It seems the more excitement there is during the cruise, the more we want to give our guests the opportunity to arrange key aspects of their cruise in advance. This has been a focus for several years and continues to occupy our attention. Almost everything about cruising is positive, but the mad dash to secure valuable components of the experience on the first afternoon has not been a cherished part of the vacation for many guests. Our intention over time is to retire that mad dash. More importantly, we want our guests to have the highest possible confidence that they will enjoy the vacation of their dreams.
The first big advance in this respect was the introduction of advance booking of our Explorations! Shore excursions a few years ago. This offering has blossomed into our Cruise Enhancements offerings which also include soda packages, wine and water packages and specialty dining reservations. Soon we will be offering spa appointments in advance as well.
Participation in our SetSail advance check-in offering is now over 80% and has facilitated improved guest satisfaction with the embarkation experience even as the security regime at the piers has evolved over recent years.
Other opportunities are emerging to support our cruise experience in advance of the cruise departure. We have recently written here about our Show Tickets concept that will allow our guests to reserve the timing of the entertainment offerings they would like to see such as Hairspray or the Oasis of Dreams Aquatheater show. Oasis guests will also be able to take advantage of the ability to complete an electronic universal waiver in advance for activities that require a waiver, such as the flowrider, zipline, and rockwall. Another pre-cruise electronic convenience is the ability to prepay gratuities.
We have also put the spotlight on My Time Dining and Choice Air this year, which allow guests to pursue their individual preferences in onboard dining and air travel with greater flexibility than before.
On top of these pre-cruise opportunities, we have improved the muster drill procedure with the removal of the requirement to return to the stateroom to get the life jacket and then return again after the drill to put the life jacket back in the stateroom.
Together with improvements in progress to our e-docs and our Countdown to Cruise communications platform, we are confident that over a five year period ending during 2010 we will have revolutionized the pre-cruise environment and made the first afternoon a considerably more pleasant experience. Thank you for your support of this change process.
Unusual note of the week – last week our friends at the Coca-Cola Company revealed to us an all aluminum Coke bottle commemorating the arrival of Oasis of the Seas. There will be a special production run of several hundred thousand of these unique bottles.