PHOTO: Norwegian Cruise Line plans to test new internet plants on two ships. (Photo via Flickr/cruisedotco)
For cruise passengers used to paying premium rates for Internet access aboard the high seas, things are about to get better.
Norwegian Cruise Line is testing a new pricing model that, should it go well, will give passengers across their entire fleet more options when it comes to purchasing Internet access this summer.
The pricing model, called “Freestyle Choice Plans,” is now being tested aboard the Norwegian Escape and the Norwegian Getaway and allows passengers to select pricing packages based on how they use the Internet. Still in the early testing stages, the program offers three options:
Social Chat ($35 for seven days). Social Chat, not surprisingly and while the most limited, provides access to what many people consider essential for every vacation these days–access to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. Users can also send and receive messages.
Basic ($189 for seven days). In addition to the features offered in the Social Chat package, Basic provides passengers with unlimited Internet access, as well as messaging and email, including file attachments.
Premium ($245 for seven days). The Premium Packages includes everything Basic offers, along with streaming capabilities and VPN access.
These are not the first Internet options to be offered by Norwegian. Currently, passengers can select from two packages based on minutes: 100 minutes for $75 and 250 minutes for $125. The cruise line also offers the Unlimited Cruise Plan, where guests have unlimited Internet access for $29.99 a day for sailings of 12 days or less and $24.99 for sailings of 13 days or longer.
READ MORE: NCL Updates Theme Sailings Aboard Norwegian Pearl
The new offerings come as the result of a deal that Norwegian Cruise Line inked with Global Eagle Entertainment (formerly Emerging Markets Communications) to quadruple bandwidth across its brands.
Norwegian’s foray into enhanced pricing packages is just one of many ways the cruise line differentiates itself. Norwegian introduced Freestyle Cruising and in doing so revolutionized the cruise industry by providing passengers with the freedom to design their ideal cruise vacation thanks to relaxed disembarkation, casual attire and even more lounges, theaters and entertainment options. Perhaps the hallmark of Freestyle Cruising was the dissolution of fixed seating times for dinner, as well as the option for guests to select their dinner companions and request tables of any size rather than being assigned to the same table for the duration of the cruise.
Additionally, passengers aboard a Norwegian cruise line have distinct dining options–up to 28 per ship–and enjoy extended dining hours.
Norwegian also has launched an innovative program, The Norwegian Edge, which will incorporate a new standard of excellence across the entire line from everything from hardware to dining to further investment in private destinations.
An extensive ship refurbishment initiative is a centerpiece of the program and will enhance passengers’ experience across the board.