I recently had the opportunity to witness a paradigm shift firsthand. Not after the fact, not after it was already exploited, but in its infancy. Carnival Cruise Corp. and Princess Cruises piloted the first Medallion Class Ocean Vacation, setting sail from Port Everglades.
Billed as “the next wave of vacation travel,” OCEAN (One Cruise Experience Access Network) is a technology-based AI platform that offers endless possibilities to take any experience to the next level. For the cruising experience, OCEAN acts like a personal concierge to help guests spend more time enjoying their vacation.
So what was amazing about my OCEAN journey?
- The fearlessness of the Experience Innovation group.
Led by John Padgett, the Experience Innovation group dreamed, created, and boldly launched a revolutionary product that is truly customer-centric. As a pilot voyage, was everything perfect? Not at all. But exposing flaws will expedite and accelerate its ultimate perfection.
- The simplicity of the guest experience.
While the backend is highly engineered and technical, the front end is completely seamless and fashioned to make guests feel like it was always this way. I’m not a frequent cruiser but I’ve heard of the many pain points. But with OCEAN, the routine disappeared and unique, fun moments were amplified instead. From the second I stepped out of the cab and was greeted by my first name to hitting the bar and “paying” just by wearing my Ocean Medallion, I kept thinking to myself, “why isn’t the rest of my world like this?”
- The chance to be on the edge of change.
In a few short years, this idea will inevitably be mainstream. Innovative ideas always have copycats and iterations. But for now, it was amazing to see the work of John and his team come to life––and feel my little contribution to it.
Explore OCEAN here: https://www.princess.com/ships-and-experience/ocean-medallion/