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Ocean Medallion...The Ultimate Data-Mining Tool.

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I’ll preface this by saying I’m not fully informed on OM’s functionality. Mostly what I’ve read here and other threads. So please, correct me if I’m misinformed.

 

Personally, I’m not so concerned about the data mining. As others mentioned, it’s already happening, and I’m well aware of how/why. My own company uses “big data” to both better serve our clients and our bottom line. In fact, I have found it to be useful in some cases. For instance, I’ve discovered products through targeted ads that I’ve ended up really enjoying, and that addressed an unfulfilled need I had. I’d rather have that than a bunch of ads for something I don’t want, or find obnoxious/offensive in some way. 

 

Similarly, if Princess is able to use the data to provide better access or even deals on things I’m interested in, then great! If they’re able to use the data to resolve issues, like traffic bottle-necks on certain decks, or better efficiencies to Anytime Dining, or enhancements to entertainment offerings, etc. then I’m fine sharing my behaviors/opinions/etc. to assist in those efforts. I fully realize that everything from marketing to media is designed to influence me, and I keep that constantly in the back of my mind when making decisions about things. Really, this isn’t anything new though — humans have been devising ways of influencing each other since the dawn of humanity, I’m sure. We’re just more sophisticated about it now. 

What DOES concern me however are reports that OM is unlocking doors when passengers are 50 ft away. I assume this happens with no effort on the part of the passenger (e.g. pushing a button)? I’m also not keen on my picture being on the screen outside the door (though I imagine I can opt out of that). Nor am I keen on other passengers being able to track me down anywhere on the ship (I’m fine if my spouse has access to this, or anyone else I specifically designate). I’m way more worried about property or personal crimes than a company trying to sell me something. As a woman, I worry about the potential for a rapist to gain easier entry to my room and “lie in wait”. Or a thief being able to determine when occupants are away, and somehow gaining access to the room (especially considering the person who reported their medallion seeming to unlock random stateroom doors). Or other such crimes of opportunity. Some of these things I see people reporting on seem like a security nightmare waiting to happen.

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No one (other that ship security) can track you without your permission. If my door opened at 50 feet I would be down at guest services getting it fixed. Others have reported being able to have such issues addressed. I've never read of anybody's medallion opening "random doors". The picture that appears outside your door is not your security photo - it is your profile photo. You can use a picture of your dog, Godzilla, or whatever your choose.

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Not sure if this thread is the right place to post these screen shots or not though this seems germane to the discussion. If not, maybe the mods will move them to the right place.

 

I received a MedallionCruise email survey today from Princess. The whole thrust of the survey seems to be gauging understanding of the entire MC concept. 

 

They are asking specifically about one of our upcoming MC cruises. 

 

One question I found particularly interesting. For this question I couldn’t get all the responses on one screen so I’ve attached a sequence of screen shots to cover this single question. Please forgive my clumsiness. 

 

I feel pretty comfortable in my working knowledge of MC but I have to confess, two of these items caught me by surprise. 

 

2ED7595C-0353-4850-9A1E-CD5261F74A07.png

EC1A4794-0907-465D-A845-4D6F9A8AD46F.png

C8F366BF-C571-46BB-8C69-24061BEF7B1F.png

2668C62C-C9C5-4BDB-8607-1807DE4E5EC1.png

DEC9C007-CDC8-421F-A196-CF0F8EBFE79E.png

80CD3E63-FFFA-4FAD-B1F2-48184FD315A5.png

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1 hour ago, Thrak said:

No one (other that ship security) can track you without your permission. If my door opened at 50 feet I would be down at guest services getting it fixed. Others have reported being able to have such issues addressed. I've never read of anybody's medallion opening "random doors". The picture that appears outside your door is not your security photo - it is your profile photo. You can use a picture of your dog, Godzilla, or whatever your choose.

 

There was a poster on page 2 of this thread that mentioned him and his wife walking around various floors and hearing doors unlock as they passed with the OM, but nobody else was around. Maybe a fluke, or a misunderstanding. But I would want to be certain that this isn’t something that may happen going forward. 

I also see the survey mentions friends and family being able to track you, and I’m curious how exactly that works. Do you get to opt-in to that, and can you assign selective permission to that for only certain people? 

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5 hours ago, Dani24 said:

 

There was a poster on page 2 of this thread that mentioned him and his wife walking around various floors and hearing doors unlock as they passed with the OM, but nobody else was around. Maybe a fluke, or a misunderstanding. But I would want to be certain that this isn’t something that may happen going forward. 

I also see the survey mentions friends and family being able to track you, and I’m curious how exactly that works. Do you get to opt-in to that, and can you assign selective permission to that for only certain people? 

I did read that post & I'm sure he was mistaken about the operation of the medallion or there was a problem with the door opening mechanism. 

You'll be lucky if it works from 10 feet away most times. 

 

As for friends tracking you, it requires you to approve them before they can do so. Only your cabin mate can do it without first being included. This tracking feature is still in it's early stages and until they add many more sensors around the ship it just provides a general location, such as the pool area or show lounge. 

 

I will say that when we were last on a medallion ship there was a serious problem that would let anyone who had found your lost medallion to know which cabin you were in by simply checking to the board to find it.

Of course most people don't lose their medallions, but it was possible.

They must have fixed this problem by now. 

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1 hour ago, MissP22 said:

I did read that post & I'm sure he was mistaken about the operation of the medallion or there was a problem with the door opening mechanism. 

You'll be lucky if it works from 10 feet away most times. 

 

As for friends tracking you, it requires you to approve them before they can do so. Only your cabin mate can do it without first being included. This tracking feature is still in it's early stages and until they add many more sensors around the ship it just provides a general location, such as the pool area or show lounge. 

 

I will say that when we were last on a medallion ship there was a serious problem that would let anyone who had found your lost medallion to know which cabin you were in by simply checking to the board to find it.

Of course most people don't lose their medallions, but it was possible.

They must have fixed this problem by now. 

I'm not so sure about that. We were on the Royal last week and I was aware of that issue. Although I did not actually find a lost Medallion, when I placed my own disk against any of the big screens, it instantly showed all my details, including our cabin number. No biometrics or password is required to show that info on the screens, tying a passenger to accessing only their information, so if someone were to find a lost Medallion, there does not seem to be any reason why they could not access another's cabin. I'd love to be proven wrong, of course.

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1 minute ago, lx200gps said:

I'm not so sure about that. We were on the Royal last week and I was aware of that issue. Although I did not actually find a lost Medallion, when I placed my own disk against any of the big screens, it instantly showed all my details, including our cabin number. No biometrics or password is required to show that info on the screens, tying a passenger to accessing only their information, so if someone were to find a lost Medallion, there does not seem to be any reason why they could not access another's cabin. I'd love to be proven wrong, of course.

I mentioned that to the techs aboard the CB (Nov) and the Regal (Feb) but their concern didn't seem to be indicate that they thought it was all that important. They did say that the problem might be resolved in the future by adding a pin code to the boards in addition to having the medallion in your possession but not that they were actually working on the problem.

At this point in time I think they're just concentrating on getting the existing system working 100% in total aboard the ship and not concerning themselves about any possible future software updates.  

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The whole OM thing is just too Big Brother for my taste.  Maybe I'm old-fashioned, whatever, but I don't want fancy tech stuff.  I also have read about doors unlocking randomly, people's cabin numbers being displayed, and photos popping up on screens throughout the ship.  Don't like the possibility of any of that, no matter how many cool things the OM can do.  Give me a regular cruise card and I'm happy.  

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11 hours ago, Dani24 said:

I’ll preface this by saying I’m not fully informed on OM’s functionality. Mostly what I’ve read here and other threads. So please, correct me if I’m misinformed.

 

Personally, I’m not so concerned about the data mining. As others mentioned, it’s already happening, and I’m well aware of how/why. My own company uses “big data” to both better serve our clients and our bottom line. In fact, I have found it to be useful in some cases. For instance, I’ve discovered products through targeted ads that I’ve ended up really enjoying, and that addressed an unfulfilled need I had. I’d rather have that than a bunch of ads for something I don’t want, or find obnoxious/offensive in some way. 

 

Similarly, if Princess is able to use the data to provide better access or even deals on things I’m interested in, then great! If they’re able to use the data to resolve issues, like traffic bottle-necks on certain decks, or better efficiencies to Anytime Dining, or enhancements to entertainment offerings, etc. then I’m fine sharing my behaviors/opinions/etc. to assist in those efforts. I fully realize that everything from marketing to media is designed to influence me, and I keep that constantly in the back of my mind when making decisions about things. Really, this isn’t anything new though — humans have been devising ways of influencing each other since the dawn of humanity, I’m sure. We’re just more sophisticated about it now. 

What DOES concern me however are reports that OM is unlocking doors when passengers are 50 ft away. I assume this happens with no effort on the part of the passenger (e.g. pushing a button)? I’m also not keen on my picture being on the screen outside the door (though I imagine I can opt out of that). Nor am I keen on other passengers being able to track me down anywhere on the ship (I’m fine if my spouse has access to this, or anyone else I specifically designate). I’m way more worried about property or personal crimes than a company trying to sell me something. As a woman, I worry about the potential for a rapist to gain easier entry to my room and “lie in wait”. Or a thief being able to determine when occupants are away, and somehow gaining access to the room (especially considering the person who reported their medallion seeming to unlock random stateroom doors). Or other such crimes of opportunity. Some of these things I see people reporting on seem like a security nightmare waiting to happen.

We were on the Royal last week, and I noticed that my wife's Medallion was FAR more "powerful" than mine. On day 1, my disk would open our door from maybe 10 feet, but hers opened the door very far up the corridor. I did a test to see how far and I would  guesstimate the distance to be at least 50 feet. I didn't consider it worth our time to have the distance adjusted as we always had the cabin in sight walking up the corridor anyway

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4 minutes ago, rocklinmom said:

Give me a regular cruise card and I'm happy.

On both the CB & Regal they discontinued giving out both the medallions and cards although I suppose they might give you a card if you asked. 

 

Just now, lx200gps said:

We were on the Royal last week, and I noticed that my wife's Medallion was FAR more "powerful" than mine. On day 1, my disk would open our door from maybe 10 feet, but hers opened the door very far up the corridor. I did a test to see how far and I would  guesstimate the distance to be at least 50 feet. I didn't consider it worth our time to have the distance adjusted as we always had the cabin in sight walking up the corridor anyway

If you were standing next to the door, how would you know if it was your wife's card that caused your door to unlock and not yours that triggered it?

 

I wish mine would only have worked at half that distance but most of the time I had to stand there for 10 seconds before it would unlock and sometimes even placing the medallion up to the sensor wouldn't work that quickly. 

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2 minutes ago, MissP22 said:

On both the CB & Regal they discontinued giving out both the medallions and cards although I suppose they might give you a card if you asked. 

 

If you were standing next to the door, how would you know if it was your wife's card that caused your door to unlock and not yours that triggered it?

 

I wish mine would only have worked at half that distance but most of the time I had to stand there for 10 seconds before it would unlock and sometimes even placing the medallion up to the sensor wouldn't work that quickly. 

Because I left my Medallion with her far up the corridor, walked up to our door, and watched the screen as she walked toward it. Her picture appeared on the screen as the door opened (that's how you know which Medallion is the one doing the opening) while I still needed binoculars to see her way up the hall.

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2 hours ago, MissP22 said:

I will say that when we were last on a medallion ship there was a serious problem that would let anyone who had found your lost medallion to know which cabin you were in by simply checking to the board to find it.

 

40 minutes ago, MissP22 said:

I mentioned that to the techs aboard the CB (Nov) and the Regal (Feb) but their concern didn't seem to be indicate that they thought it was all that important. They did say that the problem might be resolved in the future by adding a pin code to the boards in addition to having the medallion in your possession but not that they were actually working on the problem.

At this point in time I think they're just concentrating on getting the existing system working 100% in total aboard the ship and not concerning themselves about any possible future software updates.  

One of the very basic security features of hotel, ship, resort, etc., key cards since their inception was not printing the room number on the card. If someone found a card, the only way they could determine which room it belonged to would be to go room to room to room trying it, a lot of work with no guarantee of any payoff and a good chance of getting caught. It's incredible that this fundamental security issue wasn't addressed as part of the original design of the medallions, and even more so that they are aware of the oversight and still choose not to address it on a priority basis.

 

I'm very tech oriented and I'm looking forward to exploring the OM to the fullest on our first Princess cruise next year, but a flaw of this potential magnitude makes me wonder how many other problems exist.

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1 hour ago, rocklinmom said:

The whole OM thing is just too Big Brother for my taste.  Maybe I'm old-fashioned, whatever, but I don't want fancy tech stuff.  I also have read about doors unlocking randomly, people's cabin numbers being displayed, and photos popping up on screens throughout the ship.  Don't like the possibility of any of that, no matter how many cool things the OM can do.  Give me a regular cruise card and I'm happy.  


Winner: Hilarious Post of the Day!  "Old fashioned" and "don't want fancy tech stuff" but you use a regular cruise card!  If only there had been cruise critic forums when the lines went from physical KEYS to those new fangled CARDS with electromagnetic stripes on them ... I'm sure we could have read the very same discussion we are having now over OM.  Those cards are pretty technical ... you can even pay for souvenirs, drinks, food, and the casino with them WHICH MEANS THE CRUISE LINE KNOWS WHAT YOU BOUGHT.  Shades of Big Brother!!!

 

What a time we live in: electromagnetic swipe cards are "old fashioned"!

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On 5/7/2019 at 5:49 AM, MissP22 said:

There's no way to open them that I can see and they probably just scrapped the old one & gave you a replacement.

 

 

They specifically said they replaced the battery and it only took them a minute.  

 

To get my medallion on the Regal when it wasn't at the port, it took them both boarding day and a good portion of the second day to get the medallion and it was delivered to our cabin.  We were told the delay was they had to print the names and dates and then program them.  A medallion tech actually would come to our cabin to assure that it worked properly and leave it for us. That's exactly what they did.

 

When it wasn't working, it was already programed it and just said they needed to replace the battery.  Quick fix and they walked into the back and came just about right back out.  Perhaps they have a tool that opens it.

 

I'm on the Caribbean Princess next week, I'll try and remember to inquire about this.  

 

Guess they wanted to be able to track my data according to this thread and the card I had didn't supply enough info!

 

 

Edited by Host CJSKIDS

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42 minutes ago, BuckeyeMark said:

What a time we live in: electromagnetic swipe cards are "old fashioned"!

The major development of the magnetic striped plastic card began at IBM in 1969, half a century ago, and was in commercial use two years later, so it's fair to consider them old fashioned given today's technology.

 

By way of comparison, the Apple-1 single-board computer for hobbyists was released in 1976. Apple announced the follow-on Apple II a year later as a ready-to-use computer for consumers. That too is old fashioned.

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36 minutes ago, Host CJSKIDS said:

 

They specifically said they replaced the battery and it only took them a minute.  

 

To get my medallion on the Regal when it wasn't at the port, it took them both boarding day and a good portion of the second day to get the medallion and it was delivered to our cabin.  We were told the delay was they had to print the names and dates and then program them.  A medallion tech actually would come to our cabin to assure that it worked properly and leave it for us. That's exactly what they did.

 

When it wasn't working, it was already programed it and just said they needed to replace the battery.  Quick fix and they walked into the back and came just about right back out.  Perhaps they have a tool that opens it.

 

I'm on the Caribbean Princess next week, I'll try and remember to inquire about this.  

 

Guess they wanted to be able to track my data according to this thread and the card I had didn't supply enough info!

 

 

They possible might have a tool to open it but I know for sure that when my DH's wasn't working after he reboarded & we changed cabins during an intransit trip. 

 

It was in a holder he made at home & wasn't easily removable. As he was trying to get it out, the front of the medallion came off in his hands so they had to give him another one which was from another dept on deck 4.

If you find the battery is replaceable I'll be asking for one as soon as it decreases in range next cruise. 

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10 hours ago, Dani24 said:

 

There was a poster on page 2 of this thread that mentioned him and his wife walking around various floors and hearing doors unlock as they passed with the OM, but nobody else was around. Maybe a fluke, or a misunderstanding. But I would want to be certain that this isn’t something that may happen going forward. 

I also see the survey mentions friends and family being able to track you, and I’m curious how exactly that works. Do you get to opt-in to that, and can you assign selective permission to that for only certain people? 

 

I read that post also and a couple of things entered my mind as I read it. First of all, how did the person know that the door was unlocked by their medallions as they walked by? By the sound that they heard as they walked by? Maybe it made a similar (or even the exact same sound) to what the system made when their door was unlocked by their medallion, but does the same sound "mean" the same thing or do other functions make that same sound? I'm not saying that their medallions did or did not unlock other doors, but if they didn't physically check any of the doors to see if they were unlocked, then they are making suppositions and those suppositions may be completely wrong or completely right. They don't know. Yes, they could get into some rather interesting situations with surprised and/or angry occupants if they went around opening or attempting to open stateroom doors.  And that brings me to the second thought that came to my mind as I read what the poster had written.  If they thought that they were opening all of these doors to all of these staterooms during their walk around the ship, why didn't they go to Passenger Services and ask to speak to someone in security and take that person with them on a "sample walk" and show them how their medallion seemed to be all-powerful and able to unlock all these different rooms?  Such a serious security problem would be a threat to any and all staterooms on board the ship, including their own!!  I find it very hard to believe that these people just continue walking around the ship, don't tell anybody on the ship's staff about this possible apparent breach of security on their ship, spend the rest of their week or however long on their cruise staying silent about the problem (or maybe telling others about what they have discovered) and then come on a Cruise Critic message board and telling everybody here about their discovery. That makes absolutely no sense at all to me. 

 

Of course, checking to see if my medallion unlocks my stateroom door from 50 feet away or so would never enter my mind either!

 

Tom

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I just finished reading the majority of these posts and I’m surprised there was virtually no discussion of how the Medallion predictive analytics can improve our cruising experience.

 

Princess will finally be able to evaluate to quality of the acts they book. When they have a show in Explorers Lounge “Sing along with DJ Tommy” and 30 people show up but more than half leave before it’s over, Tommy is not going to have a job for long. Princess will have hard data showing our movement and thus how well the entertainers hold our attention. They will also learn and improve how they sequence entertainment better based on our movement. When the Wheelhouse Bar crowd leaves Karaoke because a “Tribute to Billie Holiday” is up next and heads to the Explorers Lounge for 80’s & 90’s Music Trivia, Next time they’ll schedule to 2 shows in the same venue.

 

Our movement will also help Princess plan shows and events so as to NOT create so much congestion at the elevators. They will have hard data to plan our vacations with so even large ships seem empty.

 

Predictive analytics will tell them I drink a beer every 30 minutes and they’ll send a waiter around 25 minutes after my last order was delivered to see if I need a new one. Personally, I love it when a waiter shows up just as I decided to order another drink and I hate it when my drink is empty and no waiter is in sight.

 

Not only will bad acts be gone we won’t have to move from lounge to lounge and the service will be Just-In-Time.

 

The best way for Princess to monetize the Medallion is through the customer experience and word of mouth advertising to fill every ship.

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On 5/8/2019 at 8:44 AM, Pierlesscruisers said:

 

I read that post also and a couple of things entered my mind as I read it. First of all, how did the person know that the door was unlocked by their medallions as they walked by? By the sound that they heard as they walked by? Maybe it made a similar (or even the exact same sound) to what the system made when their door was unlocked by their medallion, but does the same sound "mean" the same thing or do other functions make that same sound?

Tom

Although this thread has been dormant for a while, I have an answer to Pierless.  

 

When the medallion unlocks your door, there is a green light that is activated.  So if I walk around the deck and hear the click AND ALSO SEE THE GREEN LIGHT, I know that my medallion unlocked someone else's door.

 

On the Royal two months ago, my door was around a corner, and I conducted some experiments.  I hung my medallion at various distances down the corridor from my cabin, and checked to see if it unlocked my door.  The distance at which it triggered the "unlock" function was about 25 - 30 feet.  This experiment was "once and done."  I did not try it again on the last day, to see if the battery had gotten weaker and if the distance had changed.

 

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Posted (edited)
32 minutes ago, KnA8361 said:

I just finished reading the majority of these posts and I’m surprised there was virtually no discussion of how the Medallion predictive analytics can improve our cruising experience.

 

Princess will finally be able to evaluate to quality of the acts they book. When they have a show in Explorers Lounge “Sing along with DJ Tommy” and 30 people show up but more than half leave before it’s over, Tommy is not going to have a job for long. Princess will have hard data showing our movement and thus how well the entertainers hold our attention. They will also learn and improve how they sequence entertainment better based on our movement. When the Wheelhouse Bar crowd leaves Karaoke because a “Tribute to Billie Holiday” is up next and heads to the Explorers Lounge for 80’s & 90’s Music Trivia, Next time they’ll schedule to 2 shows in the same venue.

 

Our movement will also help Princess plan shows and events so as to NOT create so much congestion at the elevators. They will have hard data to plan our vacations with so even large ships seem empty.

 

Predictive analytics will tell them I drink a beer every 30 minutes and they’ll send a waiter around 25 minutes after my last order was delivered to see if I need a new one. Personally, I love it when a waiter shows up just as I decided to order another drink and I hate it when my drink is empty and no waiter is in sight.

 

Not only will bad acts be gone we won’t have to move from lounge to lounge and the service will be Just-In-Time.

 

The best way for Princess to monetize the Medallion is through the customer experience and word of mouth advertising to fill every ship.

Your predictive analytics give Princess and the OM team too much credit ... not sure the OM program is yet anywhere near providing and utilizing the type of analysis of which you speak

Edited by pms4104

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Posted (edited)

Krikies!  kNA361, is taking a glass half full, unlike about everyone else who is looking for all things sinister.  Princess can absolutely do data mining to bring about a better experience, the tech isn't that old yet, they'll get there.

As for the door unlock at 25-30 feet, that's amazing, I've been on 2 Medallion cruises and on both I've had to hold my Medallion up to the screen to unlock the door.  I'm not saying that it didn't happen for them. Technically the range should be about 77 meters plus or minus, so yes.  So, if I find a Medallion, I'm going to take it, hold it up & walk up & down every deck with cabins, find the one it opens & enter, not knowing if anyone is inside?

Seems that everyone is always looking for the edge cases to make some point.

Edited by CruiseVA

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2 hours ago, Mike45LC said:

Although this thread has been dormant for a while, I have an answer to Pierless.  

 

When the medallion unlocks your door, there is a green light that is activated.  So if I walk around the deck and hear the click AND ALSO SEE THE GREEN LIGHT, I know that my medallion unlocked someone else's door.

 

On the Royal two months ago, my door was aay nevround a corner, and I conducted some experiments.  I hung my medallion at various distances down the corridor from my cabin, and checked to see if it unlocked my door.  The distance at which it triggered the "unlock" function was about 25 - 30 feet.  This experiment was "once and done."  I did not try it again on the last day, to see if the battery had gotten weaker and if the distance had changed.

 

 

Yes, there is the green light, I had forgotten about that, but I've been on 2 medallion cruises and I've never had my door unlock until I've been right by the door and usually not until I've held the medallion up to or onto the panel.  Don't know why the difference between the "action distance" varies so much and whether it varies so greatly by ship, by location on each ship or on some other reason. Maybe it even varies by time and/or workload on each system. Oh well.....

 

Thanks for the input, though, enjoyed reading it.

 

Tom

 

 

 

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The purpose of the medallion is to make it easier for you to spend money.  I doubt they really care that people are leaving acts in the middle of a show.  They aren't going to hire higher quality entertainment to try to keep someone there and watching.  They want you out and about purchasing drinks and such. 

Now, are there other benefits it provides such as unlocking your door and letting you find your travel partners on the ship, yes, and that is great, but the main goal of the medallion is to learn your habits and determine ways to sell to you.

 

I may be too cynical for my own good, but I don't think they make any changes without determining whether or not it will generate more revenue.

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Honestly, the tracking doesn't bother me.   It's not any different than Apple, Google, Facebook or the like.   

I'm on of those that turn many of my tracking/location features off, and then recently I lost my phone.  I couldn't track it via my Ipad "find my phone".  I laughed and then....I turned it on (once I found it).

 

Like many things in the world, we do like features when they benefit us, and don't care for them when they don't.  🙂 

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On 5/3/2019 at 2:43 AM, MissP22 said:

I think your reading a little to much into the intended data collection function of the medallions.

Yes, I believe it'll give them the opportunity to tailor the ships timing & offering of programs being offered on future trips but not to the degree of service provided by waiters/bartenders based on your past tipping history. 

 

ie- types of movies/shows people attend on MUTS, attendance of people during bingo or specific shows, attendance of specific dining venue's and time of arrival, etc.

 

Do you really think that they are spending all that money just to improve your cruise experience.  If so, you are very naive.  All businesses spend money only to increase their profits and cruise companies are no different from any other business.

 

DON

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