It seems that checking your emails when you’re on a cruise is becoming almost as controversial a subject as tipping or smoking these days and the Cruise.co.uk team have noticed that cruisers tend to fall into two camps on this issue.
There are those that would never check emails or Facebook when they’re on holiday and will, in fact, leave their phones in their suitcases (while moaning about anyone else that doesn’t). Then there are those for whom getting online, to keep in touch with friends, family (and dare we say it…work) is an important part of their cruise experience.
However, getting a signal in the middle of the ocean can be problematic sometimes, but if updating Facebook or Twitter (or even responding to that email from your manager) is important to you then may we suggest you check out these eight cruise hacks we’ve picked up over the years for making the most out of Free WiFi at sea…
8-Be A Part Of The Cruise Lines Loyalty Programmes
All cruise lines will have loyalty programmes to reward returning guests and one of the benefits on a lot of the early tiers is free WiFi when you’re on-board…. but most people don’t even realise they’re entitled to it!
If you’re cruising with a company more than once then make sure you sign up and collect your points – it’s not just free WIFI you may be entitled to…
7-Make Sure You Tell Your Network Provider
One rule to always remember is to never go abroad without telling your phone company. Not only can you end up with massive roaming charges, if they suspect your phones been stolen or cloned they may just lock it as a security measure.
On the other hand, if you let them know the country (or countries) you’re heading to you may find you’re entitled to all your free minutes etc. that you’d normally get on your tariff; especially if you’re travelling in Europe!
6-Tether Your Phone To Your Laptop
Don’t forget about your personal hotspot on your phone! If you desperately need to use your laptop but don’t want to pay for the ships WiFi (and do have access via your phone) you can connect the two and run your laptop off it. Take control of your own internet!
5-Just Steal Other Peoples WiFi
If you like to think of yourself as an honest person you want to skip on to the next step.
Still here? OK…..
We just told you about setting up personal hotspots off your phone. A step a lot of people forget however is then password protecting that hotspot. If you switch the WIFI on your phone on and have a scan around you may find you can ‘borrow’ someone else’s WIFI.
(Obviously we’re not recommending this…we’re just saying we’ve heard of it being done. Desperate times…)
4-Follow The Crew Members
Cruise staff will know all the ins and outs of saving a quid or two when they’re at sea (as they should, spending six to nine months on-board at a time!)
This includes where all the best hotspots are for free WiFi. As you’re disembarking in a port you’ll often notice several of them heading into town with a laptop or tablet tucked under their arm and a determined look on their face. If you ask them nicely they’ll be happy to share where all the best hotspots are in these ports.
3-Get A Drink Whilst You Check Facebook
For the simple reason that Facebook is so popular nowadays, many bars in ports will try to attract tourists with offers of free WiFi.
If you’ve not been able to follow a crew member into port then we’d recommend saving all your emails for when you dock and taking a quick scout of the local bars. Nine times out of ten you’ll be able to relax with a beautiful view, a big, over the top cocktail and free WiFi.
2-Get Some Height
If you’re planning on staying on-board in port but still don’t want to pay to access the ships WiFi then a good tip is to head up to the top deck with your laptop.
Getting that extra height means you might be able to latch on to a lot of the free Wi-Fi signals coming in from the port meaning you can potentially access free Wi-Fi without ever having to leave the ship!
1-Be Choosy On The Websites You Visit
Free Wi-Fi or free access to the internet may sound important but in actual fact, what many of us mean is that we want to be able to get on Facebook for free.
As social media becomes more and more important to travellers, our bet is that more and more cruise lines will start to provide free access to social media sites when you’re on-board their ships. So watch this space…
What are your thoughts on WiFi at sea? Do you have to be connected or do you hate the very idea of it? Which is your favourite hack from our list? Are you going to be relying on your trusty personal hotspot or do you prefer to do things honestly with the cruise lines’ loyalty schemes? Leave us your comments and tips…
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