8 Cruise Lines with Great Wi-Fi

by Kayla Becker

8 Cruise Lines with Great Wi-Fi

by Kayla Becker

Cruisers, rejoice: Wi-Fi at sea keeps getting faster — and cheaper. In the past two years, major cruise lines — including Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, and Celebrity, — have rolled out multi-million dollar upgrades resulting in stronger Wi-Fi networks and bandwidth expansion creating faster internet speeds. Even better, cruisers have also begun seeing more affordable rates. Across the board, lines are starting to shift from costly per minute internet rates (75 cents per minute was not uncommon) to more accessible options where you can choose daily unlimited packages. Here, our up-to-the-minute guide to the internet options on major cruise lines.

8
Staying connected on Norwegian Escape / NCL
Anthem of the Seas
1 of 8
1. Royal Caribbean

This innovative line that’s given you “smartships” with robot bartenders and online check-in also has the largest Wi-Fi network at sea. VOOM is available on all 24 ships, and the system is strong enough that you can also stream music, movies, and TV shows just like you would at home, upload photos, and Skype, too.

What it Costs: Packages start at $12.99 per device, per day, or $8.99 per device if you are connecting five or more.

This innovative line that’s given you “smartships” with robot bartenders and online check-in also has the largest Wi-Fi network at sea. VOOM is available on all 24 ships, and the system is strong enough that you can also stream music, movies, and TV shows just like you would at home, upload photos, and Skype, too.

What it Costs: Packages start at $12.99 per device, per day, or $8.99 per device if you are connecting five or more.

Viking Sea's living room
2 of 8
2. Viking Ocean Cruises

This line offers something pretty unheard of on ocean-going cruise ships — unlimited complimentary Wi-Fi for all passengers. The popular perk results in a lot of passengers online at once at peak times — such as right after dinner — so Viking recently made improvements to its OmniAccess Ku-band satellite system to help with load time.

What it Costs: Wi-Fi is complimentary on both Viking Star and the newly launched Viking Sea.

This line offers something pretty unheard of on ocean-going cruise ships — unlimited complimentary Wi-Fi for all passengers. The popular perk results in a lot of passengers online at once at peak times — such as right after dinner — so Viking recently made improvements to its OmniAccess Ku-band satellite system to help with load time.

What it Costs: Wi-Fi is complimentary on both Viking Star and the newly launched Viking Sea.

Celebrity Silhouette's iLounge
3 of 8
3. Celebrity Cruises

In April 2016, Celebrity began upgrading to improved high-speed wireless internet through Xcelerate, which will enable faster page loading, web browsing, and video streaming capability. That means cruisers can access high bandwidth sites like FaceTime, Facebook, Skype, YouTube, and Netflix. Upgrades rolled out on Celebrity Reflection first, and will soon be available on every ship in the fleet except Galapagos-based Celebrity Xpedition.

What it Costs: Unlimited packages start at $140 per person for five- to nine-day cruises.

In April 2016, Celebrity began upgrading to improved high-speed wireless internet through Xcelerate, which will enable faster page loading, web browsing, and video streaming capability. That means cruisers can access high bandwidth sites like FaceTime, Facebook, Skype, YouTube, and Netflix. Upgrades rolled out on Celebrity Reflection first, and will soon be available on every ship in the fleet except Galapagos-based Celebrity Xpedition.

What it Costs: Unlimited packages start at $140 per person for five- to nine-day cruises.

Norwegian Epic's Posh Beach Club
4 of 8
4. Norwegian, Oceania, and Regent Seven Seas Cruises

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (which owns Norwegian, Oceania, and Regent Seven Seas) has begun rolling out a multi-million dollar upgrade to their internet through SpeedNet, which quadruples the current bandwidth. The system will be available on all 23 ships by July 2016.

What it Costs: Wi-Fi is complimentary on Regent Seven Seas ships. On Oceania, pricing starts at 99 cents per minute, and the unlimited package is $28 per device, per day. On all Norwegian ships, plans start at $30 per person, per day. 

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (which owns Norwegian, Oceania, and Regent Seven Seas) has begun rolling out a multi-million dollar upgrade to their internet through SpeedNet, which quadruples the current bandwidth. The system will be available on all 23 ships by July 2016.

What it Costs: Wi-Fi is complimentary on Regent Seven Seas ships. On Oceania, pricing starts at 99 cents per minute, and the unlimited package is $28 per device, per day. On all Norwegian ships, plans start at $30 per person, per day. 

Carnival Vista's lido deck
5 of 8
5. Carnival Cruise Line

In late 2015, Carnival improved their internet speed by 10 times and expanded satellite coverage with WiFi@Sea, which will also be expanding to the rest of the cruise lines under Carnival Corporation by the end of 2016 (including Princess Cruises, Seabourn Cruise Line, Holland America Line, and Cunard).

What it Costs: Carnival ships have a tiered payment system which lets you choose what level of data you want to use. The entry level package is $5 per day and gets you basic internet access to check email and social media. An upgraded plan which gives you the ability to stream video and use applications that require more bandwidth (including Skype and FaceTime) costs $25 per day.

In late 2015, Carnival improved their internet speed by 10 times and expanded satellite coverage with WiFi@Sea, which will also be expanding to the rest of the cruise lines under Carnival Corporation by the end of 2016 (including Princess Cruises, Seabourn Cruise Line, Holland America Line, and Cunard).

What it Costs: Carnival ships have a tiered payment system which lets you choose what level of data you want to use. The entry level package is $5 per day and gets you basic internet access to check email and social media. An upgraded plan which gives you the ability to stream video and use applications that require more bandwidth (including Skype and FaceTime) costs $25 per day.

Rotterdam's Explorations Café
6 of 8
6. Holland America Line

As part of Carnival Corporation, all of Holland America's ships are expected to upgrade to 10 times faster internet though WiFi@Sea by the end of 2016.

What it Costs: Right now the line's pay-as-you-go rate is 75 cents per minute. As the line rolls out faster internet, they are testing new packages, including a plan that includes 1,000 minutes for $250 per week, and an unlimited plan that costs $250 a week, and a social media package for $25 per week, per device.

As part of Carnival Corporation, all of Holland America's ships are expected to upgrade to 10 times faster internet though WiFi@Sea by the end of 2016.

What it Costs: Right now the line's pay-as-you-go rate is 75 cents per minute. As the line rolls out faster internet, they are testing new packages, including a plan that includes 1,000 minutes for $250 per week, and an unlimited plan that costs $250 a week, and a social media package for $25 per week, per device.

The Retreat on Royal Princess
7 of 8
7. Princess Cruises

Princess' current system limits connectivity to the 24-hour Internet Café plus a wireless network which is available in some staterooms and public areas, but as part of Carnival Corporation, the network will be upgraded to WiFi@Sea by the end of 2016. 

What it Costs: The price for internet is currently 79 cents per minute, and timed packages start at $72.95 for 120 minutes. Pricing for the WiFi@Sea system has not been announced.

Princess' current system limits connectivity to the 24-hour Internet Café plus a wireless network which is available in some staterooms and public areas, but as part of Carnival Corporation, the network will be upgraded to WiFi@Sea by the end of 2016. 

What it Costs: The price for internet is currently 79 cents per minute, and timed packages start at $72.95 for 120 minutes. Pricing for the WiFi@Sea system has not been announced.

Disney Dream's Vibe teen club
8 of 8
8. Disney Cruise Line

Disney may offer rather expensive high-speed internet through Connect@Sea, however they also have an unusual feature:each cabin comes with two complimentary Wave Phones, which let you text and call any shipboard, stateroom, or Wave Phone onboard (and at the line’s private island, Castaway Cay). 

What it Costs: Disney Cruise Line does not offer an unlimited plan, and you'll pay for the data you use, not by the minute (which adds up fast). Prices start at 25 cents per MB, or you can opt for one of three packages, $19 for 100 MB, $39 for 300 MB, or $89 for 1000 MB. Multiple devices can use the same package. Wave phones, however, are complimentary and use is unlimited. 

Disney may offer rather expensive high-speed internet through Connect@Sea, however they also have an unusual feature:each cabin comes with two complimentary Wave Phones, which let you text and call any shipboard, stateroom, or Wave Phone onboard (and at the line’s private island, Castaway Cay). 

What it Costs: Disney Cruise Line does not offer an unlimited plan, and you'll pay for the data you use, not by the minute (which adds up fast). Prices start at 25 cents per MB, or you can opt for one of three packages, $19 for 100 MB, $39 for 300 MB, or $89 for 1000 MB. Multiple devices can use the same package. Wave phones, however, are complimentary and use is unlimited. 

Up next...

10 Best Ports for Fun Fall Activities

Koblenz, Germany
Go Back
Find The Best Cruises
Find a cruise

Find the best deals!

Click on multiple sites to get the lowest prices

Click on multiple sites to get the lowest prices