Carnival Australia has unveiled a “strategic realignment” of its Australian business which will see Princess Cruises’ Golden Princess join the P&O Cruises brand in 2020.

The vessel will be the first in P&O Cruises’ local fleet to be equipped with Ocean Medallion technology, the new electronic device that guests will be able to wear as a wristband, pendant or clip and use to personalise their experience.

The device tracks guests through their cruise, streamlining the boarding process, acting as a room key and allowing guests to order their favourite drink and have it delivered to wherever they are on board.

Using the technology through a smartphone app or on one of the ship’s tablet-style touchscreens, passengers will also be able to view their plans, make dinner reservations, book excursions and on board activities, message or track travel companions and find their way around the vessel.

While the addition of the 2,600-passenger Golden Princess brings Ocean Medallion to P&O Cruises, it also represents a change of plans in P&O’s fleet renewal program.

Initially P&O Cruises was slated to receive a newbuild ship for its Australian fleet in 2019, though this was deferred in December and substituted with a plan to introduce Carnival Splendor at the end of 2019.

Carnival Australia says Carnival Splendor will now remain in Carnival Cruise Line’s global fleet.

With the transfer of Golden Princess to P&O’s Australian fleet, Princess Cruises will now deploy the larger 3,000+ passenger Ruby Princess to serve guests in Australia alongside Majestic Princess.

Carnival Australia executive chairman Ann Sherry said the realignment was to ensure the business was at the cutting edge of guest expectations and had solid foundations.

As part of the shakeup, Carnival Australia also announced it would increase its Australian operations to two ships full time in 2020, with detailed deployment to be announced in May 2018.

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