Ocean Medallion Princess Cruises
The Ocean Medallion on Princess Cruises is leading the way in enhancing the cruise experience but what does it actually do?
Picture the scene, a man lies peacefully on his sunbed sitting up he realises he is hungry and thirsty. He is so relaxed he doesn’t want to get up, so he just reaches for his phone, accesses the drinks menu and makes his choices. He checks the screen to see that his order is on it’s way and the next thing he knows his order has been delivered straight to his sunbed. So how does this happen? Well say hello to the new innovation that is the Ocean Medallion.
We were invited by Princess Cruises to an exclusive event on board the Crown Princess Cruise Ship. We attended presentations by Tony Roberts Vice President UK & Europe, Princess Cruises, who we also had the pleasure of bumping into on the stairs in the atrium! Arnold Donald CEO and President, Carnival and from John Padgett the Chief experience and innovation officer at Carnival Corporation and brainchild behind the Ocean Medallion. So what did we learn?
Number 1 – What is the Ocean Medallion?
It is a wearable device that replaces your cruise card but actually does so much more. It is the size of a two pound coin and is personalised with your name, ship name and date of sailing and is colour coded dependent to your loyalty level.
Number 2 – The Ocean Medallion speeds up the embarkation process
Once your booking is complete you can download the app and set up your profile, which includes passport, credit card details and a photo. In the US the medallion is posted to you prior to your cruise but in the UK you will pick it up at the port. Once at the terminal all you need to do is go to the check in desk and show your passport. Your photo is then compared to that in your Ocean Ready App and that’s the check in done.
Interestingly this information is stored and can be used on any other future cruises that you book. Once on board the Ocean Medallion is used to communicate with the thousands of readers on the ship.
You will be given a lanyard to keep your ocean medallion in but you can purchase all sorts of accessories too via the ocean medallion app. These include bracelets, pendants, sports bands and necklaces a genius idea by Princess to recoup some of the money they have spent developing the Ocean Medallion!
Number 3 – Used as your Muster Station ID
You just need to present your medallion to the sensor and it recognises you have attended your mandatory muster drill. However the downside is that on your cruise card your muster station was documented but with the medallion you have to go to your cabin and check the back of your door and find out where you have to attend for your muster drill.
Number 4 – The Fastest WiFi at sea – Medallion Net
It appears that Princess are now offering the best WiFi at sea. The ships systems seeks out the nearest satellite which enables you to face time, watch Netflix, stream films which really is a game changer. Researching the WiFi we did discover that in popular cruise destinations like the Caribbean it was excellent but not so good in remote parts of the world such as Alaska, but I guess that should be expected. depending on the satellite position.
MedallionNet does cost extra. Passengers will pay $9.99 per device per day and can have access for up to four devices on the same folio for $29.99. Prices correct at this time of publishing post. However, Princess do offer a package that includes MedallionNet, Gratuities and Drinks Package, find out all about the Princess Plus Package here.
Number 5 – The Ocean Medallion helps you navigate around the ship and locate family members
You can find anyone in your party – some might think this is good idea and some will not! Ocean Compass has a tracking device which is really useful when travelling in a group, and peace of mind for parents, however we are sure there will be some teenagers who would not agree! Adults can turn off this tracking device but children can’t. The other excellent feature of this is you can message each other which we think is a fabulous idea.
The ocean medallion will give you step by step instructions on how to find the different venues around the ship too.
Number 6 – The Ocean Medallion is your Cabin Key
The ocean medallion unlocks the cabin door as you approach the it. No need to hold a key to a sensor or insert a card into a slot. You still have to pull down the handle to open the door. This will be such a bonus for Paul’s Dad who has mobility issues and there will be no need to fumble to get his cruise card out and just makes life that bit easier.
We did wonder how the door would stay locked once you were inside the cabin but as explained by our friends Brits on a Ship it is a one way operation and there are no sensors inside.
Once you are settled in your cabin and you want any ice, robes or extra hangers then you can order those through your medallion too!
Number 7 – You can order Food and Drink via the Ocean Medallion
Ocean Now is the app that is used to order food and drink. You choose your items from a drop down menu on your phone, make your choice and complete the order. The bar waiters device will show your picture so they know who to deliver the drink too.
There is a feature that allows users to also state their their allergens and dietary requirements this means that the crew members serving your food and drinks will also be informed.
Room service can be ordered too which is all included in your cruise fare with Princess!
Number 8 – The Ocean Medallion is used for inboard spending
As with a cruise card you just hold your ocean medallion over the sensor and the purchases go onto your account. Shopping is easy and can include your Ocean Medallion accessories too!
Number 9 – You can use the Ocean Medallion in the Casino
The ocean medallion can be used in the casino, simply order your chips or scan your medallion on the slot machine of your choice then gamble away.
Number 10 – The Ocean Medallion connects you to Interactive Gaming
When setting up your profile you can create a tag along personal avatar, choosing from a turtle, seahorse or fish. You can then customise this avatar with different colours and patterns. On the interactive screens around the ships you can play games and also participate in games on the big screen under the stars.
Number 11 – The Ocean Medallion is water and sand resistant
The ocean medallion is water and sand resistant so no need to remove it when you go swimming or when visiting the beach.
Number 12 – Can I use the Ocean Medallion if I you don’t have a phone?
No problem – dotted around the ship there are interactive large screens so if you don’t happen to have your phone with you just simply scan your medallion which will give you a full range of all the interactive things princess cruises has to offer.
Number 13 – Are there any passengers that can not use the Ocean Medallion?
You can choose not to use the Ocean Medallion and have a traditional cruise card. However, the only people that need to worry about the medallion are those passengers that have a pacemaker as the ocean medallions are magnetic.
Number 14 – This experience does not exist anywhere else in the world at this time
This is such a unique experience and is not available anywhere else in the world, which is a great selling point for Princess.
Number 15 – All ships will be Ocean Medallion enabled
It is exciting times for cruising from the UK and in Europe. All ships when cruising resumes will be Ocean Medallion enabled.
There will be three ships sailing out of Southampton creating nearly 500 days of cruising from the UK which will be the longest UK season.
The Ocean Medallion is revolutionary and can definitely enhancing the cruising experience. Princess cruises vision was to increase the personalisation and reduce the friction and they certainly have achieved that! However, we have now been on 4 Princess cruises and have had mixed success with using the technology on board. The ships were sailing under occupancy it worked well, however at full capacity it was less successful which was frustrating! In theory this is all fabulous, but in reality it works….sometimes! Lets hope Princess solve their issues as when it does work it is excellent!
Have you cruised with Princess and used the Ocean Medallion? Is there anything to add? We would love to hear in the comments below.
Relevant reading and videos –
Blog Post – Royal Princess – Our first Princess Experience
Royal Princess Cruise Ship Tour – Cabins and Suites
Royal Princess Cruise Ship Tour – Pools and Sun Decks
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