Carnival Intro’s Personalized Concierge Technology With Ocean Medallion
This week, Carnival Corp. CEO Arnold Donald became the 1st travel industry leader to deliver a keynote speech at the world's largest technology trade show.
Donald's speech to delegates at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show in LAS focused on Carnival Corp.'s new medallion technology for interacting with customers.
Cruise Week recently toured Carnival Corp's Experience Center in Doral, where Chief Experience & Innovation Officer John Padgett gave insights into the project. "This ocean medallion changes everything," said Padgett. "This is the enabler behind a new level of guest interaction that can't exist without this medallion. It puts an experiential aura around you as all experiences you interact with become personalized."
The medallion is a quarter-sized, 1.8 ounce disc with no buttons. After booking and entering personal information at home, the disc will be mailed to future pax. Each disc is topped with a plastic cap with the cruise line’s logo and is laser etched with the guest's name and name of their ship. At embarkation and onboard, the disc syncs with a system that recognizes individuals as they pass by.
"There's nothing that you have to do with it," Padgett explained. "You don't have to charge it up. You don't have to have any settings. You don't have to do anything. You just have to have it."
For pax, the medallion promises to speed embarkation, act as a room key and help them find their way to reserved appointments. It will also allow crewmembers to personalize the experience, as they will know who guests are, what drinks they like, what bookings they have and if they're onboard celebrating a family occasion.
"There's this myth that cruising is complicated," said Padgett. “Well the reality is it is no myth. It is complicated. We talk to our guests in terms like 'embarkation' that they don't even understand if they haven't cruised before. And we all know if we're into the experience that the last thing you want on any vacation is to have any anxiety or stress."
The goal of the ocean medallion is to smooth friction points, Padgett says. "Eliminating anxiety is huge," he says, and personalization is priceless. "Everyone talks about personalization these days but actually very few do it. The new guest interaction that we're creating takes personalization to a level that hasn't been created by anyone in the world. At the end of the day the 2 walkaways are personalize and simplify. As long as we accomplish those 2 things the guest wins."
Bigger ships are part of the impetus behind the technology, Padgett says. "When you increase size of ship, the experience itself tends to become more transactional and complex. So what we're going to do is we're actually going to bend the physics behind that, because in theory you shouldn't be able to create a bigger ship with more people and simultaneously get more personal. But that's our innovation.”
This, he said, is at the core of what he terms a paradigm shift. People shouldn't need a Ph.D. to understand how to take a cruise vacation.
The ocean medallion will premiere on Regal Princess in November 2017, followed by Royal Princess in January 2018 and Caribbean Princess in March 2018. It will then be rolled out to the remainder of the Princess Cruises fleet and other Carnival Corp. brands.