A Carnival Corp. spokeswoman said that while the installation of the Ocean Medallion systems and framework is on schedule, the company will activate the features in phases to ensure a 'successful implementation that results in experience excellence.'
Ocean Medallion features will be available to a select number of passengers on each cruise for the next few months.
'This approach will allow us to receive continuous feedback from a controlled number of guests and crew while the ship is in service,' the spokeswoman said.
This 'preview' cruise period will run into spring 2018, with Ocean Medallion features activated by adding groups of staterooms in phases instead of the entire ship at once.
The Ocean Medallion concept has been in development for two years and involves very sophisticated technology that didn't exist before. It also requires extensive modifications to shipboard operations combined with new training for the crew.
Passengers will wear or carry the Ocean Medallion, a quarter-sized disc that serves as their unique identifier. It interacts with thousands of sensors around the ship to facilitate activities and services and give the crew more information about passenger preferences.
Ocean Medallion will breeze travelers through embarkation, open and lock their stateroom doors without a key or a card, allow them to order food and beverages when and where they want—now or later and down to the exact deck chair or theater seat—and ease navigation around the ship.
It will enable purchases, provide interactive entertainment, suggest relevant activities based on interests, and more.
Princess Cruises is the first adopter within Carnival Corp. and has committed a number of ships to the Ocean Medallion concept.