Princess Cruises recently came out with a program called Ocean Medallion. This new helpful technology is meant to enhance the cruise vacation experience for its passengers, including seniors.
The following article was written by guest contributor Ilana Schattauer. Ilana is a cruise enthusiast and travel writer at LifeWellCruised. She has worked in the cruise industry for more than a decade, and believes that we can all have amazing travel experiences, all while enjoying ship life, of course! You can follow Ilana at Life Well Cruised on Facebook as well as on Instagram.
We had a chance to try out the new Ocean Medallion technology on the Regal Princess while still in the roll-out phase and were positively impressed.
Ocean Medallion brings some useful technological updates onboard, many of which are beneficial for seniors who cruise.
What is Ocean Medallion?
According to Princess Cruises, “Ocean Medallion is a first-of-its-kind wearable device that elevates every moment before, during and after your Ocean Medallion Vacation. From on-demand food and drinks, interactive gaming, custom entertainment and smart navigation, Medallion makes cruising simpler, and more personal and enjoyable than ever.”
If you’re wondering what exactly does that mean in non-marketing lingo, it can be explained as follows.
The Ocean Medallion is a personalized wearable “disk” that cruisers receive to board the ship, replacing the traditional cruise card. It comes on a detachable lanyard improving its portability. Cruisers can also purchase bracelets and necklaces as an alternative to the lanyard if they choose.
Cruisers are encouraged to download the OceanReady App, where they have access to certain features on their phone. If you don’t have a smartphone or tablet, you don’t need to worry. Ocean Medallion features will still work as explained below.
How Ocean Medallion technology can help seniors?
While there are other features (like games or virtual casino), these are the five main features that offer the most help for senior cruisers.
Automatic door unlocking – The convenience of getting to your cabin and having the sensors in the door recognize your device and open the door comes in handy. When your hands are full, there’s no need to fumble looking for a key card. Moreover, this is a practical feature for when mobility is limited.
Fast and inexpensive internet – MedallionNet™ provides unlimited internet (WiFi) packages for a reasonable price. Perfect for those who want to keep in touch with loved ones at home, as well to keep up with what’s going on the world.
Food and drinks delivery – Order from your lounge chair or the theater and your food and drinks will be brought to you — no more waiting in lines.
Ocean Compass – Large screens called portals are placed through the ship and equipped with interactive maps, helping guide guests from one area of the cruise to another.
Find your shipmates – My favorite feature out of everything Ocean Medallion does. This feature allows you to find your travel companion’s location by placing your disk on the portal and choosing a shipmate.
For those who travel with a loved one who is at the beginning or moderate stages of Alzheimer’s or dementia, or with any medical condition, this can bring a massive peace of mind. The Ocean Medallion disk working as a tracker helps to give freedom to families traveling together.
Now, guests will have one less thing to worry about knowing that they can easily access their friends and loved one’s location on the ship.
Ocean Medallion Technology Concerns and Questions
After publishing a post about our cruise experience with Ocean Medallion, I received a comment from a reader who happens to be a senior. She expressed concerns that she wouldn’t be able to take advantage of the Ocean Medallion technology if she didn’t have a smartphone.
I’ve seen similar worries and questions in social media and cruise forums from those who don’t like to use their cell phones on cruises and have limited internet. I understand this worry as there is so much information and it isn’t all clear.
To reassure cruisers, this technology works even if you don’t own a smartphone or tablet. The main difference is that you will have to use the portals rather than your phone for certain features. Portals are found on every deck, and there are staff members that are working with guests to help them use the Ocean Medallion features as well as to answer any questions.