When Carnival Corp.’s new Ocean Medallions make their debut on Regal Princess this November, they’ll have the stamp of approval from the cruise company’s biggest retail partners, among them host agency TPI.
TPI President and CEO Morris Chia and VP Tim Morgan were among three dozen Carnival Corp. partner executives flown in for Carnival Corp. CEO Arnold Donald’s keynote address highlighting the new Ocean Medallions at CES earlier this month. CES is the world’s largest annual consumer technology trade show and Donald made history as the first travel industry executive to deliver the opening keynote speech in CES’ 50-year history.
“Carnival made it clear to us that they were bringing their key partners in at this point, 11 months prior to launch, because travel advisor feedback is important to them as they continue to develop the product offering,” said Morgan.
“We are working with Carnival on how travel advisors can further benefit from this enhanced technology.”
Morgan says the Ocean Medallions are simple to use and intuitive, and will help the cruise company with guest retention and acquisition, “which are both important to travel advisor success.”
The Ocean Medallions are wearable tech for passengers, a small disc about the size of a quarter that can be worn as a pendant on a wristband in a clip, or placed in a pocket. The medallions will do everything from eliminate keycards by unlocking staterooms as passengers approach their stateroom door, to streamlining and expediting the port embarkation and disembarkation process, to allowing passengers to make onboard purchases without any transaction, cards or paper.
Similar in concept to other wearable tech devices like Walt Disney World’s MagicBand, Carnival says its Ocean Medallion “goes well beyond the growing number of wearables used by theme parks and other vacation companies by leaving behind the required action of ‘tap’ and ushering in a new paradigm for guest interactions.”
The new guest experience platform will debut on Princess Cruises’ Regal Princess in November 2017, followed by Royal Princess and Caribbean Princess in 2018. The new Medallion Class on Princess Cruises will be rolled out over multiple years on the entire Princess Cruises fleet.
In addition to stateroom access and onboard purchases, the Ocean Medallion will also enable passengers to locate friends and family around the cruise ship, deliver enhanced dining experiences based on food and beverage preferences, power an array of interactive gaming and immersive entertainment experiences and significantly enhance interactions with crew members and guests, says the cruise company.
The medallion can be accessorized with jewelry, clips, key chains and bands or carried in a pocket or pocketbook.
The Ocean Medallion has no discernible technology – no on-off switch, no charging and no menu to navigate. The device, laser-etched with the guest’s name, ship and date of sailing, is provided to all passengers at no cost.