Cruise Director


Cruise Director is a platform for allowing: 

  • Onboard services to share data
  • Shipboard and shoreside systems to synchronize any type of data
  • Analytics to be collected from any onboard system and displayed in a unified manner
  • Permissions to be set up for each type of onboard and shoreside user
  • Standard and custom modules for everything from entertainment to mobile management
  • Onboard hardware to be deployed and monitored

Cruise Director ModulesSee what Cruise Director has to offer.

Why We Built Cruise Director Addressing the Needs of the Modern Cruise and Ferry Industry


Cruise Director was designed to allow cruise lines to avoid vendor lock-in. It accomplishes this by providing integrations with the most common onboard system types and then giving the keys over to the cruise line. This includes us! Our unique licensing model means that you own the entire system, including the code, and can fire us at any time. If we can’t continue to provide value to our clients, then we don’t deserve to be in business.


At Sourcetoad, we build software for cruise lines. Cruise ships are a particularly challenging area of software engineering, so we wanted to make life easier for our clients (and ourselves). Cruise Director gives our customers a set of shared services and APIs to be able to quickly build guest-facing, crew-facing, and operations-facing applications.


The less time your onboard staff has to spend managing onboard systems, the better it is for everyone. As a result, Cruise Director was built with shoreside management in mind for every module.


Too often new and modern systems are deployed to ships only for these systems to depreciate within just a few years. Cruise Director was designed so that most of the heavy lifting of applications can be handled behind the scenes. This means that new interfaces can be built every few years at significantly reduced costs.

Cruise Director CapabilitiesInnovative features to streamline onboard management. 

Intelligent Signage

Sourcetoad’s intelligent signage delivers centralized control and a variety of integration options. Eye-catching information to assist guests is easy to build using templates, videos, and static images.

Unlike most signage systems, the ours is designed to be set-it-and-forget it. Our automated systems can deliver dynamic signage based on any number of preset options:

  • Time of day
  • The position of the ship
  • The itinerary
  • Weather conditions
  • The current port
  • The location of the gangway
  • Items in the cruise compass
  • Entertainment and theatre schedules
  • Deck number
  • Elevator movement

The signage system can manage pre-made playlists of both static and video signage. Digital assets for signage screens can also be configured to build on top of the signage system.

The signage admin console allows administrators to create signage playlists, manage signage, and search devices. Displays can be customized remotely, and templates can be utilized for standardization and brand consistency. This significantly decreases the support burden for managing the passenger information system.

Captive Portal

Sourcetoad’s captive portal solution provides a lightweight tool for customizing how guests are presented with access to the onboard Wi-Fi network.

The captive portal can also gather guest information for future marketing purposes, while continuing to offer free internet service. The solution is flexible enough to provide revenue-generating internet service packages in the future.

Access can be limited to a number of devices, require a code be printed out at reception (or displayed on an iTV screen), or connect with segregated PMS data such as passport or booking numbers.

The identity server can also be used to manage logins from other systems. Guest or staff apps can both rely on the system’s APIs to allow time scheduling, purchases and bookings, or business center access.

Administrative users can manage the captive portal through the easy-to-use console. System managers can set how many devices are able to share the same account, remove users from the system, and monitor usage. Business rules can be configured in the admin console to gracefully notify guests if they attempt to exceed the total number of devices per account that are permitted to connect to the internet.


Sourcetoad’s entertainment system is a robust solution for movies-on-demand, music-on-demand, live television, and live music.

Our entertainment solution was designed to allow you to have centralized control over all entertainment content, while still remaining vendor agnostic. This means that you can have one vendor’s iTV system in some locations and another vendor’s system in others, and still be able to control all the content remotely. Viewing and listening analytics are then also aggregated as a whole, rather than on a per-vendor basis. This gives you the power to try new vendors or replace older systems without having to worry about lock-in or expensive refits.


TV Interfaces

Sourcetoad offers three options for in-room entertainment:

  • Existing vendor integration
  • Set-top boxes
  • Smart TV interfaces.

Most modern interactive TV systems are web browser based — meaning that once the underlying server infrastructure is in place, redesigning interfaces can be done quickly and cost-effectively. Using this strategy, Sourcetoad can help you build a single interface that can run across your organization, regardless of the mix of technology it is delivered on. With very few changes, the same interface (using the same code base) can run on existing vendor hardware, new set-top boxes, and smart TVs.

This strategy allows for rapid updates and allows you to use the hardware and streaming vendors you are most comfortable with.

Mobile App Management

App management can be complicated and time consuming. Purpose-built content managers for stand-alone apps are infrequently updated, often abandoned, or are controlled by external vendors who are difficult to work with.

Sourcetoad’s mobile app management platform allows developers to easily build new applications without having to reinvent the wheel each time. The included APIs offer a wide range of features right out of the box for rapid development on the platform of your choice.

Out of the box features include:

  • Abstracted PMS APIs (so your app will work with any PMS)
  • BLE beacon deployment and connectivity
  • Authentication logic for both guests and staff
  • Device security
  • Booking logic at the API layer
  • Combined marketing data API calls
  • Push notifications
  • Access to data such as calendars, entertainment data, etc.

Rapid Mobile App Development

Getting an application out into the wild for testing is one of the best ways to validate an idea. However, the problem is always the time and budget required to build and launch a minimally viable product, knowing full well that you might have to throw away all of that code. That’s why Sourcetoad has bundled our React Native starter application with our mobile app manager. After initial configuration, this iOS and Android starter kit provides:

  • Guest and staff logins
  • Calendar
  • Itinerary
  • Dining
    • Venue details
    • Present and future menus
    • Specialty dining booking
    • Table preferences
  • Spa
    • Spa services
    • Bookings
  • Entertainment
    • HLS, Dash, and RTMP streaming
  • Trips or excursions
    • Details and times
    • Bookings
    • Wishlists
  • CMS systems for:
    • Spa
    • Gym facilities
    • Concessionaires
  • Folio management

The full code for this application is provided to your development team or can be used as a sandbox for testing new use cases onboard with extremely rapid iterations.

Cabin Access

Sourcetoad’s room access solution allows the seamless integration of room access door controls throughout your technology ecosystem. The solution securely exposes the door locks systems to authorized devices.

This allows keycards to be printed directly from the PMS solution. The room access solution can also provide subsystems feedback to any application making use of hard or softkeys.

Softkeys are completely managed through this system. The API endpoints make it extremely easy for developers to integrate smart phone door keys in just a few lines of code.


Sourcetoad’s notification solution adds an entire messaging platform to your operations system. At the most basic level, it allows staff to send messages to guests’ TVs, mobile apps, or even room phones. The system can be used to send messages to staff or digital signage systems as well.

Our notifications solution can be tied together with other systems, allowing for a flexible rules engine to handle many of the tasks that would be managed by a human being. Imagine being able to automatically send a message to a set of guests that their spa treatments have been moved back 30 minutes. Do you want to notify a specific group of guests that there is a sale on in the gift shop? No problem!

API Management

  • Allow your systems to act as one, regardless of age or technology choices.
  • Use different PMS systems across a fleet.
  • Future-proof strategic technology decisions.
  • Build a custom business logic layer across all systems.
  • Have a universal onboard API.

RFID wristbands, smart TV systems, onboard augmented-reality mobile apps, and Bluetooth low-energy door locks are all part of the modern cruise ship tech experience. Each initiative is painstakingly planned, diligently executed, thoroughly tested, and carefully integrated and released. Every few years, however, a new system will take the place of an old one or something even shinier will appear on the market, and the cycle will begin anew.

Cruise Director’s API management feature is a new way of looking at the onboard technological ecosystem. Rather than integrating technology systems with a ship’s component parts, developers interact with a universal set of abstractions and controls. API calls are exactly the same on a new build using an Oracle PMS as they are on a 30-year-old ship running a homegrown system.

This abstraction process also future-proofs ships and allows for technology decisions to be made strategically. If a cruise line decides to change PMS provider or install a new iTV system, it could mean years of retrofits or dealing with the operational pains of supporting multiple systems. As a result, fleetwide integrations have made vendor lock-in commonplace in the cruise industry. Innovation becomes slow, risky, and expensive. Cruise Director removes these hurdles completely. Now, each ship in a fleet can have a different PMS, iTV system, VSAT provider, weather system, or digital signage vendor, allowing the guest-facing technology systems to be completely unified.


Analytical data can assist in all aspects of the business decision process, from marketing choices to vendor contract negotiations. For example, precise passenger and crew viewership numbers for TV channels allows for better negotiating leverage at contract time. And knowing that passengers are not using the interactive TV system to listen to music can point to a possible design or technical problem.

Cruise Director’s analytics engine is a powerful tool for collecting usage data from all connected systems. Analytics are captured in near real-time on a per ship basis and are synchronized to the Cruise Director Cloud. This allows administrative users to slice the data per brand, ship type, or individual ship.

Analytics can be viewed in the admin console or exported into a variety of formats. Reports can be configured to feed automatically into headquarters’ business intelligence suite of choice.


  • Allow your systems to act as one, regardless of age or technology choices.
  • Use different PMS systems across a fleet.
  • Future-proof strategic technology decisions.
  • Build a custom business logic layer across all systems.
  • Have a universal onboard API.
Cruise Director was built to allow for flexible permissioning across an entire organization. This ensures that only users with the correct permissions are able to create, read, update, and delete almost any type of content. Each onboard system is also configured with its own permissions and roles defined.

Cruise Director allows for complete arbitrary permissions and roles. So you could create a user who has access to publish and unpublished video content on one ship, but they cannot edit the actual movie descriptions.

The system comes standard with a number of default permissions and roles that can be easily customized.

Shoreside Admins:

  • Fleet admin
  • Brand admin

Shipboard Accounts:

  • Cruise Director
  • Assistant Cruise Director
  • Hotels Manager
  • Ship Broadcast Manager
  • Shore Excursion Manager
  • Security Officer
  • Theater Manager

Identity Services Integration

If your organization already uses a centralized permissioning and roles system, Cruise Director has integrations available with both LDAP and SAML identity services.

IoT Management

With thousands of networked devices on a modern ship, it can be hard to see the overall health of individual devices. Adding to the complexity is the number of different types of devices: Android signage systems, Mac Mini interactive kiosks, custom-built cabin TV players, etc. A busy IT officer may need to touch four different systems to manage software updates, reboot frozen machines, or check the uptime of a device.

Cruise Director’s IoT management platform was designed specifically to tackle the complexities of a digital ecosystem. The device manager can detect any new device added to the network, instantly monitoring uptime and health. Alerts can be sent to the appropriate support desks or onboard staff if any system on the ship stops responding.

Building new software or devices on top of Cruise Director’s IoT system is extremely quick and easy. This allows for rapid development and deployment of innovative devices. Your software department could build a new interactive system on a Raspberry Pi and deploy it in an afternoon, without worrying about building management tools, crash analytics, or even usage statistics.

Data Synchronization

  • Sync your CDN, media, signage screens, CMS, and custom modules.
  • Selective sync: Synchronize content to one particular ship, a certain class of ship, or an entire fleet.
  • Bandwidth management: Monitor your bandwidth usage to perform syncs during off-peak times.
  • Synchronization logs: Instantly know which ships are running which versions of your content.
Cruise Director is built on a flexible synchronization engine. Syncing can be set up per ship, group of ships, or for the entire fleet. All synchronizations are logged for rollback options and customizations. Cruise Director allows every type of onboard content to be synchronized to the Cruise Director Cloud system.
Content can be synchronized with a number of customizable options, including:
  • Brand
  • Class of ship
  • Type of ship (Ocean, Rivers, Expedition, etc.)
  • Sailing Itinerary
  • Individual ship
Cruise Director’s synchronization engine is available to all modules using the platform. This means that a content director sitting shoreside, is able to curate the copy of every movie on the TV system fleetwide. You will never have to worry again about a broadcast manager making a copy-paste mistake or about an excursions manager misspelling a port name in the Cruise Compass.

Marketing CMS Synchronization

Cruise Director’s CDN module is the solution to fleetwide digital asset management. The shoreside instance of Cruise Director seamlessly integrates with your existing CMS and ingests all relevant assets and text into a single database. If required, the CDN can also pull data from multiple CMS systems. From this single repository, Cruise Director synchronizes all assets down to the local CDNs on each ship in the fleet. All images, videos, PDFs, and text assets are then available locally to any shipboard system. What’s more is that Cruise Director will only synchronize new or modified CMS assets to the ships, saving bandwidth and time.

With Cruise Director, a marketing department in Miami can change the web hero image for a shore excursion. If a piece of digital signage on a ship 3,000 miles away uses that same image, it will automatically be updated.

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