Do cruise ships have free WiFi or Internet?

Last updated on March 7th, 2024 at 01:08 pm

On ships belonging to major cruise lines like Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Celebrity, Holland America, Princess and Norwegian, Wi-Fi is installed throughout public areas and in staterooms for use with your own device. But it’s not free.

Yes, cruise ships are equipped with Satellite Internet and most have Wi-Fi (wireless), however there is a cost to access it.

Almost all cruise lines offer internet packages allowing users a certain number of minutes or megabytes per day or week for a set fee, however it can be quite expensive.

For occasional use, cruise ships are often equipped with Internet Cafes. These internet cafe’s have computers connected to the Internet, similar to what you would find at your local library, however per minute fees may apply.

Keep in mind that while away from land, internet speeds may not be as fast as what you have at home and reliability is still a work-in-progress. Downtime and slower speeds are to be expected.

cruise ship wifi girl using phone


If your plan is to stay offline while at sea and connect only while in port, be aware that many tourist venues, especially those in the Caribbean, may charge a fee for connecting to Wi-Fi at a cafe or restaurant. Don’t expect free Wi-Fi to be as easy to find as it would be at home.

If you absolutely need to stay connected while at sea, check with your cruise line or travel agent to purchase an Internet package to suit your needs prior to departure.

Cruising with Starlink’

Wanting to stay ahead of the game and to keep current with their innovative approach to cruising, Virgin Voyages will be the first cruise line to incorporate SES Cruise mPOWERED + Starlink PRO services.

SES is a global leader in satellite communications and Virgin will combine Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) and Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite coverage in their bid to deliver the fastest internet speeds for their cruise passengers.

The cruise line will be offering speeds up to 1.5 Gbps, well above the standar offerings. The pandemic changes the way the world does business, and has opened up remote working opportunities for many.

Most Cruisers Want to Stay Connected

The world has also become acutely aware of the importance of connectivity. While most people don’t want to work on a vacation, the ability to remain connected, even for short periods, has made it apparent that combining business and pleasure can work out very well for all concerned.

 Younger guests, such as those attracted to Virgin Voyages, tend to attract, feels that connectivity is paramount.  Having a reliable internet connection allows for cruisers to check in at work or home with confidence that those important connections will be ready and available when needed. 

Passengers will be able to keep up on messaging, emails and make video calls. This valuable service will help keep a cruiser current with business obligations and also give the peace of mind that being able to connect with home brings. 

Other Cruise Lines Following Suit

Following suit, MSC Cruises will also be rolling out Starlink across their vessels. Other major cruise operators including Norwegian, Royal Caribbean and Carnibal have also been making the switch to Starlink.

What sets Virgin Voyages apart in the internet race, is their collaboration with SES and the use of MEO and LEO satellite coverage. These innovations are good news for ALL cruise lines passengers. Cruise lines are striving to meet the need of cruisers to maintain a reliable connection with home and work. This will be a benefit for all. 


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