Keep Communications Open While Cruising
NOTE: These prices may no longer apply.
Check with your local provider for current rates.
most cruise vacationers relish the thought of leaving
their cell phones, pagers, and laptops at home, there
are some travelers who just can't seem to leave modern
communication tools behind.
this, a number of cruise lines have wired their ships
to accommodate even the most ardent Internet junkies
and others who struggle with cutting ties to the outside
world during well-deserved vacations.
cruise lines have done a nice job of outfitting their
ships, especially the newer ones, with the latest Internet
technology and other communications tools for passengers,"
said Bob Levinstein, CEO of Cruise Compete, LLC. "It's
easy than ever to stay in touch with family, friends
and the office."
should be warned, however, there's a price to be paid
for staying connected - up to $25 per minute when making
a call from a cabin phone; up to 75 cents per minute
for Internet access.
no doubt you pay handsomely for the convenience of staying
in touch with home, but many of our customers don't
seem to mind," said Steven Gelfuso, president of
CruiseBrothers.com, one of the largest family-owned
cruise-only travel agencies in the country. "They
insist on traveling on ships where they can stay connected.
It's a sign of the times."
a rundown of how people stay in touch with home on today's
Virtually every ship at sea today offers telephones
in cabins to make ship-to-shore calls but, like hotels,
they charge significant fees. Most cruise lines charge
between $5-$8 per minute for the convenience of calling
from your cabin. Resist the urge on Holland America
Line ships, however, or be ready to pay $25 per minute.
Your typical cell phone is pretty useless on a cruise.
In most cases, it will not be able to draw a signal
at sea and only those equipped with international access
capabilities will work in port. Traveling to Alaska,
Hawaii or the U.S. Virgin Islands and your regular cell
phone should work in port. But, for more exotic locations,
you will need a GSM-capable cell phone. These phones
are becoming more common with international travel.
(Global System for Mobile Communications) capable phones
range from $100 and up. Check with your cellular provider
regarding availability. Make sure they enable the international
roaming capability. This service is free, but the calls
certainly won't be. International roaming charges range
from 50 cents to $3 per minute and up. And the roaming
charges don't even cover your long distance charges,
which can range from 25 cents to $1.50 or more per minute.
Persons should check with their cellular provider for
specific pricing on international calls. Check with
the cruise line, too. Cunard Line offers travelers the
opportunity to purchase use of a cellular telephone
with global capabilities.
It is just as easy to cruise the Internet as it is the
sea on newer ships. Some have data ports in their stateroom
cabins; virtually all charge a fee per minute online.
Other ships have significantly expanded their business
centers to include computers with Internet access. Passengers
can purchase 30- and 60-minute prepaid Internet cards
for between 42-75 cents per minute. Printing Web material
costs up to 50 cents per page. Most ships offer wireless
laptop connections in their business centers. Norwegian
Cruise Lines even rents laptops.
Several cruise lines, including Holland America, offer
"hot spots" throughout the ship to stay connected
using your own wireless laptop. Upon boarding, just
see the business office manager, who will assist you
with the connections so you can lie by the pool and
stay in touch. Don't have a wireless card for your laptop?
They can be rented from some cruise lines. Norwegian
Cruise Lines is one of the first to offer this service.
Most Cruise Lines with wireless capabilities require
802.11B Wireless Protocol. This is standard with most
Most cruise lines cater to Webophiles with dedicated
24/7 Internet cafes. Carnival charges a $3.95 activation
fee, plus 75 cents per minute online at its Internet
Café. Travelers can purchase 100 minutes for
$55. Printing is free in the Café.
On some ships, including the Queen Mary 2 and Cunard
Line, passengers can send and receive e-mails for $1.50-$2.00
a piece - in addition to regular Internet usage charges.
Passengers have to access and download their own messages.
Princess Cruises will deliver emails directly to your
cabin if the email is sent to a specific Princess email
address. Your travel agent will always be there to give
you more information.
Old fashion faxes are sent and delivered too, through
shipboard business centers. Like hotels, however, doing
so can get pricey - typically $5-$7 per page.
services and pricing for such communications conveniences
vary from one ship to the next. Passengers should check
with their Cruise Compete agents for complete details
on staying connected.
saves consumers time and money by enabling them to secure
price quotes for cruises from multiple travel agencies
without having to contact each one separately. Cruise
Compete, LLC, is an independent company not owned or
affiliated with any travel agency.