Stephen Meys | January 16, 2020 | Princess Cruises | Caribbean Princess
We have just read the article in “Into the Blue” January 2020 and thought we would set the record straight as someone who had used Ocean Medalion recently.
The Caribbean Princess is now fully converted to Medallion Class. We thought we would try out the system to see what difference it made to our holiday. The answer was not much. To be fully compliant you can download the Ocean Ready app before your holiday and update it with your preferred photo and passport and receive your medallion before you go to make checking in merely a matter of tapping your medallion on a sensor and presenting your passport. Well you can if you have enough smart technology to download the app and live in the USA. Our (old) iPAD Mini is fully up to date with iOS 9.2. The app from Apple store uses iOS 10 so no luck there and our phones were not able to download the app from Google Play either.
We do not live in the USA so even if we could download the app we would still have to pick up the Medallion at check-in, which we did. It comes in the colour of your Captain’s Circle Level with your name, ship and start date of the cruise round the outside. It comes with a free lanyard with a plastic case attached. You can personalise the case with a plastic insert of your Captain’s Circle Level or Country Flag for $3. You can also buy a clip for your jacket for $8, a rubber wristband for $12, a necklace for $44 or a bracelet for $54. Not wishing to wear a lanyard we bought 3 Fitbit ZIP wristbands via the internet for £7.50 prior to the cruise. The medallions do fit inside alright but the writing is not visible. The Medallion is magnetic so we wore them on the opposite wrist to our watches after we found out that they would stop the watch if worn next to it. We didn’t need to have our photo taken as Princess had downloaded last year’s photo onto the medallions. We used the medallions to unlock our room door via a sensor outside it but you still have to turn the door handle. Your picture comes up on the sensor screen. The medallion is also used to check-in at boat drill and to check you out and in at the gangway by tapping on a sensor, just the same as using the old cruise card. So we couldn’t use the other apps on a mobile device but Ocean View (“satisfy your wanderlust …”) is apparently available on Stateroom TV. Play Ocean (“interactive games …personal digital companion”), Ocean Casino, Ocean Compass (“navigation assistant … locate friend and family”) are all available on the shipboard portals near the lifts/stairs/pools on each deck as well as your mobile device. We did not feel the need to use them and rarely saw anyone using the portals. We also noticed that if you accidentally went too near a portal your picture came up on it till you moved a distance away. In other words they know where you are when you are wearing your medallion. Apparently the stateroom steward also has an app to know if you are in your cabin although there are still the old plastic signs to hang on your door handle. Ocean Now (“personalized service on demand”) is only available on your mobile device yet we always saw waiters asking guests if they wanted a drink as usual. There are no receipts when you pay on your medallion. Ocean Concierge for the timetable of events and so on was available on our iPAD like last year. Medallion.Net the Wi-Fi system was much faster than last year. We get 250 minutes each free and use them to keep in touch with family, clear e-mails and check-in for our return flights. We didn’t use all our minutes. When went ashore we had to take Government Issued Photo ID (Driving Licence, Bus pass?) with us. The medallion has to be checked against this when you come back into the port area. This took longer than just with a cruise card. Now obviously we didn’t get the full experience because our technology is not so up to date, We would like to know what difference the Medallion made to someone with up to date technology who managed to download and use all the apps.
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