WiFi on a cruise ship and alternative options to stay connected
May 23, 2024

WiFi on a cruise ship and alternative options to stay connected

Today, most cruise lines offer Wi-Fi, but the cost can still be very high and the connectivity might be spotty.

Depending on the cruise line, you’ll generally be given the opportunity to purchase WiFi before boarding. Purchasing WiFi upfront can save you money, versus buying on board. However, because of satellite connectivity at sea, there may be fluctuations in the signal from time to time or no signal connection due to weather, ship position, or it might not be as reliable as on-land connections. 

The satellite antenna is encased in the big golf ball-shaped domes visible on top of the cruise ship. These antennas transmit a signal from the ship to a satellite, which then sends a signal back down to the ship.

While maritime communication companies have sped up the process through various means including adding more satellites, increasing the bandwidth that can be sent during each transmission and linking up with land-based towers when sailing closer to shore, the biggest limitation to reliability continues to be a clear path between the ship and the satellite. Sometimes that pathway between the antenna on the ship and the satellite is obstructed, either by a tall building directly in between the ship and satellite, or tall mountains. Sometimes the ship itself can block a signal, if the funnel or mast is between the antenna and satellite and therefore causes lost connectivity or spotty WiFi.

Many cruise lines offer a social media package WiFi option at lower cost, in addition to their full-power internet packages, which will cost a lot more. If you plan to make video calls or use a streaming service, you’ll need to pay more. 

Try to connect to the internet when fewer people are likely to be online, such as late at night or in port when most passengers are ashore for the fastest internet connection on your cruise ship. The more people connected to the ship’s internet, the slower the connection. 

Passengers won’t find much difference between connecting via Wi-Fi at the ship’s internet center versus other locations on the ship.

The fastest and cheapest internet connection will always be onshore, and for those who need a steady internet connection, using WiFi in port or purchasing a data plan may be the best route. If your regular mobile carrier plan allows for roaming internationally, check with your provider before traveling, as roaming and international charges can be very expensive and add up quickly if they aren’t included in your regular plan. For onshore data plans you should check out the eSIM from Red Bull MOBILE, which is available in over 100 countries.

Here comes the great news:

Red Bull MOBILE now offers data plans on certain cruise lines in addition to onshore plans! You won’t need to rely on spotty WiFi connections, or interrupted downloads on your cruise ship. 

How does it work?

It works with an eSIM from Red Bull MOBILE, just like the onshore plan, except this one works on cruise ships and Ferries only! So make sure to choose the Telenor Maritime package when making the selection for your cruise.

Red Bull MOBILE is an app-based data plan for travelers. With the use of eSIM, it allows you to surf from anywhere around the globe. Whether you’re sightseeing, base jumping, climbing, or in fact cruising.

That means you never again have to worry about running out of data when you need it the most or unexpected fees and invoices.

All you have to do is download the App, register and purchase a Telenor Maritime package. Please note, the Telenor Maritime package will work on cruise ships and Ferries only! To purchase a land package please select the destination where you travel to.

Currently, we offer two Telenor Maritime packages for your cruise vacation:

250MB valid for 30 days     € 5.-

1GB valid for 30 days           € 15.-

In order to ensure proper functionality, you should purchase and install the eSIM before you board your cruise ship. You will need an internet connection to set up your data plan, therefore it would be advisable to have your plan set up where you have a strong internet signal. The packages are valid for 30 days after activation. When you’ve used up 80% of your data, we’ll let you know — so you won’t get stuck without any data. You’ll get another notification once your data has finally run out.

In the Red Bull MOBILE App you will also see how much data you have already used.

The Telenor Maritime package currently works on major cruise lines and Ferries.

You should switch off data roaming for your primary SIM card to avoid roaming charges.

Get the Red Bull MOBILE Data App now and be the first to experience the most convenient way of staying connected while traveling.


Get the Red Bull MOBILE Data App now

and be the first to experience the most convenient way of staying connected while traveling.