(5:30 p.m. EST) -- During Wednesday's announcement that Carnival Corp. will implement new wearable technology across its brands, it was revealed that Princess Cruises will be the first to test out the Ocean Medallion.
Rolling out on Regal Princess in November and on Royal Princess and Caribbean Princess in early 2018, the devices, which are waterproof and can be set to private to protect personal information, will be sent to all cruisers prior to their sailing dates. Passengers will fill out profiles that highlight their travel personalities, likes and dislikes. Those profiles will then be linked to their respective Ocean Medallions so travelers can be alerted to onboard activities that might be of interest to them.
During cruises on ships that have been outfitted with medallion-scensor technology -- known as Medallion Class Ocean Vacations -- passengers can use the quarter-size discs to gain entry to their cabins, book shore excursions and spa treatments, make dining reservations and even pay for purchases without the use of a keycard.
The Ocean Medallion also allows for more personalized service throughout each sailing, particularly in terms of dining. The technology helps the crew to recognize cruiser preferences and dietary restrictions; it can even be used to allow food to be delivered to passengers, wherever they are on the ship.
But the benefits begin before passengers even set sail. The medallions, which can be worn as bracelets or necklaces -- or simply carried in a pocket -- allow for smoother luggage handling, tracking and delivery, as well as expedited embarkation and disembarkation.
So far, members on the Cruise Critic message boards have had mixed reactions.
Some are excited: "I think it sounds great!" says member DesrtDrmr. "I am really looking forward to trying the new medallions."
Some aren't: "I'll be on the Regal in November, but I think this medallion is creepy," says Go-Bucks!. "I don't want big brother knowing everything I do or want."
Some are on the fence: "On the one hand it does sound interesting and innovative and perhaps will enhance the cruise experience," says yoyosma. "On the other hand it is frightening in that your [personal preferences] will be tracked and stored ..."
For more on the Ocean Medallion program and what it means for the cruise industry, check out our coverage on this revolutionary wearable cruise technology.
--By Ashley Kosciolek, Editor