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Ship to Shore Partnership Helps

Where there's a bajillion of something, there's a market to be tapped. There is, everyone would agree, a bajillion cell phones, and AT&T has combined with Royal Caribbean to tap into that market at sea.

Everybody who cruises knows how expensive communication is when you're on a ship. Poor Internet connections at 75 cents a minute can be the norm. For phone calls from a ship once it reaches international waters, it feels like somebody wants your first-born in return.

The tide is changing.

AT&T wants to convince its subscribers to spend more, and its non-subscribers into signing up. As a result, any AT&T subscriber can purchase a cell phone plan to use on Royal Caribbean ships for $30 a month. That entitles the user to 50 minutes of calling time from the ship. For $60 a month, you get 50 minutes of talk and 100 texts (or pictures or video). Double that to $120 to add 100MB of data.

Royal Caribbean wants happy passengers. Unhappy passengers can feel like they've been ripped off when phoning home from sea…and this goes for all cruise lines. Plus, there's remuneration for the cruise line when making a deal like this with a telephone company, so it's a profit center, maybe one that will encourage passengers who ordinarily would spend nothing on cels at sea.

But for the passenger, it's a reasonable expense, one that requires only a one-month minimum.

After all, on a one-week cruise many passengers spend $75 just for a week of soda.

Celebrity Infinity
11 nights
August 26, 2013
London (return): Paris, Guernsey, Cork, Waterford, DublinLiverpool, Glasgow
Inside: $1,019
Cost per day: $92


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