In order to lure travelers into week-long (or even more extended) vacations, cruise lines are promising to keep them connected through on-ship Wi-Fi. In today’s world, people like being able to stay abreast of emails and browse online whenever they want. Many of them are used to it and they don’t want to give it up for even a day or two, let alone 14 days or longer. And, they’re insistent on being able to access their cell phones for emergency calls, whenever they want.
So, what do cruise companies do in order to entice these travelers to sail with them? They provide Wi-Fi connectivity, sometimes for free but usually for a fee. Right now, that seems to be an okay offer for many passengers.
What are the Choices?
Long gone are the days when connecting to the Internet was painfully slow and it would cost you about $1 per minute for your agony. Today, many ships provide a flat-rate daily fee for unlimited connectivity over a 25-hour period. Carnival Cruise Lines’ ships offer a variety of options for Wi-Fi users: a Social plan that allows unlimited access for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media apps ($5 daily), a Value play for full access to any Internet websites ($16 daily), and a Premium plan which gives complete Internet access at speeds that are three times faster ($25 daily). You can choose the option you like day-by-day or for your entire cruise.
Viking Oceans, a new cruise line that launched in 2015, doesn’t want to deal with charging passengers for Wi-Fi. It hopes that its free service, for all cruisers, will be enough to attract travelers to sail with the line. Royal Caribbean’s Oasis and Quantum-class ships offer a Voom Wi-Fi Program that is fast, accessible anywhere on the ship, and Skype inclusive (for $15 per day).
This is just the beginning. Regent Seven Seas is set to offer complimentary, unlimited Wi-Fi on all of its ships (for all passengers) next year. We suspect that many other cruise lines will follow suit.