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The Princess Cruises fleet features the most advanced shipboard security system in the cruise industry, providing unparalleled access control while at the same time making the boarding process quicker and easier for passengers. The system, called A-PASS (Automated Personnel Assisted Security Screening), will also be featured aboard the line's new ships as they are introduced.

"As floating resorts, cruise ships have somewhat unique security concerns, and the A-PASS system was developed to directly address these issues," said Dean Brown, Princess' executive vice president of sales, marketing and customer service. "Princess was the first cruise line to feature this system that has been widely praised by the US Coast Guard, US Customs and the US Immigration and Naturalization Service."

Engineered specifically for the cruise industry, the A-PASS system embeds detailed information on a magnetic strip on the passenger cruise identification card. Upon check-in, A-PASS automatically takes the passenger's photo and, from that point on, it becomes possible to verify a guest's identity at any gangway. Ships' officers can also confirm who is on or off the ship at a glance, with all boarding information automatically updated in the system's computer. The system can also help passengers confirm the on-ship status of friends and family. Messages can easily be programmed into A-PASS and automatically delivered to an embarking passenger. Crew members, vendors and officials are registered in the same fashion, with the system also monitoring crew in-port manning for safety purposes.

In less than two seconds, the A-PASS system is able to scan a passenger's cruise card ID, retrieve his or her registration records, establish the validity of the guest's card and display a color photograph of the individual on a computer monitor located at each gangway. The card also serves as a point-of-sale ID for charging items to the passenger's shipboard account and, on newer ships, is also the guest's room key. The card is quickly scanned upon entering or departing the ship by having the passenger insert the ID into a small, aesthetically designed pillar.

Shipboard officers and shoreside authorities can at any time review all boarding and de-boarding activities, with the system alerting the ship's officers if a passenger or crew member has failed to return to the ship. It can also print a color photograph of that person.

The A-PASS system was designed by Security Identification Systems Corporation (SISCO) of Jupiter, Florida.


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