Cruise Ship Internet & Wi-Fi Packages

What some charge, what others don't reveal

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Cruise Ship Internet & Wi-Fi Packages

The internet is part of everyday life, from ages 8 to 108. It is a universal convenience, with many businesses (even some McDonald’s) offering free wireless service.

This is where some cruise ships really miss the boat. Although many cruise lines have added internet, the quality may vary from ship to ship depending on whether they were recently upgraded. Internet speeds often are slow and almost unusable in the evenings and days at sea when everyone wants to go online. Don’t willingly go into the Dark Ages.

In the Caribbean you are only a day or two (at most) from your next port. Many of the cruise terminals have free Wi-Fi. If it is too slow, look for a restaurant or bar with its own service. There is a charge but far less than a ship and usually faster service. In addition, you should look for reasonably priced Internet cafes near the cruise terminal.

If you arrange an international roaming plan with your phone provider, you often can send short texts when your ship is in port or sailing close to shore. Link to a cell tower on the island you visit to send short messages. Photos may be more difficult.

Yet there are times, especially days at sea, when you want to use the ship's Wi-Fi. Be prepared for sticker shock. Some cruise lines are more reasonable than others. Some will also include free internet as part of a sales promotion, a very good deal.

Following are the Internet packages by most cruise lines. Some are very specfic about avaiable packages while others are unusually vague in hopes passengers will simply take whatever they offer, no matter the price. This is where an experienced travel agent can be invaluable. So are Internet cruise forum/message boards.

Cruise Ship Internet Packages

These are the current plans offered by the major cruise lines.

Carnival Cruises has a trio of choices

Celebrity Cruises really makes you work to find out what they charge

Crystal Cruises has free Wi-Fi but charges for email

Disney Cruises is open about what it charges

Holland America is deliberately vague because it has raised its prices

Norweign Cruise Line has a good variety of packages

Oceania Cruises offers free internet on long voyages, too vague about the rest

Princess Cruises does not reveal its prices

Regent Seven Sea Cruises offers free Wi-Fi

Royal Caribbean claims the fastest internet at sea

Silversea Cruises offers free access to certain cabin categories

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