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How Much Does Using the Internet Cost on a Cruise Ship?

Where: Brooklyn Cruise Terminal [map], Brooklyn, NY, United States
May 6, 2010 at 9:30 AM | by | ()

In the world of travel WiFi, there are three big players: hotel wifi, in-flight wifi and airport WiFi. Actually, now that Amtrak and many European have installed the internet, we could even add "on-track WiFi" to the list too. But let's take a step further than these. Let's go to the frontier of travel connectivity. Let's talk about at-sea WiFI.

On our recent tour of Cunard Line's massive Queen Mary 2 liner while she was docked in Brooklyn, we started wondering if we could ever settle in for a 9-day transatlantic crossing as the passengers boarding were doing. Our hearts told us yes, but our minds know the reality of the situation, and that is how we'd probably develop a tick if we had to go more than two days without the internet, especially out in the middle of the open ocean.

Books in the Queen Mary 2's library

Luckily for us, cruise ships these days understand that their passengers want to update their Facebook status to say "I'm on a boat!" The Queen Mary 2 offers wired and wireless connections in the rooms, as well as in the ship's library. We stopped by this library and noted the charges for at-sea WiFi:

Holy Poseidon's trident! $0.75 cents per minute? At least they have options like the "Diamond" plan, which gets you 8 hours of internet for $167.95. But just when we want to complain and shake our fists, saying "$170 for a day of the internet?! That's like four months of internet at home," we remember that wait—this internet is in the middle of the ocean. It's like a freaking miracle; Guglielmo Marconi would crap himself if he knew about at-sea WiFi.

What do you think? Is this too expensive for internet access on board a ship? Would you buy a plan or pay per minute?

Related Stories:
· Inside the World's Only Floating Planetarium [Jaunted]
· Why is Chef Todd English in the Queen Mary 2's Captain's Chair? [Jaunted]
· Travel tech news [Jaunted]

[All photos: Jaunted]

Archived Comments:

Not just for guests...

At least you can take comfort in that us crew too have to pay almost as much you guests!

Money making cruise ships

I am surprised at the ridiculous amount they charge for internet, but I guess this is how the cruise lines make money. The reduce the fares for the cruise but then you are expected to pay ridicolous amount of monies onboard. Recently a survey from http://www.cruise.co.uk found that RCI charge the most for drinks onboard i think the price was something like $5.50 for a can of beer here are the full results

Cruise Line.......Bar $ price (33cl)...Total £ inc tip

Royal Caribbean.....$5.50 plus 15% tip.....£3.95

NCL.......................$4.95 plus 17% tip.....£3.61

Celebrity Cruises.....$5 plus 15% tip..........£3.59

Cunard Cruises........$4.75 plus 15%..........£3.41

Costa Cruises..........$4.25 plus 15% tip......£3.05

Holland America......$4.25 plus 15% tip......£3.05

Ocean Village..........£2.65........................£2 .65

Princess.................$3.50 plus 15% tip......£2.51

P&O Cruises............£2.35........................� �2.35

Fred.Olsen...........£2.20 ........................£2.20

Yes, you're on a boat

In the middle of an ocean and that's a technological miracle that you can update your silly Facebook page but $167 for a day of internet access (or hopefully it's like 3 days--you really shouldn't be online all day on your cruise!) is still FAR TOO MUCH.

A good argument for cruiseline loyalty!

Some of the cruiseline loyalty programs include complimentary internet access among their perks. Sometimes it's in the form of a tiny credit, but with dial-up speeds, you'll be lucky to send more than a few pre-written emails on a $5 coupon. However, other lines actually offer decent packages to their elite customers. With such ridiculous pricing, we tend to stick to in-port internet. The other budget option is to befriend an elite cruiser who doesn't mind leaving the computer logged in when she's done!

$.75 2 minute? Ridiculous!

It's amazing that I can use the internet for free on a Greyhound bus. Yet that same 8 hours would set me back nearly $170 on a cruise? I understand that getting a signal to the middle of the ocean is technologically advanced, but on a plane you will pay $13 for your flight.

Excessive Internet Fees on Cruise Ships

Ah, how cruise lines cling lovingly to the 20th (or is it the 19th?) century. So long as access to the Internet, cellular phones, and other means of communication that are everyday work and play tools for the under-50 set, cruises will be populated with mostly senior citizens. As a senior myself, I would like to have access to phone and internet service at a reasonable rate (or even free) while at sea, and we all know the technology exists. And I would love to take my kids and grandkids along, but no way unless their day to day communication tools (facebook, twitter, etc.) come with them. Hello Holland America, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, and others --- is anyone listening out there?

Won't be Cruising Anytime Soon

For me, there's just no issue: I won't be even considering a cruise until I can get free or reasonably priced internet connectivity. And I think I'm probably pretty representative of travelers of my generation. There are five-star hotel chains I refuse to stay at, despite my disposable income, because of their onerous internet charges. Being able to get online painlessly is my lifestyle and my reality. If the cruise companies want to widen their potential market, they need to reconsider their policies and their technologies.

Platinum Plan, Baby

Wow. Had no idea it was so expensive. The good part would be that it would force me to spend my online time carefully--and the vast majority of my time out on deck, where I belonged. I can be on my computer for hours on end at home; at sea, I'd want to be staring at the ocean.

internet price

I was just looking online for a registry cleaner when I found your article here. If you are right about that price, well, then it is a total rip off:)) No matter if you are in the middle of the ocean or not. A satellite connection doesn't cost that much anyway. Maybe cruise liners will soon realize that such prices are not in their own financial interest.