Ocean Medallion technology has been slow to roll out since it was first revealed in January 2017. The line’s initial schedule of implementation dates for specific ships had been put on hold twice for the functionality to be “refined and enhanced.” A new schedule has not yet been announced.
We had the opportunity to use Ocean Medallion on our recent Sky Princess sailing. Sky Princess is the first purpose-built ship to be fully set-up with the technology. She has a whopping 8,000 sensors around the ship and four million feet of cables to track the 3,660-passengers on board.
In this guide to Ocean Medallion, we will explain what Ocean Medallion is, what this new piece of technology does and how it can improve your cruise vacation.
What is the Ocean Medallion?
OceanMedallion replaces your traditional credit-card-sized cruise card with a small disk the size of a quarter, £2 or €2 coin. This object is called a medallion.
You need to keep the medallion with you at all times as you will use it to board and disembark the ship at each port, enter your stateroom and pay for purchases on the ship. However, The big difference is that its contactless meaning you don’t have to tap the medallion as it will sense when you are in the area.
The medallion is personalised to you. On one side it shows your name, the ship you are sailing on and the dates of your sailing. Plus, if you are a Captain Circle loyalty member, the colour of the disk in the centre of the medallion will reflect your status level.
A little tip: the medallion is magnetic so it makes a fantastic keepsake after your cruise. We have put ours on our fridge to remember our sailing.
Inside the medallion, there are two sensors and a battery, similar to a watch battery. Even though it has a battery, you do not need to charge your medallion. It should last the entire length of your vacation.
Another great feature is that the medallion is that it is completely waterproof. You can wear it in the pool, in the shower or on the beach.
Medallion Class Experience
OceanMedallion is more than just a replacement for the cruise card. It is part of the MedallionClass experience which includes a whole load of features to make your cruise better.
The main features of the MedallionClass and OceanMedallion are:
Hands-Free Cabin Door Opening – As you approach your room the door will sense you are arriving and unlock it for you. The screen next to the door will also feature a special greeting if you are celebrating a special occasion.
Hands-Free Payment – Using sensors all around, the crew can see who is around them at any time. This means that you don’t have to tap your ocean medallion to pay for things such as drinks as they can see who you are from your profile picture.
Order food & drinks anywhere on the ship – You can order drinks and food right from your phone to almost anywhere around the ship. There is no waiting at the bar anymore or trying to catch the server’s attention. Grab your perfect seat, settle in, order on your phone and wait for your favourite drink to arrive.
Find your shipmates – Using OceanCompass (on the phone app or ship screens), you can see where other members of your group are. Shipmates are other people on your booking and you can also add additional shipmates on the app. This feature is great if you are travelling with family and especially kids. If you fancy a little privacy you can turn tracking off.
Chat to your shipmates – You can send messages to other shipmates for free! This is our favourite feature as it’s so frustrating not being able to chat with other people in your group unless you all have a wifi package.
Ocean Casino – Play casino games and bingo, for money from the screens around the ship. If you would like to play on your phone you will need to download the separate OceanCasino app.
Play Ocean – Play family-friendly interactive games using the big touch screens around the ship. You can also play on your phone if you download the PlayOcean app.
Watch TV – On OceanView you can watch original TV shows made the carnival corporation. There are plans in the future to also include on-demand movies and tv shows.
Medallion Class App
You need to download the MedallionClass app before your cruise. This is available on the Apple app store and Google Play. This is the main app you will need whilst on board.
Before your cruise you can:
- Set up your profile including your photo, likes and dislikes
- Add any food allergies you have
- View your cruise details and a cruise countdown
- Check into your cruise and upload your security photo.
- See the daily schedule and plan your activities approximately 60 days before
- Book shore excursions
- Order OceanMedallion accessories
- Watch OceanView tv shows.
During the cruise you can also:
- Order food and drinks on-demand to be delivered to you anywhere around the ship
- Order stateroom amenities such as extra pillows or robes
- Buy souvenirs and have them delivered to your room.
- View the balance on your shipboard account
In addition to the MedallionClass app, there are a few more optional apps you may want to download. These are:
OceanCompass to track your fellow shipmates (other people in your group), chat to them for free and find your way around the ship.
PlayOcean to play interactive games with your tagalong avatar.
OceanCasino to play casino games and bingo, for money, anywhere around the ship.
Is Ocean Medallion free?
Ocean Medallion is free for everyone booked on a Medallion Class ship.
You will receive a personalised medallion disk and an Ocean Medallion lanyard free of charge. This is an easy, convenient way to wear your medallion and is similar to a traditional cruise card lanyard. If you would like something fancier or more convenient there are a range of accessories available to buy on the app and once onboard the ship.
If you are a resident in the USA you will receive your Ocean Medallion and Lanyard in the post. For guests outside the USA, you can pick up the Ocean Medallion at the cruise port.
MedallionNet (the onboard wifi), and casino games are an extra charge. You must be connected to the ship’s wifi when onboard to use the MedallionClass app – this is free.
Ocean Medallion Accessories
The great thing about the OceanMedallion is that you can buy a range of accessories before you cruise on the app or when onboard the ship. These accessories make it even more easy and convenient to wear your medallion around the ship.
The ocean medallion accessories include:
- Plastic Watch Straps ($12)
- Plastic Clips ($8)
- Silver Bracelet ($60)
- Gold Bracelet ($65)
- Silver Necklace ($45)
- Gold Necklaces ($50)
- Paper inserts for your Ocean Medallion lanyards ($3)
We particularly liked the lanyard inserts as these are inexpensive inserts to jazz up your lanyard showing your cruise destination, your loyalty status or any special occasions you may be celebrating onboard.
What if I don’t want to use my phone?
If you don’t want to use your phone you can still use OceanMedallion. You can use any of the large touch screens around the ship and your stateroom TV.
Which Princess ships have the Ocean Medallion?
OceanMedallion is currently available on Sky Princess, Crown Princess, Caribbean Princess, Regal Princess and Royal Princess.
Coming soon to: Ruby Princess (Jan 27, 2020), Grand Princess (Mar 29, 2020), Enchanted Princess (Jun 15, 2020), Emerald Princess (Aug 16, 2020), Coral Princess (Oct 16, 2020), Island Princess (Dec 20, 2020), and Discovery Princess (Nov 3, 2021)
The MedallionClass app was impressive and a great tool to use. It was a little confusing at first because to use all the features you need to download a few more apps. A good tip is to attend one of the classes that Princess Cruises will host during your cruise or go to the Ocean Front desk onboard.
As we arrived at the port we were handed our medallions and lanyards. While the lanyards are handy, we much prefered the wristband that you can buy. It made it so simple to not have to worry about picking up our lanyard before we left the cabin. In fact, after a while, we forgot that we were wearing the wristband.
The first interaction we had with the medallion was the touch-free cabin door opening. This seems like a small feature but we loved it! It was so nice not to have to search for our cruise card at the bottom of our bag after a long day in port.
The ability to chat with our shipmates is a huge benefit and we can see how being able to track your family is great, especially if you have kids. The tracking technology also has some more subtle benefits too. You cabin steward can see if you’re in your room so they automatically won’t disturb you and will know when to clean your room.
Walking around the ship, the crew greeted us by name. They knew our likes and dislikes. “Would you like your favourite Mojito Ben?” one crew member asked us as we arrived at the bar. While it may sound insincere or even creepy, it was actually very subtle and well done.
Talking about drinks, ordering a cocktail is much easier now with the app. It even remembers your favourite drinks and recommends cocktails you may like. We were able to find a spot in a bar, order our drinks and wait for the waiter to arrive with our dinks.
Overall we found the OceanMedallion experience to be more than just a gimmick. It genuinely enhanced our cruise experience and we cant wait to see where Princess Cruises and Carnival Corporation go with this technology.
We were invited on this sailing as guests of Princess Cruises.
More Princess Cruises advice
If you are thinking about booking a Princess cruise and want to know more about what’s included, take a look at our post: Princess Cruises: What’s included and what’s not?