We found free internet on ships, well, sort of.
Following our story about shipboard internet, Which Cruise Line Will Be The First To Offer Free WiFi?, several people wrote us to let us know that their companies already offer some form of free internet access on their ships.
Mark Conroy, president of Regent Seven Seas Cruises, wrote to tell us that his company offers “free internet for our Seven Seas society members who are Silver level and above (21 nights).” He also noted that guests who book Regent’s Concierge Class Suites, category D and above, receive one hour complimentary internet access. Well, one hour is better than nothing, and in my experience, Regent’s bandwidth is pretty good.
We produced a video that is a few years old, but still relevant about internet access on Regent. Click here to view the video.
Ken Charleson let us know that Hebridean Island Cruises offers free WiFi on all cruises.
Others complained about bandwidth hogs spoiling the possibility of free WiFi for everyone. Cruisemates’ Paul Motter wrote that free programs — or even those like Seabourn’s “all you can consume” plan — still require courtesy to work. “If someone is going to use a ship feed to access YouTube videos all day long, then we will never see free wifi on the open seas. As a courtesy you should still log off, even if it is ‘free.’ ” Noted Paul. I’m logging off from now on.
Fellow blogger Chris Owen, who runs Chris Cruises, said he remembers when Carnival Cruise Lines offered unlimited internet for $99 on seven-day cruises, “until they figured out that kids were sitting around emailing each other at the Internet Cafe terminal right next to them.”
Then we heard from a few friends Down Under who were gouged by their phone companies. Sally Macmillan says she was charged $1,200 by her phone company, Telstra (hope that was US pesos – never thought I would say that). She’s still contesting those charges. Good luck Sally. Same for Anne Graham of Brisbane, who says she wasn’t expecting a $1,000 bill from her phone company for data roaming. Ouch!
Read Bob Exum had a suggestion. He says cruise lines could add $10 to $20 to the price of a cruise to cover the cost of free WiFi and still make money. “They also have the ability ro restrict or deny bandwidth intensive applications like video if they choose to do so.”
It’s clear this is an area of opportunity for the cruise lines. We’ll be watching how it develops.
Meantime, keep those cards and letters coming!