Tuesday, May 3, 2016
MSC And Royal Caribbean Rolling Out New Internet Options
Photo by Chris Owen
As demand for Internet at sea increases, MSC Cruises and Royal Caribbean International are beginning to offer new tiered plans that better pair capability with affordability.
Over the next several months, MSC Cruises is rolling out dynamic high-bandwidth Internet connections and new pricing packages fleet-wide, and they are already available on MSC Divina and MSC Preziosa. The line cites resources of “several hundred Mbit/s (megabits per second) available in the Marlink Sealink cloud” across three plans.
READ MORE: Attention, Cruise Lines: Here's How to Make Internet Access Better
The Social Package is ideal for accessing networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest on one device for $4.50 per day or $16.50 per seven-night cruise. The Surfer Package is designed for moderate use of social networks and basic browsing and email access on up to two devices for $11 per day or $33 per seven-night cruise. The Streamer Package opens up full speeds for all browsing and even streaming on up to four devices for $22 per day or $66 per seven-night cruise.
“We are constantly seeking new ways to innovate and enhance guest experience aboard what is already the most modern fleet at sea,” said Gianni Onorato, MSC Cruises CEO. “We know that staying connected while on vacation is increasingly more important to our guests, hence we are rolling out state-of-the-art technology to allow them to stay connected, whether they are looking to share experiences and memorable moments, stay in touch with friends and family, stay on top of work emails or simply catch up with daily news.”
READ MORE: 8 Tips For Getting The Most Out of Your Smartphone On A Cruise Ship
As for Royal Caribbean International, the Royal Caribbean Blog is reporting that the line has expanded its high-speed Voom service from one plan to several tiers as well, offering two bandwidths priced according to device count. The Voom Surf Voyage Package is good for browsing and email and social media access. It starts at $9.99 per day for one device. The Voom Surf + Stream Voyage Package adds in enough speed to facilitate all the above and streaming services. The upgraded plan starts at $12.99 per day for a single device.
Currently, Royal Caribbean’s website indicates Voom is available only on Oasis- and Quantum-class ships in the Caribbean, Mediterranean or Asia, but the Royal Caribbean Blog also said that the high-bandwidth service is expected to expand fleet-wide by this month.
Of course, in practice, speeds at sea are variable and often throttle down when more guests are logged on simultaneously. As to which offers the best value often depends on the user experience, which can vary accordingly. Where the packages on either line succeed most is in their unlimited nature. As speeds fluctuate, the time in which it takes to perform any given action online also changes. So, at least that variation does not count against daily or cruise time allotments like it would on lines that offer packages by the minute.