In the old days, if you wanted to communicate with someone while you were on a cruise ship holiday, you had to cork a message in a bottle and cast it over the bow. It was possible somebody on the mainland would receive it, but maybe not. If this method proved too slow for you, maybe the captain had a radio you could use for emergency calls. Browsing social networks, checking football scores and making recreational calls was simply not option. Times have changed.
I have spent a fair amount of time cruising, including planned adventures and making the most of last minute cruise deals. From Alaska and the Caribbean to the Mediterranean, I have seen a lot of open water and visited numerous ports of call. More importantly, I am a freelancer. My life is a twenty-four hour parade of phone calls, emails, deadlines and revisions. Even if I wanted to unplug while on holiday, my job would not allow it. While technology has gained a more profound place in our lives, I have watched the cruise lines adapt to these changes. In 1999, the first Internet cafe was featured on-board a cruise ship. Today, Internet access or Wi-Fi capabilities are almost ubiquitous. However, depending on where you are in the world and what cruise line you are on, communication can still be tricky. Here are a few tips to help you stay in touch while on holiday at sea.
1. It is important to remember that all cruise lines are different. While some ships have designated Internet cafes or hot spots, others have Internet access available throughout the entire ship. At the same time, some cruise lines will charge you by the minute, while others offer an Internet package. These price per minute and package deals are much more affordable than they use to be.
2. Many ports of call throughout the world have Internet cafes or wireless capability. If you are only using your laptop sparingly on holiday, then it may be cheaper to find a connection onshore.
3. Laptops and iPads are easier to use on a cruise than cell phones. The type of cell phone accessibility you have depends on your provider. In many cases, the cruise ship will act as a tower, but you might not have cell phone accessibility because your provider does not have an agreement with the ship’s provider. Before you head out to sea, it is important to contact your phone company and ask all the necessary questions. Depending on the location of your cruise, there is also a good chance that you will have to activate the international roaming feature on your phone. It does not matter which phone provider you have, international roaming is an experience way to make calls.