Carnival Cruise Line held a dedication for its new fleet operations center (FOC) in Miami, where it will be able to track its ships 24/7 around the globe, Carnival president Christine Duffy said.
At 35,000 square feet, the center is the third and largest operated by Carnival Corp., which has two others in Seattle and Hamburg, Germany.
Carnival chairman Micky Arison, who attended the ceremony at Carnival headquarters, said it was four times the size of Carnival's first office in downtown Miami when the company was launched in 1972.
Although primarily for Carnival Cruise Line, the center has the capability to function for any of the nine Carnival Corp brands.
The center consolidates functional teams that had been previously scattered throughout Carnival's two towers in western Miami-Dade County.
About 150 people will be moving into the center over the next two weeks, FOC director John Rowley said. Teams will be clustered in areas devoted to Carnival's four principal ship classes, working side by side for the first time in pods of connected desks, rather than scattered cubicles.
The focal point of the room is a 74-foot video wall made up of 57 hi-definition color screens. The wall displays various outputs and graphic representations of ship position, engine performance, weather conditions and other data that can be monitored by the teams working in the room.
There are also four adjacent incident rooms that will be used in emergency or critical situations.
Rowley said that when Hurricane Irma hit the Caribbean last fall, closing many ports, much of the decision-making data for Carnival was correlated manually. The new center automates those processes, and brings all of the relevant personnel together in the same physical location.
Software called Argos, custom-designed by Carnival, 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, Carnival said.
In addition to staff directly overseeing ships, the center will house cross-functional teams for technical, nautical and port functions, guest operations, compliance, and environmental operations.
"We believe that a big part of this step forward is bringing everyone together," Duffy said. "People who are working together in support of our ships are physically sitting together in this facility every day."