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Surfing At Sea: Cruisers Want To Be Online

November 18, 2015 Online Travel Agents No Comments Print Print Email Email

9e0fe979423054a4_orgFewer and fewer Australians do without internet while on holiday – even aboard cruise ships. These are the results of a survey conducted by one of Australia’s leading cruise portal CruiseAway. Almost half of the (approx.) 1,400 respondents expressed a great emphasis regarding wireless on board – at best, free of charge. Unfortunately, desire and reality differ widely here. Rarely a ship has internet for free and the connection is relatively slow. For guests, the use is often extremely costly.

WIFI on board as expected

46 percent of survey respondents indicated that they feel it is very important to have access to internet while on board. More than a quarter feel this service is a given. 16 percent marked this service as of less value, while only 13 percent state it is not important at all. In fact, an Internet access on cruise ships is now standard – but the data transmission is often slow. By its own account, the fastest network at sea is the shipping company Royal Caribbean Cruises.

Charge threshold of pain at ten euros per day

Clear result in cost limit: Eight out of ten participants generally desire free internet use on board. Nearly 20 percent were willing to pay up to fifteen Dollars a day for access. This is where one reaches their pain threshold: for less than one percent, spending any more money is not acceptable. In regards to a billing model, almost half of the respondents would prefer a weekly rate, and 36 percent want a daily flat rate. The billing per minute packages has the lowest support, only 20 percent favor this model.

However, the luxury of free internet is currently unavailable on most ships: Only Hurtigruten and Regent Seven Seas offer free Wi-Fi at present – several shipping companies wish to follow in 2016. Passengers travel far away from reality pricing when on board: The cheapest flat day rates are for the equivalent of about 20 Australian Dollars (AUD) on board the ships of the OASIS and Quantum class of Royal Caribbean Cruises.

For the majority of shipping companies, passengers can purchase minute or data packets: MSC Cruises charge 19 AUD per hour. Guests of Celebrity Cruises and Disney Cruise Line can surf for about 45 AUD per hour, while Norwegian Cruise Lines charge just under $55. The larger the minute package is, the cheaper the price per minute. On Costa Cruise ships, there are data packets starting at 250 MB for 40 AUD. Normally, a fee-for- minutes will be offered; however, this may seem relatively expensive to guests who regularly pay between a dollar to a dollar and a half.


Cruisers want to be informed on the water83 percent of participants agreed that the most popular internet activity on board is sending and receiving private messages and mails. First place is followed by the consumption of current news in the many options of online activities: Nearly half of the respondents would like to be informed about world events while cruising. Work emails are the third most popular online activity. 22 percent, which is relatively low, is the proportion who would post pictures of their sea voyage on social networks. Only five percent of cruisers are interested in downloading music and movies and video games. 

Internet Availability prefer anywhere on the shipAlmost 60 percent of passengers on board ships would like to have access to the internet everywhere on board – including their own cabin. Seven percent would like Wi-Fi throughout the public areas of the ship. One-third of internet is accessible in designated wireless areas. Again, the offer remains partly under the cruise guest’s expectations. Usually internet is available in most public areas, but with some packages it is only in special internet areas. Internet is available in cabins on board MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Costa Cruises, Royal Caribbean Cruises, and most luxury ships.

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