Friday, May 17, 2019

Princess Cruises: What is a Medallion Class Cruise?

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Cruising season is here again. Yay! Last Friday I was invited to tour Princess Cruises ship the "Royal Princess." It was at Pier 66 in Seattle for her first voyage to Alaska. The media tour was amazing and I'm excited to share more about this royal class ship: " The Medallion Series.' You may be wondering...

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What is a Medallion Class Cruise?

The Royal Princess is one of three ships so far, christened as a Medallion class ship.  By the end of 2019 there will be 5 ships in this fleet.  Princess cruises provides innovative technology for guests to have the ultimate guest experience while on board. They are leading the industry for a connected cruise experience.

 Spring 2019 is the inaugural season for medallion class. Although the Royal Princess is a few years old, the technology was just rolled out.  A wearable device, called an ocean medallion- is the size of a quarter and allows cruisers to be connected electronically to every service available on the ship. The medallion serves as your room key, onboard charge card and virtual concierge. How cool is that?!? 

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First Smart City at Sea

Satellites have transformed cruise travel. The medallion cruise series offers a phenomenal connection to locations all over the world. My first cruise on Carnival ( which is owns Princess ) did not offer any such technology.

I captured the most amazing scenes while on that cruise, and dang I could not post them to Facebook. No Beuno! Now you can post from your smart phone while in the middle of the ocean blue.

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Ocean Ready App

Before you go on a Princess cruise, it is recommended to download the Ocean Ready App. It will expedite the boarding process. You will be able to upload all the required documents and ID you need to set sail.  Upload your passport before the trip and it will take 10 minutes or less to get through the security process and onto the ship.

Oh yes I witnessed this process firsthand! No worries about waiting in long lines, they zip you on through real fast. I could not believe the short amount of time it took the guests to board the ship.   Be ocean ready by having the app in addition to the medallion device.

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Play Ocean

The first stop we had on the tour was the pool deck. It was a gorgeous sunny day in Seattle, imagine that! The Seattle skyline and the needle just added to epic experience of touring the ship.  The huge screen overhead was where the action took place.

One of the crew members introduced us to Play Ocean.  It is a digital game experience you can play on the huge screen located on the pool deck.  They demonstrated how to play " This or That' controlled by the personal device in your hand. 

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Ocean Now

The demonstration of this feature was quite amazing to watch.  Ocean Now is used for beverage and food service for the duration of the cruise. With this technology you can order a drink to be delivered to anywhere on the ship.

We checked out  a lounge, as we watched the tour guide order a drink and cookies on her device.  We then left the area to tour the casino. A few minutes after we walked to the casino the cookies and drink arrived.

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Check out the medallion clipped to the bottom of her shirt. You can also choose to use a similar device that hangs on a lanyard. If you don't want the medallion connected to your phone, it can be used the same way as a cruise card.

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 Good Spirits

While on the tour, we also learned about the "destination drink' selection. Each specialty drink comes with a card, listing all the details about the drink.

Each of these cocktails is inspired by our favorite places and cities that inspire us to travel. Guests will experience what it is like to have a drink in that place. In addition each cocktail has a video paired with to watch on your device. 

Another cool feature of the technology on board keeping guests connected is Guest View: this allows the crew to interact with guests on a more personal level regarding your personal likes and dislikes of food and drink. The crew member is able to pick up on subtle hints for your favorite cocktail etc.

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The Atrium

This is where it is all happening at the center of the ship.  The Royal Princess is taking cruising to a new level. The Atrium has been reinvented is now 50 percent larger than on any of Princess' ships.  It connects 3 stories of the ship - showcasing the beautiful staircases onboard.

The atrium is the perfect place to get your coffee, or watch an interactive show.  It was so beautiful and ornate to look at. It was a total bummer I had to disembark after the tour! I could've sat for hours relaxing with the bling all around.

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Journey View

 This experience on the ship was probably one of my favorites. Journey view is a life size interactive calendar and activity station for guests. Every destination offered by Princess is represented by a "true to life " 3 D picture on this screen:when the ship is in port at that location.  I was so in awe of how realistic the images were.

Anytime a guest is strolling the ship, it's a fun stop to pass some time.  Touch the screen for a video about experiences available in that destination. In addition each guest has an online screen friend " a tagalong", to help play along.

If treasure hunts are your thing- right here is the place to get the game started. Have fun on a wild goose chase all over the ship!  If your kids are on your last nerve, send them to the screen! Also a calendar of every event happening on the voyage, can be found here.

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Keyless Entry

The coolest part of the wearable medallion is the convenience of entering your room without a key card.  I don't know about you, but I have a heck of a time keeping track of  those room cards!

A crew member showed us the technology in action. When she got within a certain distance of the room, the door automatically opened.  What an awesome feature- I love this! No fumbling around for your room key on a Medallion Class Cruise.

Another cool feature of this personal device:  The medallion sends a message to housekeeping when you are in the room.  No worries about a crew member coming to clean or restock your little haven, unannounced.

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The Seawalk

Alright cruise lovers: this might just be the coolest thing ever to debut on a cruise ship. The Seawalk. is located only on two shops so far: The Royal Princes and the Regal Princess. 

For cruise passengers the the sea has a lure all of its own. This is why cruise brands are going to great lengths to include scenic ocean views via huge panoramic windows, outdoor dining and even see-through water slides. WOW!
The SeaWalk is a 60 foot long enclosed glass hallway that slightly sticks out over the side of the ship. This allows whoever is walking on it, to watch the ocean glide by below them. The walk is open 24/7, but of course at night you won't see much.  The height between you and the ocean is about 128 feet.  If you are afraid of heights, probably not a good idea!
I mentioned earlier the interactive screen was one of my favorites . This Seawalk was the first favorite! What an epic experience to walk the outside perimeter of the ship and take in this view. I"m actually somewhat bothered by heights- however the sheer excitement of it all cancelled all fear.
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A truly amazing trip is what you'll have, should you choose to vacay on a Medallion Class Cruise. This innovative technology makes the guest experience: simple, personable and immersive.

In addition, if you love to dress stylish while cruising -check out my cruise packing guide

I think a Medallion Class Cruise is in my future. How about you?

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