While Golden Age cruising meant signing off for weeks at a time, contemporary passengers enjoy access to state-of-the-art communications technology that keeps them in the loop, no matter where they sail! To help you get a better understanding of how to keep in touch while on a cruise, we’ve put together this complete guide to what’s available.
On most cruise ships you’ll usually find designated internet cafes or computer rooms. These are great for those that only need to check their email or social media accounts a handful of times during the voyage. The cost is still quite high but it’s a quick, convenient and easy way of staying in touch.
Wi-Fi connectivity varies quite significantly from ship to ship. In general, ocean liners do offer satellite based Wi-Fi however this is generally quite expensive. On average, pay-as-you-go Wi-Fi sets passengers back around .75c per minute when used on a private device! Prepaid bundles are usually better value although your wallet will still need to be prepared to take a hit. Satellite connection also means that the load times can be quite slow. That said, modern day mega ships such as Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas are setting new standards for at-sea Wi-Fi. The vessel uses low mid-earth orbit satellites which boost speed and slash costs – perfect for internet addicts!
Bill Martin, VP and CIO at Royal Caribbean said, “As a result, Quantum of the Seas will enjoy more bandwidth than all the ships from other cruise lines combined. This technology simply didn’t exist in July, let alone several years ago.”
If you’re embarking on a river cruise, you’re in luck! Many river vessels offer passengers free Wi-Fi throughout the duration of the trip! If you plan on relying on Wi-Fi it’s always a good idea to check whether or not it’s available in cabins or just in public areas.
Mobile global roaming
As with any overseas trip, it’s possible to use your mobile in most international countries. Your sim card should automatically connect to a local network and send you a welcome message explaining how much it costs to send texts, make/receive calls and use data. However, global roaming charges can get extremely expensive so this is not always the best option. If you do want to use your phone overseas it’s usually better to purchase a local sim card to keep costs down.
Using the ship phone
Depending on the ship, you’ll usually find an in-cabin satellite phone or communal device located in the lounge. Try to avoid using this unless it’s an emergency as costs are sky-high – up to a huge $16 per minute! You can also give your number to friends and family back home however they’ll also be slapped with high prices.
Port of call internet cafes
The cheapest way to stay in touch while cruising is to seek out an internet café when the ship docks in port. Establishments will charge local prices and you won’t feel under pressure to get everything done in lighting fast speed.
Now that you know your options, why not check out some of the amazing cruise package deals from Cruise 1st. Whether you’re heading to Asia, Europe or even the USA, you can cruise with the complete peace of mind that you’ll be 100% connected!
Image sourced via Royal Caribbean Press Center. Credit: Royal Caribbean.