Carnival Corporation is making waves this week with Ocean Medallion, a first-of-its-kind wearable technology debuting on Princess Cruises ships.
The proprietary system is so cutting edge it's being introduced this week at CES, the annual consumer technology trade show in Las Vegas, where Carnival Corporation CEO Arnold Donald will give the opening keynote speech today.
The idea behind the technology is to better personalize the cruise experience for everyone onboard. Here's how it works: Each guest will receive a quarter-sized disc to keep in their pocket or wear in a keychain or other accessory (which will be for sale). The disc allows cruise line personnel to recognize and greet passengers from the second they step off the plane or arrive at a port. It will allow guests to skip check-in and open the door to cabins as passengers approach. It will also give guests the opportunity to pre-order drinks and food, so they're waiting for you when you get to the bar, and will serve as the payment mechanism for all onboard services. (You just have to have it on you, you don't even need to tap it.) Other benefits include digital access to your onboard photos as well as an onboard GPS system, and will offer notices of events you might be interested in based on your taste.
Ocean Medallion also links to a personalized digital concierge service. Guests can access the system via their own smart devices, touch-screen TVs in staterooms and digital displays throughout the ship. Crew will also have handhelds and will know who passengers are — and what they like – based on pre-cruise questionnaires, onboard habits, and past sailings.
Developed by some of the same folks who created Disney's MagicBand concept in 2013 — which use radio frequency to get you into parks and pay for merchandise — Ocean Medallion will launch on Regal Princess in November 2017, with Royal Princess and Caribbean Princess to follow in 2018. It will later rollout to the entire fleet, as well as to other Carnival Corporation brands.