What is MedallionNet?
MedallionNet™ is the new high-speed internet service from Carnival that is being rolled out by Princess Cruises.
Developed in conjunction with SES Networks, MedallionNet will utilise both geostationary satellites and medium-earth orbit satellites to “provide guests with easy-to-access Wi-Fi that features exceptional speeds and bandwidth, pervasive stateroom signal strength and unprecedented service consistency”.
Where is MedallionNet available?
Currently, MedallionNet is available on:
- Caribbean Princess
- Coral Princess
- Crown Princess
- Emerald Princess
- Island Princess
- Regal Princess
- Royal Princess
- Ruby Princess
We were amongst the first to try it on the first Regal Princess Ocean Medallion preview cruise on 13th November 2017. As part of the rollout, additional wi-fi access points had been added to each cabin to increase coverage and three new satellite antennae were installed on the ship just prior to the cruise.
How do you access MedallionNet?
After connecting to the MedallionNet network, you will be re-directed to the sign-in page:
After clicking on the Get Online Now button for the first time, you are presented with Terms and Conditions:
After agreeing to the terms and conditions and clicking the Proceed to Login button, you are taken to the login page where you are asked to enter your Stateroom Number and Date of Birth:
You are then guided to the appropriate plan.
How much does it cost?
The standard price for MedallionNet is $9.99 for a single device per day or $14.99 for 4 devices. This is very competitive for a premium unlimited internet package from a cruise line. It is possible to pre-purchase MedallionNet before the cruise – usually at a discount – for example a 7 day cruise has been offered at $59.99 per single device and $104.93 for a 4 device package.
Platinum and Elite guests can use their complimentary minutes from the loyalty plan before deciding to pay for the unlimited service. Alternatively, they can decide to take advantage of an additional 25% off in exchange for the free minutes. This can be purchased pre-cruise in the personaliser but is usually offered at a lower price once onboard on embarkation day,
Once you start your session you can choose to Browse the Internet. If you return at a later point then you simply click the Connect button. If you have multiple devices (tablet, phone, laptop, etc.) but your plan only allows one device, you are prompted to disconnect and use your current device enabling you to switch easily between them.
What about performance/speed?
The speed of MedallionNet is amazing making it probably the best wi-fi available at sea, even beating VOOM from Royal Caribbean which was impressive for it’s time.
MedallionNet can be used for streaming, long-distance Skype calls, accessing VPNs and is a good as, or better than, most offerings on land. And is a vast improvement on the previous Princess pay-by-the-minute internet service. We carried out various speed tests over our 2 cruises and it seem to get quicker each time. This is an example of one of our early tests:
A speedtest event on Regal Princess in the Bahamas on 26th February 2018 recorded 2.25Gbps peaking at 2.6Gbps, eclipsing typical land-based internet speeds.
Any other advantages?
It’s great not having to worry about logging off to save precious minutes or needing to stand in the corridor to get around wi-fi blackspots! MedallionNet can also be used on Princess’ private island Princess Cays and it is hoped it will be rolled out to other ports.
There was a time when cruising meant getting away from it all and truly switching off – but times and the cruising community are changing. With MedallionNet, guests will be able to keep in touch with friends, family and work all the time. In fact, on our preview cruise we met a number of people who needed to access the internet for work or business reasons on a regular basis.
Princess are now able to free up bandwidth for the crew – this will allow them to have a more reliable way to see their families and see their children grow up. A happy crew is always a good thing!
Are there any limitations with MedallionNet?
Feedback from guests has been very positive for the new internet service. Connectivity is particularly good in the Caribbean due to the broad coverage provided by medium-earth orbit (MEO) satellites. However, some regions in the Northern hemisphere have limited coverage – see the different bands in the map below and an explanation in this video.
This means Princess cruises in Alaska and some of the Baltic will have varied MedallionNet performance. However, there are plans by SES Networks to launch additional MEO satellites in 2021 which should provide global coverage with increased speeds.
When will MedallionNet be rolled out to other ships?
MedallionNet had been tied into the rollout of Ocean Medallion but now it has it’s own rollout programme and is now available on 8 ships in the Princess fleet.
Other Princess ships will receive MedallionNet as follows:
- Sky Princess – will begin service in October 2019
- Grand Princess – from 21st February 2020
- Diamond Princess – from 15th March 2020
- Majestic Princess – from 18th April 2020
- Star Princess – from 12th June, 2020
- Enchanted Princess – will begin service from 15th June 2020
- Sapphire Princess – from 27th July 2020
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