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Ocean Medallion Questions - Part 2


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the Royal now.  Did all the downloads and uploads and pictures etc about 3 weeks ago.  Got the medallions in the mail and just showed passports at check in and it went very smoothly!  Went to the internet café when it opened at noon.  Great help there to get it all working correctly.  They even showed us that we got our first drink for FREE (favorite word) and we each got what we wanted from the bar.  So far it has worked.  Nice to have the door "unlocked" and just have to open the handle at the room.  Kinda creepy when you see your picture on a servers tablet when he come up to you to ask you if you would like a drink.  Progress has its price.

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I'm finding everything I'm reading in these posts-- not to mention within reviews of Caribbean Princess-- just fills me with dread.  Where do I even start?

1) The cruise I booked for early August begins in Canada, and stays there for the first half of the ten-day trip.  The phone service I've always used-- TracFone-- indicates that the phone isn't even supposed to be TURNED ON when the owner leaves U.S. territory, as it may damage your device.

2) As usual, I plan to bring a travel tablet w built-in keyboard to check emails occasionally while in ports.  Like the cell phone, it is an Android device, but without any restrictions about having it turned on outside the U.S.  I have no clue if the needed apps could be loaded onto that thing, let alone how.

3) But more to the point, I don't DO apps (unless we're talking about appetizers; I often order several of those.)  The only app I've ever added that wasn't already pre-installed was Uber.  Supposed to be quick & easy, taking just a few minutes.  For me, two-and-a-half hours of moaning, screaming and swearing, and long, drawn-out calls to what are laughingly referred to as the "customer support" departments of TracFone...then to the manufacturer of the phone...and finally to Uber.  By the end of this process,  (actually, well BEFORE the end of this process!) I was thinking seriously that it would be so much easier just to hurl the phone into a running wood-chipper-- or perhaps to end it all by hurling MYSELF into a running wood-chipper.  Does this sound like anybody else out there?

4) The more I had read, the more I wanted to skip the whole "magical medallion" nonsense and just use a cruise card as I had done on every cruise for the last 16-plus years-- until hearing that I might not even be able to get into my own cabin without one of the damn things.  And to make matters worse, other than opening my cabin door, it doesn't even do anything I particularly care about, not to mention doing various things I wish it WOULDN'T (as has already been mentioned by several previous posters heard from in this thread.)

So what exactly is the deal here?  Even after all I've read, it STILL is utterly unclear to me how one gets all the needed info onto that gadget.  Why the hell can't I just fill out forms online, as per the usual pre-cruise check-in / credit card setup procedure, and then they can hand me my medallion when I get to the pier?  Somebody PLEASE tell me this is possible-- otherwise I may need to fire up the wood-chipper, and throw my reservation into it.😬 😱😖🤬

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totally , to the max, possible ... just fill out online paperwork as usual ,, have boarding pass, passport in hand, go thru the line they tell you to go to and instead of getting a cruise card, you will get a medallion

 

then once on board, go to customer service to see if you can get the cruise card instead

 

 

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1 hour ago, jeph said:

Why the hell can't I just fill out forms online, as per the usual pre-cruise check-in / credit card setup procedure, and then they can hand me my medallion when I get to the pier?

As I understand it, you can do exactly that.  Do what you've always done, forget the technology fol-de-rol, go to the pier as normal, and you'll get the Medallion.  It does exactly what a cruise card does, i.e., unlocks your cabin, and lets you pay for stuff.  There's more that CAN be done with it if you want to, but you can ignore all that stuff.  (From what I've heard, some of Medallion ships, not all, don't even have a slot for a card at the cabin any more.  The Medallion thingamajig IS the cruise "card".)

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55 minutes ago, jeph said:

Thank you-- this is a tremendous relief! 👍

As readers probably gathered, I'm not in the "full-on Luddite" category, but not exactly "tech-forward" either. 😆

Once you are on board and settled in, you may want to take your TracFone down to the Internet Café and get help adding some of the MedallionClass apps onto the phone and you can play with the apps while on your cruise.  As I understand it, you would put the phone into 'Airplane Mode' the whole time you are on the ship.

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There is a FAQ for the Medallion that states:

Will I be able to opt out of or turn off this new technology?
If you do not want to take advantage of the full Ocean Medallion experience, you can switch your privacy setting to "Safety Only" and enjoy the cruise the same great way you do today.

 

Perhaps someone onboard can enable that for you.

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On 11/21/2019 at 5:22 PM, Daniel A said:

I saw a caution before about having the medallion close to a pacemaker because of the magnets.

Just off the Caribbean Princess.  Did a 14-day cruise to the Caribbean.  We got the medallions when we checked in at the pier.  We only have a flip phone between myself and my DH.  So could not do the app.  Once we got on board, we went to Guest Services to get regular cruise cards.  No problem.  I just kept the medallions just in case.  Did NOT use the medallions at all.  We were able just to open the cabin with the card.  Door did open automatically (yes, without the medallion).  Also worked in the casino.  Just put your card at the medallion that was pictured on the slot machine.

 

Now for the serious part.  My DH has a cochlear implant in his head.  We did get a small booklet for what the medallion was "good" for.  As an after thought, Princess had a small sheet with the booklet. It stated in very small, minute printing:

 

CAUTION:  Product contains  magnets which could be harmful to pacemaker users and others with medical implants.  The Ocean Medallion should be kept at least 6" away from pacemakers and other sensitive medical equipment. 

 

You can't believe how many people did not see or read this information. Most wore the medallion around their necks.  Our cruise had mostly seniors and I wonder how many had pacemakers or other implants.

 

Princess should of invested this money on upgrading their food in the MDR and buffet.  Needless to say, we were not too impress with the food or this medallion "thing."

 

 

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Again, thanks to you all for all the excellent info.

Regarding the phone, I've never been one of those people who are joined at the hip with their cell phones-- I almost never have it on unless I'm trying to rendezvous with a friend or family member.  And I can't believe how much people spend on them.

I only upgraded to an actual smart phone a few years back when I got a notice from TracFone that my circa 2011 model-- which featured a teeny full keyboard, like a Blackberry!-- would soon cease to be functional, because it was only 2G.  Its "new" replacement had hit the market around 9 months before I bought it, so it was already available for half price.  I wound up paying 50 bucks for the thing.

I like to joke that "My cell phone is so cheap, I'm not even sure it has an airplane mode-- I think it has Trailways Bus mode." 😆

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12 hours ago, jeph said:

"My cell phone is so cheap, I'm not even sure it has an airplane mode-- I think it has Trailways Bus mode."

That's TOO funny!!

 

I DO have an old BlackBerry Classic with tactile keyboard, my favorite phone, and it's neither smart nor stupid; the OS is somewhere in between.  I'll take that on the cruise because it does wi-fi calling.

 

Living in my drawer I also have a BlackBerry Android (Priv), which I despise (Google intrusion - boo!), and I'll take that as well in case I want to take advantage of some of the Medallion apps along with wi-fi calling.  I'll just switch the SIM card to the Priv.

 

OR ... I could use the Classic for 24/7 wi-fi calling and texts, requiring inTERnet, and get a small tablet to use for apps, requiring only the ship's inTRAnet.  But two simultaneous devices seems extreme.

 

(Hubby has a flip phone and wants to hear nothing about any of this.)

 

Cruising in the '80s seemed easier.  Now and then both have their advantages.

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ecs66, I miss the pre-cell-coverage, pre-ubiquitous-internet era of cruising, which was already drawing to a close in 2001, when I first sailed.  While I do take a moment to check my email in port, there's a lot to be said for being at least a bit OUT OF touch while out to sea...like Ye Olden Days! 😊

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59 minutes ago, jeph said:

there's a lot to be said for being at least a bit OUT OF touch while out to sea

Under normal circumstances, I completely agree!!  But now my mother is 95, so we like having peace of mind knowing we're reachable.  It means a lot!  And we have a sitter come and stay at our house with our pets, so we like to be assured that nothing bad has happened.

 

I recall we were sailing on Sitmar (those cruises transferred to Princess Captain's Circle - yea!) back when the Tylenol murders happened -- 1982, I think.  We didn't know about it for a couple days when there was a small blurb in the "Patter".  No CCTV.  We didn't even have outlets in the cabin -- had to go to a special room down the hall to dry our hair.  A friend needed to reach his office and had to send a telegram from a communications office on board.  Things have changed -- mostly for the better, I guess.

 

We did get all gussied up for formal night, though, and that was fun.  The whole experience was a little more classy.  No specialty restaurants.  No up-selling of anything.  Coffee, soft drinks, etc., were included.  The price you paid for the cruise covered everything except alcohol and photos (which were cheap then).  Since we didn't drink, and didn't care much about the photos, we disembarked owing zero money.  Times change; gotta roll with it, I guess.

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Boarded the Royal Princess the weekend before the Thanksgiving holiday. Despite having our medallions in hand, we were diverted to the Elite line, rather than the “have medallion” line, so first of all had to wait at the Elite desk as there were no agents free, even though there was no waiting at the “have medallion” line. When we got to the head of the Elite line, the agent then had to scan our passports, green cards, etc. and check us in using the normal process, so our time at home getting Ocean Ready was a complete waste of time. 

 

Not a happy bunny.

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8 hours ago, polmcs said:

Boarded the Royal Princess the weekend before the Thanksgiving holiday. Despite having our medallions in hand, we were diverted to the Elite line, rather than the “have medallion” line, so first of all had to wait at the Elite desk as there were no agents free, even though there was no waiting at the “have medallion” line. When we got to the head of the Elite line, the agent then had to scan our passports, green cards, etc. and check us in using the normal process, so our time at home getting Ocean Ready was a complete waste of time.

No't a happy bunny.

If you are Elite, I believe that you were directed to the Elite line by a non-Princess port employee who really had only one thing in their mind and that was "Elites go over here." The people at the desk followed their directions and presumed that you weren't fully Ocean Ready for some reason and that is why, despite having your medallions, is why you were sent to them. I would mention this to Princess and they may pass this on to the port personnel who may not be totally used to the relatively new Medallion system. An example of similar is port employees insisting elites go in a busy elite line when there was no line for the non-elite.

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On 12/3/2019 at 9:00 AM, Doug R. said:

. An example of similar is port employees insisting elites go in a busy elite line when there was no line for the non-elite.

 

Agree.  We've run into this several times at Port Everglades and other ports as well.  We show up with our Elite, Diamond Plus, Mariner, Suite, or whatever boarding pass and are directed to the special line.  I ALWAYS take a look at the non-status line and often find it shorter.  We hustle on over to the short line!

 

It's not that we are in that big of a hurry, but just dislike standing in line if we don't have to

 

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Your Phone Does Matter!!

 

We just got back from an amazing 21 day T/A on the Sky Princess. We were very prepared for the Medallion experience, having been on the CB this past winter and helped wring out some of the bugs in the system. 

 

We both used our phones pre-cruise to fill out our info and get our medallions, everything worked well for both of our phones, mine an ancient version of android and hers a much newer version. This was going to change once aboard the ship.

 

Jean was able to do all of the things that were promised. I, however met with repeated messages of unresponsive screens when trying to order a drink, find shipmates, check daily schedule, and just about anything else. The team on deck was able to get my phone to respond by taking it through a number of clean-up procedures, but this would only last for a short period. After about eight sessions of this cleansing, I went to the expert in the internet cafe and was told that the problem is with my older version of android, the two are virtually incompatible, and I spent the rest of the cruise cleaning my phone each and every time I wanted to perform one function. I will not let that happen again. I am getting a new phone before we embark on the Sky Princess in January.

 

I have a Motorola Droid Turbo with android version 6.0.1 If you have this or an older version you are going to be disappointed. Some-one should be able to tell us what the cut-off is when it comes to android support, it would be nice.

 

Jim😎

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5 hours ago, jeanandjim said:

Your Phone Does Matter!!

 

We just got back from an amazing 21 day T/A on the Sky Princess. We were very prepared for the Medallion experience, having been on the CB this past winter and helped wring out some of the bugs in the system. 

 

We both used our phones pre-cruise to fill out our info and get our medallions, everything worked well for both of our phones, mine an ancient version of android and hers a much newer version. This was going to change once aboard the ship.

 

Jean was able to do all of the things that were promised. I, however met with repeated messages of unresponsive screens when trying to order a drink, find shipmates, check daily schedule, and just about anything else. The team on deck was able to get my phone to respond by taking it through a number of clean-up procedures, but this would only last for a short period. After about eight sessions of this cleansing, I went to the expert in the internet cafe and was told that the problem is with my older version of android, the two are virtually incompatible, and I spent the rest of the cruise cleaning my phone each and every time I wanted to perform one function. I will not let that happen again. I am getting a new phone before we embark on the Sky Princess in January.

 

I have a Motorola Droid Turbo with android version 6.0.1 If you have this or an older version you are going to be disappointed. Some-one should be able to tell us what the cut-off is when it comes to android support, it would be nice.

 

Jim😎

 

My husband had those issues with his older model and we figured that this time around it would work well since it's a new android phone.  Well, same issues as before and he basically could never use the medallion app over the 6  nights of our Sky sailings.  My new iPhone worked perfectly.

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On 12/1/2019 at 9:58 PM, CarolRoy said:

Just off the Caribbean Princess.  Did a 14-day cruise to the Caribbean.  We got the medallions when we checked in at the pier.  We only have a flip phone between myself and my DH.  So could not do the app.  Once we got on board, we went to Guest Services to get regular cruise cards.  No problem.  I just kept the medallions just in case.  Did NOT use the medallions at all.  We were able just to open the cabin with the card.  Door did open automatically (yes, without the medallion).  Also worked in the casino.  Just put your card at the medallion that was pictured on the slot machine.

 

Now for the serious part.  My DH has a cochlear implant in his head.  We did get a small booklet for what the medallion was "good" for.  As an after thought, Princess had a small sheet with the booklet. It stated in very small, minute printing:

 

CAUTION:  Product contains  magnets which could be harmful to pacemaker users and others with medical implants.  The Ocean Medallion should be kept at least 6" away from pacemakers and other sensitive medical equipment. 

 

You can't believe how many people did not see or read this information. Most wore the medallion around their necks.  Our cruise had mostly seniors and I wonder how many had pacemakers or other implants.

 

Princess should of invested this money on upgrading their food in the MDR and buffet.  Needless to say, we were not too impress with the food or this medallion "thing."

 

So, did they take your picture before you got on the ship?  How long did the process take without having the special phones or downloading to get on board?  Stupid questions, but do we have to check a box or something and say we are picking up medallions at the pier or they know cause they weren't shipped out?  Not real tech savvy.  Thanks for your help.  Guess kinda nervous after all these years of cruising and now not knowing what to expect.

 

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6 hours ago, jeanandjim said:

 

 

 

I have a Motorola Droid Turbo with android version 6.0.1 If you have this or an older version you are going to be disappointed. Some-one should be able to tell us what the cut-off is when it comes to android support, it would be nice.

 

Jim😎

I have a flip phone so I bought an Amazon Fire 7 Tablet for $29.99.  As I understand it, I will need to download the Google Play Store on the Fire 7 and then I will be able to install MedallionClass App on the Fire 7.  I should be able to do all the functions when onboard.  I won't know if it works until February though.

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On 12/3/2019 at 6:00 AM, Doug R. said:

If you are Elite, I believe that you were directed to the Elite line by a non-Princess port employee who really had only one thing in their mind and that was "Elites go over here." The people at the desk followed their directions and presumed that you weren't fully Ocean Ready for some reason and that is why, despite having your medallions, is why you were sent to them. I would mention this to Princess and they may pass this on to the port personnel who may not be totally used to the relatively new Medallion system. An example of similar is port employees insisting elites go in a busy elite line when there was no line for the non-elite.

We are Elite, but the port personnel wouldn’t have known that as I had our medallions in my pocket. I think the fact that I was pushing my wife in a wheel chair threw them a little and they directed us to the Elite line.

 

I did make a point of showing the medallions to check in agent  right at the beginning of the check in process, but they opted to go the old fashioned route.

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50 minutes ago, Daniel A said:

I have a flip phone so I bought an Amazon Fire 7 Tablet for $29.99.  As I understand it, I will need to download the Google Play Store on the Fire 7 and then I will be able to install MedallionClass App on the Fire 7.  I should be able to do all the functions when onboard.  I won't know if it works until February though.

Be careful with the Fire tablet. I had one of the first models and it would only support a very small subset of play store apps. If the Amazon App Store didn’t have a particular app available, you had to side car load the app through a non standard convoluted process. 

 

I have no idea if more recent Fire models have this restriction. 

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2 hours ago, mellon1 said:

So, did they take your picture before you got on the ship?  How long did the process take without having the special phones or downloading to get on board?  Stupid questions, but do we have to check a box or something and say we are picking up medallions at the pier or they know cause they weren't shipped out?  Not real tech savvy.  Thanks for your help.  Guess kinda nervous after all these years of cruising and now not knowing what to expect.

We checked in at the pier like before.  They had our medallions waiting for us.  No need to tell them beforehand.  Medallions were given to us when we checked. in.  Then we went to guest services and they gave us the regular cruise cards.  With the cruise cards, we were able to unlock our cabin door.  Even without scanning them.  We got the regular cruise cards because my husband has a cochlear implant in his head.  There is a caution note (in very small, minute letters) with the instructions on how to use the medallions.  Caution:  Product contains magnets which could be harmful to pacemaker users and other with medical implants.  The ocean medallion should be kept at least 6" away from pacemakers and other sensitive medical equipment."

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12 hours ago, polmcs said:

Be careful with the Fire tablet. I had one of the first models and it would only support a very small subset of play store apps. If the Amazon App Store didn’t have a particular app available, you had to side car load the app through a non standard convoluted process. 

 

I have no idea if more recent Fire models have this restriction. 

Well, it was only thirty bucks so I thought I'd give it a try.  I can't test it out right now because DW wrapped it and placed it under the tree!  :classic_rolleyes: 

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