EY wavespace™

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EY ranks top for Digital Transformation

EY has been recognized by Forrester Research as a leader in The Forrester Wave™: Global Digital Business Transformation Accelerators, Q1 2019.


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What is wavespace?

In wavespace, we curate talent and technology, bringing them together in a collaboration, proven to energize, and align teams to create meaningful outcomes — faster.

Imagine the space to take big leaps, to inspire creativity to answer your biggest questions.

wavespaces are designed to generate possibilities, find answers faster and align people for decision-making — whether your goal is to grow, transform or disrupt.

People from across your organization, EY and beyond, will interact with ideas, technology and each other. This interaction leads to meaningful outcomes. It inspires human ingenuity. It accelerates creativity to help organizations thrive in the Transformative Age.

In wavespace, we curate talent and technology, bringing them together in a collaboration, proven to energize, and align teams so they can solve problems and create meaningful outcomes.

Whether we host you in one of our global network of wavespace centers, create a temporary ‘pop up’ space, or install wavespace on your premises, we’ll help you break through to better answers to your most pressing business issues.

How we helped Royal Caribbean

Royal Caribbean asked EY to develop a digital strategy to transform its business. We used wavespace to inspire creativity, bringing together talent and technology to reimagine the customer experience from shore-to-ship. Our dynamic collaboration has led to a new operating model, a guest app and a digital mindset across the organization that will help Royal Caribbean to navigate the Transformative Age.

Read the full story below: 

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The better the question The better the answer The better the world works
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How digital transformation opened new channels for growth

With help from EY professionals, Royal Caribbean’s digital-first approach is transforming their business and the cruising experience.

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The better the question The better the answer The better the world works
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How can technology transform the business of adventure?

Across its family of brands, Royal Caribbean prided itself on leading-edge innovation in ship design. It was time to bring the guest experience into the Transformative Age.

Cruise guests want maximum fun with minimum hassle

Time is precious, now more than ever. Almost every minute is assigned and accounted for in the hustle and bustle of the day.

So when people get a chance to take a holiday from their busy lives, they want a frictionless experience that supersizes the vacation fun and minimizes the hassle factor. They want a feeling of being away while at the same time having all the connected comforts of home.

For Royal Caribbean, this meant redesigning the entire customer journey and introducing a range of integrated technologies to bring the guest experience into the Transformative Age.

We’re always thinking about tomorrow, and that requires constantly looking to be the disruptor, not the disruptee.
Jason Liberty
EVP & CFO, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.

Royal Caribbean saw an opportunity to provide a fully integrated shore-to-ship digital experience

Involving everything from zip lines to flow riding to ice skating, Royal Caribbean’s ship design has always been at the leading edge of innovation to attract a growing number of cruise passengers (from 17.8 million per year in 2009 to an expected 27.2 million in 2018). However, in looking at industries such as amusement parks, casinos and airlines, which have been offering mobile check-in and bespoke apps to customers for years, Royal Caribbean realized it had an opportunity to improve its ability to offer guests a fully integrated shore-to-ship digital experience.

The rapid pace of digital transformation has led to heightened customer expectations— and organizations know they need to innovate if they want to keep up. EY findings show that 50% of CEOs do not believe their companies have implemented the necessary steps to counter disruption. Failure to do so can put market leadership and capitalization at risk.

The risk of being disrupted


of CEOs do not believe their companies have implemented the necessary steps to counter disruption.

To remain competitive on every level, Royal Caribbean recognized it needed to deliver a seamless connected experience on land and at sea that allowed their guests to get the most from their cruise experience. Understanding it needed the right partner, Royal Caribbean looked to EY professionals to help it cruise into the digital age.

Digital doesn’t disrupt our business but accelerates our business.

Jay Schneider

SVP, Digital, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.


Moving from analog to digital required a radical technological rethink

When EY came onboard, Royal Caribbean was still in the early stages of its digital thinking. Guests had limited visibility to activities and amenities through a web portal and a minimalist app. Once aboard, they received a daily printed newsletter detailing the events, activities, restaurants and menus, shore excursions and ports of call for the day. Further, to participate in an event or excursion, guests had to line up and sign up with the crew on a first-come, first-served basis.

This analog approach was limiting, particularly for generations who were more accustomed to a digital-first mindset and were looking for a more streamlined and frictionless experience.

“People today expect the ease of technology in everything they do,” says Richard Fain, Chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. “They find it saves them time and effort, especially when on vacation, where time is one of the most important commodities they have.”

This was an opportunity for Royal Caribbean to think differently about connecting with their guests, with their employees and also with new revenue streams.

Raj Mirchandani

EY Consulting Account Leader for Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.


“This was an opportunity for Royal Caribbean to think differently about connecting with their guests, with their employees and also with new revenue streams,” Raj Mirchandani, EY Consulting Account Leader for Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., explains. “Done right, this could lead to new ways of operating that provide not just what today’s digitally savvy customers expect, but something that fundamentally changes their perception of what it means to go on a cruise.”

Of course, developing a digital experience that worked on ship and shore, across a fleet of 40 ships, was no easy task. The EY team needed to think about digital from every angle throughout the company’s entire business.

Royal Caribbean ship above ocean
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The better the question The better the answer The better the world works
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Providing experiences on-demand that are available with a click and a swipe

Out front and behind the scenes, the EY team is helping Royal Caribbean give guests control over every aspect of their voyage.

Facial recognition that speeds up boarding is just one feature of a new seamless customer experience

“Often, EY clients will come to us, and they’ll say, ‘We want to rethink the customer experience in a new digital way,’” says Cheryl Grise, EY Consulting Lead, Southeast Region. “And as you start to probe and ask more questions, you realize they’re saying a lot more than that. What we learned is that Royal Caribbean wasn’t just asking for the customer experience to be digitized; they were also asking how to become a fully equipped digital organization.”

From having guests check in using facial recognition to facilitate faster boarding; to informing them via text that their luggage had safely arrived in their stateroom; to exploring, planning and booking activities through an app that puts every onboard adventure for every age at guests’ fingertips, the EY team is helping Royal Caribbean create a seamless customer experience.

The guest experience gets a digital facelift

EY and Royal Caribbean professionals used data and analytics to create a personalization engine that gives guests mobile control over many different touchpoints in their cruising experience. Through the personalization engine, the app learns, tracks and helps crews respond to passenger preferences from the moment of boarding, providing recommendations based on their behavior so that guests can enjoy the adventure on their own terms.

Behind the scenes, teams of EY and Royal Caribbean technology, digital and business professionals worked together to solve the challenges associated with creating an uninterrupted digital experience, whether it was onshore through fiber optics, or through satellites while at sea.

Innovative digital technology works to detangle layers of backend legacy IT systems

As part of an evolutionary rebuild, EY professionals initially focused on reconfiguring Royal Caribbean’s IT systems so that they could recognize each guest as an individual, authenticate and offer intelligent personalization, and customize every aspect of their itinerary. The teams used mobile, cloud, machine learning, and data analytics technologies to detangle a complex, layered legacy technology infrastructure. The result — a rebuilt IT platform that is modern, scalable and resilient.

Intelligent personalization and integrated automation provide a more profitable cruising experience

What this means in real terms is that once a guest has downloaded the app, snapped a selfie and turned on their Bluetooth, the new app uses integrated automation and intelligent personalization to let them explore activities they’d be likely to enjoy. The app also allows guests to do things like pull up a drink menu and input an order, which a cruise employee later delivers directly to them with the help of beacon technology. In addition, based on information guests input into the app, it can automatically alert servers to any food sensitivities and allergies so that guests won’t have to worry about their health and safety while onboard.

Royal Caribbean Northstar observation pod
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The better the question The better the answer The better the world works
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The whole journey–transformed

Royal Caribbean’s digital transformation helps families have the best vacation time of their lives.

Beyond technology, Royal Caribbean reimagines its operating model to deliver experiences on-demand.

For Royal Caribbean, digital transformation means more than developing an app or deploying digital technology. It’s about changing the entire operating model and creating a digital mindset across the organization that focuses on providing a frictionless experience in every interaction for every guest.

The EY team positioned Royal Caribbean’s digital transformation journey to begin by looking first at the guest and employee experiences, developing a digital vision for the enterprise and making incremental changes to each. This will evolve to cover the whole end-to-end cruising experience — from booking to boarding to cruising. Meanwhile, the EY and Royal Caribbean teams are considering the employee experience and how Royal Caribbean can give them greater levels of engagement with purpose, as well as the digitally connected advantages cruise guests now enjoy.

If I do my job right, you won’t even notice the technology. You’ll just notice really amazing experiences.

Joey Hasty

Innovation and Transformation Lead, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.


EY helps Royal Caribbean take a digital transformation journey that allows guests to enjoy their adventure, their way

When holiday-seekers set about booking a vacation, they are often overworked, overloaded and overtired. Their vacation is a chance to leave that burden behind — as much as they can.

With the EY team’s help, Royal Caribbean was able to realize its objective of offering guests a fully integrated shore-to-ship digital experience. A redesigned terminal experience supports facial recognition for faster boarding so that guests can start vacationing earlier. Integrated automation and intelligent personalization improve guest satisfaction, increase onboard revenue and lower costs.

Royal Caribbean’s digital transformation journey is a win-win for cruise guests and the company’s bottom line. Seamless, personalized experiences allow guests to enjoy their adventure, their way, while new in-app revenue opportunities lead the way for more profitable growth.

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Royal Caribbean Anthem of the seas

wavespace way of working:

  • A relentless focus on meaningful outcomes
  • A collaboration experience proven to unlock creativity
  • A blend of talent to break through to better answers
  • An innate understanding of emerging technology
  • A way to align your teams and accelerate change within your organization.

Our global network of wavespace centers

We have a connected global network of 23 wavespace flagships in some of the world’s most dynamic and innovative urban areas. Our wavespace centers can help you explore and test ideas, solutions and products. wavespace flagships are made up of distinct environments — for design, tech demos, data labs / incubation and workshops — with specialist teams and technologies.

  • Design Studio

    Our design environments are open, creative spaces where we can help your team with service design, user experience (UX), user interfaces (UI), rapid prototyping and more.

  • Showcase

    Seeing is believing. In our showcase environments, we’ll immerse your team in emerging technologies — from virtual reality, to AI, to robotics and more.

  • Facilitated Workshop

    In our workshop environments, we run high-impact, facilitated events that will unleash your team’s imagination, and help you identify and address your toughest business issues.

  • Lab/Incubator

    In our labs and incubators, our researchers and scientists explore, cultivate and pilot new technologies that can help your team bring its best ideas to life.

  • Pop-up/Mobile

    If your team can’t come to our established wavespace locations, we will come to you. We can set up shop and get down to business in your offices, a conference center — just about anywhere.

Each wavespace center is a center of excellence for one or more digital capabilities, such as IoT, AI, user experience, blockchain, data analytics or cybersecurity. We also have 17 wavespace satellites, which focus on one particular competency or emerging technology.

Our pop-up / mobile capabilities mean that we can also set up and run wavespace in a temporary space, or within your own organization.

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