Last updated: 03:41 PM ET, Mon March 28 2016

Royal Caribbean International Reverses Free Internet Plan on Majesty of the Seas

Cruise Line & Cruise Ship | Royal Caribbean International | Jason Leppert | March 28, 2016

Royal Caribbean International Reverses Free Internet Plan on Majesty of the Seas

Photo courtesy of Royal Caribbean International

Royal Caribbean International’s plan for high speed Voom internet service to be offered for free aboard the Majesty of the Seas has been shelved. To begin with, many passengers fail to understand why Wi-Fi connections onboard all ships are not complimentary as they are often on land, but the bigger picture of connectivity at sea is far more complicated and likely applies to the cruise line’s last-minute decision.

Cruise Critic is reporting that Royal Caribbean decided to forfeit free internet in favor of dedicating more resources to the overall guest experience and new features coming to the ship during its May refurbishment. The ship was once expected to be reallocated to Spanish sister brand, Pullmantur, but was held onto with a number of enhancements scheduled to be made to the ship to keep it in the existing fleet after all. Those original plans have since been scaled back to no longer include a previously announced waterslide, new restaurants and the DreamWorks Experience, and now free internet has also been omitted. The ship is still set to receive an updated pool deck, spa and casino.

READ MORE: Carnival, Royal Caribbean Unveil Cheap Wi-Fi Packages

Plenty more considerations go into onboard connectivity strategies, however. The technology itself is vastly different than it is ashore. Terrestrial cables can take advantage of fiberoptic bandwidth that satellite connections have difficulty competing with, but Voom is one technology that is improving on that by essentially beaming (in true science fiction fashion) the connection more directly to the ship itself when it’s sailing in certain regions. The line’s newest Oasis- and Quantum-class ships already have it, and the fact that one of its oldest ships in the Majesty of the Seas will also be getting it is pretty impressive actually.

READ MORE: Free Internet for All on Majesty of the Seas

The notion that this new high-speed connection would be free on the Majesty was initially quite attractive and certainly a draw to get passengers to find the older vessel more appealing, but the reality is that the guest experience will likely be better thanks to the pay format. If everyone were to have uninhibited access to the connection at any time, the speed would be drastically reduced, probably the most cited reason for lines charging for onboard internet in the first place. For better or for worse, the associated cost avoids this predicament and makes for a better connection for those online. Surely, this also factored into Royal Caribbean’s decision.

The newly enhanced Majesty of the Seas will homeport in Port Canaveral, Florida sailing to the Bahamas beginning this summer.


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