Going on a cruise is about getting away from it all and disconnecting from the demands of everyday life. However, living in such a digitally dominated age means that’s not always practical or possible. Whether it’s checking in with family and friends, keeping updated on news and events or checking your work emails (if you really have to!), we realise that being able to get online is sometimes a necessity while you’re away.
Getting internet at sea relies on satellites, which may not be as fast as what you’re used to on land and can be affected by the weather or location. With bandwidth and data limitations, it can also mean that it can get slower when more people use it.
Cruise ship Wi-Fi varies from cruise line to cruise line, with some companies investing in expanding their bandwidth capacity, so you can do more than check the odd email or social media site, but this also means the price can differ too. Below, we share five cruise lines that we’ve found to be the best at providing fast or affordable Wi-Fi and the cost of their packages at the time of writing.
1) Royal Caribbean Cruises
Royal Caribbean claims to have the fastest internet at sea, with six times faster onboard Wi-Fi speed than other cruise ships, available on all of its vessels. It offers two different packages:
The VOOM Surf Voyage Package supports messaging and chat, social media, web browsing, emails and video chat live. Packages start at $15.99/day for one device.
Upgrade to a VOOM Surf + Stream Voyage Package, and you can also stream video, film, programmes and music. Packages average at $22.99/day.
Prices depend on the ship, destination and number of devices required. But be sure to look out for deals in advance for great discounts.
2) Carnival Cruise Line
Carnival has three distinct and relatively affordable Wi-Fi packages, designed to suit different requirements:
The Social Wi-Fi Plan enables access to popular social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Linkedin, Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp, and Snapchat. It does not include access to most other websites or apps.
It starts at $8.50 /per person per day, with up to a 15% discount when booked before sailing.
The Value Wi-Fi Plan is for all your web browsing and emails but does not include Skype calling or music or video streaming.
It starts at $11.05 /person per day, with up to a 15% discount when booked before sailing.
The Premium Wi-Fi Plan offers the fastest connectivity of all the packages, with speeds three times faster than the Value Plan. This package supports all Skype, Zoom and Teams video calling, where coverage allows.
It starts at $14.45 / person per day, with up to a 20% discount when booked before sailing.
3) Princess Cruises
Princess Cruises claims to have ‘The best Wi-Fi at sea’ delivered via their MedallionNet service. Harnessing the latest technology to stay connected at sea, they offer packages that support streaming of music, programmes and films; video chat; social media; emails and web browsing. So far, reviews and tests on speed and accessibility have been generally good.
Packages start at a relatively reasonable $9.99 a day for just one device, with Platinum and Elite guests receiving a discount of 50% off and Princess Plus guests having Wi-Fi included.
4) MSC Cruises
MSC Cruises offers two internet packages: Browse and Browse & Stream. With both offering 24/7 internet access, you can get connected from any of your devices, any time you like.
The Browse Internet Cruise Package enables you to stay in touch with family and friends via unlimited 24-hour data. You can browse the web, send and receive emails, and chat on messenger apps like WhatsApp.
The Browse & Stream Cruise Package offers an upgrade, also supporting music and video streaming, posting videos and live streams on social media.
Prices start at around $12/day per device for Browse but vary depending on the cruise length and number of devices required. Book in advance, and you can save up to 20% on onboard prices.
On MSC Cruises, you can stay connected on your devices in public areas as well as in the cabins. On selected ships, you can also visit their Internet Café for full-size screens, keyboards and printers.
5) P&O Cruises
P&O offers two levels of Wi-Fi plans: My Wi-Fi Essential and My Wi-Fi Ultimate. Data usage within each package is unlimited, and services are available 24/7 but depend on the level of package chosen.
My Wi-Fi Essential is designed for web browsing, email, music streaming, social media, texts and images (no videos). Packages are £10 per day with a cruise plan or £15 per day.
My Wi-Fi Ultimate includes everything from the Essential package with the addition of video streaming and up to three times faster connection.
Wi-Fi at sea is not as simple as accessing it on land, so if it is vital to you when on your cruise holiday, it’s worth taking some time to review which options would work best for you and purchasing packages in advance to make the most of the discounts available.// END - About the Author ?>