/> ED I T O R S C H O I C E IN N O V A T IO N A W A R D
X

Inside Carnival's tech-filled Medallion cruise ship

With your smartphone and a contactless coin, you can access all kinds of great features on board Carnival's cruise ship.

katie-collins_1.jpg
Katie Collins
cruise-ship-carnival-smart-tech-medallion.jpg
1 of 24 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

All aboard the Regal Princess!

This 142,000-ton ship is part of cruise company Carnival's fleet and is the first to be upgraded with smart technology that aims to make life on board this floating city a breeze.

We got to tour the Princess in dry dock in Hamburg, Germany, as the new technology was nearly done being installed.

cruise-ship-carnival-smart-tech-medallion-35.jpg
2 of 24 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

The smart technology is based around modules known as medallions. Each passenger will receive their own medallion, which can be worn on the wrist, as a necklace or simply carried in a pocket.

cruise-ship-carnival-smart-tech-medallion-43.jpg
3 of 24 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Each medallion is preloaded with information about each passenger. Using RFID technology, sensors around the ship can detect a medallion and therefore know who is where on board.

It also links to a smartphone app that allows passengers to access services and information.

cruise-ship-carnival-smart-tech-medallion-40.jpg
4 of 24 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

The app has many functions. One is to give passengers information about the areas the ship is passing through.

cruise-ship-carnival-smart-tech-medallion-42.jpg
5 of 24 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

It's also how passengers can book tables at restaurants on board or sign up for activities.

cruise-ship-carnival-smart-tech-medallion-27.jpg
6 of 24 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

As you walk around, you can interact with large touchscreens, which, thanks to your medallion, will automatically show information tailored to you.

cruise-ship-carnival-smart-tech-medallion-17.jpg
7 of 24 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

The screen will show your exact location and tell you how to find your destination.

cruise-ship-carnival-smart-tech-medallion-25.jpg
8 of 24 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

The medallion will also work as your room key.

cruise-ship-carnival-smart-tech-medallion-24.jpg
9 of 24 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Your kids may be less likely to lose a medallion on a wristband than a regular room key. 

cruise-ship-carnival-smart-tech-medallion-26.jpg
10 of 24 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Kids will have their own medallion and can create cartoon avatars that will appear on screens as they move about the ship.

cruise-ship-carnival-smart-tech-medallion-22.jpg
11 of 24 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Screens in the guest rooms provide information to passengers about the location of the ship and about events and services on board.

cruise-ship-carnival-smart-tech-medallion-30.jpg
12 of 24 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

A massive screen on deck is one way to keep people entertained.

cruise-ship-carnival-smart-tech-medallion-29.jpg
13 of 24 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Sometimes a bear will be on screen. Yep, that's random.

cruise-ship-carnival-smart-tech-medallion-31.jpg
14 of 24 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

This humble cable enables all the smart technology. It's a fiber optic line that relays medallion information to the control rooms. 

A whopping 75 miles of this cable has been strung throughout the ship.

cruise-ship-carnival-smart-tech-medallion-44.jpg
15 of 24 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

The purple cables connect to these sensors, which can detect the medallions of nearby passengers, allowing personalized information to be displayed as they pass the multitude of displays around the ship.

cruise-ship-carnival-smart-tech-medallion-19.jpg
16 of 24 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Outside every guest room is a box like this, hidden away.

cruise-ship-carnival-smart-tech-medallion-20.jpg
17 of 24 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

The hubs pipe in smart features to each room.

cruise-ship-carnival-smart-tech-medallion-16.jpg
18 of 24 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

No smart ship would be complete without a bank of screens in a control room.

cruise-ship-carnival-smart-tech-medallion-13.jpg
19 of 24 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

A server room is full of cables.

cruise-ship-carnival-smart-tech-medallion-32.jpg
20 of 24 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Large orbs like this one encompass satellite antennae that provide ship-to-shore communications and internet connections.

cruise-ship-carnival-smart-tech-medallion-7.jpg
21 of 24 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

The Regal Princess isn't just about technology.

cruise-ship-carnival-smart-tech-medallion-5.jpg
22 of 24 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Lovely staircases.

cruise-ship-carnival-smart-tech-medallion-4.jpg
23 of 24 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

The ship has been given a spit and polish while it's been in dry dock.

cruise-ship-carnival-smart-tech-medallion-9.jpg
24 of 24 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Your smart medallion will do a lot, but it won't help you win at the blackjack table.

More Galleries

The best Nintendo Switch games to play in 2021

More Galleries

The best Nintendo Switch games to play in 2021

39 Photos
iPhone 13 Pro, 13 Pro Max camera testing: Photos from Apple's highest end 2021 phones

More Galleries

iPhone 13 Pro, 13 Pro Max camera testing: Photos from Apple's highest end 2021 phones

66 Photos
Movies coming in 2021 and 2022 from Netflix, Marvel, HBO and more

More Galleries

Movies coming in 2021 and 2022 from Netflix, Marvel, HBO and more

65 Photos
The 2022 Mercedes-AMG SL Roadster is a fundamental shift

More Galleries

The 2022 Mercedes-AMG SL Roadster is a fundamental shift

25 Photos
2022 Indian Chief Bobber Dark Horse is big-displacement nostalgia

More Galleries

2022 Indian Chief Bobber Dark Horse is big-displacement nostalgia

37 Photos
Best dating apps of 2021

More Galleries

Best dating apps of 2021

13 Photos
2022 Ford Expedition: More than meets the eye

More Galleries

2022 Ford Expedition: More than meets the eye

54 Photos