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So maybe you've heard that there's a new WiFi scene on the high seas. Updated technology is finally allowing cruisers to log on from the Lido deck, and Royal Caribbean is the first big line to unleash the action.
Royal Caribbean's CEO insisted that the WiFi be available for free to everyone onboard the November pre-inaugural cruises of their newest ship, Quantum of the Seas, but RCCL has now nailed down solid numbers on how much they'll charge for the service.
The RoyalCaribbeanBlog noted WiFi rates and packages from the ship's frequent 8-day Caribbean sailings out of New York City and although the rates do hit three digits for the larger unlimited packages, they still represent massive savings over the exorbitant standard pricing of older systems.
The majority of cruise ships still utilize older systems, charging $0.75 per minute or offering packages like 8 hours for $168. These prices now decrease to as low as $65 for an entire day, and gone is that medieval by-minute option.
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"This changes everything."
That's the boasty slogan of ads on TV commercials and even plastered on bus shelters around NYC, referring to the newest cruise ship now sailing: Royal Caribbean's Quantum of the Seas.
The Quantum calls itself a "Smartship," deploying fresh technology from bow to sternin some cases, technology that's never before been seen on a cruise ship, including at-sea WiFi faster than the usual slower-than-stalagmites connection and dedicated apps to help plan your cruise time in real-time.
Between riding the North Star and peeking into multi-level suites, we managed a moment with Bill Martin, Chief Information Officer for Royal Caribbean to discuss faster speeds, better satellites, and what all this means for the bottom line of your cruise folio:
You are a little braver—and maybe daring—than we are, as for the most part we will be staying put during the madness that is the Thanksgiving travel week. However, if you’re planning to be on the move this week there’s a few travel tech goodies that might just help the journey go that much more smoothly—or at least a little better.
The folks over at Verizon are getting into the holiday season, and by doing so they are giving away some stuff. It’s all part of a new holiday that they have basically made up, as apparently now the day before Thanksgiving will be known as Connection Day.
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Did you know that today, October 29, is National Cat Day? Well it's also International Internet Day, which is a perfect coincidence if we don't say so ourselves. On this day in 1969, the first electronic message was sent over ARPANET. It's this network that developed into the internet we know and use today, no matter where we are traveling in the world.
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Good news for United flyers, as the airline is bringing its WiFi capabilities to even more planes. Now the cramped legroom and narrow cabins of all those United Express regional jets will be slightly improved, since they're next to have the switch flipped on in-flight WiFi.
Installations will start sooner rather than later, and the fleet is expected to be finished at some point next summer. All in all they’re looking to install the wires, cables, and antennas on over 200 planes. WiFi of course will be a great option, but the up in the air connectivity should also work for their snazzy streaming service too—check out our thoughts on that.
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They have announced that their cabin connectivity is now available across their fleet of Boeing 777 aircraft, and that’s a good thing, since they have like 24 of them criss-crossing the globe.
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Never heard of Nok Air? You're about toa lotas the low-cost, Thailand-based airline embraces innovation to soar beyond other airlines, while still keeping ticket prices low and flights fun. We've even flown 'em, but this time around we dispatched special correspondent Kinny Cheng to check out their latest news: the arrival of free in-flight WiFi.
A lover of spectacles, Patee Sarasin, the outspoken CEO of Nok Air, stood and addressed the room overflowing with journalists. His big announcement would mark a first in Asia, and certainly a revolutionary development for Nok, which describes itself as “Thailand’s homegrown premium low-cost airline.”
That announcement? Free In-Flight WiFi. Not only would Nok be the first in Asia, but they'd join a precious few carriers (like JetBlue and Norwegian Air) willing to let their passengers surf the net for free at altitude.
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For whatever reason big airports seem to have big problems when it comes to concourse connectivity. Of course WiFi is available everywhere, but it usually comes with an annoying fee. Some of the big boy airports—like Atlanta—have finally flipped the switch to make things free, and now yet another major airport is finally doing the same.
It’s time for the WiFi to be free for all across Houston, as the airport authority has opened up the network to passengers at both George Bush Intercontinental Airport and William P. Hobby Airport. The rollout is complete over at Hobby Airport, but a couple of the terminals at Bush Intercontinental will need another month or so to work things out—so just be aware.
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If you were among the first to download Apple's iOS 8 just as it became available, by now you will have had a good few days to play with the changes and how they relate to your usage of the iPhone. Among the many updates are a few that will prove a marked improvement for travelers who rely on their phones.
Previous updates gave us one place to store our mobile boarding passes (now even easier on the Apple Watch too), the sharing of photos directly from the photo app, and quicker access to frequently used apps, and the iOS 8 only improves upon these. Sure, the recent update has had its rough patches as of late, but these new perks are some of the coolest to date:
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At-sea WiFI is a beautiful thing, but this beauty doesn’t come without a price tag. Cruise ships around the world have offered connectivity from sea to shining sea for several years thanks to Inmarsat’s satellites buzzing about in space, and yet the cost of using even one hour of internet is shocking and, dare we say it, turning travelers away from oceangoing vacations.
There is hope, however; onboard a recent transatlantic voyage of Cunard’s Queen Mary 2, we hooked onto an internet signal every day, at all hours, from all over the ship, despite our location of “somewhere in the North Atlantic Ocean,” and came away with scores of ideas on how to keep those WiFi costs down while still logging on:
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From New York City to Atlanta, some of the busiest airports in the world are finally flipping the switch on complimentary WiFi. It's better late than never, and we’re glad airports are finally getting the message. Now that complimentary connections are continuing to expand, its time to welcome's yet another major airport to the club.
Leave your credit card digits in your wallet, as Frankfurt Airport is now offering unlimited free WiFi to passengers 24 hours a day. Previously WiFi was limited to 60 minutes, but now you’re free to continue your time wasting—or work emails—until it's time to board that flight.
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Okay—so it’s better than nothing, as we’re making some concourse connectivity progress when it comes to the technology offerings at airports in and around New York City.
JFK, LaGuardia, and Newark are now flipping the switch on complimentary WiFi; however, just note that usage will be limited to 30 minutes. That’s plenty of time to check-in on social media, or to update the boss to let her know that you’ve come down with a cold and won’t be into the office—perhaps because you're actually on the way to a long weekend away.
The new deal is all part of a plan by those folks in charge of the airports—the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. They also oversee things a little bit up the Hudson River as well, so the WiFi will also be an option at Stewart International Airport.