How can something so small be so powerful? The Medallion itself is not much bigger than a 10p coin, but it’s a little disc that packs a big punch; think of it as a high-tech way to provide the smoothest of customer service, and to make your cruise an even more relaxing and enjoyable experience.
So how does it work?
Arrival & check-in
Your Ocean Medallion is presented to you at check-in to wear on a lanyard. It already contains all of the information about your cruise booking, like a digital version of all your travel documentation. If you have a Smart Phone or tablet, you can download the OceanReady app, enter your details, upload your picture and you’re all set. What’s more, the crew on board know you are on your way and can prioritise the preparation of your stateroom.
Getting on board
Your Ocean Medallion replaces a traditional key card and is scanned as you get on (and off) the ship, and then you can simply wear it for the rest of your cruise* with bracelet and necklace options available to purchase if you want a change from the lanyard.
Getting into your stateroom is easy! As you walk along the corridor, just a few steps away from your room, a small screen by the door will light up and welcome you. It automatically unlocks the door and all you have to do is push down the handle. No more searching for a room key or pass in your pockets and bag. Once inside the wide screen TV is interactive and lets you use the full range of Ocean Medallion options – from room service to movies and shows on demand.
Of course, there’s also no need for the Do Not Disturb sign – the staff of the ship will know when you are inside. They’ll also know when they can come in to clean the room.
Life on board – Ocean Compass
The Medallion is fantastic for finding your way around the ship and checking what’s happening each day. You can use your smart phone, or tap your Medallion by one of the interactive screens all over the ship by the stairs on every deck, to find out where you are, where you would like to go to and how to get there. It then gives you a step-by-step routing, just like Google maps or any other GPS. You can use it to find your friends and family, or new ship mates you have made on board. Then arrange to meet them for drinks or dinner. It takes away all the hassle of going to each other’s cabins or making complicated arrangements. Exchanging messages on your chat group is so easy and with a nice large font for the text which means you don’t need your reading glasses!
This is quite brilliant! It gives you service on demand wherever you are on board the ship and whatever you want. Imagine you are relaxing on a sun lounger by the pool and would like a drink. No need to wait until you catch the eye of a member of the crew or queuing up to order. Simply use your Iphone or tablet to place your order which will remind you of what your favourites drinks have been so far, then you can reorder or choose an alternative from a range of suggestions. Then, because you are wearing your Medallion, the waiter will come and find you wherever you are, even if you have moved since you placed your order!
You can also use Ocean Now to buy art, sun-cream, toiletries or items from the gift shops, as well as being able to order room service items such as extra pillows or an ice bucket.
Phillip Schofield is the Princess Cruises ambassador and has made a neat series of videos to demonstrate the Ocean Medallion services. My favourite is the one where his wife has told him that she has gone for an afternoon nap in her stateroom, but he tracks her down in the gift shop! See video below.
Using your Ocean Medallion is completely free. If you would like to connect with the outside world, you can access Medallion Net, which is the best WiFi at sea, and there’s a daily charge from $9.99.
The Ocean Medallion stores all the information about your cruise which means next time you travel, your crew will remember your preferences and be able to deliver an even more personal service.
As Phillip Schofield reports: “Ocean Medallion has been nothing short of a revelation. It’s made the whole experience of cruising with Princess even more enjoyable”.
The Ocean Medallion is being installed throughout the Princess Cruises fleet over the next few years, and you can find more details on the Princess Cruises website to see if it will be in use on your cruise.
*May not be suited to pacemaker wearers
Silver Travel Advisor recommends Princess Cruises.