Last updated: 12:00 PM ET, Sun April 12 2015

Opinion Home | Captain’s Blog: Cruise Tips and Advice

  • Amber Nolan | April 12, 2015 12:00 PM ET

    8 Cruise Lines With the Best Internet Service

    8 Cruise Lines With the Best Internet Service

    Image courtesy of Thinkstock/Jakub Krechowicz

    A cruise vacation allows travelers to unplug from the modern world for a while, but life at home doesn’t stop, and checking in can be cumbersome. Finding internet access in ports cuts into already limited shore time, and access at sea is a slow and expensive. There’s hope on the horizon: A number of luxury lines recently unveiled complimentary internet access, while others are improving systems and restructuring their pricing packages to make staying in touch easier for cruise passengers.

    Regent Seven Seas

    After increasing the internet bandwidth and investing millions into communication efforts at sea, Regent Seven Seas now offers free unlimited internet to its top-tier suites, while those in Concierge or Penthouse suites receive up to 500 minutes free. The amount for the latter varies depending on the length of the cruise, and those in standard staterooms can opt to purchase an unlimited package for $29.99 per day (although Skype and other similar programs are not allowed).


    Crystal Cruises takes the approach of using free internet as an incentive for their loyalty customers (Crystal Society Members). To qualify, passengers must be traveling on their second cruise or more, and can receive up to 60 minutes per day on the house.


    Oceania recently upgraded the WiFi system onboard and is now offering a new program that allows guests booked in Owner's, Vista and, Oceania suites to receive unlimited complimentary internet access. Those booked in Penthouse suites or Concierge staterooms will receive blocks of complimentary internet time ranging from 200 to 600 minutes based on cruise length.

    Azamara Club Cruises

    As an incentive for suite guests, Azamara Club Cruises offers 235 complimentary internet minutes on both of its ships. Otherwise, prices are $9.95 for 15 minutes (with other packages available depending on minute usage).


    In January 2015, Silversea announced that it would offer free internet on 52 select sailings, making the company even more all inclusive. The offer includes two hours of complimentary WiFi per guest, per day, and unlimited WiFi for passengers in larger suites (Medallion category or higher).

    Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line

    The Grand Celebration, a newly-acquired ship that sails on two-night cruises under Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line, has some of the most reasonable internet prices at sea: unlimited WiFi is just $6 per person, per day.

    Viking Ocean Cruises

    Viking has been ahead of the game by offering guests free internet on river cruises; however it can be very slow and often not available when the ship is in motion. Guests logging on in the wee hours of the morning (when no one else is using the WiFi) will be more likely to encounter faster service. The company’s new branch, Viking Ocean Cruises, will also include complimentary 24-hour internet access to all passengers — marking a milestone for ocean cruising.

    Royal Caribbean

    As one of the industry’s leading mainstream cruise lines, Royal Caribbean has been experimenting with new internet programs, and recently tested unlimited WiFi for a three-week period on the Quantum of the Seas. The new O3b system, which will increase productivity and internet speed, is currently located on Quantum, Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas, and — when it debuts — Anthem of the Seas. Although it is unlikely that that the free internet will be offered, the company is considering other affordable pricing structures. Currently internet prices are 65 cents per minute or $35 for 60 minutes — a steep number, but not the highest in the industry.


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Amber Nolan Captain’s Blog: Cruise Tips and Advice

Amber Nolan Amber Nolan loves to be on the water, and although she enjoys the fun and excitement of larger cruise ships, she prefers setting sail on smaller vessels to unique destinations. Originally from western New York, this restless traveler has a knack for finding creative ways to travel and befriending interesting characters along the way. On her most recent adventure, she hitchhiked on private aircraft across the United States. She previously served as the cruise editor at Sherman’s Travel but her work can also be found on and USA Today Travel. She current resides in South Florida.
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