As countries around the world tentatively take the first steps towards lifting restrictions, forward-thinking suppliers are ensuring that their place in the future of the cruise industry is solidified. With many tried-and-tested suppliers adapting their products and services to be anti-viral, anti-microbial, health-and-safety-conscious and more, as well as new suppliers to the industry vying for their place to ensure the safety of cruise moving forwards, now is the perfect time to begin the conversation of how to get specified in the future. This is exactly what the panel of leading designers and architects from across the cruise industry set out to do in the second episode of Cruise Conversations – Getting Specified: Top Considerations from Top Designers.

Hosted by Toby Walters, CEO of Cruise Ship Interiors, the panel consisted of George Scammell, ASID, IIDA, Director, Interior Design & Operations, Princess Cruises & Holland America Line, Antonio Di Nenno, Architect Director, MSC Cruises, and David McCarthy, Marine Development Director, AD Associates.

The panel dived headfirst into the topic, starting with how the cruise lines find suppliers, and what new suppliers to the industry need to be thinking about. George Scammell stated that the key thing is networking, but put emphasis on the need for suppliers to do their homework. Meeting specifications & needs is crucial, along with understanding the time and cost commitment needed to certify products. David McCarthy added weight to this, recommending certification organisations such as Lloyd’s Register should be the first port of call for new suppliers to the industry.

Moving swiftly on to the elephant in the room, the panel discussed the future of materials and design in cruise. Antonio Di Nenno and David McCarthy agreed that anti-viral and anti-microbial materials and products have always been available and utilized in the cruise industry, but previously had limited range. George followed on from this, saying the first priority is always to keep the guests and crew safe, and noted the importance of continuing to improve products in terms of safety and sustainability. David echoed this sentiment, saying:

“When choosing materials, it’s about longevity – as well as how it looks and feels, it’s about how it will stack up in terms of cleaning and robustness”

David McCarthy, AD Associates

The panel agreed that it was too early to tell what cruise would look like post-COVID-19, but explored the possibilities, with George stating that innovation would be driven by how guest operations and F&B would want to operate, as well as onboard traffic flows and guest behaviours. David and Antonio considered the potential of technology in finding solutions to problems moving forward – notably using technology to make touchpoints as frictionless as possible.

Antonio Di Nenno previously stated at the Cruise Ship Interiors Design Expo Europe Conference, “[at this exhibition] you will find most of the people that will be behind the doors you’re knocking on.” You’ll also find most of those people on Cruise Conversations. For all the advice from the panel, take a look at How to Get Specified for Cruise Interiors, and check out the full webinar on our YouTube channel.

Stay tuned to Cruise Conversations to hear more on the crucial discussions had by industry leaders. Sign up for webinar updates below…