Princess Cruises claims Medallion Net offers ‘best WiFi at sea’

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Princess Cruises claims it has rolled out the “best WiFi at sea” which will help attract new-to-cruise passengers.

Princess Cruises has fitted nine ships with Medallion Net WiFi so far and plans to complete rolling it out across its fleet by July next year.

The WiFi will power the line’s Ocean Medallion technology, which is fitted on new ship Sky Princess.

Speaking onboard the ship during its shakedown cruise from Trieste to Athens, Prag Shah, the line’s global head, experience and innovation, said: “One of the biggest detractors people have of cruising – like the younger generation – is that they cannot be connected as well as on a land-based holiday.

“Millennials always like to be posting and sharing their experiences with everybody.

“We wanted to make connectivity onboard better and a lot of effort and creativity went in to do that. From a cruising standpoint, being able to promote and sell longer cruises brings another type of cruiser into the equation.”

John Padgett, Carnival Corporation’s chief experience and innovation officer, addressed media and travel agents via the internet to demonstrate the connection strength on the new vessel.

He said: “There are no longer any sacrifices by coming on a cruise vacation. Cruise holidays have been an amazing value for years, but you have tended to sacrifice this feeling of connectivity.

“There are no longer any sacrifices there. We are the only cruise line that offers anything like this. I want you to use as much bandwidth as you like because that makes your experience better.”

Padgett told the audience Medallion Net, which costs $9.99 per day, as the “best WiFi at sea”.

Sky Princess is the first of the line’s vessels which was built with Ocean Medallion. Several guest services, including ordering food and drink anywhere on the ship, locating friends and family, and navigating your way around the vessel are available through the wearable technology.

The line has retrofitted four of its existing ships with Ocean Medallion.

When asked what developments would be made to Ocean Medallion technology going forward, Shah said: “Personalising [Ocean Medallion] is going to be where we are putting a lot more focus [in 2020].”

Princess Cruises documentary puts off travellers

Princess Cruises has defended its decision to allow cameras on board one of its liners after travel agents claimed tourists have been put off by its documentary The Cruise Ship.

 

Paul Ludlow, Princess Cruises’ managing director in the UK and Europe, stated that the company is currently 50 per cent ahead of its sales target and he claimed the series “really picked up momentum” over the course of its run, reports Travel Mole.

 

He said: “Our weekend web traffic has doubled and enquiries have spiked, particularly from those new to brand. We hope this effect is being felt across the industry and we’ve received a number of comments from agents that the series led to a sharp increase in new-to-cruise customers.

“Of course we welcome comments from both travel agents and guests, and are in the process of reviewing all the feedback we have received. This will help us determine the success of the show and potential for a second series.”

 

But travel counsellor Helen Wheatley claims tourists have been put off booking a cruise as a result of the four-part documentary, with one would-be cruiser describing it as their “worst nightmare” after seeing the show.

 

She said: “Why do cruise lines such as Princess allow cameras on board, when they should know that editing will paint them in a light to entertain viewers, not always to their advantage?”

 

Personal travel advisor Jane Haughey added that she believes it was a “daft move” on the part of Princess Cruises, due to the fact the liner depicted in the programme came across as a “party ship”, which may be off-putting for some people considering booking a cruise trip.

 

She noted: “I did have to persuade a client that it very much depends on where the ship is located and a cruise that is going to the Caribbean will have a large amount of US passengers on it.”

 

In order to make the ITV series, cameras were on board Royal Princess for a five-week period last year, with the voiceover provided by comedian, actor huge cruise fan John Thomson.