Free-fi is coming … slowly

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One of the biggest bugbears of staying in hotels and travelling on cruise ships is the cost of internet connectivity. I have to declare an interest here – unlike most people travelling on holiday, I need to maintain contact with email, social media, and this blog.
But even the most hedonistic passenger, determined to get away from it all and leave the pressures of work behind, might want to check correspondence occasionally, download a newspaper or magazine onto their tablet, or add another book to the Kindle’s library.
Hotels are moving towards providing free internet either openly or covertly; the receptionist at my New York hotel tonight told me not to worry about the $16 charge which would appear when I logged on. “It will be taken care of, sir.”
Cruise ships are a different matter. Their internet doesn’t come through a cable. The connection is via satellite, and there is limited bandwidth.
Hence the charges which can be substantial, in fact a deterrent to all but the most determined user.
Change is coming. Mainstream cruise lines have been speeding up their connections. Luxury lines are beginning to offer a limited number of free minutes per day or per cruise.
Regent Seven Seas were the first to make an announcement last year, though it will be later this year vefore it comes into effect.
Now Crystal has announced that Crystal Society members – repeat passengers – will get 60 minutes free internet access per day with effect from Crystal Serenity’s September 15 New England sailing and Crystal Symphony’s October 15 Panama Canal cruise.
It’s a small step. But a welcome one at a time when many passengers feel they are being squeezed out of more money at every turn. And it can only be a matter of time before ship-wide wi-fi becomes free-fi.

By | 2017-06-15T15:59:28+00:00 22 January 2014|Cruise News|1 Comment

About the Author:

John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.

One Comment

  1. Ian Ridpath 25 January 2014 at 9:27 pm - Reply

    Free wi-fi is built in to the new Viking Star, coming in 2015.
    Cunard, please take note!

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