Wi-Fi on cruise ships Royal Caribbean

Staying connected at sea is something more and more cruisers want to know how they can get internet access while at sea. Royal Caribbean WiFi has received renewed emphasis recently with better technology offering superior coverage and faster speeds. Here's what you need to know to surf, chat and share your cruise vacation via social media.

How can I get connected on my Royal Caribbean cruise?

All Royal Caribbean ships offer shared computers and wifi internet access. Older ships have select locations in public areas where guests can log in, but newer ships and ships that have been refurbished in the last few years have gotten "stem to stern" WiFi coverage that allows internet access from anywhere, including staterooms.

At the very least, you can turn your internet device on and log onto the WiFi signal in common areas such as the Promenade, Library or lounges. If your Royal Caribbean ship is Oasis or Quantum class, it will have internet access everywhere. Other older ships have slowly been getting upgrades to allow access everywhere. You can view a list of ships that have gotten refurbishments here.

How is wifi access controlled?

Your access to the internet onboard your Royal Caribbean ship is tied to your stateroom and account you create.

When you first logon to Royal Caribbean's wifi, you will see an option to create an account and there you can sign up for a plan or pay for the internet by the minute. In either case, the charge for internet usage will be applied to your stateroom account.

What devices can access the internet?

Photo by Nick Jones

Any internet device that can access a 802.11b wireless connection can connect to the intenret. This include most smart phones, laptops and tablets.

Royal Caribbean does provide workstations that are shared and available on a first-come, first served basis but we've found them to be slow in terms of performance.

Are the internet speeds slow or fast?

Voom offers guests the ability to stream music and movies, upload pictures, video chat with family and friends using FaceTime or Skype, check their email, lookup their stock prices, surf the web and stay connected with work via VPN.

Voom is available on the newest Royal Caribbean ships, but is expected to be rolled out to all Caribbean based cruise ships by mid-2016.

Ships that have Voom are Oasis class ships and Quantum class ships.

Other Royal Caribbean ships still have the older internet technology. Compared to land connections these days, Royal Caribbean's wifi is slow but it's still better than no connection at all. Speeds will vary based on the ship's location, weather conditions and how many other people are trying to log on.

Generally speaking we've found the internet speeds to be best late at night and in the early morning hours when the least people are online. Actual speeds and performance vary and normally it's moderately slow but can get bogged down depending on the conditions noted earlier.

Please remember that the internet speed in general is outside of Royal Caribbean's control and because it's satellite based, sometimes there's just nothing they can do. We do recomend if you do waste a lot of time trying to connect to graciously speak to someone in Guest Services because they will often refund some of your time so you can try again later.

What about using Skype or Facetime on my Royal Caribbean cruise?

With Voom internet, Skype, Facetime and other VOIP applications are allowed to be used.

On ships without Voom, these VOIP services are blocked

How much does internet access cost?

Royal Caribbean offers unlimited plans as follows:

Voom internet $15 per day for one device $22.50 per day for two devices Non-Voom internet $20 per day for one device $30 per day for two devices

In general, you should opt for an internet package rather than paying per minute to get the best deal. Crown and Anchor Society members get discounts on internet packages that you can apply to your plan at Guest Services onboard.

Alternatives to Royal Caribbean WiFi

If the price of Royal Caribbean's internet is too much, you may be better off financially (and speed wise) by connecting when you are in port.

There's lots of restaurants, bars and other establishments that offer WiFi access for free or a small fee. Many will offer you access if you buy something and the cost is negligable compared to what Royal Caribbean charges.

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