Thursday, February 20, 2014

Greetings from Nassau ET Phone Home

Staying Connected
During Your Cruise
You've waited for this trip to get away from your daily routine.   You aren't quite ready to be cut off from the outside world completely however.  There are several possible "solutions" to this situation.

In this day and age, most people are walking around with one or more smart devices (phones, tablets, PCs, or some combination of these).  Prior to sailing, you are usually still connected to the outside world via your normal telephone / internet provider.  Once you sail, you can still be on their network in many cases, but the price of communication can go up dramatically since you are roaming.  

Tip:  The price for data and phone calls increase substantially, so you'll want to check with your provider before you travel to understand your options and costs.

Carnival Conquest Network

Carnival Cruise Lines, as well as the majority of the other lines, have enhanced their onboard internet capabilities to meet the demand of the always connected public.  Of course, this comes at a price and reduced speed compared to your back home experiences.

There are several plans available that provide internet access during your cruise.   You can use the ship's PCs or your wireless device throughout the ship to connect to their internet.   Prices range from 75 cents per minute for pay as you go to around 30 cents or less if you purchase a package.

For those that need to be in contact with home or office, this keeps you in contact at any time, provided there is adequate satellite coverage.  As mentioned already, expect communication to be much slower than your normal experience, which translates into increased cost per activity.

In Port Alternatives

If you don't need to be in contact constantly, finding connectivity on shore is perhaps a more attractive solution.   Options range from free WiFi to purchased plans that are usually much cheaper than those onboard the ship.

As you might expect, when you own your own business, you need to be in contact with your office and clients even when on "vacation".   We find ourselves in that situation.

For this particular cruise, we had one of our associates covering for us, but we did promise to keep in periodic contact.  In order to do so, we went with the in port approach.

A short walk from the pier in Nassau puts you outside the Festival Marketplace where you'll find many of the ship's crew and passengers camped out on their cell phones and other devices.  WiFi is free in this area, but the signal isn't always the best.   It did suffice for our needs in checking emails and posting a few pictures for our followers.   You might want to wait until the crowd thins out to increase the odds of getting your emails sent.

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Often coffee shops and restaurants provide internet passwords to their patrons.   We suggest checking out sites in every port prior to your cruise so that you have an idea where to look during your trip.

More about Day 2 of our cruise in our next post.  Be sure to check all the articles in this series to get the complete story about our cruise.   If you have tips you'd like to share, feel free to contact us here or on our Facebook page.

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