Bolsover Cruise Club’s Fran Puddick looks at whether Princess Cruises’ Ocean Medallion might just come into its own as we edge towards the post-COVID-19 world of cruising.
As we emerge, blinking, from our individual lockdown and hanker for the sea again, lots has changed in the world of travel. It’s clear though that every cruise line in the world is pulling out all the stops to make seeing the world by sea as safe as it’s ever been.
While we wait to see what this might look like globally, one thing struck me recently; could the Ocean Medallion be THE game–changer for Princess Cruises in a post-COVID–19 future? And with both Crown Princess and Regal Princess slated to be sailing from and around the UK in the very near future, will UK passengers be amongst the first to really benefit from this revolutionary devices’ full potential?
None of the discussion points that follow override the efforts we know cruise lines are putting into managing new, extended cleaning protocols, social distancing measures, pre-cruise checks and so much more, but I feel the Ocean Medallion on its own presents some features that will make sailing with Princess Cruises more COVID–proof than ever!
Contactless cabin entry
I’ve talked about this before, but in a post-COVID–19 world, the ability to unlock and open doors without using your hands has taken on a whole new meaning! Your Princess Cruises cabin unlocks once you’re within 3 feet and all you need to do is push lightly (if you’re me, that would be with your bum or hips) and you’re in.
The cabin locks again when you move away, so there’s no need to fret about security if you’re just walking past.
Service exactly where you are, wherever you are
With social distancing continuing to be the key for reducing the spread of COVID–19 in the next 12 months and online or remote deliveries becoming our go-to route for essentials when we’re at home, what better way to transfer this to the seas than through the Ocean Medallion and its delivery facilities?
Ocean Medallion’s Uber-like service means you simply order your heart’s desire from the restaurants, bars or even shops onboard, using the Medallion app, and the crew will be able to find your exact location and bring it straight to you – you’ll even be able to see when it’s en route.
Almost anything can be delivered, from your favourite burger and fries to your beloved beer. If it can be found on the ship, the likelihood is that you can have it delivered. And the best bit? Your server will know exactly where you are, AND, what you look like, thanks to their own Ocean Medallion enabled technology. Never walk up to a bar or flag a waiter down again!
Find and speak to your Shipmates
Your Shipmates are the other people you’re travelling with and using a combination of your Ocean Medallion app and the onboard screens, known as ‘Portals’, you’ll never lose one another again. Cruise ships can be big, and kids don’t always turn up when they say they’re going to (or, if they’re like mine, they run off), so this feature provides tremendous peace of mind for families and friends sailing together. And it’s not solely restricted to those you travelled with, you can choose to add your new cruise buddies to your Shipmates, so you won’t lose touch.
Another added extra to this is you can also contact your Shipmates through Ocean Medallion’s mobile app, giving you free, on-ship messaging so you can make plans for dinner, arrange a show or simply just say a socially distanced hello!
Cabins and cleaning
I know I’m not the first to forget to put the ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign on my cabin door and I also suspect that of all the effort cruise lines are putting into cleaning protocols, cabin steward services may be challenging for the crew, logistically. Well, thanks to the brand-new Ocean Medallion technology, this can be made much simpler and slicker as Housekeeping will be able to tell if you’re in your cabin based on the Medallion’s awesome geo-location technology.
Housekeeping services can be synched to take place at the most convenient possible time for you (when you’re ashore?!) but critically, there’ll never again come that knock at the door when you’re in full snooze mode.
Understanding passenger flow
Understanding where passengers are or want to be during various times of day will be increasingly important in the coming months; it’ll allow the crew to manage resources, make sure the right areas of the ship are cleaned with the right level of frequency and enable better social distancing management, all the time with minimal disruption to your day. The Ocean Medallion has Matrix-like capabilities of monitoring passenger flow, meaning you’ll find areas clean and crowd-free as a matter of course.
What is your Ocean Medallion?
About the same size as a 10p piece, your Ocean Medallion is inobtrusive and easy to carry, and whilst you receive a corded necklace to attach your Medallion and wear it wherever you go there are lots more options. From small magnetic brooches and necklaces to wrist straps, it’s up to you how, or even whether, you wear it.
You will receive your medallion before you sail, and the good thing is, there’s no setup; at all! No on-switch, no charging, no battery life, it’s just, sort of, there. Which, quite frankly, is exactly as it should be. Simple, easy and safe.
I’ve barely scratched the surface of the opportunities available for cruisers using an Ocean Medallion, and its advantages to helping us return to the holidays we love simply and with reassured safety. But I feel it’s a great tool that not only provides amazing levels of services and personalised sailing, it’ll help us all keep safe and aware in the months to come.
For further information about how Princess Cruises are working to keep their passengers safe and comfortable, visit Cruise with Confidence.