(1:15 p.m. EST) -- The rollout of Ocean Medallion technology across a handful of Princess Cruises ships has been delayed so the line can "refine and enhance" the functionality.
Developed by Princess' parent company Carnival Corp., the wearable discs that serve as room keys, onboard charge cards and virtual concierges were unveiled on Regal Princess last month to a select number of passengers as part of a preview period that will run through spring 2018. The technology was due to launch on Royal Princess January 2018.
Princess said in a statement that the further fine tuning required "will delay activation on additional ships which were previously announced." The line has yet to confirm which ships will be affected.
Cruise Critic first learned of the delay from member PoohUnderstands, who said on the Princess forums they received an email from the line indicating their March 2018 cruise on Royal Princess no longer would have the Ocean Medallion technology.
An excerpt from the email reads: "The creation of Ocean Medallion Vacations is an all-encompassing project that is currently being activated onboard another Princess ship. We had hoped to have it launched in time for your cruise aboard Royal Princess.
"However, we have identified refinements and enhancements that require more time for us to fully realize our aspirations to elevate the guest experience by way of this new technology. We hope you'll experience Ocean Medallion on a future cruise with Princess. We apologize for any disappointment this news may cause for you."
Princess confirmed the delay, but said the preview period on Regal Princess is still expected to run through spring 2018. The line added that the new Ocean Medallion roll out schedule would be announced after the technology is fully activated on Regal Princess.
The original rollout schedule was as follows:
- Royal Princess (January 2018)
- Caribbean Princess (March 2018)
- Island Princess (May 2018)
- Golden Princess (November 2018)
- Crown Princess (November 2018)
- Ruby Princess (January 2019)
As ships are outfitted with Ocean Medallion capabilities, they will become part of the line's Medallion Class, which uses the medallions to offer features like luggage tracking and the ability to create pre-cruise profiles. The profiles will help tailor the cruise experience to each passenger by alerting them to activities they might enjoy and notifying crew members of dietary needs or other special requests.
This is the second time Carnival Corp. has delayed the rollout of Ocean Medallion. In October 2018, the company said it would slow down the launch through phases, rather than a full, ship-wide implementation.
--By Gina Kramer, Editor