You have probably heard about the Ocean Medallion technology from my last cruise blog about the Sky Princess inaugural cruise by Princess Cruises, but aren’t too sure what it’s all about. Ocean Medallion is the latest and most advanced technology at sea that makes cruising more enjoyable, simple, and relaxing. In this blog I will tell you everything about the Ocean Medallion technology you need to know.
The Ocean Medallion is some kind of a wearable casino-like chip sized device that functions to personalize your onboard experience. The Ocean Medallion acts as an access point to your personal information. This explains why the device is dubbed the One Cruise Experience Access Network.
The devices come in different colors and are laser-etched with your name, the name of your ship, and the date of the cruise, again very personalized.
After cruising with Princess Cruises in the Mediterranean from Gibraltar to Athens I compiled this blog of the ultimate things to know before you cruise on the Mediterranean. Or click here for Western Mediterranean cruise excursions or tips for first time cruisers.
How Does The Ocean Medallion Work?
The Ocean Medallion holds the guests’ digital identity and can be scanned by thousands of sensors on the ship to communicate with readers onboard and in port. Much of the Ocean Medallion functionality doesn’t need any apps although there are quite a number of cell phone applications that they’ve partnered with – we’ll look at these in further detail later on.
Using these smart devices, guests get an enriched experience. One of my favorite function is that cabin doors are unlocked automatically by the time you get there. Paying for purchases is simplified too and you do not need to charge the Ocean Medallion chip and it doesn’t have an on/off switch either.
Ocean Medallion is also making the work of the staff easier and enables them to serve you better. For example, the cabin stewards can tell when you left the cabin so they can have the room cleaned. The waiters also use these devices to get alerts about the guest’s dietary needs or special celebrations.
What exactly is Ocean Medallion – 12 Ocean Medallion Facts
These wearable medallions open a world of possibilities on the new Medallion Class Princess Cruises. The devices are waterproof and very easy to use. Here are some Ocean Medallion facts you should know:
For starters, you can carry the medallion in a number of ways. You can request a lanyard and wear it around the neck but you can buy other accessories and wear it however way you like. I mostly just kept it in my pocket. But you can also clip it onto your clothes, or wear it as a pendant, wristband, or as a bracelet. The accessories are available in a variety of colors including gold and silver so you can pick what complements your outfit.
2. How to use the Ocean Medallion
Basically once the Ocean Medallion is set up, the technology is so smart that it doesn’t require you to do much anymore. Just show, wear it on you and Ocean Medallion does the rest. We have already seen that the Ocean medallion is quite multipurpose and can function in many ways as a credit card as well as a room key.
3. Check-in with Ocean Medallion
Once you fill out the forms online, upload security photos and scans of your passport, your Medallion is sent to you in the mail. Alternatively, you can pick it up at the port. After that, all you need is a brief check of documentation and you’re good to go. You don’t need to wait in line to check-in.
After filling out all the required information online I was declared ‘Ocean Ready’, I then received the Ocean Medallion at the port of embarkation in Trieste for the inaugural cruise of Sky Princess and by just showing my face and my passport I was ready to go on board. All in all I think it took just 1 minute!
4. Order food and drinks
Guests can make orders from a menu of food and beverage items and have their orders delivered to wherever they are on the ship. To make the order, you need the MedallionClass App. More about this app later, but the fact that you don’t have to get in line anymore to order food or drinks was simply heaven!
5. Get Around
The Medallion offers the ship’s occupants with real-time location and way-finding services. Also, if you have the OceanCompass app on your phone you can use it to get around and it works like a sort of Google Maps on board. With the Ocean Medallion you can never get lost anymore on a big cruise ship!
6. Play games
Gaming is another popular feature of the Ocean Medallion. I tried it for a little bit, but Im way too old for gaming and I felt there are many more amazing things to do on the Sky Princess than gaming. Well I at least gave it a shot on one of the many portals around the ship.
There are a variety of games that the cruisers can choose from. If you have the PlayOcean app on your phone you can use it as a controller during various games. The OceanCasino app even allows the cruisers to play different casino games from wherever they are on the ship and yes you can play for real money in the app as well.
7. Surf the internet
MedallionNet is a high-speed internet system that withstands inclement weather and maintains a connection even in areas of spotty connectivity. You can surf the internet, stream TV shows, and even hold conference calls. Yes this is the best internet at sea and it made me so happy. You will need to login once during your cruise and then it automatically connects at all times. I did a 30 minute live video and it worked very smooth.
8. Related Apps
These apps make the program more connected. They include
This is the onboard internet which is extremely affordable compared to what you normally pay for cruise internet. It offers land-like connectivity that does not have any technical interference. During the inaugural cruise of Sky Princess the unlimited internet package was $9,99 per day. Worth every penny!
This app helps you set up your account by uploading your photo and travel documents alongside some personal information. Once you’ve completed your portfolio, you get a boarding pass and check-in is completed with a scan and a quick check.
Whether you need travel documents or not depends on where you are going. You can check online at Princess website or consult with your travel agent.
This app makes navigation easy while you’re on the ship. It gives you a step by step route to follow and is very convenient in that you can choose to use it on your smartphone or on the portals throughout the ship. OceanCompass also has a chat feature that allows you to add your shipmates and find them.
This platform allows you to order food and drinks which are delivered right where you are. You can also order other items like bags, sunscreen, and anything else that’s for sale on the ship
Play Ocean is a series of games that you can play while onboard the ship. You can either play on your phone or on the various portals around the ship
This is a channel that allows you to watch original and exciting travel shows from your room.
This app is quite handy for those that love online gambling and don’t wanna hang in the casino. Ocean Casino lets you gamble by placing real money wagers on poker, slots, roulette, bingo right from your phone. You can play a variety of casino games, from just about anywhere on the ship, whenever you feel like.
This lets you message other cruisers on the ship for free. Since there’s no notification showing you that a message has come in, you should keep checking sporadically to see if someone texted you.
Ocean Concierge also helps you see events and activities happening on board from your phone or portal.
9. Costs of Ocean Medallion
One doesn’t have to pay to use the Ocean Medallion. The costs are included in the total price of the cruise. You even get your Ocean Medallion shipped to the address saved in your profile in advance at no extra cost. If you booked your cruise late and there’s no time to ship the Ocean Medallion to you, you can pick it up at the terminal during check-in like I did for the first cruise of the Sky Princess.
The only extra cost that can occur is when you purchase personalized accessories to hold the Medallion such as necklaces and wristbands. The accessories cost anywhere between $10 and $60. The Ocean Medallion comes with a free lanyard, but as I said you can also just wear it in your pocket like a coin.
10. Safety and Privacy Concerns of the Ocean Medallion
This is one of the first things I questioned when we were briefed about the Ocean Medallion technology. Privacy is very valuable to many people nowadays. Your profile cannot be stolen by hackers. The information is parsed and stored in different places so that no single data center has all your information. Like I previously mentioned, the information is encrypted. However, if someone was able to hack the system, all they would get is a ‘meaningless’ number with no information attached to it.
11. Opting Out of the Ocean Medallion
Any guest on the Princess Cruises is welcome to opt-out of the Ocean Medallion at any time if they want to. Turning off this new technology doesn’t mean that you still won’t enjoy the cruise the same great way. You don’t have to use it if you don’t want to!
Before, during, and after the cruise, all the information sent to you is encrypted for better protection. The program uses very advanced software security models and tools. No personal information is stored on the Ocean Medallion. So it’s impossible for other people to use it to access your room or make payments with it. If the picture on the Ocean Medallion doesn’t match the person using it, permission is not granted.
12. Usefulness for Families
You can attach the Medallions to your children and you won’t have to worry about losing them on the ship. You also don’t have to worry about your children’s room key getting lost.
The Ocean Medallion makes it easy for you to locate the children wherever they are on the ship. Note that it’s possible for you to turn off this feature if you don’t want either you or your children to be stalked by strangers.
Again, you can keep the kids busy playing games either on the phone or on the wall portals around the ship.
Any Downsides of Ocean Medallion
There are so many appealing benefits and amazing features on the Ocean Medallion. However, there are a few issues associated with its usage.
The technology is quite complicated
It’s hard for some people to understand how the technology works, but in fact the technology is so advanced that is works even if you don’t understand it. Also Princess Cruises’ staff is more than happy to teach you everything you need to know about the Ocean Medallion.
Also, after downloading the app make sure that you play around with it before the cruise even starts so that you can get the hang of it quickly. I guarantee you that it will make your cruise experience much better.
You need internet access to utilize its ful potential
To be able to use all the integrated apps, you need to have an internet connection.
If you choose to stay disconnected at sea for whatever reason, you still get other benefits associated with Ocean Medallion since the entire ship has pads that allow you to use the technology for the basic features.
The Medallion Net internet package costs about $10 per day for unlimited internet and you can connect 4 devices. This is great especially if you’re out with your family.
There are so many apps that one needs to download
You have to download a bunch of applications and log into each one of them separately. It would be great if everything was in one app but that would make it slow.
But since all the apps have different purposes, you choose to download only those that you’re going to be using. For my research to get to know everything about Ocean Medallion I downloaded them all, but most of them I didn’t use during the Sky Princess inaugural cruise at all.
You can’t check your balance
It’s impossible for cruisers to check their balance which is quite inconvenient. You still can though by going to the information desk kiosk and have them read your Ocean Medallion.
Technical Glitches Ocean Medallion
Just as is common with a new technology that’s being rolled out, it’s expected that there are going to be some hitches. However, they’re working hard towards improving the technology, fixing the hitches, and releasing new features.
I must say though that I did not have a single problem using the Ocean Medallion app during my cruise on the Sky Princess.
Ships that offer Ocean Medallion
Medallion Net (the fastest internet at sea) is available on Caribbean Princess, Crown Princess, Emerald Princess, Island Princess, Regal Princess, Ruby Princess, Royal Princess, and Coral Princess. Next year, five more ships will get the high-speed Wi-Fi. The five ships are Grand Princess, Diamon Princess, Majestic Princess, Star Princess, and Sapphire Princess.
Final Word about Ocean Medallion
It has been almost a year now since the rolling out of the Ocean Medallion program and so many people are overwhelmingly impressed with all the convenience it brings to the guests. This is a technology that you’re going to fall in love with throughout your cruise, trust me!
The medallion functions as a door key, a form of identification, a personal GPS device, and your ship account. In addition to that, it helps you locate other people onboard and makes it easy for you to get directions so that you don’t get lost on the ship and don’t miss your favorite activities.
I hope this article about the Ocean Medallion technology has given you a better understanding of what exactly the Ocean Medallion is. If you still have any questions feel free to send me a message on my Instagram @traveltomtom.
For more cruise blogs have a look at my tips for first time cruisers, my Mediterranean cruise tips or everything about the first cruise of the Sky Princess.
I hope you get to enjoy the Ocean Medallion technology on your next cruise.