Forget reaching into your pocket or purse for your keycard to open your stateroom door, or make onboard purchases. Princess Cruises is set to revolutionise the cruise industry with a new gadget called an ‘Ocean Medallion’.
Set to debut on Regal Princess from November 2017, followed by Royal Princess and Caribbean Princess in 2018 – and all other ships in the future – the new fashionable wearable technology, being called an ‘Ocean Medallion’, will enable guests to seamlessly open their stateroom doors and make onboard purchases.
The device, laser-etched with the guest’s name, ship and date of sailing, is provided to all passengers at no cost. Inside each guest’s Ocean Medallion are multiple communication technologies including Near Field Communication (NFC), and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). An invisible network of interactive, intelligent sensors, and embedded devices will be mounted throughout the ship, home ports, and select destinations.
The small disc can be accessorised with jewellery, clips, wristbands, or simply carried in a pocket. The Ocean Medallion goes well beyond the growing number of wearables used by theme parks and other travel companies by leaving behind the required ‘tap’ function.
The Ocean Medallion will speed up the embarkation and disembarkation process, allow guests to unlock their stateroom door by simply walking up to it, and locate family and friends around the ship. The device will also enable guest to make purchases onboard, take part in interactive gaming and immersive entertainment experiences, and enhance interactions with crew members and guests.
Ocean Compass, a digital portal that serves as a cruise concierge before, during and after a cruise, will be available online, on smart devices, on kiosks in port terminals, on stateroom TVs, on interactive surfaces located throughout the cruise ship, and on devices carried by crew members. Guests can use Ocean Compass to enhance their cruise experience, and create personalised event-based itineraries.
The new innovations that the Ocean Medallion will bring, include:
- Ocean Ready: Streamlined and expedited port embarkation and disembarkation processes. For instance, at the terminal, Ocean Medallion-carrying guests can board the ship, engage with crew members and begin their vacation at their leisure as they already have the “key” to their stateroom (no check-in required).
- Easy Access to Everything: Allows guests to browse and purchase products (utilising Medallion Pay) such as retail merchandise, photos, spa services and destination excursions both intuitively and conveniently from any Ocean Compass (mobile device, browser, stateroom, public) at anytime (before, during or after cruise).
- Seamless Navigation: Enables point-to-point wayfinding across the ship thanks to an intelligent navigation assistant – similar to a car or phone GPS app.
- Personalised Dining: Facilitates ordering, menu exploration and delivery of food and beverage services. Guests can even place orders and view the whereabouts of their food and beverage, as well as place future orders and have them delivered wherever they plan to be at a designated time.
- Anytime-Anywhere Entertainment and Gaming: Expands gaming options to include new digital games guests can play independently or with others, for fun or based on casino rules of the house, inside or outside of the casino including poolside, in staterooms or in any other ship location.
- Enhanced Crew Interactions: Takes personalised service to a new level because crew members are equipped with a Crew Compass that empowers personalised guest interactions. For example, when guests arrive at the airport, guest service hosts will be able to provide personalised greetings and guest services.
- Easy Payment: Enables guests to conveniently and securely make payment for experiences using their Ocean Medallion. Guests can associate any number of credit cards, reward cards, gift cards and advanced payment services with Medallion Pay.
“The Ocean Medallion creates an elevated level of service that’s made possible by technology but doesn’t feel like technology,” said John Padgett, chief experience and innovation officer for Carnival Corporation. “Whether guests are exploring new experience options, having a drink delivered to their seat at the night’s show or trying their luck gaming while lounging poolside, we will assist our guests wherever they are, while engaging with them in a uniquely personal way. Our mission is to help our guests make the most of every moment of their vacation.”
The Ocean Medallion is a revolution not only for the cruise industry, but the broader travel industry. It will be officially introduced by Carnival Corporation’s CEO, Arnold Donald, on January 5 in Las Vegas, when he becomes the first travel industry executive to deliver the opening keynote address at CES, the world’s largest annual consumer technology trade show.