Cruise line quickly consolidates global infrastructure with Citrix

Based in Miami, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. is the second-largest cruise line operator in the world. The company owns six brands—including Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Cruises—with a combined total of 42 ships globally.

The Challenge: Fixing an outdated infrastructure

At Royal Caribbean, call centers generate more revenue than any other department. Since the late 1990s, Royal Caribbean has depended on Citrix technology to deliver business-critical applications to workers in call centers around the globe. In recent years, however, the company began encountering connectivity issues when adding new call centers because of outdated infrastructure. “It became clear that we needed a whole new approach,” says Jeanine Graham-Bellamy, director of technology at Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. “Every call center had its own datacenter, and that was the wrong way to go. We needed to consolidate our infrastructure so that our Citrix environment could perform up to its potential.”

The Solution: Consolidating datacenters to enable simple, centralized management of global resources

The Royal Caribbean IT team partnered with integrator Forthright Technology Partners and Citrix to conduct an assessment.

“There was a 350-page assessment doc that really justified us creating a centralized model,” says Jack McElwayne, middleware enterprise application integration (EAI) manager at Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. “Forthright Technology was a significant part of that. They asked the right questions and were a key factor in our ultimate success.”

Forthright and Citrix consultants created a more consolidated infrastructure for simpler management and higher performance on a global scale. Today, Citrix XenDesktop transforms Microsoft Windows desktops and applications into an on-demand service available to hundreds of concurrent users, while Citrix XenApp enables 175 applications to be virtualized, centralized and managed from the cruise operator’s newly consolidated datacenters. Citrix XenClient simplifies the management of thousands of virtual desktops around the world. Citrix CloudBridge technology delivers wide-area-network (WAN) optimization and seamless cloud connectivity across the enterprise, and Citrix NetScaler App Delivery Controller provides global load balancing for improved availability and heightened security. Finally, Citrix Provisioning Services makes it possible for administrators to provision and reprovision virtual computers in real time from a single, shared disk image, completely eliminating the need to manage and patch individual systems.

“We’ve placed CloudBridge in each call center, and the rest of the work is done from our datacenters here in Florida,” says McElwayne. “Centralizing the datacenters has enabled us to expand to new call centers without making a significant footprint in those geographic areas. It’s also enabled us to add the same look and feel throughout the globe.”

Key Benefits

Launching new call centers at a significantly lower cost

The new Citrix environment enables Royal Caribbean to expand its global footprint at a far lower cost—a massive savings in both capital and operational expenditures. Rather than budgeting for on-site datacenters at every call center, the company can redirect those funds to further optimize its centrally managed infrastructure. “We can get an international site up and running in a fraction of the time, and at a fraction of the cost,” says McElwayne. “That’s a huge win for us.”

Accelerating performance and improving reliability

With a more consolidated infrastructure, Royal Caribbean can provide faster performance and higher availability to its workforce around the world, while minimizing the administrative burden for members of the IT team in the United States. “We’ve seen a 30 percent reduction in what we’re sending over the pipes because we’re using Citrix technology to cache more of our data,” says McElwayne. “With that kind of compression and acceleration, it’s no surprise that we’re seeing much more reliable performance across the system.”

Enhancing the customer service experience

Citrix technology enables call center employees to achieve greater productivity, which translates into superior customer service. “With Citrix, we can make more information readily available to our call centers,” says Scott Hartman, reservation supervisor at Royal Caribbean. “That streamlines the whole process, helping each agent get the latest data so they can answer more questions with greater accuracy and efficiency. The end result is a happier customer.”

Looking Ahead

Royal Caribbean is looking at more ways to improve operations with Citrix technologies, both shipside and shoreside. One initiative, for example, will enable the company to provide a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) environment so that workers can securely access the company’s data on any device, including personal smartphones. That level of availability and convenience is sure to further enhance customer service—and provide yet another competitive advantage for one of the world’s top cruise lines.

We can get an international site up and running in a fraction of the time, and at a fraction of the cost. That’s a huge win for us.
- Jack McElwayne

Middleware EAI Manager

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.

About Citrix

Citrix (NASDAQ:CTXS) is leading the transition to software-defining the workplace, uniting virtualization, mobility management, networking and SaaS solutions to enable new ways for businesses and people to work better. Citrix solutions power business mobility through secure, mobile workspaces that provide people with instant access to apps, desktops, data and communications on any device, over any network and cloud. With annual revenue in 2014 of $3.14 billion, Citrix solutions are in use at more than 330,000 organizations and by over 100 million users globally. Learn more at

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With Citrix, we can make more information readily available to our call centers. That streamlines the whole process, helping each agent get the latest data so they can answer more questions with greater accuracy and efficiency. The end result is a happier customer.
- Scott Hartman

Reservation Supervisor

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.


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Key Benefits

  • Launches  new call centers at a significantly lower cost
  • Accelerates performance and improves reliability
  • Enhances the customer service experience

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