Internet Service Onboard Ship
Is there internet service onboard ship? That's one of the questions many first-time cruisers ask.
There is no need to go crazy - you will not miss anything - there is internet service your cruise ship. Yes, your cruise ship will either have Internet service concentrated in one area, or it may offer WiFi hot-spots throughout the ship.
For all of the 5 inclusive Caribbean cruises that my family has taken, there was internet service onboard all of them.
Internet Service Onboard Ship - Locations
As noted above, you will generally find Internet service concentrated in one main area - called the Internet Cafe on some ships such as Carnival's.
The Internet Cafe is fitted with computers and is generally opened 24 hours. Conversely, some ships provide WiFi hotspots throughout the ship and others even offer in-cabin Internet connection.
We discovered this on our last family Caribbean cruise to the Western Caribbean via Carnival Destiny.
Internet Service Onboard Ship - WiFi-Capable Devices
With available WiFi-access onboard most ships, you can may access Internet service anywhere using a laptop and other portable devices such as PDA's, Smartphones, and Tablets.
Be warned: The fact that ships are built with so much steel means that you will find many dead zones onboard.
Your best bet is to position yourself near to access points.
Internet Service Onboard Ship - Pricing
Expect to pay quite a bit for WiFi service at sea. Generally, cruise lines charge about 75 cents per minute for Internet access on your cruise ship.
Additionally, your cruise ship will offer "minute blocks" which cost less.
Internet Minute Blocks Pricing offered by Some Cruise Lines
Carnival Cruise Lines Internet Service Onboard - Minute Blocks Pricing
Internet Cafe onboard Carnival Destiny
100 minutes @ $55 or 250 minutes @ $100. There is a one-time activation fee of $3.95.
Celebrity Cruises Internet Service Onboard - Minute Blocks Pricing
100 minutes for $70, 200 minutes for $120, and 500 minutes for $250.
Holland America Internet Service Onboard - Minute Blocks Pricing
Packages start at 100 minutes for $55 and 250 minutes for $100. There is an activation fee of $3.95.
Norwegian Cruise Line Internet Service Onboard - Pricing
100 minutes for $55 and 250 minutes cost $100.
Princess Cruises Internet Service Onboard - Minute Blocks Pricing
Packages start at 100 minutes for $55, 150 minutes for $75, and 250 minutes for $100.
Royal Caribbean International Internet Service Onboard - Minute Blocks Pricing
Unlike other cruise lines, prices start at 65 cents per minute. Minute blocks are: $35 for 60 minutes, $75 for 150 minutes and $150 for 500 minutes.
***All prices listed above are subject to change. Verify the information before sailing or when you get on board.
As you can tell, staying connected onboard your Caribbean cruise ship is costly. However, like for so many things in life, there is an alternative.
An Alternative to Using the Ship's Internet Service
If you have a smartphone, there is no need to pay the exorbitant Internet fees onboard the cruise ship. Instead, you can purchase an international data package from your cell phone provider prior to sailing to the Caribbean.
An international data package will cost less than $50 per month (depending on size and provider) and you have the option of cancelling that package at the end of the month.
This is a great Caribbean cruise saving idea!
Caution: Check with your phone company before buying the international package, to ensure that it covers you while you are at sea.
No matter what you choose to do, it is reassuring for many to know that there is WiFi at sea. You will find Internet service onboard ship when your family sets sail to the Caribbean.
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