Princess claims a WiFi speed victory


In the battle for the fastest internet at sea, Princess Cruises has claimed a victory with passengers sailing on the Regal Princess having access to the newly developed MedallionNet.

MedallionNet is expected to spread to other ships, meaning passengers and crew can stay connected at speeds that equals or exceed those on land.

Fast internet speeds have become a key selling point – particularly in Asia where potential clients fear going to sea means being cut off.

Regal Princess is poised to set a new record with a WiFi bandwidth of 1.5 gigabits per second – the fastest ever delivered to a mobile platform  – for  passengers sailing on the ship in the US.

Using its newly developed connectivity service, MedallionNet and working with SES Networks, the leading provider of satellite-enabled connectivity solutions, Carnival Corporation and Princess Cruises will attempt to achieve this high speed bandwidth of 1.5 gigabits per second.

Passengers using MedallionNet will have access to the internet at speeds that eclipse typical land-based hotel connectivity performance levels, the line said.

MedallionNet is made possible through the use of antennae, networks, equipment and configuration innovations that combine to make Regal Princess the “only vessel on the planet to achieve 1.5 gigabits per second.’’

To enjoy unlimited internet access, guests have to pay US$9.99 per day for one device when purchased for the entire voyage.

With MedallionNet, it is “exceptionally easy” for guests to share photos, videos and messages about their cruise vacation, said John Padgett, chief experience and innovation officer for Carnival Corporation.

“MedallionNet puts to rest the notion that connectivity at sea will never be as fast or reliable as your broadband at home,’’ said Steve Collar, CEO of SES Networks.

MedallionNet will only be available on Medallion Class ships.

Princess Cruises introduced the first Medallion, an interactive, wearable device on Regal Princess last year.

The Medallion allows guests to have a personal digital concierge experience. Worn as a pendant or wristband, guests can book restaurants, select food and beverages without moving from their lounge chair. Medallions can also be used to unlock their cabin doors.  

The line will extend the Medallion to the Royal Princess and Caribbean Princess this year. The plan is to eventually introduce the Medallion on its entire Princess fleet.