Connecting to the Internet on a cruise ship is a never-ending challenge. Although passengers are technically on vacation, the tech part of their time never truly vanishes. These days, whether sailing for leisure or bleisure, staying connected through a cruise can make or break what would otherwise be sublime days at sea.
Princess Cruises, a leading brand of the Carnival Corporation, is moving ever closer to its goal of offering the best “cloud” coverage at sea through partnership with SES. The company is a leader in global content connectivity solutions, and operates the world’s only multi-orbit constellation of satellites with the unusual combination of global coverage and high performance, including the commercially-proven, low-latency Medium Earth Orbit O3b systems.
With this technology in hand, Princess will become the first global cruise ship fleet with early access to SES’s ground-breaking O3b mPOWER network — augmenting the Princess MedallionClassTM experience as it scales across the fleet.
SES’s Multi-Constellations Satellite network not only creates unmatched and ubiquitous global Wi-Fi service levels, but ensures seamless land/sea digital experience enablement including OceanView® TV (OTT, Mobile and VOD).
To date, the most significant development of the partnership has been MedallionNet®, even in its current state providing best WiFi at sea and raising 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.
Princess MedallionClass will be fully active on 11 ships by the end of 2020 with a new ship activated every 60 days. The game-changing O3b mPOWER from SES will ensure that Princess MedallionClass Ships are not constrained by traditional bandwidth capacity plans.
Whether a guest is streaming original content via OceanView, placing a wager on a big game with Ocean® SportsBook, playing a massive multi-player video game, streaming video from a favorite streaming service or checking home security cameras, SES’s O3b mPOWER provides dynamic bandwidth giving Princess guests land-like online performance.
Throughout 2020, Princess Cruises will host a series of events around the new partnership 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.
“The future is now with real solutions and proven technology delivering real experiences to floating smart cities around the globe,” said John Padgett, chief experience and innovation officer for Carnival Corporation. “Our first joint creation, MedallionNet, has significantly elevated the cruise experience for our guests and crew, but more importantly stimulated the creation of leading-edge, cloud-based edge compute models that were previously considered impossible.”