Carnival Corp.'s Ocean Medallion is being praised as an exciting new technology, unprecedented in its ability to help personalize the cruise experience.
Each medallion will provide information about the passenger to staff, and will function as ID, room key and credit card. Other benefits include the ability to adjust temperatures in rooms as the guest approaches, and to remind customers of upcoming activities based on their interests.
An example: a guest could be informed what time sunset would be best viewed from their balcony, followed by, "Would you like us to serve you your favorite drink at that time?"
Spot checks with retailers suggest that millennials can be expected to enthusiastically embrace this technology. However, retirees may be more wary due to the data-gathering nature of the program.
"We worry about them knowing our habits," one older passenger told Cruise Week at a recent travel show. "It seems a little intrusive.”
Carnival Corp. CEO Arnold Donald is aware of these worries, saying in a recent press conference: "...Some people are going to be concerned because they don't understand there's no data in this medallion. They're going to be concerned about information being shared, but," he emphasized, "there's no information in there."
To that point, Carnival Corp's John Padgett, who heads up this project, assured reporters: "We have no focus at all on customer data and using it later. Our pure and sole focus is how to use any experiential information to benefit the guest experience."
Expect more information down the line to further explain Medallion. As one head of a key retail group told us, Medallion appears to be an exciting concept, and further communication should elucidate the true potential: "I applaud their ambition."