Travel / Carnival

TribalScale expanded Carnival’s digital reach for a connected and convenient cruise experience that doesn’t compromise the valued disconnect of a vacation.

Carnival Corporation is the largest cruise operator and the largest leisure travel company in the world. With a combined feet of over 100 vessels across 10 cruise line brands, Carnival holds almost half of the global cruise market.



The business problem

As the cruise line and hospitality industry continues to evolve at a rapid pace, Carnival is pushing the boundaries and refining the cruise experience. To expand and improve upon their digital offerings, Carnival partnered with TribalScale on a number of iOS and Android app development engagements. Their primary challenges were to:

  • Reconstruct the onboard chat system to allow passengers to communicate without internet access.

  • Increase revenue by allowing people to sign up for premium activities before they begin their cruise.

  • Create a new system to give passengers the ability to order food and beverages to their location on the ship.

  • Redesign the scheduling component to offer passengers effective planning of their travel itinerary.

  • Reduce congestion of services and wait time with a custom-built reservation system.

Key results


4.5 star rating on the App Store and Google Play


The app became the primary method for Carnival to interact with their passengers


Queues and wait times for services have decreased dramatically


The business solution

Carnival knew TribalScale from past projects and was impressed by the quality of our work and our knowledge of Agile methodologies. Having seen the way that Agile and extreme programming (XP) worked, and adopted a number of practices themselves, Carnival wanted a partner who could work with them in the same way, and help them develop their processes even further. TribalScale offered:


We travelled to their offices in Miami and built a system at TribalScale in Toronto to connect to their network and emulate one of their ships. This ensured that we fully understood their challenges and were always working with their unique network environment in mind.


By immersing ourselves in the Carnival environment we were able to iterate effectively on each feature with real-time feedback from Carnival cruisers.


We built the new Carnival HUB app in such a way that code developed in other parts of the organization could be incorporated immediately. Further, the app is built so that it can adapt its features to each unique vessel via middleware configuration.


By investing time early on to update Carnival’s tools and processes, we were able to help them bring a more dynamic, stable, and extensible application to market, and quickly.


We paired with the Carnival development team throughout, not only teaching them Agile and XP but training and sharing our knowledge and practices in a number of specific areas. Our way of work empowered them to add features themselves.


  • Swift

  • Objective-C

  • Kotlin

  • RxJava

  • Fastlane

  • Concourse

  • BitRise

  • .net

  • GitFlow


How the business benefited

The result of our work with Carnival was a significant increase in user engagement, both in the number of downloads and in the level of user participation. The app went from being a relatively small element of Carnival’s onboard experience to becoming the primary method for them to interact with their passengers. Queues and wait times for services have decreased dramatically as users can now make reservations and orders efficiently, no matter where they are on the ship. Travellers can also browse activities and find their way around more easily, allowing them to spend more time enjoying their vacation.

One of the main requirements was that the app be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, and we are proud to say that we were able to use our experience in developing for accessibility to create an app that is simple and enjoyable to use, regardless of ability.

So far we have completed 10 projects with Carnival and we look forward to continuing to work as their trusted partner.

Yellow Quote

The Carnival HUB App was so helpful and convenient. I absolutely loved having this option while cruising!”

Yellow Quote

Google Play Store Review


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