Carnival Corp. will bring inexpensive, high-speed internet access to the majority of its fleet with a series of shipboard technology upgrades planned through 2016.
The service, which features internet speeds ten times faster than its previous system, is currently available on 30 of Carnival Corp.’s 100 total vessels, along with more affordable pricing which moves away from how cruise lines traditionally sell cruisers internet access.
Carnival Cruise Line, AIDA Cruises and Holland America Line are currently on Carnival Corp.’s WiFi@Sea service, which uses a combination of satellite systems, land-based antennas and Wi-Fi from port connection.
Cruisers onboard ships that have already received the upgrade are reporting higher satisfaction, according to Carnival.
“We have seen up to 50 percent increase in guest satisfaction scores for ships with the new system, plans and pricing,” said a Carnival Corp. spokesperson.
Carnival has opted to offer cheaper internet plans than its competitors, and one specifically for cruisers eager to share their experience on social media. It has also simplified its branding down to Social, Enhanced and Premiere internet packages based on cruiser needs.
“With this approach, we are giving our guests faster internet speeds without constraining the time they can be online through our packages, which has led to more people than ever using their devices to connect while on our ships and a steady improvement in guest satisfaction ratings as the new plans and pricing are rolled out,” said Reza Rasoulian, vice president of global connectivity and shipboard technology operations at Carnival Corp., in a statement.
Royal Caribbean International and Norwegian Cruise Line have also switched away from Internet plans that bill by minutes or data used. Royal Caribbean International now offers $15 for unlimited access per device on its newer ships, while Norwegian Cruise Line offers unlimited access for $19.99 or $24.99.