I thought I would start writing down subjects we think are obvious, but new cruisers might not have considered. A FAQ for the sea.
One of our friends messaged us a week or so back and said his son was leaving in a cruise the next day, and didn’t want to take his laptop, were there computers onboard?
My answer would have been “Yes”, but since we’ve been on one of her sister ships, Virginia actually gave directions to where the Internet Cafe is located, probably.
Everyone wants to disconnect on vacation, but few of us can. So, how do you get connected at sea?
- The “no-hardware” method is to use the computers onboard. This means you’re in line with everyone else that left their laptop at home. You buy an Internet package, and you must login to your account to use the ship’s PCs. Your minutes count down as you work. SIGN OFF WHEN YOU’RE DONE. If you don’t logout, your minutes keep winding down, and anyone else that uses the computer will be using your minutes.
- The “lightweight” method is bringing a tablet and using the ship’s WiFi. You buy an Internet package and login to your account on the tablet. This is a more secure method and you can check your email in your room or by the pool (if you’re lucky.) You still have to remember to logout!
- The “cheap” method is using your cell phone in port, assuming you have an International plan (or one is included.) Our Sprint plan has cheap talk minutes in the Caribbean, but data is free (it’s 3G, but it’s free.) Check with your carrier. Make sure your phone is on Airplane mode on the ship! Ships have cell towers and most carriers are happy to have you use them – for a large fee.
- The “free” method is using a cell phone in Airplane mode or a tablet or laptop and finding a place in each port with free WiFi. The crew probably knows some places, so ask around.
Ships now have multiple Internet packages, so make sure you check what you get. For example, some lines have a Social Media package that includes most social media sites, but not email. I can’t live without email. If your laptop is for work, you may need a package that supports VPN so you can connect back to your office.
Whatever package you need, it may be cheaper to purchase it ahead of time, before you board.
If you can, disconnect. It’s a great feeling.