Tuesday, September 29, 2015


All Carnival Corp. Ships to Get Sophisticated Wi-fi, More Internet Package Choices

Carnival Corps' upgrades will drastically improve mobile data access at sea.
All of the ships owned by Carnival Corporation's 10 brands, including Carnival, Princess, Holland America, Cunard, P&O and others, are being outfitted with a state-of-the-art satellite communications system that will drastically improve passengers' ability to stay connected at sea.
Installation of the WiFi@Sea system, which bumps up Wi-fi capability and Internet bandwidth, has already taken place on 30 ships across the company's fleets, including AIDA, Carnival and Holland America. All ships will receive the new infrastructure through 2016, and 40 percent will have it by the end of 2015, the company said.
In addition, the cruise lines will be adding flat-rate Internet packages that focus more on how passengers use Wi-fi instead of simply time on online. While each cruise line has some leeway in what they offer and how the offerings are priced, all of the ships will have Internet packages that charge a flat rate for social media usage, said Reza Rasoulian, vice president of global connectivity and shipboard technology operations for Carnival Corporation.
"People don't want to be restricted to time," he said. "Our goal is to give passengers exactly what they want."
Several ships have already trialed the plans, Rasoulian said. Holland America's Westerdam, for example, has three Internet packages available: Social, which limits usage to eight social media sites; Enhanced, which allows broader Internet use; and Premiere, which allows for the use of music streaming and videoconferencing apps like Skype.
"The guest surveys we see are unanimous," Rasoulian said in an interview. "We have so many positive comments. More folks are getting connected, and there's more awareness of the ability to more affordably access the Internet."
Making sure that passengers can use the same applications on sea that they do on land -- such as Skype to stay in touch or video streaming to stay entertained -- is a major factor in improving passenger satisfaction, Rasoulian said. "It was frustrating to guests when we blocked that content."
Rasoulian noted that the technological improvements go beyond simply increasing bandwidth. The company has built a complex system across more than 31 satellite networks that each ship will be able to access, depending on their locations. "[No other line] is doing this on this scale," he said.
Besides passenger satisfaction, the company hopes that better accessibility to social media will be a natural marketing tool. "It's delightful to give people an ability to share," Rasoulian said. The company also hopes that it removes a barrier for potential cruisers who might be concerned about staying connected while onboard.
The ships that already have the faster Wi-fi include Carnival Freedom, Carnival Breeze, Carnival Sunshine, Carnival Ecstasy, Carnival Sensation, Carnival Paradise, Carnival Fascination, Carnival Victory, Carnival Elation, Carnival Pride, Carnival Imagination, Carnival Inspiration, Carnival Glory, Carnival Conquest, Carnival Splendor, Carnival Magic, Carnival Triumph, Carnival Valor, Carnival Fantasy, Carnival Liberty, Holland America Westerdam, and nine AIDA ships.
Sourse:  Cruise Critic.

#cruises #cruise #wifiatsea #internetpackagesatsea #travelforyou #internetpackagesatsea

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