Carnival Corporation claims its new personalisation technology puts it on a par with global technology giants like Apple and Microsoft.
The world’s largest cruise operator, which owns brands including Princess Cruises, Cunard and P&O Cruises, unveiled its Ocean Medallion innovation today.
In what is believed to be a first for the travel sector, Carnival chief executive Arnold Donald is due to give a keynote at the prestigious CES consumer technology show in Las Vegas.
This is where all the major global technology brands go to showcase the new products they hope will take the world by storm.
Ocean Medallion has been devised by Carnival chief experience and innovation officer John Padgett, the man behind Disney’s MagicBands used in its Florida Disney world themepark.
MagicBands were touted as a game-changer for the themepark sector and much the same is being predicted for Ocean Medallion.
Padgett said: “It’s huge deal that Carnival is featuring at this [CES] tech show. This isn’t Carnival with Royal Caribbean and Norwegian.
“This is Carnival alongside the likes of Microsoft or Apple. So this isn’t about market share, it’s about us being in the vanguard to show how truly great the entire cruise industry is.”
Padgett said the technology will create an “experiential aura” around every guest that will trigger personalised information to be sent to them to enhance their holiday.
He said the technology is a step beyond MagicBands as it does not require the human wearer to do anything to make it work.
“Guests don’t need to swipe or tap the medallion. They just have to wear it as a pendant, bracelet or keyfob, and every single one will have a digital concierge looking out for them.
“It won’t stereotype or segment passengers; it will track what they engage in, in real-time, from the minute they book their holiday, and send them only information relevant to their interests and preferences,” he said.
“The more they engage, the better their experience will be.”
Padgett says it will change the cruise industry’s focus from the maximisation of on board revenue to the enhancement of a customer’s personalised holiday experience.
In doing so, he believes guests will, by default, spend more money, either on the ticket price due to the perceived greater value of a cruise holiday, or by spending more on board as hassle, distractions and friction are eliminated.
The Princess Cruises line will be the first brand to offer the new technology before a roll out across Carnival’s brands.
Princess Cruises’ Regal Princess will adopt the new ‘Ocean Medallions’ in November 2017, with Royal Princess and Caribbean Princess following next year.