What you should know about cruise ship Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi access rates will be around 75 to 85 cents per minute, or you can purchase a package plan which discounts the per-minute rate.
Royal Caribbean’s Wi-Fi package:
- $24.95 for 38 minutes ($0.65 per min.)
- $49.95 for 90 minutes ($0.55 per min.)
- $99.95 for 202 minutes ($0.49 per min.)
- $199.95 for 555 minutes ($0.36 per min.)
- $399.95 for 1666 minutes ($0.24 per min.)
How it works:
- Some lines assess a one-time activation fee of $3.95 whether you pay as you go or buy a package.
- Rates are the same whether you use a computer in the ship's Internet café or your own device.
- Shipboard Internet access is via satellite and therefore considerably slower than land-based high-speed connections.
- Bandwidth-hogging activities like Skype typically won’t work.
- Connectivity may be periodically unavailable usually due to poor weather conditions.
What you should know about free Wi-Fi in ports of call
A cheaper alternative to paying top dollar for sluggish, ship Wi-Fi is taking advantage of the free Wi-Fi that’s available in many ports of call usually within walking distance from the cruise pier.
- Accessing it: To access free Wi-Fi in a restaurant or bar you’ll be expected to make a purchase of some sort before they'll give you the access code. Sometimes the code will be printed on your bill. As long as you don't run up a large tab, enjoying free Wi-Fi with a drink or snack is usually a better value than paying through the nose to the cruise line.
- Ask the crew: Cruise ship staff members know where all the free hotspots are because they're also charged for Internet access aboard the ship. Ask crew members where they go for Wi-Fi and be observant in port. When you spot groups of the ship's crew on laptops in a shoreside bar, you can bet that they’re there for the free Internet—not the drinks.
- Catch signal: You may be able to connect from your cabin balcony or another open deck of the ship when docked at ports especially where the nearby hotspot signal is unrestricted such as in Barbados.
- Be safe: Click here for valuable information regarding public Wi-Fi security.
Free Wi-Fi hotspots: Eastern Caribbean ports
- C&C Wine Bar adjacent to the cruise ship dock in Redcliffe Quay, St. John's, Antigua
- Cheers Antigua adjacent to the cruise ship dock in Heritage Quay, St.John's, Antigua
Freeport, Grand Bahama Island in The Bahamas
- Sparky's Harbour at the Lucayan Harbour Cruise Facility where the cruise ships dock
- Seaman's Rest Sports Bar also located at the cruise ship port.
Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos
- Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville in the Grand Turk Cruise Center.
- White Sands Beach Resort Snack Bar located on the beach next door to the Cruise Center
Nassau, New Providence Island in The Bahamas
- Festival Place Cruise Welcome Center at Prince George Wharf where the cruise ships dock
- Sharkeez Bar and Grill on the waterfront across the street from Festival Place
- There are several Wi-Fi hotspots provided by various establishments spanning the length of Port Zante, which are free for public use.
- Hard Rock Café located on the boardwalk along Philipsburg Bay
- Pizza Amore in Al Cohen's Mall located across the street from Havensight cruise pier
Free Wi-Fi hotspots: Western Caribbean ports
Costa Maya, Mexico
- Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the Costa Maya Cruise Port terminal.
- Popular American-owned Tropicante Ameri-Mex Grill in nearby Mahahual features free Wi-Fi and free telephone calls to the U.S.
- If your ship docks at Punta Langosta, you’ll find many free hotspots in the Punta Langosta Mall located across the street from the pier.
- If your ship docks at the International Pier, free Wi-Fi can be found at Senor Frogs.
- If your ship docks at Puerta Maya, free Wi-Fi is available at Three Amigos Cantina and Pancho's Backyard.
Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
- Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville located across the street from the cruise ship terminal
Free Wi-Fi hotspots: Southern Caribbean ports
- Iguana Joe's located at the famous Royal Plaza Mall one block from the cruise pier
- Bridgetown Cruise Terminal offers Wi-Fi connectivity throughout terminal area.
- Free Internet is available in downtown Willemstad, including the cruise ship pier area.
- Restaurant De Gouverneur de Rouville is located within walking distance of both cruise piers on the Otrabanda Waterfront.
- Restaurant La Bahia is at the Otrabanda Hotel and Casino located right next door to De Gouverneur.
Free Wi-Fi hotspots: Mexican Riviera ports
Cabo San Lucas
- Solomon's Landing Restaurant and Bar located at the marina in front of the Wyndham Hotel and Resort