Earlier today, Carnival Corporation announced a new first in cruising — a wearable device that enables passengers to open their cabin door, charge items to their shipboard account, locate others on the ship, and more.
The device, which Carnival has dubbed “Ocean Medallion” is similar to a smartwatch, FitBit or other wearable technology. It’s about the size of a quarter, weighs under two ounces, and can be worn as a pendant, on a wristband, or just held in a guest’s pocket.
The Ocean Medallion runs off of Near Field Communication and Bluetooth to send and receive signals from sensors located around the ship. For instance, Carnival plans to use the device to communicate with a passenger’s cabin door. Instead of digging out a room key, a guest will simply approach the door, and it will unlock automatically to let them in.
Carnival also has other plans for using the device, which will essentially replace your room key. At embarkation and debarkation, it can be used for faster access on and off the ship. Instead of having to stand in line at check-in to receive a key, guests can simply walk aboard with the new device.
It can also be used to purchase items on the ship, and purchase food anywhere on the ship. With the device, you can order “room service,” but have it delivered anywhere you are. Staff will know they have the right guest as they can match the order based on the guest’s medallion.
Don’t expect to see the new technology on your ship just yet. The company is rolling it out in November 2017 to Regal Princess, followed by Royal Princess and Caribbean Princess in 2018.
The medallions will be provided at no cost to passengers.