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We overall enjoyed our cruise to the Eastern Caribbean. Our two interior cabins were clean and well kept. (It would have been nice for Princess to choose a floorplan that sacrificed a bit of closet space in order to expand the size of the shower, though. At 6'1", my "wingspan" in the shower was much more important than having six superfluous feet of closet space in which to hang a handful of dressy clothes.) The food was amazing and we very much enjoyed the shows and activities offered on the ship. Our excursions were top notch. Our girls spent most of their onboard time in the teen room, and had a blast with the planned activities. However, we had major problems with the Medallion system from the moment of embarkation. For some reason, my daughters and I were issued Medallions, but my husband was issued a key card. I still have no idea why ... I did nothing unusual with his booking process. We were told at embarkation that his Medallion would be ready by dinnertime. At dinnertime, no Medallion. Then we were told that it would be ready first thing in the morning. In the morning, no Medallion. We grew increasingly frustrated as we fell into a pattern of checking in at the service desk every 6-8 hours to be repeatedly told that his Medallion was still being processed. At one point, he asked what would happen if one of our girls lost her Medallion; he was told that a new one would be issued immediately. When he asked why such service couldn't be granted for him, we discovered that the key-card and Medallion databases were entirely separate entities, and he would have to be "created" as a new passenger in order to receive a Medallion. This finally did occur; he received his Medallion ... halfway through the cruise. Once his Medallion was activated, both he and our older daughter were able to track all of us, but my younger daughter and I could not track him. Ever. In addition, for a period of 36 hours, our younger daughter's Medallion dropped off the system and she was un-trackable as she moved about the ship. She was unable to do anything without being accompanied by her sister, with a properly working Medallion, as that was the only way we could ensure that we were able to keep tabs on where she was. When we raised this issue at the service desk, the clerk logged in to his iPad and showed us where she was at that moment. "See? She's perfectly safe!" he told us. We walked him over to the nearest public kiosk and showed him that his information was useless to us, as we couldn't see it ourselves. We felt like we weren't being heard. Not being able to verify her safety was only part of the problem; the larger issue was a faulty tracking system, completely out of our control. I had a scary moment, once both girls' Medallions were back online, when I went to track them and discovered that they were on different floors. The younger one was on a floor which contained only private cabins. She had no business being on such a floor. I raced down to her tracking location to discover that she wasn't there. I climbed six flights of stairs in a panic to find my older daughter in the teen room and ask where her sister was; I found both of them sitting together. I walked to the closest kiosk and logged in; my younger girl, sitting 15 feet away from me, was still registering as being on a cabin-only floor six levels below. Her Medallion location only reset when she logged herself into the kiosk. The Medallion system definitely gives great benefits ... when it works. Obviously the system has a lot of kinks to be worked out.

Medallion not ready for prime time

Caribbean Princess Cruise Review by Jumaduke

Trip Details
We overall enjoyed our cruise to the Eastern Caribbean. Our two interior cabins were clean and well kept. (It would have been nice for Princess to choose a floorplan that sacrificed a bit of closet space in order to expand the size of the shower, though. At 6'1", my "wingspan" in the shower was much more important than having six superfluous feet of closet space in which to hang a handful of dressy clothes.) The food was amazing and we very much enjoyed the shows and activities offered on the ship. Our excursions were top notch. Our girls spent most of their onboard time in the teen room, and had a blast with the planned activities.

However, we had major problems with the Medallion system from the moment of embarkation. For some reason, my daughters and I were issued Medallions, but my husband was issued a key card. I still have no idea why ... I did nothing unusual with his booking process. We were told at embarkation that his Medallion would be ready by dinnertime. At dinnertime, no Medallion. Then we were told that it would be ready first thing in the morning. In the morning, no Medallion.

We grew increasingly frustrated as we fell into a pattern of checking in at the service desk every 6-8 hours to be repeatedly told that his Medallion was still being processed. At one point, he asked what would happen if one of our girls lost her Medallion; he was told that a new one would be issued immediately. When he asked why such service couldn't be granted for him, we discovered that the key-card and Medallion databases were entirely separate entities, and he would have to be "created" as a new passenger in order to receive a Medallion. This finally did occur; he received his Medallion ... halfway through the cruise.

Once his Medallion was activated, both he and our older daughter were able to track all of us, but my younger daughter and I could not track him. Ever.

In addition, for a period of 36 hours, our younger daughter's Medallion dropped off the system and she was un-trackable as she moved about the ship. She was unable to do anything without being accompanied by her sister, with a properly working Medallion, as that was the only way we could ensure that we were able to keep tabs on where she was. When we raised this issue at the service desk, the clerk logged in to his iPad and showed us where she was at that moment. "See? She's perfectly safe!" he told us. We walked him over to the nearest public kiosk and showed him that his information was useless to us, as we couldn't see it ourselves. We felt like we weren't being heard. Not being able to verify her safety was only part of the problem; the larger issue was a faulty tracking system, completely out of our control.

I had a scary moment, once both girls' Medallions were back online, when I went to track them and discovered that they were on different floors. The younger one was on a floor which contained only private cabins. She had no business being on such a floor. I raced down to her tracking location to discover that she wasn't there. I climbed six flights of stairs in a panic to find my older daughter in the teen room and ask where her sister was; I found both of them sitting together. I walked to the closest kiosk and logged in; my younger girl, sitting 15 feet away from me, was still registering as being on a cabin-only floor six levels below. Her Medallion location only reset when she logged herself into the kiosk.

The Medallion system definitely gives great benefits ... when it works. Obviously the system has a lot of kinks to be worked out.
Jumaduke’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
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Ages 13 to 15
Ages 16+
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