Carnival Cruise Line yesterday previewed its new Fleet Operations Center (FOC) in Miami, the largest and most advanced in the cruise industry. The 35,000-square-foot facility is custom-designed for hands-on, around-the-clock monitoring and support of the line's 26 cruise ships.
The Carnival Cruise Line FOC is the first facility of its kind in South Florida and features a state-of-the-art tracking and data-analysis platform that enables real-time information sharing between Carnival ships and specialized shoreside teams designed to support fleet operations.
It was unveiled during a ribbon cutting ceremony and interactive demonstration of its most innovative new high-tech features, which is anchored by a 74-foot-long video wall composed of 57 LED screens. The high-definition wall displays the status of all ships, including weather, itinerary updates, safety, engine and environmental updates. Additionally the status of ports, ships logistics, guest operations and a host of other functions are also monitored. The 24/7/365 system will support the work of cross-functional teams, including technical, nautical, port and guest operations, environmental operations and compliance, occupational safety, technical services, and other key areas. Seating is arranged in open "pods" aligned with Carnival's ship classes, to invite constant collaboration, integration and streamlined communication between these and other departments, bringing together all areas of expertise into shared spaces.
"In designing the FOC, we combined best practices from the military, government and industry to achieve a generational leap in facility design, sophisticated technology and utilization, creating the largest and most advanced fleet operations center in the industry," said Carnival Cruise Line President Christine Duffy. "Nothing is more important than the safety of our guests and crew, and this new facility enhances our already comprehensive approach to safety and operational excellence."
Carnival built custom tools for use and integration into the FOC, such as the proprietary software applications "Neptune" and "Argos." Developed in-house, Argos is an always-awake knowledge management tool which harnesses information from thousands of data points and overlays rules-based decision making, predictive alerting and queuing into one visual dashboard. The result is at-a-glance situational awareness across the fleet which significantly improves communication from ship to shore, enhances safe passage of ships, improves operational efficiencies and supports overall environmental initiatives.
Neptune captures and provides analytics for dozens of distinct parameters for navigational safety from each ship, focusing on the following strategic areas to optimize safety, efficiency and overall fleet performance:
– Nautical Operations & Safety – including the capability to see current radar visuals, stability conditions, automation, the Safety Management and Command System, and webcams from each ship, along with GPS location, routing, ship conditions and weather data.
– Procedural Optimization & Efficiency – including speeds, navigational data and engine conditions.
– Sustainability – including fuel and energy usage, emissions levels, water and waste management.
"The FOC brings together real-time information for decision making. Integrated shoreside teams support our shipboard officers to act quickly and decisively while significantly increasing the operational efficiency of our ships," said Gus Antorcha, Carnival Cruise Line's chief operating officer.
Carnival partnered with Constant Technologies, Inc., a design firm that specializes in building operations centers in the public and private sectors. The design includes an open concept floor plan with sustainable furnishings and ergonomic features such as the ceiling's blue lighting which minimizes eye fatigue, all sit/stand desks and carpeting made from recycled fish nets. There are also multiple conference rooms that are linked via video screens to the main LED wall and are intended to be utilized by support teams that would assist during any incidents.
The South Florida-based facility is the third and largest in Carnival Corporation's global FOC network, complementing those in Seattle, Washington, and Hamburg, Germany, where Neptune was first piloted. While the new location primarily is dedicated to Carnival Cruise Line, it includes the ability to monitor the entire 103-ship fleet among parent company Carnival Corporation's nine operating lines and it can act as the FOC for any of them at a moment's notice.