Carnival Cruise Line’s new 35,000-square-foot Fleet Operations Center resembles the bridge of a spaceship in a science-fiction movie — a sleek and luxurious spaceship like in “Star Trek,” not a battleship or cargo ship seen in grittier films like “Aliens.”
Able to simultaneously monitor real-time conditions faced by 26 vessels, the centerpiece of the state-of-the-art facility unveiled Thursday at Carnival Corp.’s Doral headquarters is a 74-foot video wall composed of 57 LED screens.
Each of the 26 ships has its own status screen with information about its itinerary, the current weather, logistics, guest operations and environmental status.
Those screens flank an interactive map of the world displaying locations of all 104 ships across Carnival Corp.’s nine cruise lines, including Princess Cruises and Holland America. All of them could be monitored from the new center if necessary, company officials said.
It’s a far cry from the 9,000-square-foot office the company occupied in downtown Miami when it was founded in 1972, said Christine Duffy, Carnival Cruise Line’s president.
“We’ve come a long way,” she said.
The new operations center, taking up an entire floor, will be staffed 24 hour a day, seven days a week, every day of the year. It combines functions once spread across the company’s two main headquarters buildings.
There’s room for 100 employees, grouped by the cruise line’s ship classes, including Spirit, Triumph, Sunshine, Dream, Splendor, Vista, Conquest and Fantasy classes. And it can withstand a Category 5 hurricane, according to the company.
This is Carnival Corp.’s third and largest fleet operations center, complementing command centers in Seattle, Wash., and Hamburg, Germany.
It’s fitting that the largest and most advanced center is at the headquarters, said William Burke, chief maritime officer, because it’s where Carnival Corp. CEO Arnold Donald would come to monitor any critical situations, such as when the company has to reposition ships around a hurricane.
The center’s office furniture is ergonomically designed in the company’s signature blue-and-white color scheme with just a touch of red trim.
And the center was designed with sustainability in mind, with lighting and flooring made from recycled fishing nets, lighting in meeting rooms and other areas controlled by motion sensors, and even reusable mugs that prevent the center’s crew from throwing away about 500 disposable cups every day, the company said.
By Ron Hurtibise, Sun Sentinel
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