Making The Most of Digital On Cruises

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Laptops, tablets, and mobile phones are all important parts of our daily lives. Even when we go on vacation, they are used as a further escape in our downtime or when everyone has settled in for the night. Cruises are no different in this regard, as taking some time to watch a film or play a game remains popular no matter where on the ocean you are or which tropical port you find yourself in.

carnival cruise wifi plans
Computer area on Carnival Horizon.

With that in mind, there are a few aspects which we need to remember when dealing with the WiFi onboard a luxury liner. So, here are a few things to keep in mind to keep your cruise sailing as smoothly as possible.

Out on the open sea

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WiFi on cruises operates on a fundamentally different level than that of their land-based counterparts. One of the most common methods of offering WiFi is through connecting to a country’s internal internet board. Cruises cannot normally access and connect to these owing to their passing by many countries in a single journey, and due to the fact that they usually situate far out to sea beyond the range of these systems.

Instead, cruises have to rely on highly specialized systems that connect to various satellites according to location. While this is an ingenious and powerful solution, it also incurs potential issues with cost and speed.

Gaming on the waves

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Gaming enthusiasts should take note that many online games are not suited well to cruise WiFi. This is because genres like massively multiplayer online (MMO) and first-person shooter (FPS) games online tend to require large bandwidths, which can incur a significant cost.

Similarly, issues of latency can make the experience more frustrating than enjoyable.

All is not lost, however, as single-player games are always a choice. A few online games and iGaming sites such as online casinos still operate perfectly well. Since online card games and slots are smaller in terms of required data compared to AAA video games, they are some of the best and most efficient choices to pass the time when sailing from port-to-port.

There are even iGaming sites which can help you choose a casino with the best payout in the UK, US or wherever you may be traveling to.

Movies and television

Explorations Central - photo: Holland America
Explorations Central – photo: Holland America

Film and television shows run into the same issue of more complex video games; the issue of bandwidth. Video streaming can often consume an enormous amount of data, and this means that streaming will incur heavy data costs as dictated by many luxury vacation companies.

While many cruises offer their own onboard streaming services these days, another solution is to download the programs and movies you want to watch onboard beforehand. Simply place these on an external hard drive or on the device itself and it will become possible to view them on-the-go from any mobile, laptop and tablet device.

Many systems like Netflix have guides to help users prepare in advance in these situations.

As with the rest of your cruise, the best way to ensure a good experience is to plan ahead. Cruise WiFi has come a long way in the last few years, but it still can’t quite measure up to its land-based counterpart. Keep this in mind, prepare early, and your trip will be all the better for it.

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