Princess Cruises president John Padgett has revealed that the line will hold the keel-laying ceremony for its first Sphere-class ship on June 8 in Italy. It is slated to launch in late 2023 and will be the line’s first LNG-powered vessel.
Speaking at a media briefing, Padgett unveiled the line’s new premium add-on package and gave an update on the line’s Medallion technology.
The line has streamlined its MedallionClass app for guests, and Padgett joked his team had “put the app on a diet,” reducing its size by 75%. He explained: “There’s so many capabilities in our app, but the reality is that it got too big and was suffering on performance[…] Guests will see much higher performance, higher reliability, and a much easier, shorter loading time.”
The line is currently adding the capability for guests to complete their health and Covid-19 documentation through the app, in a bid to remove the need for printed paper during embarkation.
“The arrival experience is so critical for any cruise line. It’s something that Princess MedallionClass has been focused on, and pre-Covid we were down to below 10 minutes from [customers getting from the] curb to the poolside. We want to get that efficiency back. We don’t want any distractions, we want hassle free.”
The contactless MedallionPay technology was expanded in February, allowing guests to purchase items at selected retailers on land. They receive 7% credit on all destination purchases to spend on board or allocate towards a future cruise.
Padgett said the technology is now available in 10 destinations and described it as a “seamless” process, which “continues to excite our guests and many merchants”. He continued: “The more you shop, essentially, the more you’re prepaying for your cruise in the future. So it’s basically funding the future. And we’re super excited about that.”
Guests are also now able to personalise the design of their Medallion, with an image of their choice. “These are great, as not only do guests like to personalise the Medallion, but it also creates conversation pieces between guests and the guests and our crew members.”