This post is sponsored by Princess Cruises.
Gone are the days of carrying around your cruise card, credit card, and passport while hopping from your stateroom to the port to the pool. A few weeks ago, Princess Cruises invited me to come aboard the Caribbean Princess on a 7-day Western Caribbean cruise to check out the MedallionClass Experience, and let me start by saying that it has changed the cruising world for the better. Since I’m now a full-fledged cruiser after my fourth cruise vacation in three years, I can’t wait to share how Princess is taking you from curbside to poolside in a snap. And that’s just the beginning of the genius of the new OceanMedallion™ technology!
What to Do Before Your Cruise
Let’s start from the beginning—two weeks before my cruise, I downloaded the OceanReady® app and after filling out my travel information and mailing address, our OceanMedallion™ wearable devices were sent right to my house so we would be ready to go well before we actually walked into Port Everglades to check in. Once we arrived, all it took was a few minutes and a tap of our Medallions and we were walking onto the ship, ready to relax.
The cherry on top of this convenient new technology? The personal stateroom portal next to your door recognizes your OceanMedallion as you approach and unlocks the door for you. Caribbean Princess is living in the year 3000, guys.
Princess Cruises OceanMedallion Overview
Princess Cruises has created a suite of apps that work in accordance with the OceanMedallion that lets you do just about anything you can imagine on board. My favorites were OceanNow® and PlayOcean®, but I’ll give you a quick rundown of all of them.
This app lets you order food or drinks right to your lounge chair, your stateroom, or basically anywhere on the ship. No more looking around for a waiter to flag down or getting up to get refills for you and your pals. Since the Medallion has your name and photo encrypted in it, servers are able to spot right where you are for a smooth, quick delivery. Genius, right?
OceanView is like Netflix at sea. There is a huge amount of exclusive content for Princess cruisers, including travel shows like Ocean Treks™ with Jeff Corwin, The Voyager™ with Josh Garcia and more. It’s a cool way to learn about the ports you’ll be visiting all week.
This one the gaming app to play when you want to win big! There are a bunch of games available within the app itself, or you can play on portals around the ship—you just log in by tapping your Medallion. I may not be a big casino-goer, but…there’s always time for Bingo.
A gaming app probably directed more towards children, PlayOcean ended up being me and Michele’s favorite. You can customize your very own Tagalong®, an animal avatar that is used around the ship on the different OceanMedallion portals. Out of the fish, seahorse, and sea turtle options, I’m sure it’s no surprise I picked a sea turtle. I named him Morris and it was always so fun to see him swim across the animation whenever I walked by with my Medallion! It’s a unique idea to make such a huge ship feel more personal, and I was a big fan. We stopped to play games on our way back from Coffee & Cones…let’s say more than once.
This app is super useful for logistics during your cruise. Not only does it help you find your way around the ship by literally giving you step-by-step directions to where you need to go from the adults-only Sanctuary to the Sports Court, you can even find something else—your shipmates! Whether it’s whom you’re traveling with or you make new friends on the cruise, you can become pals on OceanCompass and use it to chat as well as find each other’s locations (this can be turned on or off for privacy).
Things To Know About OceanMedallion
Another tool you’ll want to keep in mind is OceanConcierge. It’s a web page you can view without being connected to MedallionNet, and it’s incredibly useful. You can see details about the ship’s itinerary and schedule, look at menus for different restaurants onboard, or keep tabs on your stateroom account.
Speaking of MedallionNet, when you book a MedallionClass cruise with Princess, you get to experience the fastest Internet at sea, and let me tell you—as an Internet person who lives her entire life online, I was thoroughly impressed. I was able to upload videos and photos with no downtime, and Michele and I even streamed Netflix one night (the only night we took a break from watching The Love Boat, which you can find on demand in your stateroom…and I highly recommend doing so). We watched one of our shipmates’ Instagram Lives with no issues, and freaked out over the new Jonas Brothers music video the day it came out. We did as much as we would have been able to do on shore…maybe more!
In this day and age, it’s always a thrill when technology is able to make experiences even more personal rather than impersonal. Connections with crew members are formed easily when your face and name pop up on their iPads as you walk up to the bar. You’re able to stay in touch with your friends and fellow cruisers constantly. We even made new friends just by talking about the different accessories available to style your Medallion with!
I’ll be sharing more diary-style travel posts about our day-to-day experiences and excursions in port, but there are just so many cool tidbits and so much new information surrounding OceanMedallion that I wanted to be able to share a resource for those of you who have upcoming trips planned on a Princess MedallionClass itinerary. As of right now, Caribbean Princess and Regal Princess are the vessels with this technology, with many more rolling out in the next few years…which means it’s the perfect time to #ComeBackNew and get yourself on a cruise!
Photography by Michele Equitz.