Tag-Archive for » Internet on Cruise Ships «

Cruise Advertising From Customers

In an era when every-day baseball statistics now are WHIP, WAR and OBP, it probably shouldn’t come as a surprise that measuring success for the cruise industry now includes statistics from Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

For example:

Norwegian is publicizing the fact that in one 20-day period on the Escape, its customers logged 576,896 Facebook posts, 14,150 tweets and 11,367 Instagram posts, which somehow added up to 159 million impressions. This broke Norwegian’s in-house record for social media usage at sea.

Welcome to “new age advertising.”

If a cruise line can reach 159 million people in 20 days thanks to passengers who are surely posting 95 per cent (or more) positive messages, think of how much said cruise line Escape-Arno Redeniuscan save on advertising costs. The trickle-down effect on society is that fewer dollars spent on TV advertising morphs into higher cable or satellite costs for users, or poorer-quality television shows…or both. The same would be true for newspapers if that hadn’t already happened.

The good news is that because this becomes such an important vehicle for cruise lines, they will spare no cost when it comes to upgrading Internet access so that the passengers can do their thing as advertisers.

What’s next?

How about points for being a frequent tweeter?

In the news…

• Royal Caribbean locks up 10-year port agreement with U.S. Virgin Islands

- Photo by Arno Redenius

Today at portsandbows.com: All the latest cruise news


Royal Caribbean Vision of the Seas
7 nights
March 5, 2016
Tampa (return): Roatan, Belize, Costa Maya, Cozumel
Inside: $590
Cost per day: $84
www.royalcaribbean.com

Evolution Of Free WiFi On Ships

In the hotel industry, it started — at least for us — with Best Western. Free WiFi. In those days, it was a bonus because most hotels were charging up to $20 a night for checking your email. The next phase was free WiFi in the lobby and, today, most hotels offer some kind of Internet connection without a charge and soon, we suspect, all will.

NavigatorThe same thing is happening with airports, to the point where travelers now expect they won’t have to pay to go online.

Enter cruise ships.

If there was a more expensive venue for connecting than on cruise ships a few years ago, none of us knows what it was. And guess what? Every week, another cruise line is dropping the price…to zero.

The latest is Regent Seven Seas.

When the 2016-17 cruise season arrives, so will free Internet. Unlimited WiFi. On all ships. For all passengers. Anywhere on the ship. For all devices. Regent’s also including more free land tours on 11 sailings in Asia and Africa, with four ports of call Regent passengers have never before seen, plus 56 sailings ranging from seven to 128 days long.

But when Regent made the announcement, the carrot — the first line of type – was free WiFi.

Now to be fair, it’s probably easier for an upscale line that charges much more for cruises than the mass-market lines do, and for a line with a small fleet of smaller ships, to eat the lost revenue of free Internet. Why, you might ask, wouldn’t a cruise line like this announce it was giving passengers the free WiFi package immediately, and not wait until 2016-17?

Our guess is it’s because cruises between now and then are sold out.

In the news…

• Cruise lines, passengers, crew spent $21 billion in U.S. in 2014
• Free Trace Adkins concert in Dallas last weekend by Carnival
• Viking boss and Mayor of Bergen both deny corruption charges

Today at portsandbows.com: Britannia to move after a year in Barbados


Royal Caribbean Majesty of the Seas
4 nights
December 7, 2015
Miami (return): Nassau, CocoCay, Key West
Inside: $195
Cost per day: $48
www.royalcaribbean.com

Cruise Gambling…Cruise WiFi

News item: Cayman Islands government attempting to legalize gambling on cruise ships.

There is no gambling in the Cayman Islands, which seems a little odd considering that the Caymans have long been known as a place extremely wealthy people can hide money so they don’t have to pay taxes. That’s irrelevant, of course, when it comes to gambling on cruise ships. What is relevant is that the government is proposing allowing gambling on (a) ships registered there (b) passenger ships carrying more than 12 people (c) ships in international waters and on an international voyage between Cayman and another port.

Here’s the catch…

Gambling’s not allowed on ships in port or in Cayman’s territorial waters.

What are we missing here? Can’t cruise ships with casinos open the slots once they’re in international waters?

“This bill is aimed solely at the cruise ship industry,” said a government official.

It must be for the ships with 12 passengers.

News item: Carnival announced it expanded its innovative hybrid connectivity system to create the cruise industry’s largest WiFi network.

Okay, isn’t it time that somebody invented a gizmo to measure WiFi size? Doesn’t anybody have a gigabyte meter? In all that cyberspace, how does anyone really know who’s on first? Or second? Or even in the same ballpark?

In the last months, there have been Internet/WiFi announcements by three cruise lines, all of them crowing about having the biggest, best, fastest service at sea. If it’s a game, then we need a Commissioner of WiFi to tell us who really is the best…or does it really matter?

If your Internet service on a cruise ship is fast enough to make you happy, that’s good enough.

Isn’t it?

In the news…

• Unlimited and free Internet now on all Regent Seven Seas ships
• Five-year deal for better Glacier Bay access for American Cruise Lines
• Santa Cruz II replaces Santa Cruz I after 36 years to the Galapagos

Today at portsandbows.com: Disney flying high wirh Star Wars


Carnival Elation
5 nights
November 28, 2015
New Orleans (return): Cozumel, Progreso
Inside: $249
Cost per day: $49
www.carnival.com

Ships, Internet Connected For Cruisers

There are people who go on cruises because they want to escape from their daily routines, and these days daily routines almost always involve being online. When they’re cruising, they don’t want to touch a computer, read from an iPad or see a smartphone.

Well, as one of our friends once said: “Include us out.”

Even if we didn’t need to be online for writing about cruises, we would. The electronic era has captured us. We’re not in denial. We want to be on line when cruising.

If you’re like us, the good news is that being online when at sea is becoming easier, better and cheaper. The cost will still cause you to pause before making a decision, but here’s a few of the things that are happening…

• On half of Carnival’s ships, there’s a flat fee of $5 per day to access Facebook and Twitter.

Disney charges for data used instead of minutes used with its Connect@Sea plan.

• OnRoyal Caribbean’s oldest ship, Majesty of the Seas, the Internet’s free for all.

• More options are being offered at Internet cafes on ships at (we think) more affordable prices.

Silversea gives at least an hour of Internet per day, free, for all guests.

• In general, cruise lines are finding creative ways to satisfy (and yes, entice) customers with social media packages, discounts for loyalty members and options for just texting and tweeting.

Perhaps the biggest things the industry has to overcome is that Internet service on a ship is usually nowhere near as good as it is on land.

That, after all, may be in the hands of the satellite gods.

In the news…

• American Queen changes Mississippi schedule due to high water
• Princess all-inclusive beverage package Sip & Sail free on 350 cruises

Today at portsandbows.com: Norwegian raising gratuities…again

Ruby Princess
3 nights
September 14, 2015

VancouverLos Angeles
Inside: $149
Cost per day: $49
www.princess.com

Cruise Question: To Surf Or To Drink?

An online travel agency called Cruise Holidays conducted a quickie survey on its Facebook page recently, asking readers to choose between two options for “something free” if going on a cruise:

• Free Internet

• Free drinks

The creators could’ve called it De-vices vs Vices but they didn’t. They also resisted the Burrowing Owl wineiPhoneurge to call it a “straw poll” although that’s what it was. What they did call it was “shocking” because when the results were compiled, nearly one-third of the respondents said “free Internet.”

Think about that. Drinks on cruise ships are expensive — all drinks, including soda pop. One estimate is that a couple could save more than $1,000 on a 10-day cruise with a free drinks package. Plus people go on cruise ships to get away from the office, so to speak, right? Plus holidaying and partying and socializing usually comes with a generous number of drinks (alcoholic or not), and that’s a big part of being on a cruise.

Yet 32 per cent of the people who responded to the question chose free Internet. Maybe it shouldn’t be such a shock. After all, people are infatuated with — dare we say addicted to? — “devices.”

What would you choose?

Today at portsandbows.com: More flights to ports from Canada

Norwegian Star
7 nights
November 30, 2014
Los Angeles (return): Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta
Inside: $299
Cost per day: $42
www.ncl.com

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