Staying Connected During Your Cruise

While a cruise still remains a great escape from day-to-day stress and workplace demands, you don’t have to worry about being disconnected at sea. Onboard most ships, you can browse the Internet, send e-mail and make or receive cell phone calls. Here’s what you need to know:

Mobile Phone Service

Virtually all the major cruise lines offer an advanced roaming network onboard all ships allowing you to make and receive calls, voice mail, text messages and GPRS data using your own mobile phone and telephone number.

What are the mobile phone rates while onboard?

Cellular rates at sea are determined by your home carrier and will generally reflect international roaming rates. Once your ship reaches port, pricing will switch to the roaming rate specific to that country. For more information, contact your home carrier customer service before your cruise.

Can I access GPRS data service (i.e. check email, surf the net, etc)?

If your home carrier supports GPRS data service, you can use mobile phone service with compatible GPRS data capable devices to check email, surf the Web, and share photos while onboard just as you would at home.

How do I call to USA, Canada, and the Caribbean when onboard?

From your U.S.-based cell phone, dial 1 + area code and number just as you would at home.

Wi-Fi Services

Wireless service is available onboard most ships at sea and provides easy to use Internet access to stay connected using your own Internet Service Provider such as AOL, Hotmail, Yahoo or any Web-based Internet Service Provider.

Internet Fees

Cruise passengers can either bring their own equipment or rent laptops or wireless Internet cards. Internet charges vary by cruise line, ranging from about 35 cents to $1.25 a minute. If you plan to use the Internet extensively, consider purchasing a package plan for unlimited access or a block of time. To save even more money, use the cyber centers or Internet cafes in the ports of call. Many port facilities are adding on-site Internet centers.

Is Wi-Fi available throughout the whole ship?

That depends. Many of the cruise lines boast 100 percent “bow to stern” Wi-Fi access on their ships; including all lounges, bars, pool areas, open decks, dining venues and staterooms. Other vessels have the service available in select areas or “hot spots”– in select public spaces, lounges, and suites, for example.

If you prefer a peaceful, phone-free environment, many ships now offer “quiet zones”. These are places onboard where phones can’t get signals or talking on cell phones is discouraged– in dining rooms, theaters, and spa for example.