I. Purchasing Internet Packages: Try To Get The Best Deal
In order to get internet access on a cruise ship you will most likely have to pay for it. Unless your cruise line is giving away internet minutes as a perk or part of a loyalty program, you will have to pay for it if you want to use it.
On the first day of a cruise, you should be on the lookout for internet deals or specials that the cruise line is running. Some cruise lines offer package deals that include a certain number of minutes for a certain amount of money and/or a pay by the minute plan. There are a few cruise lines that offer a one price fee for unlimited internet for the entire cruise. Compare available pricing plans and options before making a purchase. Choose a package that suits your need and make sure you don't pay for more minutes that you plan on using.
If you are not finding any internet specials onboard you should ask a crew member in charge of the internet. The worst answer you could receive is no or the ship doesn't offer internet deals.
II. Don't Try To Get Internet On Your Cell Phone or Smart Phone
Your cell phone carrier will most likely charge you for data and applicable roaming rates if you try to get internet on your phone during the cruise. What may cost you a few cents at home may cost you hundreds of dollars on the cruise ship. If you buy a shipboard internet package and then try to connect to the wi-fi you paid for from your phone you should still be wary. Your cell phone company could still charge you for data and/or other hidden fees. I suggest that you turn off your phone and use internet at the ship's internet cafe or on shipboard computers.
III. Internet Access Is Not Necessarily Fast And Not Always Available
The internet most cruise ships get is from a satellite. Connection can be limited at times, slow at times, or not available at times. When cruise ships go through mountainous terrains internet service can be disrupted because of the mountains.
IV. Don't Waste The Minutes You Purchase
Make sure you are using your internet minutes that you purchased wisely. Try to limit what you look to essential websites and avoid aimlessly surfing the internet. Make sure you log out when you are finished. If you forget to log out of your internet account your minutes will keep running. The cruise line could start charging you for going over your minutes.
The way each cruise line runs and operates its internet programs varies. Make sure you research all options that are available to you onboard your ship before making any purchase decisions. Some cruise lines have fees in the fine print such as an activation fee or printing fee.
If you don't have anything to check while away from home you should consider not buying any internet minutes. Enjoy your vacation, relax, and enjoy some time away from the internet (if you can).