In its second-largest acquisition, Amazon buys the company for $970 million.
Mobile users can learn about the line’s destinations and get packing advice.
Celebrity Cruises Inc. is on board with mobile. The cruise line has launched a free iPhone app and a mobile site that offers nearly as many activities as Celebrity’s cruise ships themselves.
The app, available through Apple Inc.’s App Store or the cruise line’s web site, lets mobile users see onboard activities and use a cruise finder to help decide when and where to take a cruise, and offers information about the cruise line’s 150 ports and trip itineraries. App users also can learn all about each of the ships and plan a virtual vacation based on things to do on board and off, including checking out the Mac-filled Internet cafés that help passengers create digital photo books, order wine tastings and discover local attractions. App users who want more information can request an e-mail or call from customer service or place a customer service call directly through the app. The app also offers advice on what to pack based on destination and cruise.
The new mobile site, which was built in-house, allows consumers to use an iPhone, a smartphone using Google Inc.’s Android operating system or a BlackBerry model 8520 or later to search Celebrity cruises and itineraries, obtain destination information, view details about each ship, connect with Celebrity via social media sites, e-mail itineraries of interest to Celebrity’s customer service team, or contact customer service directly from the site. It also offers menus and wine lists available on board many ships.
More companies in the travel industry are launching sites and apps that help consumers discover what they have to offer. For example, the Eldorado Hotel Casino and Silver Legacy Resort Casino in Reno launched iPhone apps and mobile sites in September with vendor MacroView Labs. Consumers can book a room, purchase tickets to a show and request a meeting on the property. Members of the casinos’ loyalty program also can log in and book a room using their rewards points via the company’s mobile offerings.
The apps also aid visitors on the premises. Visitors can order room service through the apps, browse restaurant menus and preview shows. They can upgrade their rooms while playing slots and make dinner reservations lying poolside. The apps also show things to do around Reno and let visitors drop a pin on a map to help them remember where they parked. Customers can also unlock location-based deals depending on where they are at the resorts.
Celebrity also is using the latest mobile technology to entertain and please its passengers. The cruise line recently unveiled iPad-based art tours. IPads on vessels offer a map with select pieces of art highlighted. Passengers can tap the iPad screen to access details about the chosen piece, such as a description of the artist and more.