How well does the internet work on cruise ships?

How well does the internet work on cruise ships?

Who wouldn't want to spend a few weeks on a cruise ship exploring new countries and cultures? This is the dream of many people. However, given the current state of technology, the question quickly arises as to how reliable the Internet is on cruise ships.

Travelers want to send photos to family and friends, coordinate tours of destinations, and generally stay connected to the world. In this article we examine what points to consider when it comes to internet on board a cruise ship.

Norwegian Epic in Livorno

How does the internet get on board?

The mobile networks offered in the usual contracts usually only refer to terrestrial areas. As soon as you move further away from the land masses, there is no longer any connection. Similar to airplanes, cruise ships can also activate their own mobile phone network thanks to satellite technology.

Safety for surfing on board

As with other hotspots, certain safety rules apply when surfing on board.

  • updated antivirus programs and firewall
  • Use of secure passwords with uppercase, lowercase letters and numbers
  • Refrain from sending sensitive data
  • Use of VPN for secure data transfersRead more about VPN and its benefits for travelers.)

Do roaming offers apply on a cruise ship?

Roaming contracts, which are typical when traveling to other countries, do not work on the high seas - even though they do thousands of ships on the seas circulate. As soon as holidaymakers leave the mainland network, you will be informed by the network provider. This is followed by switching to a non-terrestrial network, which can, however, be very expensive.

We therefore recommend deactivating the function for automatically dialing into networks in order to avoid unnecessary costs. The consumer can also set an upper limit for roaming costs, which the provider may not exceed. The result: the connection is interrupted. Depending on the provider, the satellite technology used for on-board internet can be very expensive.

Norwegian Epic 658 Deck 18 View of main pool and sundecks

Norwegian Epic 658 Deck 18 View of main pool and sundecks

How good is the network?

Checking emails or writing messages is no problem. However, services such as streaming or video calls only work to a limited extent on a cruise ship. The reasons are obvious.

The satellite connection is not as strong as on land. Many users on the ship, often accessing the network at the same time, cause the system to be overloaded. The signal can be particularly weak, especially in remote regions, for example in the north or on the high seas. The same applies if there are poor climatic conditions.

While at the beginning of satellite internet not all cabins on a ship had equally strong internet, shipping companies are now focusing on this aspect. Each cabin currently has access to the Internet via the internal onboard satellite system. Most ships also have a special internet terminal with an optimized network.

 Overview of factors influencing the strength of the internet on board:

  • climatic conditions
  • Geographical position of the cruise ship
  • Number of people on board using the Internet at the same time.
  • technical equipment in the cabins


Internet on the high seas is available, but quite expensive and sometimes slow. Before using the Internet on board cruise ships, you should check the security precautions for your own device and determine your individual call minutes requirement.

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