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Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) reports that its member lines are rolling out a number of new capabilities aimed at speeding Internet access at sea.
“Cruise lines globally have made major technological strides to offer our travelers the chance to stay connected while enjoying a cruise vacation,” said Thomas P. Ostebo, president and CEO, CLIA.
Following are some of the latest examples of Internet accessibility on cruise ships:
Minutes vs. Data – Wi-Fi is more available on cruise lines than ever and the costs to travelers are steadily declining. More cruise lines are offering Internet services at reasonable prices. Disney Cruise Lines, for example, offer guests [email protected], a service that charges based on data use instead of by the minute.
Social Media Packages - In addition to Internet packages, many cruise ships are offering social media specialty packages. Half the Carnival Cruise Line fleet now offers a social media package that allows guests to access popular sites like Facebook and Twitter for a flat fee of five dollars per day.
Internet Café – Almost all cruise lines offer an Internet Café complete with pay-as-you-use options for guests to stay connected. These Wi-Fi hubs are available on major lines, including Princess Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line, who offer a variety of other packages as well.
Loyalty Member Services – Some cruise lines also offer Internet access for loyalty program members. Members of Royal Caribbean International’s Crown and Anchor Society loyalty program get discounts on Internet packages while cruising. Silversea guests sailing in select suites enjoy unlimited free Wi-Fi and every guest receives at least one free hour of Wi-Fi per day.
“There are common misconceptions that Wi-Fi capabilities on cruise ships are expensive, unreliable, or nonexistent,” Ostebo said. “We are happy to dispel this myth and prove that connectivity and cruising are not mutually exclusive.”