Carnival’s new Ocean Medallion brings digital service to a new level


Carnival Cruise Lines, which operates some of the biggest and best-loved ships in the region, has announced a revolutionary new passenger identification system that will not just open your state room door, but also allow every crew member to know your likes and dislikes.

Any crew member will know you like your martinis shaken, not stirred, and that you don’t take sugar in your coffee. Unnervingly , they will all be able to address you by name as well.

Called the Ocean Medallion, the quarter-sized disc takes Royal Caribbean’s digital bracelet, launched with ships like Ovation of the Seas, to a whole new level.

Princess ships will get the discs later this year. It will be available first on Regal Princess in November, 2017, followed by Royal Princess and Caribbean Princess.

Arnold Donald, Carnival CEO, announced the Ocean Medallion as the first travel industry executive to deliver the opening keynote at the world’s largest consumer technology event in the US.

Donald described the Medallion as a first-of-its-kind wearable device that enables every guest to have a “personal digital concierge to maximize each guest’s experience”.

The 1.8-ounce disc has no on/off button, needs no charging or instructions, and can be accessorized with jewelry, clips, key chains and bands, or simply carried in a pocket.

Arnold said: “We are creating the most personal, simple and intuitive vacation experience. It’s an all-encompassing and totally unique approach we call O·C·E·A·N – the One Cruise Experience Access Network™.

“This global platform delivers a lifestyle engagement and is a real game-changer.”

The Medallion features an Internet of Things (IoT) network of intelligent sensors and experiential computing devices. It will revolutionizes guest service not only for the cruise industry, but the broader vacation industry.

Joining Donald to present details of the new guest experience platform were the company executives who are leading the effort: John Padgett, chief guest experience & innovation officer for Carnival Corporation; and Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises.

Padgett explained how the Ocean Medallion is the central component of a larger ecosystem.

“Our focus is exceeding guest expectations in ways that cannot be anticipated or duplicated. What makes a Medallion Class experience so special is the level of personalization.”

Every guest will get an Ocean Medallion –with laser-etched guest’s name, ship and date of sailing. So no chance the diamonte lanyard will be disappearing any time soon!

The Medallion contains Near Field Communication (NFC) and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) communication capabilities that interact with thousands of sensors, kiosks, interactive surfaces and smart devices infused throughout the ships and ports.

Some of the Ocean Medallion’s benefits include:

• streamline port embarkation and disembarkation process,

• allow guests to access their staterooms as they approach the door – no keycard is required),

• locate friends and family around the cruise ship,

• enable guests to purchase merchandise without any transaction, cards or paper,

• deliver on-demand dining experiences based on food and beverage preferences,

• power an array of interactive gaming and immersive entertainment experiences, and

• significantly enhance service interactions with crew members and guests.

Ms Swartz, who leads the world’s largest premium cruise line, detailed the opportunities made possible by the Ocean Medallion:

“From the moment our guests first engage with us, their experiences will be powered by their preferences, from extra pillows to their favorite drink,” Ms Swartz said.

“Services they desire will be delivered seamlessly, in real time, often without asking, where and when they want them.”
What you need to know:

“Ocean Medallion” – a revolutionary, “wearable” device that enables a highly personalized vacation experience

The Ocean Medallion is a quarter-sized, 1.8-ounce disc that facilitates the enhanced guest experience. It has no discernible technology – no on-off switch, no charging, no menu to navigate – and can be worn as a pendant on a wristband in a clip or simply placed in a pocket to reveal enhanced services and personalized experiences without guests having to push a button or take any action. The device, laser-etched with the guest’s name, ship and date of sailing, is provided to all passengers at no cost. Inside each guest’s Ocean Medallion are multiple communication technologies including – Near Field Communication (NFC) and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE).

“Ocean Compass” – a digital concierge that creates the ultimate vacation experience

Ocean Medallion works in conjunction with Ocean Compass, a digital experience portal that serves as a vacation concierge before, during and after vacation. The Ocean Compass requires no education or instruction thanks to its intuitive, innovative interface. Ocean Compass is available online, on smart devices, on kiosks in port terminals, on stateroom TVs, on interactive surfaces located throughout the cruise ship and on devices carried by crew members. Guests can use Ocean Compass to enhance their vacations, select experiences and create personalized event-based itineraries. No guest is required to have a personal device to access Ocean Compass. The Ocean Compass also serves as a digital media platform that features custom experiential media content as well as access to vacation photos captured during a cruise.

xiOS – Experience Innovation Operating System – “IOT” intelligent sensor network – powers experience personalization from behind the scenes

The xiOS is an invisible network of interactive intelligent sensors and embedded devices mounted throughout the ship, home ports and destinations that uses a guest-centric, Internet of Things approach to enable a seamless guest experience. The xiOS unifies hardware and software to create an “Experience Platform.” The platform is deployable on any ship regardless of ship age or size.

Technology-enabled innovations create a new level of personalized guest service interactions.
”The Ocean Medallion creates an elevated level of service that’s made possible by technology but doesn’t feel like technology,” said John Padgett, chief experience and innovation officer for Carnival Corporation. “Whether guests are exploring new experience options, having a drink delivered to their seat at the night’s show or trying their luck gaming while lounging poolside, we will assist our guests wherever they are, while engaging with them in a uniquely personal way. Our mission is to help our guests make the most of every moment of their vacation.”

Throughout each guest’s vacation, the Ocean Medallion will enable ease and simplicity, while also creating special moments to delight guests in unexpected ways, creating an entirely new level of service that will elevate the vacation experience. Examples of never- before-possible service innovations include:

• Ocean Ready™: Streamlined and expedited port embarkation and disembarkation processes. For instance, at the terminal, Ocean Medallion-carrying guests can board the ship, engage with crew members and begin their vacation at their leisure as they already have the “key” to their stateroom (no check-in required).

• Easy Access to Everything: Allows guests to browse and purchase products (utilizing Medallion Pay™) such as retail merchandise, photos, spa services and destination excursions both intuitively and conveniently from any Ocean Compass (mobile device, browser, stateroom, public) at anytime (before, during or after cruise).

• Seamless Navigation: Enables point-to-point wayfinding across the ship thanks to an intelligent navigation assistant – similar to a car or phone GPS app.

• Personalized Dining: Facilitates ordering, menu exploration and delivery of food and beverage services. Guests can even place orders and view the whereabouts of their food and beverage, as well as place future orders and have them delivered wherever they plan to be at a designated time.

• Anytime-Anywhere Entertainment and Gaming: Expands gaming options to include new digital games guests can play independently or with others, for fun or based on casino rules of the house, inside or outside of the casino including poolside, in staterooms or in any other ship location.

• Enhanced Crew Interactions: Takes personalized service to a new level because crew members are equipped with a Crew Compass that empowers personalized guest interactions. For example, when guests arrive at the airport, guest service hosts will be able to provide personalized greetings and guest services.

Easy Payment: Enables guests to conveniently and securely make payment for experiences using their Ocean Medallion. Guests can associate any number of credit cards, reward cards, gift cards and advanced payment services with Medallion Pay.