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2022 Internet Wi-Fi Cruise Package Costs

Cruise InternetWi-fi on cruise ships is more expensive and less troublesome than many people expect.

Imagine being on a Caribbean cruise, plowing through choppy waters and heavy winds in the middle of a tropical storm and trying to stay in touch with work via a satellite feed from an Internet cafe in the middle of the ship.

It sounds like a challenge, but it was not. However, it was expensive. By the end of the week, I had spent more than $150 to stay in touch with work.

Cruise Ship Prices

Internet access
Credit: Pixabay license

Unfortunately, cruise ship internet prices are top secret in many cases. For example, Disney, Celebrity, Princess, Royal Caribbean and Holland America do not allow anyone to see Internet prices on the public parts of their websites.

In some cases, passengers who have booked a cruise can get prices by logging into the cruise line website for details. In other cases, such as Disney, passengers can’t get the information until they board ship. Otherwise, passengers can call or email the cruise line to get the information.

Regardless, some of the cruise lines offer wi-fi package discounts if passengers book the package in advance of the cruise. They also sometimes offer free internet as an incentive to buy the cruise.

Holland America charged $25 per day or $99 for a six-day, seven-night voyage. I waited until getting into port to use free wi-fi if I could find it. Then I waited until the final two days, both at sea, to buy the ship access. The price for a single day had risen to $30, but the cruise line offered the two final days with plenty of data for $40 or $20 per day.

Carnival is one of the few cruise lines that has public information about Internet packages on its website. Based on anecdotal evidence, some of the other cruise lines have similar packages. The Carnival program is among the least expensive services and includes:

  • The “Social” plan is $8.50 per person per day. Access is limited only to social media accounts and not to websites.
  • The “Value” plan is $11.05 a day. It allows access to most websites, but it doesn’t allow music or video streaming.
  • The “Premium” plan is $14.45 a day and allows streaming music and video.

Keep in mind that demand ebbs and flows throughout the day. So the cheaper plans may suffer from slow speeds at times.

Norwegian also posts Internet prices that include a discount if booking in advance online. The onboard packages—meaning what you pay when you are actually on the cruise—are:

  • Unlimited surfing at $30 a day, but no streaming.
  • Unlimited surfing with streaming at $35 a day.
  • Social media only at $15 a day.
  • 250 minutes for $125 or 50 cents a minute.

MSC Cruises has a slightly different approach. It has unlimited surfing “from $159.90” and discounts up to 20 percent. Other packages are less expensive, but they also limit the amount of bandwidth used. An unlimited 24 hour package is available for $44.90.

Royal Caribbean charged $20 per day for one device with unlimited surfing but no streaming. It charges a higher amount with streaming. It claims to have the fastest access of any cruise line.

Celebrity Cruises offers “basic” web surfing without streaming at $20 a day and “premium” with streaming at $35 a day.

MSC Cruises has a social package at 3.90 euros a day, a surfer package at 9.90 euros a day and a streamer package at 19.90 euros a day.

Azamara charges $29.95 for a one-day pass and $19.95 per day for a full voyage pass.

Scott S. Bateman is a professional journalist who has traveled widely throughout the Caribbean and the Americas. He is the author of four books about cruising in the Caribbean, Alaska and Mexican Riviera.
September 27, 2022

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