Let’s face it, we all love that feeling of escape on a cruise: standing on deck staring out at the sea, getting lost in the view where the hardest decision you’ll have to make is what cocktail comes next.
But we all still love to keep in touch with loved ones at home, whether you’re just checking up on them or showing them your best holiday picture yet!
It can be a real problem if you can’t get a message to family and friends, reply to that important email (for the workaholics) or update the photo album on Facebook, so here are the five best cruise lines for WiFi…
All P&O ships are Wi-Fi enabled so you can access the internet on your own devices or via computers in the Library; satellite internet packages are available to purchase pre-cruise or once on board. Pay As You Go is available to purchase once on board aswell.
The line’s satellite internet puts you in complete control of the services you use, with a connection that’s available 24/7 (satellite reception permitting). There are three packages to choose from, alongside Pay As You Go:
- The Connect Package- stay in touch with family and friends. £6.75 per 24 hours with a full Cruise Plan. £7.75 for a single 24 hour period (internet messaging, social media).
- The Browse Package- browse as you would usually (with the exception of video streaming), plus email and social networks. £10 per 24 hours with a full Cruise Plan. £12.50 for a single 24 hour period. (web browsing, email, internet messaging, social media).
Additional savings can be made on The Browse Package when purchased pre-cruise:
- The Works- stream YouTube, Spotify and Apple Music, video call, browse, email, and share via social networks. £20 per 24 hours with a full Cruise Plan. £24.95 for a single 24 hour period.
- Pay As You Go- a flexible alternative to a 24 hour package. 65p per minute (To help keep an eye on costs, we’ll automatically log you out after 30 minutes).
To maximise your satellite internet service speeds, you will find the strongest Wi-Fi in public venues (service speeds can be significantly impacted as the internet signal has to travel via satellites over 20,000 miles above the earth). You may also find that off peak periods- early morning, late evening and port days- provide a better service.
To keep you connected at sea, MSC champion their powerful new satellite Internet Access system installed across their entire fleet.
Internet access is available 24 hours a day almost everywhere on board (including all public areas) via smartphone, tablet, or laptop. You can also use the on-board Internet Café with its full-size screens and keyboards, plus high-quality printers, and it’s open round the clock.
The cruise line offers a choice of three great-value internet packages, each tailored to different needs and available on either a “per day” or a “per cruise” basis. The packages are all bookable bookable in advance, so you can make sure they stay connected before departure.
MSC uses sophisticated satellite systems to ensure a great internet experience at sea, relaying data from many thousands of miles above the Earth to reach everyone on board. Although the technology is quite different from a broadband connection on land, Satellite Internet Access puts you at the heart of your online world in the middle of the sea.
Internet packages are available on all MSC cruises and can be purchased online prior to departure. If it needs changing, it is possible to upgrade to a different package either for a day or for the rest of the cruise.
Full details of prices are shown on-screen when you connect to the ship’s network, and Internet charges will be billed to your on-board account; a pay-as-you-go service is also always available at the Internet Cafè.
Princess welcomes you to Princess@Sea- the line’s innovative, award-winning web tool that makes your cruise experience even easier by offering quick and convenient access to valuable information directly on your mobile device, free of charge.
Getting started with Princess@Sea is easy: simply connect to the ship’s WIFI once onboard, open the browser on your computer, tablet, mobile phone or other device, and Princess@Sea will be the default page that appears. It even operates in “Airplane Mode” so there’s no cellular or data charges required!
You can get ready to instantly connect and the free Princess@Sea Messenger lets you stay in touch and communicate with other guests onboard directly from your mobile device. This way you don’t have to deal with the charges of texting to plan drinks after dinner when you get home!
Guests can even plan your day’s events and activities, review the ship’s itinerary and port guides, browse restaurant menus, or access your stateroom account. Plus, on select ships Princess@Sea Messenger allows you to send text messages to other guests onboard.
Carnival encourages you to stay connected with your online world and share special moments with family and friends whilst you cruise, so every one of their ships provides satellite Internet access facilitated through the HUB Internet Café and through the bow-to-stern ship-wide Wi-Fi network.
The line’s communications technology has been upgraded to the latest, state of the art systems so that you now have access to much quicker speeds at an affordable price!
Carnival’s Internet plans include:
- Social($5 USD per day)– Offers access to sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Linkedin, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, SnapChat and popular airline websites, but does not include in-app calling, Facetime or iMessage.
- Value($16 USD per day)– Provides access to a wide variety of sites and apps, including social media, e-mail, news, sports, weather, banking and more. Howver, it does not support Skype calling or music streaming services such as Spotify.
- Premium($25 USD per day)– Promises the fastest possible connection and includes access to all websites and apps, including some streaming video services.
Prices are subject to change without prior notice and may vary from ship to ship whilst daily social plans are currently not available on the Carnival Glory, Carnival Inspiration and Carnival Triumph.
Carnival ask you to note that, as their services are carried via satellite, there are a few limitations compared to your home network.
The Carnival HUB app is free to download and use onboard, however a small additional fee of $5 for the voyage, the app offers guests chat. This means being able to chat to other family and friends onboard from wherever you are situated (athough it is limited to ages 13 and over).
The app works on airplane mode, meaning you won’t incur roaming fees and no internet purchase is required. It offers so much more than just connection onboard too as a day-by-day schedule of onboard events, menus are available, aswell as your account balance!
Royal Caribbean boasts the fastest internet at sea in the form of VOOM, the WiFi speed six times quicker than any you find on any other cruise ship.
It is now available on every Royal Caribbean vessel with different onboard WiFi packages to ensure that you stay connected onboard: each of them are priced per device and are available for up to four internet enabled devices.
Choose the VOOM internet package that best suits your usage needs and if you book in advance, you’ll get a discount of 30% off. They can be shared across your group if you’re travelling with others and it means you can stream videos, Skype with family and friends, even while sailing in the middle of the ocean.
The Surf internet package is ideal for those wanting to browse the web, stay in touch via email, and share holiday photos on social media. Prices start from $9.99 per device and VOOM internet packages can include up to 4 devices. This is a lower usage WiFi package, perfect for the basics.
The Surf + Stream VOOM internet package gives you all the benefits of Surf, but with the added advantage of streaming movies and music from sites such as Netflix or Spotify, and connecting by using video chat apps such as Skype. Prices start from $14.99 per device and VOOM internet packages can include up to 4 devices.
What cruise line do you think is the best for WiFi? Do you think having a fast internet connection at sea is important? Leave us your comments!
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