How To Have Your Own Internet System On A Cruise Ship
The internet on cruise ships is notoriously slow, and notoriously expensive, but this post explains How to have your own internet system on a cruise ship.
On our 50 day cruise, we noticed that many, many passengers would get off at the port and use the ports internet system, which slowed down because so many people were doing it.
The last thing you want to be doing when you visit destinations like Santorini, Kotor, Montenegro, Aarhus in Denmark etc. is to be missing out because you need and want to talk to your family, work, or even google about the destination. We needed internet for our job, and also because we like to stay connected. So, did all the people sitting around the ports apparently. Having our own internet system on a cruise ship was perfect. We were even able to help fellow passengers look things up. Gordon came up with our own internet system on a cruise ship.
You dont have the time to be purchasing a different local Sim Card in each of the countries that you visit, because it just unfeasible.
Get On A Port And Find A Wifi Signal
When the ship docks in the port. You can usually get a free WiFi land signal. Find crews. At the port lounge, they are using the cruise ports free WiFi network. It is much much faster than WiFi on the ship!
It takes some time to make a queue for disembarkation and get out the ship. If you stay on the ship, you can still try the signal at your cabin. If you cant, go to an open deck and find a WiFi signal at the ships port side.
Cruise Insider Tips: Cruise staffs know all the free WiFi hot spots on the ship as well as at the ports.
Have you seen that they are getting out of the ship with an iPhone or a laptop? This is for free WiFi at ports. You can ask them nicely. Theyll be more than happiest to share all the good hotspots.
How Can I Get Internet Access On My Royal Caribbean Cruise
Guests with Wi-Fi enabled devices may connect at any time for stem to stern coverage from anywhere, including your stateroom.
Connecting to Royal Caribbeans Wi-Fi is just like at anywhere on land:
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Can I Use A Vpn On The Cruise Ship
In many cases, the use of Virtual Private Networks wont work. Many people use a VPN in order to access their work privately. Unfortunately, these dont always work on a cruise.
Carnival, for instance, has stated clearly in the past that VPN connections are not supported on their network. Royal Caribbean doesnt explicitly state one way or the other, but weve seen several reports that using a VPN can be hit or miss for passengers.
Norwegian Cruise Lines is one of the few weve found that explicitly says they will let you access via a VPN. If you purchase their Unlimited Premium package, you are allowed access using one. Lower-tier packages do not allow VPN access.
In other words, unless you are sailing on Norwegian, then you should just assume you cant access with a virtual private network. You might get lucky and be able to, but chances are slim.
How Fast Is Internet On A Cruise
Expecting to have blazing fast Internet on the ship like you would back at home? Well, its time to lower your expectations a little bit before you get online. While the cruise lines love to boast about the speed of their service, the actual speeds you see can vary.
For instance, we tested Royal Caribbeans VOOM Surf + Stream service. In our tests, the speed of the service varied, but was consistently in the 3-5 Mbps range. For reference, many broadband Internet services you see back home are in the 30-50 Mbps range or about 10 times faster.
While this doesnt speak for every cruise line, in our experience it is typical of what you can expect.
So when surfing the browser will often feel sluggish compared to back at home. For lower-tier plans that are less expensive, the speed is even slower.
In other words, while you may find service fast enough to meet your needs, but be prepared for slower speeds than you are used to.
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More Details To Be Revealed Later
If you’re wondering which ship will get the faster internet speeds and what the prices will be, we will have to wait a bit longer for those details.
The announcement made no mention of when each ship would get Starlink added. Nor was there any indication of pricing.
Royal Caribbean’s current prices for its faster tier internet start at $19.99 per day, per device. Multi-device plans bring down the daily cost a bit.
RoyalCaribbeanBlog has reached out to Royal Caribbean International for comment on when each ship would get Starlink.
Holland America Wifi Packages
HAL offers satellite internet through the ships Wi-Fi or at workstations in the Explorations Cafe. There are three packages available, all with varying levels of data available:
Social allows you to access popular social sites and apps, but may not allow for streaming or audio/video calls $14.99/day
Surf the most popular option which allows for broader internet surfing including news and sports sites, accessing your e-mail, but also may not allow for streaming or audio/video calls $24.99
Premium this has the highest amount of data which allows for everything including streaming and video calls.
The caveats with their internet, however, are that it wont be as fast as internet on land , and because its provided via satellite, physical blockages will affect connectivity . Also, they do have a select number of free sites under Complementary Browsing.
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Ways To Save Minutes On A Cruise Ship
With minutes each costing so much, and the need to use them sparingly, there are ways you can save minutes.
For example, if you are checking and sending email, log on and let all your email download and become visible. Then log off. While offline, you can spend all the time you need writing your emails, and they will be saved in your outbox. When you are finished, log on again, and let your emails all send.
If you plan to read a web page, simply load that page. Then log off. After logging off, you will have plenty of time to read the page.
Do Cruise Ships Have Free Wifi Or Internet
Yes, cruise ships are equipped with Satellite Internet and most have Wi-Fi , however there is a cost to access it.
Almost all cruise lines offer internet packages allowing users a certain number of minutes or megabytes per day or week for a set fee, however it can be quite expensive.
On ships belonging to major cruise lines like Royal Caribbean, Carnival and Norwegian, Wi-Fi is installed throughout public areas and in staterooms for use with your own device.
For occasional use, cruise ships are often equipped with Internet Cafes. These internet cafes have computers connected to the Internet, similar to what you would find at your local library, however per minute fees may apply.
Keep in mind that while away from land, internet speeds may not be as fast as what you have at home and reliability is still a work-in-progress. Downtime and slower speeds are to be expected.
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Wifi On Cruise Ships At Disney
Disney Cruise Line offers a WiFi service called Connect@Sea. You pay for the megabytes you use. Disney does not have a service for an unlimited per day WiFi usage.
Disney offers 3 WiFi plans. Disney WiFi costs:
Pay as You GoYou can set a spending limit to prevent overspending or prevent to turn off the WiFi after the usage. Fees: $0.25 per minutes
1000 MBFees: $89
Disneys Connect@Sea packages can be a little tricky. The WiFi service is based on megabytes you use. You might not know how long you can be connected for 100 MB.
I tried a data usage calculator. It says you can explore website browsing for 4 hours with 100 MB .
Disney gives you 50MB for free on the first night of the cruise as a trial. So sign up for it before you leave home.
Why before you leave home?
There are two important points you need to keep in mind:
*Prices are subject to change at any time.
Remember To Turn Off Wifi And Log Out
You have decided which WiFi plan you are going to use. Downloaded the cruise lines apps and set up your phone. You have also set up your phone properly. You are ready to have a nice WiFi experience at sea and can save money.
But if you forget to turn off WiFi on the ship. You will all lose the money paid for it overnight. So.. it is very important to remember to log out of your internet session each time.
Remember to turn off WiFi and log out whenever you finished an internet session.
If you forget to do these two things, turn off and log out, even if you turn off the WiFi signal, you lose your minutes. To be honest with you I made that mistake once before. So, now you do not need to do the same.
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Text Messages On A Cruise Ship Using Their Free Wi
Some cruise lines allow you to use their ships Wi-Fi in very limited ways, complimentary!
Disney Cruise Line, for example, is one of our favorites because they let you text on their cruise ships for free within their Disney Cruise Line Navigator app. Disney’s Wi-Fi actually even lets you iMessage for free if you have an iPhone. Photos won’t send and you can’t receive them but you can get text messages.
Their in-app text feature between guests has super cute custom Disney-themed emojis we’ve never seen anywhere else!
The messaging in Disney Cruise Line’s app is just one example of free texting on cruises. Another is the MedallionClass app, which is Princess cruise lines app.
When it works, it is the best way to message fellow passengers and text for free on a cruise without signing up for a special internet plan for your mobile device .
You don’t have to worry about wi-fi hotspots in this case or even what you need beyond the free texting features because these modern ships are equipped with a minimal connection you can use, free of hefty charges.
These simple internet services allow you to text for free on a cruise because it doesn’t use much data and gets you inside their app, which benefits the cruise line in most cases.
But if you want to use the internet on a cruise to do things beyond texting like downloading videos or uploading photos onboard cruise ships you’re likely going to incur an extra charge for the increase in data usage.
Is It Worth It To Buy Wi
The internet speed onboard is accelerating to new heights. The signal has grown so much faster on certain cruise ships that passengers are now able to watch Netflix from the comfort of their cabins, which is something that would have been inconceivable only a few short years ago.
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Set Up Your Phone And Save Money
You may not aware but there are background applications on your devices. Turn off the background app if you have on a phone. In doing so, you keep fast loading speed. Otherwise 50 MB you get for free from the cruise line, for example, will be finished within about 5 minutes. But keep antivirus app though if you have.
- Prevents Background apps from refreshing it automaticallyBackground App Refresh
How Can I Text For Free On A Cruise
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Portable Hotspots: Who Should Buy One
A portable hotspot is perfect for those who are likely to travel a lot and be a heavy user of the internet. The initial cost is quite high but if used frequently this should be worth it for the majority of people. That said, its very important to remember that the hotspot wont work when out at sea.
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Celebrity Cruises Wifi Packages
With Celebrity, Premium Wi-Fi is the top-tier package you can add to your cruises on Celebrity for near-constant coverage while cruising. This package is great for those wishing to stream movies and such while underway and seems to have fairly good reviews from previous customers.
Basic Wi-Fi is for those needing some basic email and messaging services for a more value-added cost. This is included in Celebritys Always Included.
Costs will vary based on ship, sailing and number of devices, but they do note that Wi-Fi packages are not available on ships sailing from the Galapagos.
Celebrity suggests if you book it in advance, youll save 10% than if you were to wait and purchase it on board, but often there will be additional deals when paired with other upgraded packages.
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Costa Cruises Wifi Packages
Costa features a Data and Social package for their internet, with access available in all public areas and cabins throughout their ships. They have an Internet Point area where you can use onboard devices or bring your full ship usage.
Additionally, their packages range from 250 MB to 3 GB. Their social package has a list of sites it allows access to in a more economical fashion or you can pay as you go if you arent sure of your needs before sailing.
How Is Internet Provided On Ships And Cruises
A decade ago, the true meaning of cruising was to get away from it all completely unaware of work building up back at the office, no mobiles vibrating with message notifications, no laptops populating the luggage bags. However, times have changed now.
The Internet has become a huge part of our lives and we cant even imagine going a day without checking our social media networks. With the industrys top players pouring millions of dollars in communication systems on land, onboard ships, and in the sky through satellites more passengers are finding Wi-Fi service and rates more in line with what theyre used to getting on land.
Heres how internet is provided on ships:
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Things You Need To Know About Internet On Ships
In the upcoming years, improvements in internet will be seen on more cruise ships. However, there will always be some kind of unreliability especially when you sail farther out in the deep waters.
If youve ever growled in anger as your screen froze in the middle of an email or are nervous about not being able to check-in as frequently as youd want on an upcoming cruise vacation, here are the 9 things you need to know about Internet on ships.
Can I Use My 4g On My Phone/tablet Onboard
Yes and no! 4G will not work on the days at sea. Your 4G will work if you are near a satellite, so when the ship is near a port or in port and your phone is picking up 4G, sometimes 3G.
Also, it depends where you are onboard the cruise ship you will pick up a better connection if you are closer to a window or outside. If you have an inside cabin you may not be able to connect.
The main issue is if you are in a foreign country to your phone provider, as it will depend if you have a roaming package. Some countries are not included in roaming packages or may just not work, for example, French Polynesia, American Samoa and other remote areas of the world.
The same goes for your phone signal, will only work if you have a roaming package and if the ship is near a satellite. You can connect to the cruise line phone service, but it is very expensive to make a call, you best to wait until you are in port.
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