Princess Cruises has announced a new dimension in its connectivity partnership with SES (PAR/LuxSE: SESG) and will become the first global cruise ship fleet with early access to SES’s O3b mPOWER network, augmenting the Princess MedallionClass™ experience as it scales across the fleet.
SES is enabling global, high-performance connectivity to Princess Cruises using their hybrid MEO and GEO network. The combination of the globally-deployed Princess MedallionClass ships, the Ocean Guest Experience “Cloud Connected” Platform and SES’s multi-constellations satellite network creates ubiquitous global Wi-Fi service levels as well as ensures seamless, land/sea, digital experience enablement that includes OceanView® TV (OTT, Mobile and VOD) and is disrupting the traditional commodity satellite bandwidth model.
As the innovation partner for Princess MedallionClass, Carnival Corporation’s Global Experience and Innovation unit is elevating the SES partner relationship through 2023. The Premier Innovation Partner status makes SES a fully-integrated development partner of Carnival Corporation’s Global Experience and Innovation unit, spanning design, creation and delivery for game-changing connected guest experience innovations, technical platform development, intelligence and hybrid cloud and edge compute enablement.
As a result, Princess MedallionClass, which is enabled by the OceanMedallion™ and powered by SES, will be the first cruise ships to access SES’s O3b mPOWER satellite-based communications system. The SES brand will also be incorporated into the OceanMedallion, further symbolizing the integrated relationship.
To date, the most significant development of the partnership has been MedallionNet®, the best Wi-Fi at sea according to the firms, which has raised the bar for guest connectivity in the cruise industry. Since 2017, MedallionNet has been offering fast, unlimited, reliable and affordable guest connectivity exclusively to the Princess fleet.
The expanded partnership recognizes SES’s integral role in enabling the Ocean Guest Experience Platform™ with real-time xIoT™, edge, cloud and shoreside intelligence synchronization on Princess MedalllionClass Ships. Princess MedallionClass will be fully active on 11 ships by the close of 2020, with a new ship activated every 60 days.
O3b mPOWER from SES will ensure that Princess MedallionClass Ships are not constrained by traditional bandwidth capacity plans. SES will keep bandwidth ahead of demand, with multi-Gbps capacity whenever and wherever needed. Whether activating a new MedallionClass ship, visualizing real-time ship digital clones or powering virtual ship/shore collaboration, bandwidth constraints will never impact innovation team access, speed or engagement fidelity.
Furthermore, dynamic bandwidth deployment on demand through a fully-managed, high-performance ship access point to a shoreside end-point holistically ensures unique ship itineraries and specialized guest events always meet the highest service levels possible from San Francisco to Singapore and Helsinki to Hobart.
Throughout 2020, Princess Cruises will host a series of events leveraging MedallionNet powered by SES to demonstrate that guests no longer need to worry about slow internet speeds and unreasonable connectivity costs. Planned events include:
- February 11, a record-breaking Vow Renewal onboard the Regal Princess, Royal Princess and Crown Princess will be shared with loved ones around the world during a massive pre-Valentine’s Day ceremony.
- March 29, Grand Princess will become the first Princess MedallionClass Ship sailing exclusive Hawaii itineraries.
- June 15, Enchanted Princess will join the MedallionClass fleet.
- August 16, Emerald Princess will become the first to transform into a MedallionClass ship while sailing Alaskan itineraries.
- October 20, Coral Princess launch event from Los Angeles
- December 20, Island Princess transforms into a MedallionClass ship and will be the first fully connected cruise ship to sail in the Middle East in early 2021.
Carnival Corporation’s proprietary Ocean Guest Experience Platform is powered by the OceanMedallion and enabled by SES. The MedallionClass experience using the OceanMedallion and the Ocean Guest Experience Platform is exclusive to Princess Cruises and is being leveraged to enhance guest-crew interactions and deliver a high level of service personalization on an unprecedented scale.
The Medallion enables keyless stateroom entry, hassle-free payment, turn-by-turn shipboard wayfinding, shipmate locator and personalized itineraries; speeds up embarkation; facilitates on-demand services like ordering food, drinks and merchandise; powers anywhere wagering; and more. MedallionClass vacations currently are available for all guests sailing on six Princess Cruises Ships – Caribbean Princess, Crown Princess, Regal Princess, Royal Princess, Ruby Princess, and Sky Princess.
John Padgett, Chief Experience and Innovation Oofficer for Carnival Corporation, said the future is now with real solutions and proven technology delivering real experiences to floating smart cities around the globe powering a coveted experience. SES integration into the Global Experience and Innovation team not only provides world-leading connectivity technology and fueling OceanMedallion capabilities, but most importantly, provides expertise that is passionate about creating amazing experiences through the fusion of creativity, story, connectivity and media across the world. This first, joint creation, MedallionNet, has significantly elevated the cruise experience for guests and crew, but more importantly, has stimulated the creation of leading-edge, cloud-based edge compute models that were previously considered impossible.
JP Hemingway, CEO of SES Networks, the data-centric business unit of SES, added the relentless focus of the Princess Cruises and Carnival Corporation’s Global Experience and Innovation teams to create personalized, simplified and connected guest experiences inspired the company to push the boundaries of the connectivity norm at sea and to set a higher benchmark for connected guest experience. With MedallionNet, SES Networks helped to deliver a new and holistic model that sets an entirely new standard for cruise ship connectivity around the world. By extending and expanding the firm's Premier Innovation Partner relationship, SES Networks is leveraging this unprecedented position in multi-constellation satellite networks and is consistently focusing on delivering high performance and pushing the envelope of what’s possible.