MSC Cruises, the world’s largest privately-owned cruise company and leading cruise line in Europe and South America, revealed that its industry-first digital personal assistant will be named Zoe. Zoe is being developed in partnership with voice technology expert HARMAN International.
MSC Cruises’ CEO Gianni Onorato made this announcement at the 12th annual CLIA Conference 2018 in Southampton that the company is employing the next-generation technology to create a connected cruise experience, tailoring the way they receive information to their individual needs. Southampton is also where MSC Cruises will christen MSC Bellissima, the ship on which Zoe will first be available.
“As a family-owned company with over 300 years of seafaring heritage, it is a maritime tradition to involve the female members of the family in key events and developments. Zoe is a family name as well as being a name that is internationally recognized and easy to pronounce no matter what language a guest speaks. Choosing a family name was a way to combine tradition with our continued focus on innovation,” commented MSC Cruises CEO, Gianni Onorato.
The introduction of the digital personal assistant marks a new phase in the ongoing evolution of MSC Cruises’ digital innovation program MSC For Me, which was first introduced in 2017 with the launch of MSC Meraviglia.
A bespoke device is being designed specifically for use in the cabins on board and will be available in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, German, Brazilian Portuguese and Mandarin. The primary objective of this digital service is to provide the guest with a simple and stress-free way to find out information that traditionally is asked in person at the Guest Relations desk. This way the guest can find the information without having to leave their cabin. As with all of the technology on board, this is not designed to replace human interaction between crew and guest, but rather complement it by answering frequently asked questions and therefore allowing crew to further focus on a more personalized specific support.
Onorato also revealed that the next innovations to be introduced will include a more personalized one-to-one customer engagement powered by AI & machine learning, smart cabin, of which the Digital Assistant is the first step as well as robotic entertainment.