So, you've booked your next vacation with Princess Cruises, and your ship is enabled with Princess MedallionClass Experience. Congratulations! You're about to embark with some of the latest technology found on the Seven Seas.
Utilizing the various complimentary features of the Princess MedallionClass experience is entirely optional. You can still enjoy the traditional cruise experience you've come to expect with Princess Cruises.
But why stop there? While you've probably heard how this wearable tech will unlock the door as you approach your stateroom, the OceanMedallion does so much more, truly "opening the door" to a highly personalized vacation of the future.
To maximize what Princess Cruises' MedallionClass can do for you, there are just a few easy steps you'll want to do after booking and before embarking on holiday.
Once you've booked your cruise, fill out the Princess Cruise Personalizer. The Cruise Personalizer is found on the Princess.com website and is accessed with your booking number and birthdate. Through the Cruise Personalizer, you'll be able to arrange your bed configuration, select times for the main dining room and request fluffy robes for your stateroom. You'll also be able to purchase shore excursions, book spa appointments and make specialty dining reservations.
Take a couple of minutes to note any special occasions you might be celebrating, along with dietary requirements or mobility and access issues -- doing this now will pay unexpected dividends during your cruise.
You can also purchase MedallionNet for internet access. This is Carnival Corporation's proprietary new Wi-Fi system, and it's exclusive to Princess Cruises. If you've accessed the internet at sea previously, prepare to be blown away by the speed and reach of MedallionNet, which gives you fast and reliable connectivity in the middle of the ocean. Buying it before embarkation ensures you will take advantage of the best rates.
After completing the Cruise Personalizer, and at least 12 days before the start of your holiday, go to the App Store and download the free MedallionClass app onto a smart phone or tablet if you plan to take a device with you on the cruise. You'll log in with your email address and create a password. Next, access OceanReady, one of the features of the MedallionClass app. (Note that the password for OceanReady has specific security requirements and may need to be different from your existing Personalizer password but you will need to use the same email that you used with Cruise Personalizer.)
OceanReady will prompt you to create an account with any personal information that did not transfer over from the Personalizer. You'll also take a selfie or use a head shot -- if it's a good, clean picture, it may suffice as your ship ID (if not, security will take a new one when you board). Finally, you'll scan your passport photo page, which saves your passport details in the system.
The whole process to upload the app and complete OceanReady should take no more than 10 minutes.
When will you get your OceanMedallion? Upon completion, OceanMedallion will be shipped to the home address of U.S. residents (as long as you finished the OceanReady process at least 12 days before departure). Medallions for passengers hailing from the U.K, Canada, Australia and New Zealand can be picked up at the cruise terminal.
Not planning on bringing a smartphone or tablet on the cruise? Not to worry: There will be a few extra steps during check-in at the cruise terminal, but your OceanMedallion will be waiting for you there.
It's not required, but take a screen shot of your boarding pass to keep on your device. While providing your passport at the cruise terminal normally suffices for boarding, it's still good to have a backup, just as one would with a paper copy of an airline boarding pass.
Also not required, but handy to get out of the way before arriving at the port: Download MedallionClass, a proprietary app that contains key features of OceanMedallion. Here's a rundown of each, in order of priority:
The OceanCompass feature is where you can identify your ShipMates -- those sailing in your party or fellow cruisers you meet while onboard. The nifty 3D maps in OceanCompass allow you to explore the ship and locate and chat with fellow passengers. Want to find a specific venue or locate the nearest bathroom? OceanCompass will not only display the location on the map but seamlessly guide you to it, with the shortest route to your destination.
Once you board, OceanNow can be used to order food, drinks and even retail purchases, like sunscreen. Enjoying your lounger by the pool and don't want to amble to the nearest bar? Use OceanNow to have a drink delivered right to you. Recall the old forms to order breakfast, which needed to be hung on your stateroom door the night before?
PlayOcean is the feature where you'll create your personal OceanTagalong, an avatar that will follow along with you on your cruise. Choose a seahorse, a sea turtle or a fish. Select a color scheme, markings, even the type of fin -- we're told there are more than a million unique designs possible. Personalize the Tagalong before you arrive at the port, and your avatar will greet you during the boarding process. Other elements of PlayOcean include active games, and a digital scavenger hunt.
If you're having trouble with the MedallionClass app before embarkation, call the Princess Cruises Ocean Navigator department for assistance: 844-525-0942.
Keep an eye on those portals -- you just might see someone you recognize.
During your cruise, if you're having trouble at any time with OceanCompass, MedallionNet or other MedallionClass features, stop by the OceanFront desk, dedicated to all things OceanMedallion, where navigators will help open the door on the future of travel.
A native of San Diego and travel writer-photographer since 1995, David Swanson has covered the cruise industry for such publications as National Geographic Traveler, USA Today, and Cruise Critic. He is currently President of the Society of American Travel Writers.
Curious to learn more about MedallionClass cruising on Princess Cruises? Check out Cruise Critic's latest features:
Interested in experiencing MedallionClass cruising on Princess? Currently, Caribbean Princess, Royal Princess, Crown Princess and Regal Princess are offering OceanMedallion. Sky Princess, the line’s newest vessel, was MedallionClass equipped upon its debut in 2019. In 2020, additions will include Ruby Princess (January 27), Grand Princess (March 29), Enchanted Princess (June 15), Emerald Princess (August 16), Coral Princess (October 16) and Island Princess (December 20).
Updated January 10, 2020