Tech loving cruisers welcomed exciting new this week with the announcement that Carnival will be decking out its fleet with fast wireless networks. The state-of-the-art system will offer guests at sea connectivity that’s faster and more reliable than ever before.
A huge investment for the world’s largest cruise line
According to Carnival representatives the all-new Wi-Fi system will cost a cool US$10 million. This investment covers the line’s 101 vessels and is set to significantly boost the bottom line of the biggest cruise operator on the planet.
Carnival maintains that the system, officially referred to as WiFi@sea, is an industry first that is set to reinvent the concept of a-sea communication. It employs a series of specially commissioned in-port Wi-Fi antennas, sophisticated multiple frequency band satellites and long range on-land antennas which line the company’s major cruise routes. This means that as well as in port, passengers will also be able to stay connected while sailing the open ocean.
A seamless transition
In classic Carnival style the line’s transition to the new technology will be quick and flawless. The result will be an internet connection that’s a huge 10 times faster than the line’s original system. This brings the service up to par with the sort of high speed efficiency that passengers enjoy in their very own homes.
Ramon Millan, Carnival’s global chief information officer explains, “What we have developed more than the antennas and the satellites is the capability to be able to switch from one technology to another smoothly.”
The next generation of cruising
This commitment to bringing cruising into the 21st century is a fantastic opportunity for Carnival to offer its passengers exceptional on-board facilities. Experts maintain that high speed Wi-Fi is also a valuable marketing tool that will make the line particularly appealing to holidaymakers determined to stay connected throughout their trip. The ultra-fast connection will allow passengers to share their holiday experiences in real-time, from video and photo uploads to social media updates and Skype calls.
“When you look at consumers today there is an expectation that they’re going to be always connected … whether that is sharing photos with friends or keeping tabs on colleagues while they’re on vacation,” explains Jamie Cash, senior vice president of technology for cruise travel company World Travel Holdings
A fleet wide roll out
The system has been two years in the making during which time Carnival has been actively testing the new antennas and satellites. The line’s 10 Caribbean fleet members were the first to be outfitted with the new technology, with Alaskan bound ships set to follow. By 2016 the company plans to offer the service on all its itineraries, including Mediterranean, Western European, Asian and Baltic routes.
While the service is not free Carnival maintains that it is affordable and will vary depending on the vessel and the route. Want to take advantage of Carnival’s cutting edge new at-sea Wi-Fi? Cruise 1st is currently offering some incredible deals on Carnival itineraries across the globe!
Image sourced via Carnival Cruises Media Center. Credit: Carnival Cruises