With CEO Carnival Corp. CEO Arnold Donald set to make the keynote address at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas tomorrow, Carnival has revealed what it calls a game-changing piece of technology that will revolutionize the industry.
Donald, the first CES keynote speaker ever to come from outside the tech industry, will introduce the Ocean Medallion, which can be clipped onto jewelry or bands or carried in a pocket or wallet. The Medallion allows guests to open their stateroom door and make onboard purchases without ever taking out their wallets. It will be introduced starting with Carnival’s Princess Cruises brand later this year.
Guests will also be able to link the Medallions to a smartphone and stateroom TV app that will let them set food and drink preferences for meals before arriving in the dining room, play interactive games with other guests, and locate friends and family members around the ship.
The Medallions will link to a smartphone app.
“Our focus is on exceeding guest expectations every single day and consistently delivering great experiences, and we do that extremely well,” Donald said in a statement. “Now we are in prime position to take the guest experience to a level never before considered possible and build on cruising's popularity and value as the fastest growing segment of the vacation sector."
Guests also will see a streamlined check-in, embarkation and disembarkation process thanks to the Ocean Medallion. At the cruise terminal it will allow them to simply board the ship without waiting on a check-in line, as they already have their stateroom key and cruise identification.
Innovations include a streamlines embarkation process.
The technology was spearheaded by chief experience and innovation officer John Padgett and vice president of design and technology Michael Jungen, two former Disney employees who were heavily involved in developing the MagicBand.
According to Padgett, the technology was designed to not actually feel like technology—it goes above and beyond what Disney’s MagicBand and other travel wearables do by not requiring a “tap” for guest interaction. There is also no on-off switch, no charging and no menu to navigate—guests reap the rewards by simply carrying the disc.
"The Ocean Medallion creates an elevated level of service that's made possible by technology but doesn't feel like technology,” he said. “Our mission is to help our guests make the most of every moment of their vacation."
Each Medallion gets laser-etched with a guest’s name, ship and date of sailing. The smartphone and TV app is also free, and will be available to download on personal devices. It will also be available on interactive devices located throughout the ship and on those carried by crewmembers.
The Ocean Medallion will debut on Carnival Corp.’s Regal Princess in November. It will then be introduced in 2018 to two other Princess ships—Royal Princess and Caribbean Princess. Eventually, the entire Princess fleet will be outfitted with the technology, along with ships from other Carnival Corp. brands.
Guests will be able to use their Medallions on interactive devices located throughout the ship.