Carnival Corporation is building on its Ocean Medallion initiative with a major new investment in shipboard Wi-Fi, a company representative tells Travel Agent.
Dubbed MedallionNet, the new connectivity service enabled by SES Networks will aim to provide guests with easy-to-access Wi-Fi with improved speed, bandwidth, stateroom signal strength and consistency of service.
The connectivity service will leverage the SES satellite network, managed services, antenna and shipboard technology to provide what Carnival Corp. describes as reliable broadband connectivity at sea. The service will also be enabled by hardware and software advances associated with the company’s OCEAN Experience Platform.
First announced by Carnival Corp. at CES, the OCEAN Experience Platform includes a wearable device for guests allowing them to perform a variety of activities, such as opening their stateroom door, tracking children or ordering drinks or entertainment. That device is powered by a network of sensors embedded throughout the ship. Guests will also be able to use a personalized digital concierge called the Ocean Compass on smart devices, kiosks in home ports, on stateroom TVs and on interactive surfaces located throughout the ship.
In a written release announcing MedallionNet, John Padget, Carnival Corp.’s chief experience and innovation officer, said that Wi-Fi connectivity is important to many of the cruise company’s guests.
SES said that MedallionNet would use multi-band antennas in a unique shipboard formation aimed at minimizing the impact of seasonal weather or the ship’s positioning on connectivity. Additionally, combining multiple sources of bandwidth will help to boost capacity.
The Ocean Medallion will officially debut on Princess Cruises' Regal Princess in November. Plans for MedallionNet’s specific brand implementation will be announced later this year.