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Internet Access on a Cruise Ship: Costs and Details

Posted November 19th, 2013 in tips and tagged by Admin

A cruise is meant to be relaxing. No cell phones, no Internet, no worries.

But the truth is, in today’s connected world you will still sometimes need to stay in touch. Or maybe you simply don’t want to have dozens of unread email messages waiting for you the instant you get back to shore.

So what are your options for Internet access while on a cruise? We’ve rounded up your best options for accessing the web while you’re sailing.

There is one thing you should know for all the cruise lines — Internet access is expensive and the speeds are usually much slower than you are used to at home.

Carnival Cruise Lines Internet Access: If you’re sailing aboard Carnival, then you have two options for Internet access. All ships have an Internet Cafe with computer terminals, as well as wireless access across the ship.

Passengers pay for a package of minutes assigned to their account. From there, you can use your minutes whenever you want, whether in the Internet Cafe, on your own computer, or both. Prices begin at 75 cents a minute, but bundles of minutes provide cheaper access. You can buy 45 minutes for $29, all the way up to 480 minutes for $159.

Edit: While Carnival still has the pay-by-the-minute plans, they have recently unveiled significantly cheaper Internet packages on select cruise ships.

Royal Caribbean Internet Access: Just like Carnival, Royal Caribbean offers both wireless access in certain spots around the ship and an Internet Cafe with dedicated computers. (Newer ships and upgrades will include wireless everywhere on the ship.)

Rates are either by the minute or you can buy a bundle of minutes for a discount. Per minute rates run 65 cents. Packages range from $35 for 60 minutes all the way to $150 for 500 minutes. Keep in mind that you lose any unused minutes at the end of your cruise.

Norwegian Internet Access: Norwegian offers the same amenities as other cruise lines — an onboard Internet Cafe with workstations combined with wireless Internet hotspots around the ship. As of now, it appears that wireless is not available everywhere on the ship.

Norwegian warns that access is much slower than on land, but it is also more expensive. First, Norwegian offers a $3.95 one-time activation fee. Then, you pay either 75 cents per minute or buy a package of minutes. Thirty minutes costs $16.50 while 250 minutes costs $100. Time can be split between any Internet device and unused minutes will expire at the end of the trip.

Princess Cruises Internet Access: Princess offers the ubiquitous Internet Cafe with computers along with wireless access in your stateroom and certain points on the ship.

While we like to see Internet access in cabins, we don’t like the $3.95 one-time charge the cruise lines smacks on visitors who will already shell out plenty for minutes. Princess charges the usual 75 cents per minute, but also offers packages of 120 minutes for $69 up to 1100 minutes for $249.

For details on using your cell phone while on the cruise, click here.

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