The cruise industry is on the verge of the next wave of cruise technology, which will improve cruise vacations by allowing cruise lines and guests to tailor the cruise experience. Carnival Corporation, which launched the Ocean Medallion program, was one of the first to embrace the new technology ideology. But exactly what is it?
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The Ocean Medallion is part of a Carnival Corporation program known as OCEAN, or One Cruise Experience Access Network, which combines many technology-driven initiatives. The OceanMedallion serves as the centerpiece.
The Medallion is a free, wearable casino chip-sized disc that acts as an access point to information about you (i.e., your “digital identity”) so that you can tailor you aboard experience. It is only used on Princess Cruises. Medallions are available in blue, gold, red, silver, and black (depending on your Captain’s Club loyalty level) and are laser-etched with your name, the name of the ship you’re traveling on, and the date of the trip.
The Medallion is scanned by numerous sensors throughout the ship and in the Port Everglades port and on Princess Cays, allowing cabin doors to be unlocked when the authorized resident arrives at the door or pays for purchases.
The Ocean Medallion also assists crew members in increasing their service levels. Cabin stewards, for example, carry smart gadgets that alert them when both guests of a stateroom have left the room, allowing them to be more efficient in cleaning rooms.
Ocean Medallion interacts with a set of four cell phone apps, while much of the Ocean Medallion features are available without any apps. Instead, each app performs a unique function (see below). Beyond functioning as a door key and onboard credit card, the Ocean Medallion facilitates various cruise ship activities and services.
The variety of services made possible by the Ocean Medallion begins with a cruiser’s arrival at the terminal. Medallion-holders who have previously filled out online forms downloaded the MedallionClass app and supplied security pictures, and passport scans are called “OceanReady.” Anyone who has completed this preliminary work at least two weeks before departing will receive their Medallion in the mail; others will pick it up just at the port.
Because they already have their cabin “key” (i.e., the Medallion), they can skip the check-in line and proceed right to boarding following a quick check of their documents. You can’t be OceanReady until you have the app, so make sure you get it before you travel.
Get your safety briefing via a video you may watch while on board in your stateroom – or on your smartphone – at any time before the ship departs on embarkation day. Visit your muster station during specific hours prior to your sailing and check in your medallion with a crew member – this way, you’ll know exactly where to go in case of an emergency.
Once aboard, passengers can use the Medallions to order meals and beverages on demand (plus select retail items). To do so, users must have the MedallionClass app, which includes an OceanNow feature. From there, guests can order meals and beverages from a menu and deliver them practically anywhere on the ship.
While ordering must be done through the app (or the in-cabin interactive TVs), the Medallion allows crew members to find passengers wherever they are. In addition, on-demand food and beverages will be accessible on Princess Cays soon.
Navigating the Ship
Cruisers can also utilize the Medallions for onboard navigation using the OceanCompass app or interactive wall interfaces that “recognize” the Medallions and provide real-time navigational and location services. Those who have the OceanCompass app on their phones can do the same thing.
Gaming is an additional popular aspect of the MedallionClass experience. Cruisers can play various games through digital wall gateways (using their PlayOcean app, they can even save their place or score in some games).
Those who have the PlayOcean app on their phones can play various games; the app allows the phone to be used as a controller for interactive games played during various Games Under the Stars sessions up on deck. Cruisers can play against each other in these multiplayer games. There is also an Ocean Casino app, allowing passengers to play certain casino games from anywhere on the ship.
MedallionNet, a high-speed internet infrastructure built to resist bad weather and sustain service even in places with patchy connectivity, is another component of the more extraordinary MedallionClass Experience. It’s powerful enough for streaming TV, and you can even use it to have a teleconference without any problems.
OceanMedallion will eventually enable customized schedule creation (from the ship’s activity schedule) as well as onboard booking for items like spa treatments and excursions.
Make your own OceanTagalongTM, a digital buddy who will appear during your MedallionClass holiday. Customize your Tagalong with body shape, color, pattern, marks (such as tattoos), and charms to symbolize significant occasions, milestones, and sentiment. Create your Tagalong on your mobile device and watch as it appears on portals across the ship and interacts with other guests’ Tagalongs.
The token itself is free, as are many of the services it may provide and all of the apps. Wristbands and necklaces meant to hold the Medallions are sold separately, with costs ranging from $5 to $30. Before boarding, each guest receives a free lanyard.
The Medallion token can be carried in your pocket, worn around your neck on a lanyard, hooked into your garments, or worn as a wristband, bracelet, or pendant.
Ocean Medallions do not have any data on them. They are conduits for information stored (and encrypted) somewhere else; your information is instead parsed and saved in various locations so that no single data center gets all of your information. The Medallion can assist in delivering information to various receivers, including tablets carried by crew members and interactive displays on ships. If someone truly hacked the Medallion, all they’d obtain is a number with no meaning or information associated with it.
All ships in the Princess fleet are MedallionClass, so your can choose any vacation to get the best experience!