Virgin Voyages Enhances Sailor Experience with New Wi-Fi Network

By Greg Tavarez, TMCnet Editor  |  August 04, 2022

Virgin Voyages, an exclusively adult cruise experience, has two ships deployed and two more in development, each with a capacity of nearly 4,000 passengers and crew members. To deliver premium experiences aboard all four of their inaugural fleet of “lady ships,” Virgin Voyages set two primary goals.

One goal is to deliver a premier sailor experience by providing real-time services and always-on connectivity for crew members to facilitate fast, reliable service. For example, a crew member can open a repair ticket on their issued device, and it immediately goes to the right person to address the issue.

A second goal is to provide location-based quality of service via location-based data. Virgin Voyages created a virtual queuing system so that sailors don’t have to congregate in long lines.

Working with DeCurtis Corp., Virgin Voyages set out to transform existing sailor experiences to make them better, faster and more impactful through creative application of the latest technology, and announced it is deploying an end-to-end Aruba ESP (Edge Services Platform) network.

The network will include Aruba Wi-Fi 6 access points with built-in location services, as well as access switches. Wi-Fi 6 provides increased speed, flexibility and scalability to support growth in the number of IoT and client devices, increased use of cloud and digital transformation initiatives. Aruba also lays the foundation for indoor location using a universal reference framework to help application developers and line of business spend more time creating the application.

Additionally, Virgin Voyages uses ClearPass for network access control and policy management and AirWave (News - Alert) for network management. With ClearPass, Virgin Voyages will authenticate, authorize and enforce secure network access control with role-based network policies based on zero trust security.

“The network is built to accommodate around 15,000 devices,” said Frank Farro, vice president of Technology at Virgin Voyages. “This includes crew devices, PCs, laptops and tablets, in addition to tablets and TVs in each cabin, as well as in the crew rooms. Add on top of that the myriad of devices each Sailor brings onboard.”

Virgin Voyages, in the future, will continue delivering transparent sailor services and expand features such as wayfinding. Their focus will remain on making sure that sailors’ devices seamlessly connect to the internal Wi-Fi network, so they don’t even have to think about connectivity from boarding to departure and everything in between.

Edited by Erik Linask
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