Cruise lines are practically falling over each other now in their efforts to upgrade onboard internet connectivity available to its passengers at sea, with Norwegian Cruise Line the next to announce its own fleet-wide upgrade. Over the first few months of the year, Celebrity Cruise Line, MSC Cruises and Royal Caribbean have all unveiled their own connectivity upgrades coming in the short-term future.
As it seeks to provide guests with a “home like performance” for their internet, the line has joined forces with global long-distance communications provider EMC to implement its “SpeedNet” satellite-based internet system which it says will “meet the rising expectations of cruise passengers”. An identical system will also be rolled out to Norwegian’s sister companies in premium line Oceania Cruises and luxury brand Regent Seven Seas Cruises.
In partnership with EMC, Norwegian Cruise Line will quadruple the amount of bandwidth available to passengers onboard its ships.
Unlike its competitors, which are each offering a range of speed-based packages charged per day for guests requiring different levels of connectivity whether simply posting to social media, downloading emails or accessing streaming services, Norwegian is sticking with time and megabyte deals. Light-users can purchase blocks of 60, 100 or 250 minutes to log-in and use at any point of their voyage.
A curious anomaly to Norwegian’s internet packages applies only to guests cruising out of Miami, Florida on Norwegian Breakaway. Guests on this ship cannot buy the aforementioned time-based packages but must buy blocks of 300 or 1000 megabytes which, similar to time, can be logged-in and used as needed. Anybody familiar with the modern-day internet will tell you it is extremely easy to burn through this at a rapid pace if downloading emails or using streaming media services such as YouTube, Skype or Spotify.
However, if you wish to avoid all possibility of running up a dangerous bill for excess usage, cruisers across the entire fleet can purchase the Unlimited Cruise Plan, which charges a flat fee per day for uncapped usage. A slightly higher price of US$29.99 per day applies to voyages of 1-12 days, while cruises of 13 days or more will be charged US$24.99 per day.
The new EMC systems are now in place across the entire Norwegian Cruise Line fleet, as well as on all Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises ships.