect toward booking their next cruise with your company vs. a competitor.

Excluding booked customers: A cost saving strategy

One of the most straightforward yet effective strategies for saving marketing costs is to exclude already booked customers from advertising campaigns. While it may seem obvious, without the right tools and data insights, cruise lines risk wasting valuable marketing dollars targeting individuals who have already made a booking. By integrating booking data into their CDP, cruise lines can ensure that advertising efforts are directed towards those who are most likely to convert – those who have not yet booked!

Optimising Onboard Operations

Beyond enhancing the guest experience, CDPs also play a vital role in optimizing onboard operations. By integrating with onboard systems such as point-of-sale terminals and guest services platforms, CDPs provide real-time insights into passenger activities and preferences. This data-driven approach allows cruise lines to streamline operations, anticipate passenger needs, and allocate resources more effectively.

For example, crew members can receive personalized alerts about guest preferences, enabling them to deliver exceptional service and anticipate potential issues before they arise.

Enhancing Customer Service and Support

In today’s competitive landscape, exceptional customer service is non-negotiable. CDPs equip cruise lines with the tools to deliver proactive and personalized support throughout the passenger journey. By centralizing customer data and interactions, cruise lines can provide seamless omnichannel support, whether through chatbots, email or onboard staff. Moreover, CDPs enable cruise lines to anticipate customer inquiries and resolve issues swiftly, resulting in higher levels of satisfaction and loyalty. The information collected within the CDP can be utilised post journey to personalise any follow up activity and remind the customer of their great experience and help with customer satisfaction scores.

From Legacy Systems to Real-Time Streaming Data

One of the significant advantages of the Redpoint CDP is its ability to integrate data from legacy systems, such as reservation databases and onboard entertainment systems, with real-time interactions. By consolidating data from disparate sources with both fast and slow data, cruise lines can gain a comprehensive understanding of passenger preferences and behaviours across all stages of the journey. For example, data from legacy booking systems can inform onboard dining recommendations, while real-time interactions with onboard activities can be used to exclude customers from promotions of activities they have just booked. This seamless integration of historical and real-time data enables cruise lines to deliver hyper-personalized experiences that exceed passenger expectations.

Moving First-Time Cruiser to Repeat Booker

Moving the guest from single to multi-cruise booking is the goal of all cruise lines.

By analysing data on guest preferences, behaviour patterns, and satisfaction levels, cruise lines can identify opportunities to enhance the guest experience and foster long-term relationships. For instance, insights may reveal that first-time travellers are particularly interested in certain onboard activities or dining experiences. Armed with this knowledge, cruise lines can tailor promotional offers or loyalty program incentives to encourage repeat bookings. Additionally, personalized follow-up communications post-cruise can reinforce positive experiences and encourage guests to book their next voyage with the same cruise line.

Your CDP should also provide you the ability to understand details around group bookings, individuals and households. Understanding information relating to individuals is key for personalisation but marketers will also want to understand how to market most effectively to reach the booker and ensure a consistent message is relayed to all individuals relating to a single booking. Resolving segmentation at individual, house and group level is paramount for this and is something that the Redpoint CDP can provide your marketers.


For more information on how Redpoint can assist you in plotting a course for great Customer Experiences visit our website at or contact [email protected]

Steve Zisk 2022 Scaled

Martyn Payne

Sales Director EMEA at Redpoint Global

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