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6 Ways Carnival’s New Tech Will Change Cruising

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This week, Carnival Corporation introduced the world to their industry-changing technology – the Ocean Medallion. And while it might sound like something you’d seek on a quest in a video game, it’s actually a small device that promises to have a big impact on the way you cruise. Expected to make its debut aboard Regal Princess this November (Princess is a division of Carnival), the interactive tech will slowly be rolled out across the entire fleet.

What Is It?

Put in the simplest terms, the Ocean Medallion is most similar to the MagicBands which are used by Walt Disney World’s guests, and will essentially help passengers navigate every step of the cruise. In fact, Ocean actually stands for One Cruise Experience Access Network. The device itself is small enough to be carried around in your pocket, although it is expected that many will instead opt to clip it into a wristband. A corporate statement explained that the device would “reveal enhanced services and personalized experiences without guests having to push a button or take any action.”

All of this is sure to leave a whole lotta people asking, “What the heck does that mean?” Well, here are six ways in which the new technology will impact the way you cruise.

1. It’ll allow you to get on the ship faster.

Carnival is dubbing the pre-boarding experience “ocean ready,” because much of the information collected during embarkation will be provided by guests before they even arrive at the terminal.

2. It’ll make the ship easier to navigate.

In conjunction with the medallion, Carnival will introduce Ocean Compass, described as “a personal digital experience concierge accessible by all guests using interactive displays throughout the ship.” Combined the two will not only help passengers find their way around the ship, but you’ll be able to keep track of other members of your party. Want to know where your teenagers are at 2 am? Now, there’s an app for that!

3. It will help the crew help you.

Want to make reservations at the spa? Need to know where to find the shops? You’ll no longer have to trek to guest services or any other venue to do so, as the interactive devices throughout the ship will make doing so a snap. More importantly, it will also allow members of the crew to have endless amounts of information at their fingertips. According to Carnival, “a bartender or room steward” could now help you make restaurant reservations. (Personally, I can’t help but wonder if passengers constantly asking crew members to take on these types of requests might interfere with them doing the job they are actually being paid to do!)

4. You can pre-order drinks.

By using the There & Then function, you’ll be able to make sure that when you sit down to dinner or a show, a cocktail of your choice will be delivered right to your seat.

5. The medallion will “know” you.

Thanks to information you provide before boarding, the tech will already be aware of many of a passenger’s preferences. Carnival’s statement indicated the medallion will detail your “wants, needs, and desires” to help personalize the vacation experience. When it comes time to decide which restaurants to try or shows to see, it’ll come in handy.

6. Your food will be able to seek you out.

Laying by the pool and wanting a snack? No need to send one of the kids to the buffet, as you’ll now be able to place a food order and have it delivered to wherever you happen to be. “What,” you might ask, “if I get up and move because the sun was too hot where I was sitting?” Never fear, the device will help your server figure out exactly where you are so that you don’t fry and the ice in your drink doesn’t melt.

With the technology not going into effect until at least November, we all have months to discuss, speculate, fret, theorize, and muse on the ways in which this will change the vacations we love. But why not get a head start by leaving your thoughts on this development in the comment section below?

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