Tom Stieghorst
Tom Stieghorst

Princess Cruises has some good news about its Ocean Medallion technology. The line finally has it working for all guests aboard one of its ships.

Passengers on the Caribbean Princess can use the medallion discs to access their rooms, order drinks, play casino games anywhere on the ship and consult their personal agendas, as the medallion synchs with their smartphones.

This is exciting for the limited number of people that can use it. But in hindsight it is clear that Princess set expectations too high for the rollout of this innovative technology. 

Carnival Corp. chose Princess to be the first line to incorporate Ocean Medallion, a Bluetooth-enabled wearable disc. They were originally put in trial mode on the Regal Princess. Several other ships were wired and rigged to use the medallions, which were touted as offering an unprecedented personalization of service delivery.

After “phased activation” on the Regal Princess, the technology was expected to be operating on five Princess ships by the end of 2018.

But three quarters of the way through the year, the Ocean Medallion is said to be fully functional only on the Caribbean Princess. 

It often takes some time for innovative technologies to move from concept to full implementation. And just explaining the concept to guests and staff alike for something so revolutionary was bound to be challenging.

Princess said that guest satisfaction surveys from the Caribbean Princess indicate that passengers “thoroughly enjoy” using the medallion and that it helps personalize their vacation and remove friction points.

Princess also said it will “continue rolling out additional advanced offerings for guests this fall while also continuing to refine the enhanced experience based on guest and crew feedback.”

When the medallion technology was unveiled, part of the rationale behind it was to shift the cruise sales proposition from one focused increasingly on hardware and features to one more focused on guest experience.

This was the most intriguing promise attached to the medallion technology. The industry will be watching now to see if there’s an accelerated effort to turn that promise into reality.

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