Starting this November, guests sailing on Princess Cruises’ Regal Princess will have the chance to use Ocean Medallion interactive wearable devices, which promise to bring a high-tech service similar to Disney’s MagicBands to the high seas.
Carnival Corporation CEO Arnold Donald unveiled the Ocean Medallion during his January 5 opening keynote at CES 2017, the world’s largest consumer technology trade show. Ocean Medallion Class will be available November 13, 2017, onboard Regal Princess, followed by Royal Princess and Caribbean Princess in early 2018. The new Medallion Class on Princess Cruises will be rolled out over multiple years on the entire Princess Cruises fleet.
“Great guest experience is our ethos. The Ocean Medallion is an amazing use of technology that potentially redefines travel as we know it. It opens an entire world of experiences, and the personal power it unleashes is huge,” Donald told the 2,600 people at the opening session at CES 2017 in the main ballroom at the Venetian Las Vegas.
At the heart of this personalized experience is the Ocean Medallion, a quarter-sized, 1.8-ounce disc. The Ocean Medallion has no discernible technology – no on-off switch, no charging, no menu to navigate – and can be worn as a pendant on a wristband in a clip or simply placed in a pocket. The devices can activate experiences throughout the ship without guests having to push a button or take any action. Inside each Ocean Medallion are multiple communication technologies including – Near Field Communication (NFC) and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). Each device is laser-etched with the guest’s name, ship and date of sailing, and is provided to all passengers at no cost.
Pairing with the Ocean Medallion is the Ocean Compass (for both guests and crew). The Ocean Compass is an optional personal digital experience concierge accessible by all guests using interactive displays throughout the ship, on stateroom TVs, on devices carried by all guest service hosts, or via guests’ own mobile devices. For example, guests can find their way to venues around the ship; make reservations at the Lotus Spa, specialty dining restaurant and shore excursions; arrange celebrations; view photographs; learn about the destinations they will visit and activities at each port of call and more. The Ocean Compass via Ocean Concierge will invite guests to experiences based on their individual needs, wants and desires. No guest is required to have a personal device to access Ocean Compass. The Ocean Compass also serves as a digital media platform that features custom experiential media content as well as access to vacation photos captured during a cruise.
Both innovations combine with an invisible network of proprietary sensors and computing devices embedded throughout the ship, home ports and destinations that collectively form the “Experience Innovation Operating System” – xiOS. The proprietary xiOS uses a guest-centric, Internet of Things approach to enable guests to maximize their experiences in real-time based on their choices and preferences – delivering enhanced personalization across every aspect of their cruise vacation. The xiOS seamlessly leverages hardware and software to enable all experiences including access, lodging, food and beverage, entertainment, retail, navigation, payment and media.
The guest experience platform is a key element of O•C•E•A•N or One Cruise Experience Access Network, a new effort by Carnival Corporation focused on expanding the cruise vacation market through guest experience innovation, the development of original experiential media content that includes new TV programs airing on national TV, and expanding its portfolio of exclusive and unique destinations.
The Ocean Medallion was developed by some of the same people who created MagicBands and MyMagic+ for Walt Disney World, but expands on the features offered by that system while eliminating the required “tap” actions. Princess claims that the Ocean Medallion will streamline and expedite the port embarkation and disembarkation process, allow guests to access their staterooms as they approach the door with no keycard required, locate friends and family around the cruise ship, enable guests to purchase merchandise without any transaction, deliver enhanced dining experiences based on food and beverage preferences, power an array of interactive gaming and immersive entertainment experiences, and significantly enhance interactions with crew members and guests.
Some of the Ocean Medallion’s benefits will include:
Ocean Ready: The Ocean Medallion expedites embarkation as required information is added to the guest profile at home. 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, with no check-in required.
Stateroom Access: The Ocean Medallion will also unlock a guest’s stateroom door – replacing the key card and its sign and sail functions.
Medallion Pay: Guests can associate any number of credit cards, reward cards, gift cards and advanced payment services with Medallion Pay, so they can conveniently and securely make payment for experiences using their Ocean Medallion. This allows guests to browse and purchase products 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).
Here and Now: Guests can place dining orders and have them delivered to their current location. For example, by using the Ocean Compass guests can order select food and beverages from a lounge chair and not miss a moment of Movies Under The Stars. While Stargazing with Discovery at Sea on the top deck, parents can order and surprise the kids with hot chocolate without interrupting a moment of the family fun.
There and Then: Guests can place a beverage order and have it delivered to where they plan to be at a designated time. For example, guests wanting to enjoy a glass of wine at the theater can place an order prior to the show and it will be delivered to them at their seat.
Crew at Your Service: With the Ocean Medallion, guest experiences will be curated in alignment with personal preferences allowing the crew to assist at all times. When guests arrive at the airport, guest service hosts will be able to provide personalized greetings and guest services, and room attendant or bartender will have the ability to assist a guest with booking Lotus Spa services or specialty dining reservations.
Ocean Navigate: Accessed through the Ocean Compass, guests can learn the whereabouts of their family as they enjoy activities throughout the ship and be guided seamlessly in finding their way around the ship. It enables point-to-point wayfinding across the ship thanks to an intelligent navigation assistant, similar to a car or phone GPS app. Friends and family will also be able to easily communicate with each other through seamless messaging service.
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.
“With this interactive technology platform, we are poised to have our global cruise line brands at the vanguard of forever changing the guest experience paradigm – not just in the cruise industry but in the larger vacation market and potentially other industries,” said Carnival Corporation’s Donald. “Our focus is on exceeding guest expectations every single day and consistently delivering great experiences, and we do that extremely well. Now we are in prime position to take the guest experience to a level never before considered possible and build on cruising’s popularity and value as the fastest growing segment of the vacation sector.”
“We are in the business of providing our guests incredible vacation experiences that create memories that they will cherish for a lifetime,” said Jan Swartz, president, Princess Cruises. “Ocean Medallion Class will deliver an elevated cruise vacation experience by connecting people, places and cultures from around the world in a more profound way. The service Princess guests have always loved will be amplified by the Ocean Medallion.”
“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.”
“Our focus is exceeding guest expectations in ways that cannot be anticipated or duplicated. What makes a Medallion Class experience so special is the level of personalization,” Padgett also said. “We’ve gone well beyond conventional guest segmentation with the creation of Guest Genomics, where every guest is unique and every guest can represent many different personas within a single vacation or across multiple vacations. The Ocean Medallion enables experience delivery to be personalized and customized dynamically to each guest in real-time.”