Internet Access on
Cruise Ships

Sometimes one of the
most disappointing parts of cruising

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Cruise Internet Access
Why Isn't It Better?

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. Too many cruise ships haven’t progressed beyond Alexander Graham Bell’s invention of the telephone. They spend millions in decorating and entertainment facilities but sometimes overlook or severely limit what has become a necessity. It’s like building a cruise ship and placing the bathrooms in only certain sections. Absurd.

Internet access may not be available on the ship you book or it may be slower than dialup. Also, access may be lost once the ship is underway. Furthermore—even if you access via your own laptop—the cost can be prohibitive, as much as 55 cents per minute.

If you want to send emails and photos back home—or it’s critical you stay in touch with the office—investigate the following:

Is internet service standard or an optional extra? If an extra, how much? Are special bundles of internet minutes available?   

Is wireless internet available throughout the ship? In every cabin? Or is access limited only to scattered hotspots? Or to a single computer room with a limited number of machines? Is wireless available there?

How to find out?

Closely inspect a cruise lines’ website and see what your specific ship offers. Internet availability can vary greatly even within a single cruise line, depending on the age of their ships and the audience they appeal to. For instance, older passengers generally don’t need as much computer time.

If the cruise line website is vague (and it may be purposely so) this is an area where a travel agent specializing in cruises can be invaluable. So are the the experiences of past passengers posted on Internet forum/message boards.

Don’t willingly go into the Dark Ages.

Internet Facilities in the Caribbean

But if you must use onshore facilities, there are plenty of internet cafes with reasonable rates are usually available within a short walking distance in major Caribbean ports.   

Please, do not wait until you board to find out your ship’s internet facilities. If you do, it could be a real spoiler on your vacation.

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