Guests on Disney Dream, pictured at Castaway Cay, can use the Connect@Sea service to access the internet (Image:David Roark)
Cruise operators are introducing more extensive and cheaper wifi packages to enable more passengers to stay connected at sea, according to a new Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) report.
CLIA’s report found that wifi is more available on cruise lines than ever before, while costs for these packages are steadily declining as operators look to provide internet access for a more reasonable price. For example, guests using Disney Cruise Lines’ Connect@Sea service are charged based on how much data they have used, rather than by the minute.
Almost all of the world’s major cruise lines offer internet cafés with pay-as-you-use options onboard their ships, while many offer standard internet packages to enable guests to access basic communication services. Many, such as Carnival Cruise Line, also provide social media packages to enable guests to access sites such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
“Cruise lines globally have made major technological strides to offer our travellers the chance to stay connected while enjoying a cruise vacation,” said Thomas Ostebo, president and CEO of CLIA. “There are common misconceptions that wifi capabilities on cruise ships are expensive, unreliable, or nonexistent. We are happy to dispel this myth and prove that connectivity and cruising are not mutually exclusive.”
In addition, some cruise lines also offer additional internet packages for loyalty programme members. For example, Royal Caribbean International’s Crown and Anchor Society members can access discounted internet packages, while guests sailing in select suites on Silversea Cruises’ ships can enjoy unlimited wifi throughout their cruise.