Hello Ocean Medallion!! A Cruiser’s Perspective on the Best New Tech at Sea

Hello Ocean Medallion_ A Cruiser's Perspective on the Best New Tech at Sea

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Ocean Medallion – Our Cruise Experience

My family and I recently cruised on the Regal Princess and had a chance to experience Ocean Medallion for the first time. We were doing a wonderful 2 week Back to Back Cruise  over the Christmas Holidays and New Years.

We had a great time! If you’ve ever considered spending the Holidays cruising, I highly recommend it!

I will be doing a full review, however to see my Regal Princess cruise photos and videos ASAP, please head over to my Facebook page Life Well Cruised, if you’re interested (but read this first, I’ll remind you at the end :-).

For today, I really wanted to share with you how the Ocean Medallion program works, from a “cruiser perspective”.

We were super excited to be able to try it on our cruise, and felt pretty lucky, as the official launch of the Ocean Medallion on the Regal Princess isn’t until February. This meant that we were using it, however not all features were fully implemented. It’s fun to try out new features and programs when cruising, so we were game!

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my full disclosure policy for details.

What is Ocean Medallion?

According to Princess Cruises, “Ocean Medallion is a first-of-its-kind wearable device that elevates every moment before, during and after your Ocean Medallion Vacation. From on-demand food and drinks, interactive gaming, custom entertainment and smart navigation, Medallion makes cruising simpler, and more personal and enjoyable than ever.”

What does this mean for the Cruiser?

So this is what I wanted to know. It sounds good, right? And the wearable disk sounds cute, but how does this make my/your cruise vacation experience better?

I will let you know what we experienced, as well as what is to come – and how I believe this will enhance the Princess Cruise experience.

What you can expect from the Ocean Medallion?

1.The Ocean Medallion disk

The Ocean Medallion disk is printed out with your Name, Ship and Sail Date. It is actually quite nice!

When we arrived at the port for check-in we were handed our Ocean Medallions on a lanyard, along with our cruise card attached and enclosed in a fitted plastic folder. The Ocean Medallion disks come in colors to reflect your Captain’s Circle loyalty status. Since they are printed with your name, ship and sail date, they also make a nice souvenir, for those who may wish to collect.

The Ocean Medallions are now being shipped out to some guests ahead of time, and several passengers have reported receiving them approximately 2 weeks prior to the cruise. This is case for residents of the U.S. at this time, while guests from other countries are receiving them at the port at check in.

Tip: Before your cruise, download the Play Ocean App onto your phone. From here, you can set up your profile in advance and be “Ocean Ready”. You do not need your medallion for this.

I recommend you upload your profile photo directly from your phone, as this photo will appear in various places (room screen, portals) throughout the cruise, so why not pick a good one ;-).

ocean medallion

2.Hands-Free Room Key

As we approached our cabin, we noticed is a screen/keypad next to our door that  “recognized” us. It then unlocked our cabin door for us, hands free!!

This was pretty convenient, especially since I usually put my cruise card in my phone case and often demagnetize it! Either that or in my husband’s pocket, and in the past, we would be fumbling for a couple of minutes before we managed to get into our cabin.

Seriously, I’ve never been into lanyards, so I was always a bit stuck. This automatic door unlocking system is a plus!

3. MedallionNet (Wifi/Internet)

While this does not directly involve the Ocean Medallion disk itself, you’ll notice that this technology comes with the Best Internet at Sea, at least that I’ve ever seen! It’s fast, it’s everywhere (even in your cabin), and it’s reasonably priced.

The price was $10 per day for unlimited internet, which was a 50% discount, but you did need to buy it the first day. The price was $129 for 4 devices, so excellent value for a family.

Tip: You are able to share the plan between more than one device if you wish, however only one person can log on at a time. I actually don’t love to be on the internet too much when I cruise, so sharing was perfect. My son and I shared the unlimited internet and I logged on a couple of times a day for 30 minutes or so, while he streamed movies and watched games and communicated with his friends when he wanted. My husband even caught up on the news and current events here and there.

Ocean Medallion Net
4. Ocean Compass Portals

Around the ship you’ll find several Ocean Medallion portals; some with interactive maps to help you find your way to a lounge, dining-room or activity, and others with activities listed to help you decide what you want to do around the ship. We often saw children or families playing some of the Ocean Medallion games that are available on the screens.

I will tell you honestly, I wasn’t sure how games on a screen could enhance anyone’s cruise vacation. However I was wrong.

On December 30, embarkation day for the second part of our B2B cruise, I overheard a little girl look up at her grandmother and exclaim “I love this cruise, this ship even has games!”. Her grandmother was beaming. The two of them shared a few minutes playing games together, not far from the elevator, smiling and talking giddily. This moment. That’s what cruise memories are all about.

ocean medallion games

5. Ocean Concierge

Ocean Concierge replaces the former Princess @ Sea messenger service, which is basically a way to message other passengers on the ship, without any cost or fee!! So, if you don’t want to use the internet while you are on a cruise, you can still benefit from messaging your family members or new cruise friends. This is quite handy, however do keep in mind that there is no notification that a message has come in. So, you have to log in sporadically to see if anyone has messaged you. If I could give any feedback to Princess Cruises, it would be to add an option to have a notification.

ocean medallion ocean compass portal

6. Find Shipmates Feature

The “Find Shipmates” feature, available on Ocean Compass Portals, is probably my favorite part of Ocean Medallion.experience. It’s very helpful to find the other people in your cabin or party. For example, if you “lost” your husband or wife, you can now find them without a lot of frustration – although we did hear some husbands joke about how their wives will now know they’re in the Casino, and vice-versa!

Now you can simply log in with your Ocean Medallion at one of the portals, tap “find shipmates”, and then tap on the person you are looking for. The interactive ship map will show you exactly where they are, and you can even get directions to make finding them easier.

You can imagine how helpful this could be if you’re traveling with a loved one that has some difficulty. There’s reassurance in this.

A Short Anecdote:

For this cruise, I was with my husband Frank and my 18 year old son Ethan. I can be a worried and protective Mom, and probably will continue to be for a few years to come! Well, my son met new friends and they were having a great time on the Regal Princess. After a few days, the nights were getting later, like 2:00, then 3:00. Well, one night I awoke and it was 3:30.

Our last message was around 2:30 and he said he would be back soon. I messaged and no answer. If you’re a Mom reading this, I know you can imagine the feeling in my stomach as I waited, and thought. By 3:45 I got up, got dressed and walked out of my cabin to an Ocean Compass portal.

I quickly used the portal to “find shipmates”, and relief, found him – Vista Lounge. The interactive map showed me how to get there and once I did, well, he was there with 3 friends playing cards. Phew!! I was glad everything was fine, however I did drag him back to the cabin (not literally, lol).

In speaking with other parents of teens and young people, I came to know that simply having a way to easily find their children, especially on a big ship, brought about huge peace of mind when cruising!

ocean medallion compass

7. Tagalong Avatar

On the Play Ocean App, when setting up your profile, you can create a personalized Tagalong avatar. You can opt for a turtle, a seahorse or an angelfish and then customize with your favorite colors and patterns. As you walk by these Ocean Compass portals, your Tagalong often appears (mine was a cute turtle). These were pretty cute, and seemed to be part of the games on the screen. I did see parents and children being amused by these throughout the cruise, although we really didn’t use this feature.


8. Ocean Medallion Room Service

While we were on our cruise, we were able to order breakfast right from our phone, to be delivered the next morning at a time of our choosing. However, while this was not yet functioning on our cruise, we were told that future Ocean Medallion cruisers, would be able to order a variety of room service options and not be limited to breakfast. We already love that Princess Cruises is one of the cruise lines that continues to offer complimentary room service and this just makes it even better!

10 reasons to love princess cruises ocean medallion
Please Pin to Share ๐Ÿ™‚

9.Ocean Casino

I always wished I enjoyed Casinos. It looks like so much fun and I love the energy! However, casinos just aren’t my thing. That being said, Casino lovers seemed to enjoy the fact that you can play casino games and wager from anywhere on the ship, on your phone or ipad.

You could play Bingo on Deck, Roulette on Deck, Tipsy Tentacles Slots and Queen’s Sea Poker. Clearly Ocean Casino is meant to be fun!

10. Ocean Medallion Accessories

I love these. The Ocean Medallion disks can fit into a necklace pendant available in gold or silver color. There were also bracelets that were either a gold or silver thick bangle style or sporty style (think classic Fitbit). Unfortunately, there weren’t available on our cruise (after all we weren’t officially an OceanMedallion cruise yet). If they were I definitely would have bought a necklace or bracelet. Decisions, decisions…

Ocean Medallion accesories
What’s Next for Ocean Medallion?

What did we miss? Since Ocean Medallion was still in an adjustment and testing phase, some features were not yet implemented, such as:

*The ability to order your favorite drink from your own phone. Yes!! Isn’t that amazing? You’ll sit at your lounge chair with friends and order your favorite cocktails and a waiter will bring it over as he or she will know where you are. This is a feature I would have loved. No one loves to stay in line at a bar.

*I was also told that the ‘Find your Shipmates’ feature will be accessible on your phone, in addition to the portal. Clearly this will be amazing for me, as I seriously got dressed to go into the hallway corridor at 3:45 am. All jokes aside, the practicality of this will be helpful for many.

*Streaming Ocean View original content onto your phone or device to watch anywhere on the ship. Some of the shows look really interesting, such as Ocean Treks with Jeff Corwin.

*Order room service right from your phone. No more calling and waiting on the cabin telephone. These small conveniences and time savers allow you more time to just enjoy your cruise and the company of your loved ones.

To recap. although we did not experience the full functions of Ocean Medallion, we certainly appreciated this new technology. By the time you’re cruising on a Princess Cruises Ocean Medallion ship, there’s a very good chance that you’ll sail with the full benefits of the program.

***Update – these features are now working well on the Regal Princess and are currently being implemented on other ships. Due to requests, I will be publishing a more thorough guide in the near future.

ocean medallion what cruisers want to know

Which Cruise Ships are the next to become Ocean Medallion ships?

Joining the Caribbean Princess and Regal Princess, the next cruise ships to become Ocean Medallion Ships are: Crown Princess, Royal Princess and Sky Princess!!

Have you had the opportunity to cruise on the Caribbean Princess or the Regal Princess and experience Ocean Medallion? Let me know what you thought in the comments below. Did I miss one of your favorite aspects of Ocean Medallion? If you`re cruising soon, let me know as well!!

Happy Cruising,

Ilana xoxo

Popular posts:

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I told you I’d remind you ;-). For photos and videos of our experience on our B2B Regal Princess Cruise, and more, see links below.

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  1. January 26, 2019 / 12:44 am

    This is the coolest thing ever! How wonderful and easy to add so much more onto your cruise experience! Is there a fee for the medallion or will everyone be offered one?

    • January 26, 2019 / 1:50 am

      Hi Sara,

      It was very cool, I have to say!! Great question about the medallion. So, on every Princess ”medallion class” ship, each passenger will sail with a medallion, no extra fee. Princess ships are being upgraded to include Ocean Medallion, so just check with Princess or your travel agent, to see which ships are Ocean Medallion ready.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment ๐Ÿ™‚


  2. January 26, 2019 / 5:57 pm

    I’ve never been on a cruise, so this post was so interesting to read, thanks for sharing Ilana! There are so many awesome features, I especially love the automatic door unlocking and the ‘find my shipmates’. Ha ha, the husbands in casinos comment made me laugh. It sounds so handy for tracking down children and must give you such peace of mind knowing that option is available. Great post, this makes me want to experience a cruise, the technology onboard is amazing!! <3 xx

    Bexa | http://www.hellobexa.com

    • January 27, 2019 / 2:32 am

      Hi Bexa,

      So glad you liked this. Cruising is really changing over the last few years, and technology is a big part of it for sure. Please feel free to message me anytime if you have any first time cruise questions.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment. I so appreciate it.


  3. January 28, 2019 / 2:10 am

    I absolutely loved this! Makes me want to cruise so much more! I do really like the find a passenger feature. Although I don’t have kids I know it would be easy to find my friends. Great post as usual Ilana!

    • February 2, 2019 / 12:10 am

      Hi Crystal,

      I’m so glad you enjoyed this. You’re right, I think it would be very practical and easier to find your friends with this feature, especially on a big ship.

      Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment,


  4. Midge
    February 18, 2019 / 1:54 am

    Thank you for sharing! So informative! Canโ€™t wait to try it out on our next cruise.

    • February 18, 2019 / 2:54 am

      Hi Midge,

      I’m so glad you found this helpful. I’m sure you’re going to enjoy it as well!

      Have a great cruise!!


  5. Janice Anderson
    February 24, 2019 / 4:26 pm

    Ok so what happens if your 70 and not hi tec and can’t be bothered with it all especially when relaxing on a cruise, i don’t have a, i phone, only a flip for emergencies, will i still be able to cruise not knowing where i’m going who i’m with or having to actually use the phone in my room to order room service? How will all this hi tec stuff work for me please?

    • February 24, 2019 / 4:37 pm

      Hi Janice,

      Firstly, thanks so much for reading my post and taking the time to comment.

      I completely understand – a lot of people don’t use a cell phone while they cruise, whether they have one or not. You don’t need it to be able to cruise and still have some of the advantages of the Ocean Medallion technology.

      For instance, your door will unlock for you, you can use any of the ship’s portals to “find a shipmate” (which can be nice to see where your friend or spouse is), you’ll tap your medallion to “charge” any items you buy, much like a cruise card. However you can still order room service by phone or order breakfast with the paper menu you’ll place on your door. Drinks can be ordered with a waiter or at the bar.

      I should mention, all of this is my opinion, as I am not representing Princess Cruises nor do I work for the cruise line. Please do check with Princess or your travel agent for current information.

      I hope this may have helped to put your mind at ease.

      Happy cruising!


  6. Debra Alberini
    April 29, 2019 / 2:15 pm

    We cruised on the Regal in April and after 32 cruises the Medallion was a wonderful experience. We boarded in minutes with our Medallion in hand after receiving at home. All our documents downloaded! Amazing! All the perks, order drinks locate friends, and yes! You can turn your locator off if you want privacy on the app! Spoiled now and only want Medallion cruises. Internet so fast, for a week cruise offed it unlimited for $59.00 or slightly reduced for Platinum and Elite is a bargain! You can even stream TV on your IPAD. No downfalls I could see!

    • April 29, 2019 / 3:20 pm

      Hi Debra,

      I’m so glad to hear that you had a great cruise and enjoyed the Ocean Medallion experience. I would have loved to be able to order drinks from my phone, but that wasn’t working yet when we sailed.

      I agree with you, at this point I can’t see any downfalls. Most reviews I’ve read also seem to point to people having a good experience.

      Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment!


  7. Paula
    July 11, 2019 / 5:36 pm

    Thank you for the informative post. We will be cruising on the Caribbean Princess soon with family and my question is how do you add them to you shipmates on the Ocean Compass app.? Do you have to wait until you get onboard the ship and how do you send them a friend request?

    • July 12, 2019 / 3:47 pm

      Hi Paula,

      That’s a great question. I believe those in your cabin will already be in your “shipmates”, however to add people to the messenger part of the app, you just trade info once you’re on the ship. My son did this with friends he met.

      However, I suggest when you get on, just head over to the Ocean Medallion Navigators (there are staff ready to help get everyone set up), and they will help you out and get it all set up as you need for your family.

      Have a great cruise!


  8. Sally Pietracupa
    August 1, 2019 / 6:37 pm

    Great article! we will be cruising on the Regal in November. We will be 3 couples on this cruise.
    I have a couple of questions,
    Do we get the medallions automatically or do you have to purchase them?
    Is it necessary to buy the wifi to use the medallion.

    • August 1, 2019 / 6:43 pm

      Hi Sally,

      Yes, you get the medallions automatically and they are included with your cruise and come on a lanyard. If you want to purchase accessories you can, but don’t need to. You should follow the steps in your cruise personalizer to have the Ocean Ready app set up, but even if you don’t you can set up at the ship, so don’t worry.

      No need to use wifi at all on the ship – the medallions and features will work (even between passenger messaging), however internet will not.

      Hope this helps and have an amazing cruise!!


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