Having launched in 2014, the 3,560-passenger Regal Princess is one of the newest additions to the luxurious Princess Cruises fleet. Following her official launch ceremony at the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy, she operated a series of cruises in the Mediterranean before heading to Fort Lauderdale. Here, she received an official naming ceremony and was greeted by six of the original stars from the popular US television series The Love Boat. Her popular features include the SeaWalk SeaView Bar – both of which are positioned on the top deck and extend over the side of the ship.
After no more than three years in service, Regal Princess was placed into dry dock in Hamburg for a series of significant refurbishments. This, however, was more than just an average modification. This modification – which took place over the course of 14 from 17th April – saw a total of 7,000 sensors, 650 wall-mounted touchscreen devices, 1,780 Wi-Fi access points, 4,030 stateroom-based private digital displays, three data connectivity antennas and 75 miles of new cable installed on board. If you’re blown away by those statistics, also bear in mind that the refurbishment required technical assistance around the clock, 24-hours a day.
But what does it all equate to? The answer comes in the form of a blue, coin-sized device which all passengers can carry on board. It may not look like much, but this small wearable piece of technology will replace your electronic key card, while the RFID chip will bring with it a wealth of benefits. The Medallion will communicate with handheld devices carried by crew members, providing them with information such as favourite drinks, whether a birthday or special occasion is being celebrated and whether you enjoyed a particular restaurant or theatre performance. Perhaps, most importantly, it will enable adults to track the whereabouts of their children.
All this data can be communicated via the Ocean Compass – which is the main user interface displayed on screens around the ship and in the cabins. This is where you will be able to book seats for a show, organise reservations for dinner, book excursions and even provide navigational assistance around the ship. Furthermore, you can even download the app directly to your smartphone and manage all this and much more on the go.
This is a unique and seamless experience, with no tapping, whirring, waving or logging in involved. Provided you are carrying the wearable technology (it doesn’t have to necessarily be on your wrist), you can simply grab a door handle and it should open automatically. And there shouldn’t be any issues with privacy and security, as the device itself does not contain any data – it merely communicates with data centres on board the ship. Furthermore, it is entirely at the passenger’s discretion as to what information they store and how much they decide to share.
However, this is merely the beginning for the Medallion device, with limitless amounts of potential. Already being discussed is the possibility of adding new sensors which may improve overall efficiency and safety. Lights and air-conditioning could be switched on and off accordingly based on proximity and movement around the ship, while a CO2 sensor could determine whether or not the device is actually being worn.
Regal Princess will become the first ship of the fleet to trial this service, with passengers sailing on board from November set to become the first to be able to use it. It is, therefore, likely that European passengers will get a look-in with the intriguing new system during summer 2018.
While cruising offers a highly affordable holiday option, the industry as a whole is also keeping ahead of the wave in terms of technology. Lines are competing with one another to offer the most exhilarating, seamless and unique experiences, while also ensuring they offer a product that holiday-makers can associate with.
There is clearly no better time to become a part of this fast-growing industry. Becoming a franchisee with GoCruise will enable you to earn competitive rates of commission while sharing your love for travel within your local community. To find out more, contact us via the number above or complete an Online Enquiry Form.