Look for Princess Cruises to “phase in” activation of its new Ocean Medallion technology on Regal Princess in a more conservative roll-out approach. Previously, the line had planned to introduce the proprietary, wearable technology to all guests onboard that ship, starting in November.
While the installation of the Ocean Medallion systems and framework is reportedly on schedule, the line now plans to phase in the activation of the Ocean Medallion Vacations’ experience for only a select number of guests on each “preview cruise” between November and next spring.
Princess will activate Ocean Medallion – a highly sophisticated, proprietary technology -- by adding groups of staterooms in phases versus activating the entire ship at one time. That way, the line can receive continuous feedback from a controlled number of guests and crew while the ship is in service.
The goal? The line wants to ensure an “excellent experience” for guests and also for crew, who will utilize the technology to enhance personalized service to guests.
The medallion is a small disk that the guest receives before sailing that they can wear during their voyage. It stores information provided by the guest and also “learns” more about that person as they cruise, all of which means the crew can provide more customized services along the way.
“An example will be, you're in our bar. You walk into the bar, they know your name, they know the last drink you had. They say ‘would you like another Tom Collins or whatever the last drink was that you had,’” Arnold told attendees of ASTA in late August. Arnold added that if that guest leaves the bar to go outside to, say, see a whale in the ocean, the crew member will be able to find that guest and deliver the drink to them.
Arnold emphasized that the guest does not need to use the medallion; it’s all meant to be about choice, and that’s what innovation is all about.
“If you give people what they want, how they want it and when they want it, you will be successful. And that's what we do,” said Arnold.
Getting Ocean Medallion up and running on each ship requires extensive modifications to a ship’s onboard operations and additional crew training.
A preview cruise for media has been postponed from November to next spring. An official announcement is expected soon on the revised, "phased in" approach.