Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line Race for Wi-Fi Coverage

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Royal Caribbean International boast that they have the fastest Wi-Fi on the water, but other cruise lines are beginning to vie for the title. At the Cruise360 travel industry meet up in Sydney, some of cruising’s biggest names discussed the issue of connectivity on cruise ships, and how to approach the constant need to update technology on board. Many cruise lines are clearly investing heavily in enabling their guests to stay connected. In an increasingly digital world, the demand for Wi-Fi on board is only likely to grow, making these investments more and more important.

Royal Caribbean’s managing director, Adam Armstrong, is proud of the progress that the cruise line has made on connectivity, boasting, “You can access the internet anywhere on our ships, from the restaurants, from the pool, from the elevator, from anywhere.” Harry Sommer, director of Norwegian Cruise Line, thanked Royal Caribbean for opening up the technology for other cruise lines, cheekily saying, “I think the technology that gets the most attention from guests once they’re on the ship is indeed Wi-Fi, and I will give a nod to Royal Caribbean that they are one of the leaders in Wi-Fi enhancing technology, but now that technology basically exists other cruise lines are having to invest less money – so we thank you for that!”

Royal Caribbean’s benchmark Voom service uses a new type of satellite internet technology that targets individual ships, rather than having to cover the entire ocean. This means that guests can get internet fast enough to stream music and movies, use video chat, upload pictures to social media or Cloud storage and use a VPN to work remotely. Sommer admits that NCL’s initial updates weren’t sufficient, “We doubled our bandwidth last year and the guests said that wasn’t enough, so then this year we increased it four-fold. So our Wi-Fi this year is actually eight times faster than the Wi-Fi that existed in 2014, and our guests finally say that’s fine, but my guess is, in a year or two, that won’t be sufficient either.” This year, NCL added new state of the art satellite dishes to back up their Wi-Fi capabilities, as well as high-speed shoreside connectivity in key ports.

If you are tempted by the idea of surfing the web whilst you’re surfing the waves, now not browse our collection of cruise deals on the Cruise 1st Australia website, or contact our friendly sales team on 1300 857 345.

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Alyssa Beit

Alyssa lives in Sydney, NSW. Born on the 14th October and is a Social and Human Service Assistant at Cruise 1st Australia. She is in her early 40’s and loves tranquility on luxury cruises.

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