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How to Stage Cruise Ships & Hotels for 360 Degree Shootings

By 20 April 2023July 4th, 2023No Comments7 min read


Discover how to stage cruise ships and hotels for 360° photoshoots during full operation, creating immersive virtual tours that impress guests.

The utilization of 360-degree photo shoots is becoming increasingly prevalent as businesses recognize the value of virtual reality in various industries. Platforms such as EXP360 are transforming the way enterprises develop, manage, and disseminate immersive experiences. One particularly noteworthy application of this technology is found in the hospitality sector, where 360-photo shoots effectively showcase large venues like cruise ships and hotels.

In this blog post, we will explore the distinct challenges that accompany 360-degree photo shoots and discuss the key considerations when staging these venues during full operation. Our objective is to provide practical guidance for creating immersive virtual environments that engage and inform your target audience.

The Unique Challenges of 360 Degree Photo Shoots

Be aware that all areas are captured

Unlike traditional photography, 360° photo shoots capture the entire environment, leaving no blind spots. This necessitates a meticulous preparation of the venue and a comprehensive shooting plan to guarantee that all relevant areas are documented. It is crucial to create a detailed shot list, covering every desired location and angle, to ensure that no critical aspect of the venue is overlooked.

Minimize the presence of guests and crew

One of the key challenges in staging a 360-degree photo shoot in a busy venue is minimizing the presence of guests and crew in the shots. Since everyone within the location will be visible, it is essential to carefully schedule the shoot during periods with the least foot traffic. This may involve working outside of regular operating hours or selecting specific times when guest presence is at a minimum.

Coordinate with on-site staff

Effective communication and coordination with on-site staff are vital to the success of a 360° photo shoot. By involving relevant department heads and team members in the planning process, you can ensure that everyone is aware of the shoot’s objectives, requirements, and schedule. This collaboration helps facilitate smooth operations, allowing for last-minute adjustments, efficient crowd control, and proper preparation of the venue for a visually appealing and engaging 360-degree photo shoot.

How to Stage Cruise Ships & Hotels for 360 Degree Shootings

Preparing the Venue: Best Practices

To guarantee a seamless 360° photoshoot experience, it is essential to follow a set of best practices for preparing the venue. In this section, we will explore the crucial steps to take in ensuring that each location within the venue is primed and ready for the shoot.

1. Scheduling the photoshoot at the right time

Choosing the optimal time for the photoshoot is paramount in order to minimize disruptions to daily operations and guest activities. Opt for periods of low occupancy or slow hours to avoid inconveniencing guests and to maintain an uncluttered environment in the shots. Early mornings and late evenings are often ideal, providing ample natural lighting without excessive foot traffic.

2. Informing and coordinating with on-site crew

Effective communication with on-site staff is vital to a successful photoshoot. Inform relevant departments of the shoot’s schedule and requirements and ensure that the crew is aware of their respective roles during the process. Establish a clear chain of command and designate a point person to handle any last-minute issues that may arise.

3. Setting up each location

Preparing each location within the venue is crucial for capturing visually appealing 360° images. For instance, when setting up a restaurant, ensure that tables are neatly arranged and fully set, with adequate lighting and a clean atmosphere. In a pool area, have towels and sun loungers neatly organized, and maintain the water’s clarity. For a spa, create an inviting ambiance with soft lighting and a serene environment. By paying attention to these details, you will create an immersive and engaging experience for those who view the 360° photos.

4. Crowd control and avoiding movement during the shoot.

Managing crowds and minimizing movement within the frame is essential for producing high-quality 360° photos. Uncontrolled movement can lead to distorted or blurred images that detract from the overall experience. To ensure the best possible results, follow these guidelines for crowd control and movement reduction:

  1. Brief guests and staff about the photoshoot, explaining the importance of limiting movement in the designated areas during the shoot. Encourage cooperation and understanding to minimize disruptions.
  2. Use physical barriers or signage, when necessary, to temporarily block off areas being photographed. This helps prevent unexpected intrusions and maintains a controlled environment for the shoot.
  3. Coordinate with security or designated staff members to monitor the shooting areas, gently reminding guests or crew to avoid walking through the scene while the photoshoot is in progress.
  4. Allocate buffer time between shots to allow guests and staff to move through the area as needed, without compromising the quality of the images.

By taking these steps, you can effectively manage movement and crowd control, ensuring the 360° photoshoot yields the best possible results for your venue.

Tipps for a Successful 360-degree Photo Shoot

Drawing inspiration from competitors and understanding your target audience

To create an appealing and effective 360° photoshoot, look to your competitors for inspiration and have a clear understanding of your target audience. Analyze the techniques and styles that have resonated with your desired demographic and apply those insights to your own photoshoot.

Cleaning and prepping the venue ahead of time

Ensure your venue is spotless and in top shape before the shoot. Allocate time to clean and prep the space, addressing any maintenance issues or cosmetic flaws. This attention to detail will help present your venue in the best possible light.

Staging for a variety of events

Showcase your venue’s versatility by staging it for different events, such as weddings, corporate gatherings, or themed parties. This will allow potential clients to envision how the space can be tailored to their specific needs.

Ensuring honesty in the photos

While you want your venue to look its best, it’s crucial to remain honest in the images. Avoid over-editing or manipulating the photos in a way that misrepresents the space, as this can lead to disappointment and negative feedback from clients.

Communicating effectively with the photographer

Collaborate closely with your photographer, sharing your vision and expectations for the photoshoot. Provide them with a clear brief, outlining your objectives and any specific angles or features you want to be captured. Maintaining open communication throughout the process will help ensure the final images meet your needs and accurately represent your venue.

The global EXP360 Content Production and 360-Degree Shooting Services

EXP360 offers comprehensive content production and venue shooting services to clients around the world. Our global full-service 360° production service uses state-of-the-art equipment to create immersive virtual tours, virtual trainings, virtual wayfinding for indoor navigation, and events that bring your venues, destinations, locations, products, and training sessions to life.

Camera Team and Trusted Partners

Our professional camera team travels globally to shoot your venue, while we also partner with numerous trusted photographers worldwide. This allows us to provide consistent, high-quality content regardless of the location.

Post-Production Service

Our content editing team processes your footage in post-production to ensure a consistent, professional look across all your virtual experiences.

Content Offerings

Virtual Tours: Our global content production team creates footage of real estate, hotel rooms, apartments, cabins, or venues, making it easy for potential clients to explore your spaces in detail.

Destinations: Our team captures stunning 360-degree images of your destination, drawing attention to your hotspots and providing a perfect preview of the surroundings.

Commercial: We shoot your sites for virtual office and plant tours, enabling your team members to explore your facilities in VR Conference sessions, on phones, desktops, or VR headsets.

Training & HR: We capture your training sessions for operational excellence, supporting your initiatives by creating immersive 360° and VR content. Our team guides the entire virtual training process, from reviewing existing course material to integrating VR trainings into e-learning systems.


In conclusion, planning and executing a successful 360° photoshoot for your venue requires careful consideration of various factors, from addressing unique challenges to ensuring effective communication with your photographer. By understanding the specific needs of your target audience and meticulously preparing the venue, you can showcase your space in the best possible light.

Remember to draw inspiration from successful competitors, maintain honesty in your photos, and collaborate with your photographer to capture the essence of your venue. By following these best practices, you’ll create an immersive and captivating visual experience that will engage potential clients and help your business stand out in the competitive market.


Hi there! My name is Simon and I have been working in technical key accounting for over a decade. In the past 5 years, I have also focused on virtual reality (VR), helping clients integrating EXP360's VR SaaS tools into their processes and infrastructure. With my experience in both technical key accounting and VR, I am well-equipped to provide insights and solutions for a variety of challenges.