Sea ViewsFrom President and COO, Adam Goldstein

Sea Views Blog with Adam Goldstein

Guest Blog – New eDoc Innovation Simplifies Cruising Documents

If you’re sailing with us in the next month or so, chances are you’ve already received our new electronic guest document, also called an “eDoc.”

This past March, we launched our new guest document platform which allowed us to transition to eDocs. I’ll spare you the techy details, but as Adam mentioned in a previous entry, we endured many episodes of three steps forward and two steps back. Thankfully, our project team for this global initiative was very passionate and dedicated to doing whatever it took to bring this program to life. including many late nights, working through weekends and missed vacations. But, that’s what happens when you push the boundaries of innovation.

In my opinion, the term “eDoc” does not provide an accurate representation for what we’ve created for our guests. This document is more of a “customized mini-website, pre-cruise planner, get-excited-about-your-cruise, and brag-to-your-friends-and-family-what-an-incredible-vacation-you-are-about-to-take” document. However, that title is a bit long, so I guess “eDoc” will have to do for now. No matter what you call it, its way better than our old document which, felt more like reading homework than preparing to be WOW’d on your next vacation.

eDoc Cover

Some have commented that our eDoc has a lot of pages. This usually comes from people expecting a simple 3 page boarding document – which we still have available to guests who complete online check-in before they board with our Set Sail Pass.

Our eDoc is not meant to be a boarding pass. There are a lot of people here at Royal Caribbean who would like to share information with you to ensure you have an incredible experience. For example, Guest Port Services would like to ensure that you know how to locate the pier, who to call if you can’t find it, and how to purchase ground transfers so we can take care of the hassle for you. Hotel Operations wants you to know about everything you can do before your cruise, like: pre-reserving Specialty Dining, booking Spa treatments, and signing activity waivers so you don’t have to worry about doing it once onboard.

Our Shore Excursion team wants to provide you with information on all of the available excursions for your cruise so you can pre-reserve your preferences and not risk missing out on the most popular activities that sell out first. And of course, the Guest Document team wants to ensure that you know the details of your cruise booking, remind you to complete your online check-in, and to order your personalized set of 8 complimentary luggage tags at least 14 days prior to sailing. As you can see, there is too much important information to fit into 3 pages.

The beauty of the eDoc is that (in addition to being an environmentally friendly option) there are videos and links for more information, you can email it to friends and family, you can cut & paste information into your own personal online photo book, and you can opt to print as many or as few pages as you like.

We still offer a professional printed version of the eDoc for $35 per person, upon request. So far, less than 5% of our guests are opting for the printed version. However, I have heard that some travel agents are printing the document for their clients versus sending them the eDoc. I’m guessing this is partly because their clients may be older and so they assume they are not as computer savvy. I think they might find that they are actually very accepting of the electronic world. My 85 year-old grandmother even pays her bills online! So, if you’d like to receive an eDoc, be sure to let your travel agent know – it’s free and it’s fun to view.

Just like our onboard experience, it’s all about options. And when it comes to our guest documents, (thankfully) there is no longer an option that resembles homework!

Check out a sample of our new eDoc:
https://secure.stage.cruisingpower.com/eDocs/getDirectEDocsFlashReq.do?a=lr%257DoB%25293q%257D%2560o_2cmnkm2plbt%2528gmv.ooiq%257Dcw%255Dw-ncw%255Dw-%253C.&txnId=3&br=R

Article by Angela Stephen, Director of Sales and Marketing Services for Royal Caribbean International

18 responses to:
“Guest Blog – New eDoc Innovation Simplifies Cruising Documents”

  1. Brascal Cole

    I’m scheduled to take my family (10 members) cruising on the Freedom of the Seas on 6/20-27. I did on-line check in, but haven’t seen anything like this e-doc. Would have been nice to have the info available since you don’t provide the hard back copies anymore.
    When is this supposed to start or did we fall through the crack.

    • Adam

      Brascal, don’t worry, you haven’t slipped through the cracks. You can still access your travel documents in two ways.

      • You can have your travel agent email your guest documents or
      • You can access your eDocs yourself by logging on to http://www.RoyalCaribbean.com/eDocs.

      We have emailed you a copy of the step-by-step guide on how to access your eDocs, so be sure to check your inbox.

  2. Cruise fan

    I think the introduction of e-docs is a great step forward and will improve service massively. How long now have we been booking flights for and being able to check in with just s passport and a piece of paper printed from email? It is about time cruising caught up and the cruise industry is moving with the times. Edocs are hassle-free, organised and convenient. And we aren’t relying on post!!!

  3. mario

    HI ADAM The Edoc really look great and I think this is a good thing. I am just wondering how do we get our room tags. We cant put paper ones on our luggage as they will not stay on???

    • Adam

      Hi Mario, you can request to ship your luggage tags when you’ve completed your Online Check-In. Requests for luggage tags must be made no later than 14 days prior to your sailing date. For more information, refer to your eDoc or visit http://ht.ly/1WO4S.

  4. Tom Bryant

    We recently sailed on Rhapsody and had the edocs. I’d rather have it on line. I just save it and can search it as I choose to.

    By the way, Rhapsody is a great ship because of her great crew!

    • Adam

      We’re happy to hear that you are enjoying our new eDocs, Tom. Thank you also for the compliment on Rhapsody’s crew, we appreciate their hard work and dedication.

  5. lynn sumski

    I will be traveling in 4 weeks. So, if I read this correctly we have to download and print our documents to get on the ship! If I send in the request for luggage tags they will mail them to me? If I don’t do the luggage tags how will they know where to send our luggage on the ship? I am looking forward to our 6th cruise with RCCL.

    • Adam

      Lynn, on your eDoc you’ll find a link where you can complete your Online Check-In which allows you to request your ship luggage tags and have them sent to you. The Online Check-In will also permit you to print your SetSail Pass which is required to board the ship.

      If you are unable to print your documents you can request for a printed version for $35. For more information regarding Cruise Documents please visit http://ht.ly/1WRGY. Have fun on your summer cruise!

  6. Chapman MAxwell

    What is RCL doing to protect client information.
    Re. situation reported on CNN.com about an employee using such information to rob clients while they were cruising.

    • Adam

      Hi Chapman, we regret this incident occurred and hope it does not overshadow the excellent work our more than 40,000 Royal Caribbean employees. We do not tolerate any form of criminal activity in our workforce or operations. This situation involves an employee who appears to have taken advantage of their position for personal gain.

  7. Ed pAGENKOPP

    We have sailed twice on the Mariner out of Los Angeles. We are sailing a third time on the Mariner on September 25th. We enjoy this ship and all of the other RC ships we have sailed on. We especially enjoy sailing out of the Los Angeles port as our ages makes distant travel by air difficult.
    We are told that the Mariner is leaving our area in January of 2011. Will another ship take its place so we can continue to enjoy sailing with Royal Caribbean from our home town port?

  8. marcus and suzanne

    this will be our frist cruise as husband and wife …cant wait

    • Adam

      Marcus and Suzanne, we are happy to hear that you will be sharing this special moment with us.

  9. tracy fong

    We will be sailing August 22/10 and requested our luggage tags as instructed at the time of online checking on July 4. They did not arrive so again I requested them July 20 but they still have not been received. How long do they take to be sent out? I’m worried they won’t be received in time making checkin at the port longer. We live in Canada and will be driving down a few days ahead. I was told by customer services tags should be received in about 10 business days. Is this true? Thanks.

    • Adam

      Tracy, thank you for your comment. You can learn more about your luggage tags here http://bit.ly/9wdq51 We hope this helps and we look forward to sailing with you later this month.

  10. George Sparks

    So Edocs is something you email to me at some interval?
    Going to http://www.RoyalCaribbean.com/eDocs just asks for my email address but doesn’t allow me to download anything.
    How do I get luggage tags? The SetSail Pass refers to luggage tags but does not explain how I get them.

    • Adam

      Hello George, because your sailing is still months out, your eDocs are not ready. They will be available 49 days prior to your sail date.

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