The future of travel isn’t being developed in Silicon Valley. It’s coming to life in a hidden warehouse in Miami, where a team of designers, developers and software engineers — a lineup you would normally associate with a startup — is working with the world’s largest leisure travel company to radically enhance the guest experience and transform the vacation industry.
Designing the future of leisure travel isn’t easy. And managing a startup within a company with over 90,000 employees is even harder. Which is why Carnival Corporation enlisted the help of Lippincott to help bring its vision of the future to market.
A simple but radical idea
This concept — a personal, digital concierge — comes to life through technology that operates behind the scenes in ways that make the vacation experience not only unique, but extraordinary. For the guest, the idea is housed in a small, wearable Ocean Medallion. This Medallion enables highly personalized experiences: a guest can make a dinner reservation while poolside, at a restaurant that already knows their favorite cuisines; they can receive invitations to excursions tailored to their exact personal preferences; they receive notifications when their next activity is about to begin and personalized directions to get there. It also removes the hassle from many of the mundane elements of cruising, giving guests the ability to make payments, unlock their stateroom door, and speed up the embarkation process.
What makes this technology special is that it lives behind the scenes, powering the experience invisibly. Developed in-house by Carnival Corporation, the Ocean Medallion, about the size of a quarter, can be worn as a wristband or pendant, or just placed in a pocket. It communicated with the Ocean Compass interface, accessible on personal mobile devices and touchscreens throughout Carnival’s ships, leveraging the Internet of Things to deliver enhancements like on-demand food and beverage, interactive gaming, personalized entertainment, personalized itineraries and much more.
“We are poised to have our global cruise line brands at the vanguard of forever changing the guest experience paradigm — not just in the cruise industry but in the larger vacation market.”
— Arnold Donald, CEO, Carnival Corp.
Lippincott worked as an innovation team partner, working collaboratively across Carnival and agency teams to shape and message a unified guest experience. We positioned O•C•E•A•N as a lifestyle brand that inspires guests to engage in amazing vacation experiences. To tell this story, we designed, wrote and curated a range of experiences for the O•C•E•A•N offering, starting with its website and other guest-facing touchpoints across the journey, and expanding to include applications for employees, travel agents, the press and other important audiences.
As a firm that believes deeply in the power of technology, Lippincott was excited to be a part of such a trailblazing effort to define a new industry paradigm. Because we believe that technology needs emotional intelligence to truly thrive, we pushed developer teams to put a guest lens on the innovation and experience of the new brand. And through a robust nomenclature and experience design process, we helped ensure that the guest experience being built was not just technology-led, but also fundamentally human-first.
The approach to building this disruptive brand has proven to be fast, iterative and ever-changing, just like the technology and experience within it. November 2017 will see the first Ocean Medallion Class ship, the Regal Princess, set sail. Two sister ships will begin offering Medallion Class cruises in early 2018, with the rest of the Princess Cruises fleet to follow soon after. Get ready for the future of travel.