(1:52 p.m. EST) -- Parents sailing on MSC Seaside will soon be able to locate their children in public spaces using the MSC for Me app.
The app, which was announced back in March, is already up and running on both MSC Meraviglia and MSC Seaside, but without the child-finding capability, which launches in a "few weeks" on Seaside, Luca Pronzati, chief business innovation officer for MSC Cruises told a small group of reporters on Seaside.
The functionality will allow parents to locate their kids (from about ages 1 to 11) on a map of the ship, so long as the kids are in a public space. There are no sensors in the cabins, so it will not tell parents if their kids are in their room.
For now, cruisers can use MSC for Me to find their way around the ship via turn-by-turn directions enabled by 3,275 beacons (essentially serving as onboard GPS satellites). Other functionalities include the ability to make restaurant reservations, book shore excursions or see the day's schedule.
Further down the road, MSC will beef up not only the app but the technology onboard its ships as well, adding facial recognition that will enable the ship to push personalized messaging to people as they move through the ship.
Smart cabins are also in the works, as are robotic entertainment and virtual and augmented reality, which Pronzati said might be ready to be rolled out on ships in 2019. (Virtual reality is already in use by the future cruise sales office as cruisers on one ship can use VR to see what the experience on a different ship is like.)
The line will also be improving its Wi-Fi technology; further announcements about this are coming soon, Pronzati said.
--By Dori Saltzman, Senior Editor