How nice would it be to use your cruise ship account while in port so you don’t have to worry about carrying credit cards or local currency? Princess Cruises has solved this problem by partnering with shops and restaurants where you can use your OceanMedallion (your Princess cruise “card”) in port.
Ever since Princess Cruises announced this new feature, I’ve wanted to try it out. This past week on a cruise on their newest cruise ship, Discovery Princess, I used my OceanMedallion at three different places while in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Not only it is safe and secure, but you earn 7% back in onboard credit when you use it. Here is my firsthand account on how it works.
Stores and restaurants that allow you to use your OceanMedallion will have large signs out front or a MedallionPay logo in the window. I purposely went hunting for places that had the sign out so I could use it.
The first place I used it was to get a drink. I told them I wanted to use the MedallionPay and they brought out a pad for me tap my OceanMedallion. Once I tapped it, my photo and name appeared that was on my cruise account. They gave me the option of adding a tip and then printed out a receipt.
The second place I stopped at was a chocolate shop that was also right in the port area. I picked out a few chocolate bars, tapped my OceanMedallion to pay, and left.
The third place was about a 5-10 minute walk away from the cruise port. I saw an open air restaurant that had the Medallion Pay logo up. Since I didn’t have a lot of time before the ship left, I just ordered a drink and paid using my OceanMedallion.
The charges do not go to your onboard cruise account but straight to the credit card that you have on file for the cruise. Here is what they looked like on my American Express statement:
When I checked my onboard account on the ship, I had a 7% credit for each purchase added to my account.
Some may ask why I wouldn’t just use my credit card. For one, this is much safer as no one can steal your credit card info.
On a recent cruise to Mexico, I used my credit card at one place near the port and a few weeks later, a $2,000 charge from Aeromexico was charged to it. I immediately had to cancel my card and dispute the fraudulent charge.
By using your OceanMedallion, you can use your credit card without fear of someone skimming your number since they never see or touch your card or number. It all goes through the ship so it’s safe and secure.
Also, the 7% back in onboard credit (this is in addition to any credit card points you may earn) makes it a no brainer to use. Why use cash or a credit card when you can earn a free 7% back by just tapping your OceanMedallion?
The 7% can really add up if you are shopping at a store like Diamonds International and buying high priced items.
In the MedallionClass app, you can see a list of participating stores and you can even see your rewards.
Princess Cruises told me that they are working with more shops and restaurants in ports in Alaska, Mexico, and the Caribbean to get this feature added to as many places as possible.
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After using it the other day, I will always use this option when I have the opportunity.
Princess Cruises is currently the only cruise line to offer this feature to their guests.