As we mentioned in our earlier Welcome to 2019 article, we’ve been working on upgrading the information we hold about cruise ships, and tying all the details about each cruise ship to their itineraries, pricing and availability.
Coming in the next few weeks and starting with the main UK cruise lines, all of the new information will be available to customers using the Widgety API. The new data sees the biggest upgrades to ship accommodation, but also elsewhere throughout the ship.
The new information includes:
Electrical plugs onboard and the voltage found in the cabins.
Whether a cabin is inside, outside, balcony or a suite; minimum and maximum occupancy, and the square footage.
Facilities found in each type of cabin; from types of bed configurations and cabin basics to the luxury suite benefits and if butler service is available.
We’re also matching every cabin to the official grade code from the cruise line, so for the first time you can match live pricing to the exact cabin type available.
Every Entertainment venue has been categorised into types, including bars, lounges, casinos, theatres and more that you’d commonly find on board.
Health & Fitness options have been categories into spa, gym, fitness classes, pools etc.
Kids & Teens facilities are now selected by the age that they are available for. For example, if a club is aimed at 3 - 5 year olds, ages 3, 4 and 5 have been selected. This means that no matter what ship you’re going on, or what age your little (or big) ones are, you can find activities that they will enjoy.
Enrichment opportunities have been grouped into lectures, excursions, classes and other options. If an onboard art class is a specific requirement of a customer, you’ll be able to find the right cruise in no time.
Disabled facilities, medical care on board, special dietary requirements, dress codes, smoking policies, drinks packages, Wi-Fi availability and more have all been added and categorised, so you can make sure the ship can cater for your customers’ needs.
What does it mean?
The reason that we’re adding this new information is to offer complete flexibility in how you find a cruise. At the moment you can search by cruise line, ship, destination, ports, ship size, travel dates and much more, but not the specifics within a ship.
Now, for example, you’ll be able to find a cruise that leaves from Miami, in June 2020, on a ship with less than 1000 passengers, with a vegan restaurant, children’s facilities for ages 7 to 8, a champagne bar, fitness classes and excursions involving wildlife.
It’s important to know if a ship can cater for coeliacs and if it has disabled cabins available, if there’s a doctor on board and if you can travel if you’re pregnant. Medical facilities and accessibility is vital to so many travellers, yet the information is very hard to find. Giving a definitive answer to these questions can be the difference between your customer booking a cruise with you or leaving empty handed.
This sort of information is impossible to have in your head and difficult to find quickly online. You can build as many parameters and preferences into your website as you like, and a customer isn’t going to get frustrated with not quite finding what they’re looking for. If a customer comes in to your store, you could search for exactly what they want and give the answers straight away.
By adding in every grade code to every cabin, you’ll also be able to connect the cruise integration data such as the travel dates, pricing and availability with the cabin images and information. Up until now these two halves of our system were disconnected, but as we move forward we want to provide the most relevant and comprehensive information about every cruise.
When will it be available?
Obviously updating this information for every cabin and venue for every ship is a huge undertaking, and we will be working on it throughout the summer to bring it all up to date. We’ll keep you updated with our progress and let you know when all the big ocean and river cruise lines are done.
Cruise Search customers will have to wait a little longer, but we are planning to have it redesigned to show the new data later this year.
If you’re an API customer and want a sneak peak, you can make requests for either P&O Cruises or Celebrity Cruises to see the types of content that we’re adding.