These days everyone loves to stay connected at all times, even when they’re on holiday, but what do you need to know about staying connected while a cruise holiday.
The cost of staying connected at sea can be really high so it helps to know that before you go.
Every cruise line I’ve sailed with has had a telephone in the cabin but I’ve NEVER used one of them. Why? The extortionate prices, that’s why.
The charges to call home from the telephones in your cabin can be as high as £5 a MINUTE. No thank you! Although it is always free to call reception, room service, wake up calls etc, exactly as you would do in a hotel on land.
The cost of wifi is significantly higher on a ship than you would experience in a hotel on land and the service is also a lot slower and less reliable. This is due to the fact that the ships are sending and receiving internet signals via satellites which takes a lot longer than through those magical cables that are used on land.
If you choose to use the wifi on board (and I have done plenty of times in the past) your bill will be charged directly to your on board account.
Every cruise line I’ve sailed with has offered wifi time packages offering different amounts of time for different prices. As you would expect, the more time you purchase, the lower the price per minute is.
You can also simply choose a ‘pay-as-you-go’ option which is best if you’re not planning to spend a lot of time online and simply want to look up one or two things or check for an important email.
It is worth noting that many cruise lines charge a ‘connection charge’ or ‘activation fee’ when you first login too.
All the cruise lines I’ve sailed with have had a few computers on board that are for passengers to use which is perfect if you want to look at something on a bigger screen than your smartphone but haven’t brought along your tablet or laptop.
Using the computers on board works in exactly the same way as using the wifi. You’ll be charged per minute if you choose to ‘pay-as-you-go’ but you can also purchase packages.
Every cruise line charges different prices for their wifi so make sure you check out the costs before you connect. You should be able to find this information in your cruise handbook in your cabin or in the internet area on board.
You can also usually find a printer in the internet area on board where you can print off anything you need. Maybe you forgot to print out your airline tickets for the flight home or just want to print out a map or information on a place you want to visit ashore. There is usually a small charge for printing although some lines, such as Silversea, do not charge anything.
So you’re worried about being out at sea and losing your mobile phone service? Well, you needn’t be. Each cruise line that I’ve sailed with has had their own mobile phone network that kicks in when you’re far enough away from land that your phone stops picking up a signal from there.
As with other services provided by cruise ships for staying connected, this can be costly although it is nowhere near as high as the cost to use your in-cabin telephone. It does mean you’re able to send text messages and make calls as usual though so if you’re not worried about prices then it’s a great service.