If you require Internet access during your cruise, many cruise ships now offer a WiFi network. You can access the these networks with WiFi-capable devices, including smart phones, iPads, iPod Touch, WiFi-enabled PDA's and notebook computers.
While some ships offer WiFi access throughout the ship, the nature of WiFi is that the closer you are to the WiFi access point (antenna), the better your connection. With as much steel as there are in cruise ships, there is a good chance that a ship that advertises that WiFi is available everywhere onboard will have some areas where the reception will not be good. If you did not bring a laptop (or other WiFi capable device), many ships have an Internet café or Internet kiosk that you can use.
Generally speaking, acessing the internet while at sea tends to be slow, and, the access charges are not cheap. Faster connections are usually available during hours when there are fewer people logged-on -- try early in the morning or late at night for faster speeds.
Cruise Ship Internet Money-Saving Tips
- Most ships offer a per-minute rate, however, you can get a cheaper per-minute rate if you buy a block of minutes,
- The internet connections onboard cruise ships are very slow. Avoid big file downloads, uploads or watching videos -- all these will be slow and will burn through your minutes quickly,
- Use the internet early in the morning or late at night for faster connection speeds -- there are fewer people online during these times and the access tends to be faster.
Here is what each major cruise line has to offer for internet / WiFi access:
Carnival Cruise Lines Internet WiFi Access
WiFi is available on all ships. The cost is 75 cents per minute, or, buy a block of minutes for 100 minutes @ $55 or 250 minutes @ $100. There is a one-time activation fee of $3.95. If you did not bring a WiFi capable device, rental computeres are usually available, or, there is an Internet cafe on all Carnival ships. The Carnival Dream features FunHub internet kiosks spread throughout the ship rather than a single internet cafe.
Celebrity Cruises Internet WiFi Access
WiFi is available onboard Celebrity Cruises in cabins and in select public areas. Celebrity features a cyber cafes if you did not bring a WiFi enabled device. Cost is 75 cents per minute, or, you can purchase a block of minutes -- 100 minutes for $70, 200 minutes for $120, and 500 minutes for $250.
CRUISE SHIP CABIN PICTURES
Disney Cruise Line Internet WiFi Access
The Disney Magic and Disney Wonder each feature an eight-station Internet Cafe in the Promenade Lounge and additional computers points are also available in the Cove Cafe. WiFi is avaliable in many of the public areas. Cost on the Disney Magic is 75 cents per minute with bundles of minute available at 100 minutes for $55, 250 minutes for $100 and 500 minutes for $150. On Disney Wonder, the per minute rate is also 75 cents per minute and packages start a 50 minutes for $27.50, 100 minutes for $40 and 250 minutes for $75.
Holland America Line Internet WiFi Access
Holland America features WiFi in most public areas, but, not in cabins. There is an activation fee of $3.95 and the flat rate option is 75 cents per minute. Packages start at 100 minutes for $55 and 250 minutes for $100. Laptop and WiFi card rental may be available.
NCL (Norwegian Cruise Line) Internet WiFi Access
WiFi is available on all ships in many of the public areas. In cabin WiFi Internet is available on select ships, including, Norwegian Epic, Norwegian Gem, Norwegian Dawn, Norwegian Pearl, Norwegian Jade, Norwegian Sun, Norwegian Sky and Pride of America. 100 minutes cost $55 and 250 minutes costs $100. There is a per minute option available for 75 cents per mintute.
Princess Cruises Internet WiFi Access
Princess Cruises features WiFi in most public areas, but, not in cabins. There is a flat rate option at 75 cents per minute. Packages start at 100 minutes for $55, 150 minutes for $75, and 250 minutes for $100.
Royal Caribbean International Internet WiFi Access
Internet & WiFi is offered on Royal Caribbean in select public areas onboard all ships. Newer ships feature in cabin WiFi internet access. There are also Internet Cafes onboard each ship. Prices are 65 cents a minute, or, $35 for 60 minutes, $75 for 150 minutes and $150 for 500 minutes.