by Lisa A. Grimaldi | January 06, 2017
Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corp., which operates 10 global cruise-line brands, yesterday became the first travel-industry executive to deliver the opening keynote at CES, which is currently taking place at several locations in Las Vegas. 
During his speech, Donald introduced the Ocean Medallion, a first-of-its-kind wearable device that enables every cruise guest to have a personal digital concierge to maximize their experience. The quarter-sized, 1.8-ounce disc has no on/off button, needs no charging or instructions and can be accessorized with jewelry, clips, key chains and bands, or simply carried in a pocket. 
"Great guest experience is our ethos. The Ocean Medallion is an amazing use of technology that potentially redefines travel as we know it. It opens an entire world of experiences, and the personal power it unleashes is huge," Donald told the 2,600 attendees at the opening session at CES 2017, held in the main ballroom at the Venetian Las Vegas. 
He added: "We are creating the most personal, simple and intuitive vacation experience. It's an all-encompassing and totally unique approach we call O·C·E·A·N - the One Cruise Experience Access Network. This global platform delivers a lifestyle engagement and is a real game-changer."
Powered by proprietary technology developed by Carnival Corp. that features an Internet of Things (IoT) network of intelligent sensors and experiential computing devices, the Ocean Medallion can perform a variety of functions including the following:
• Streamlined port embarkation and disembarkation processes;
• Guest access to staterooms as they approach door (no keycard required);
• Passenger locator for friends and family around the cruise ship;
• Ability to purchase merchandise without any transaction, cards or paper;
• Enhanced on-demand dining experiences based on food-and-beverage preferences;
• An array of interactive gaming and immersive entertainment experiences, and
• Significantly enhanced service interactions with crew members and guests.
Carnival says the device revolutionizes guest service not only for the cruise industry, but the broader vacation industry, and that it goes well beyond the growing number of wearables used by theme parks and other vacation companies by leaving behind the required guest action of "tap" and ushering in a new guest-interaction paradigm.
The new technology will debut on Princess Cruises' Regal Princess in November 2017, followed by the Royal Princess and Caribbean Princess in early 2018, as part of the new Ocean Medallion Class to be rolled out over several years on the entire Princess Cruises fleet.