Perhaps the biggest draw of a cruise is its ease. Once onboard the ship, there are few decisions to be made, and most of them revolve around food, drink, and sun-soaked, relaxing activities.
But Carnival Corporation — the world’s largest cruise vacation company with brands that include its eponymous line, Fathom, and Princess, among others — wants to make your vacation even easier. A new wearable technology unveiled last week at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Carnival Corporation’s Ocean Medallion is a quarter-sized device that a guest can wear on a wrist or around the neck, offering a wealth of services without so much as the push of a button.
The first of its kind, the “personal digital vacation concierge” aims to make each passenger’s cruise highly personalised while delivering next level customer service. Each medallion is etched with a guest’s name, ship, and date of sailing, and can do a host of helpful things wirelessly, like open their stateroom door without a key card, pinpoint friends and family around the ship, facilitate food and drink orders and delivery, and expedite port embarkation and disembarkation. The medallion can also help passengers navigate the massive ship, seamlessly pay for merchandise or spa services, and entertain with built-in digital games.
“The Ocean Medallion [elevates] the level of service made possible by technology, yet doesn’t feel like technology,” John Padgett, Carnival Corporation’s Chief Experience and Innovation Officer tells Lonely Planet. “It was designed by one overarching principle: to help our guests have the greatest vacation possible while engaging them in a uniquely personal way. From our perspective, the guest experience and the crew experience are opposite sides of the same coin, so every step along the way foremost in our minds was how the experience platform can empower our crewmembers to provide that elevated level of service to our guests. And we are excited about all the possibilities to make our guests feel even more valued.”
Carnival has put a lot of effort into creating a device so passengers will have to exert very little. The ship is outfitted with 7000 sensors over 75 miles of cable, and the medallion works in conjunction with Ocean Compass, which is a digital portal that guests can access on smart devices, stateroom TVs, and interactive screens all over the ship. Ocean Medallions will debut in mid-November this year on Princess Cruises’ Regal Princess, and will be rolled out to the entire Princess Cruises fleet of ships in the years to come.