Imagine your cabin door unlocking as you approach it, or a server bringing your favorite drink without having to order it.
Carnival Corp. is inviting guests to not just imagine these perks, but to experience them on November 13 aboard the Regal Princess with the rollout of new concierge technology known as the Ocean Medallion.
Carnival — which operates Carnival Cruise Lines, Princess Cruises and Holland America cruises — unveiled new concierge technology during the CES gadget show in Las Vegas on January 4.
According to a story from the Associated Press, the technology focuses on a tracking medallion the size of a quarter. The wearable medallion can be carried around a passenger’s neck, in a pocket or in a purse. Using wireless technology, Ocean Medallions communicate with sensors installed around the ship, cruise terminals and airports.
The technology is similar to the WOWbands found aboard certain Royal Caribbean International ships. These wristbands double as a passenger’s room key and method of payment.
Passengers who opt into the free program fill out a basic vacation profile of their likes and dislikes. Those who opt in will then receive one of the Bluetooth-equipped medallions engraved with their name.
“We are in the business of providing our guests incredible vacation experiences that create memories that they will cherish for a lifetime,” said Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises, in a written statement. “Ocean Medallion Class will deliver an elevated cruise vacation experience by connecting people, places and cultures from around the world in a more profound way. The service Princess guests have always loved will be amplified by the Ocean Medallion.”
Nearby crew members equipped with tablets can respond to the needs of these passengers. Everything from a reminder of an upcoming event or offering their favorite drink can be addressed. If the passenger wants to pay for drinks, souvenirs or other services, the medallion charges it to your account.
Guests can even access the Ocean Compass, allowing them to use interactive displays throughout the ship, on stateroom TVs or their own mobile devices. Passengers are able to use the service to find their way around the ship, make reservations, view photographs and learn about their ports of call and the activities at each destination.
The medallions are detected automatically by sensors, so there is no need for guests to tap them against surfaces. The weatherproof medallions do not have to be returned when a cruise ends – they are to be kept as mementos.
Security measures will be taken to ensure other passengers can’t use someone else’s medallion. Digital security photos will be issued with each medallion for verification purposes. The medallions will not contain sensitive information such as cabin numbers. Other measures will be put in place but details were not specified.
Carnival CEO Arnold Donald noted the technology may make some guests uncomfortable, so passengers will have the option of not using the medallions or limiting how much they participate in the program.
“In the end, the guests will tell us,” Donald told The Associated Press. “If it doesn’t (resonate), it’s back to the drawing board.”
Carnival plans on rolling out the new technology on Princess ships in starting in early 2018.
Whether you embrace new technology or prefer old-fashioned touches, Park West Gallery offers guests aboard cruise ships classical and contemporary art they are sure to love. Learn more about Park West’s art auctions at sea.