Most cruise lines have equipped their ships with a satellite-powered internet connection. While wifi on cruise ships is often not very fast its prices are quite high.
Many hotels offer free wifi connection quite contrary to cruise ships, where the internet access can be quite costly with rates up to 70 cents per minute. Data or minute packages are not very cheap either.
The high prices have two reasons, according to Franz Neumeier, journalist and cruise expert. Once there’s the need for special satellite technology in order to facilitate a connection on board it gets expensive. Then there’s the limited bandwidth on sea – if too many people are online at the same time, everyone’s connection becomes extremely slow.
„Therefore, the prices of wifi on cruise ships also have a somewhat prohibitory cause.” They are supposed to prevent travelers from excessive use and overloading the limited connection.
Those who pay for five minutes instead of certain data amounts benefit from faster speed. Another good method for a faster connection would be to surf at times where others don’t use the internet.
„You will have more of the connection to yourself and make more effective use of your surf time. In the morning, for example, only few people use wifi on cruise ships,” suggested Neumeier.
Another good solution would be to look for free connection in the harbor, e.g. in a café.
However, travelers expecting fast and cheap wifi on cruise ships might be pleased soon. According to Neumeier, currently there is a strong trend towards fast and inexpensive internet connection.
„Several cruise companies are not quite there yet, but some already are.” Examples include Aida Cruises, Costa and Royal Caribbean International.