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CES 2017: Carnival introduces revolutionary wearable cruise technology

Wearable technology - essentially a virtual concierge that can do everything from delivering food to any part of the ship to suggesting and booking shore excursions, called the Ocean Medallion will come to the Carnival Corporation fleet in 2017.
CES 2017: Carnival introduces revolutionary wearable cruise technology

Carnival Corporation CEO Arnold Donald will reveal the details for the next-generation wearable on Thursday at CES 2017 in Las Vegas, the Cruise Critic reports.

The product begins with the medallion itself, a small disk that will be sent to every passenger before he or she leaves home. Tiny Ocean Medallion is the shape of a quarter and stores the information that travelers provide not just online before the trip but also in real time as the device is powered through another creation, the company’s Ocean Compass digital concierge. You can wear the Medallion around your wrist (like an Apple Watch), around your neck (like a pendant) or just carry it in your pocket.

Benefits of Ocean Medallion include streamlined embarkation and debarkation, the ability to locate friends and family throughout the ship, better interactions with crew members who also will have devices and easier ways to access dining and entertainment throughout the cruise.

Carnival Corporation’s Princess Cruises will be the company’s first cruise line to adopt the new technology later this year.

Ships that are outfitted with the technology will be classified as Medallion Class Ocean Vacations.

Passengers going on these cruises will create personal profiles before their vacations, filling out preferences around hobbies like gaming or the culinary arts, as well as lifestyle choices, such as recreational and entertainment preferences.

If you haven’t already chosen your options, customer service and shore excursion staffers will be milling about the terminal, iPads in hand, able to accommodate requests.

You can shop for products, shore excursions, spa treatments, photos and the like from any device you’ve registered even after the cruise ends.

The Ocean Medallion also lets you place orders for delivery to anywhere you plan to be, whether it’s poolside, your cabin, the ship’s theater or the casino.

The Medallion makes it easy to communicate dietary restrictions — which you can do ahead of your cruise — just once, and chefs at restaurants across the vessel will all have the info, wherever and whenever you’re dining.

Wearing the medallion, you can access the Ocean Compass digital concierge via smart phones, tablets and laptops. Those who prefer to stay off their personal devices on vacation can access their concierge through in-cabin televisions, digital kiosks in designated port terminals and on interactive screens positioned throughout the ships.

“The Ocean Medallion creates an elevated level of service that’s made possible by technology but doesn’t feel like technology,” says John Padgett, chief experience and innovation officer for Carnival Corporation, who led the team that created it. “Whether guests are … having a drink delivered poolside or trying their luck gaming while lounging … we are engaging with them in a personal way. Our mission is to help our guests make the most out of every minute of their vacation.”

Wi-Fi will also be substantially improved on vessels with the Ocean Medallion. And there’s another plus: The medallion system does not use data or roaming packages. The system is local, so there are no extra fees involved with using personal devices, as long as they’re part of the network.

After Medallion Class Ocean Vacations debuts in November on Princess Cruises’ Regal Princess, it will expand to Royal Princess and Caribbean Princess in early 2018.