An expanded Wi-Fi network will be available on approximately 40 percent of Carnival’s fleet by the end of the year. // © 2015 Carnival Corporation & plc
Feature image (above): Carnival’s new Wi-Fi will operate at speeds up to 10 times faster than what was previously available. // © 2015 Carnival Corporation & plc
Carnival Corporation & plc has announced the expansion of WiFi@Sea, its enhanced Wi-Fi system, which has been successful in producing higher guest satisfaction, heavier use and more exposure for the product on social media.
The enhanced Wi-Fi network is scheduled to be available on nearly 40 percent of Carnival’s fleet by the end of 2015, with affordable new plans and pricing packages and a network that provides reliable connectivity even in the middle of the ocean. The system is currently available on 30 of the company’s 100 vessels. Carnival reports that its brands using the expanded WiFi@Sea service — Carnival Cruise Line, Holland America Line and AIDA Cruises — have seen increased guest satisfaction, higher usage rates and a greater number of devices connected during cruises.
With more than 31 advanced satellite systems, Carnival claims that the expanded WiFi@Sea connectivity network features the broadest high-bandwidth Internet coverage currently in the industry, and that guests can access websites, social networks and apps at speeds up to 10 times faster than those previously available.
The new pricing model sets the cost of Wi-Fi packages based on the types of services guests will be using, rather than the previous system of charging for the amount of time they will be online. For example, guests who are only interested in using Wi-Fi to post to their social networks can purchase a limited package for a lower fee. Specific package offerings and pricing structures vary by brand.
“As we continue to enhance our WiFi@Sea system, we implement technologies, packages and overall approaches that will create the best experience and value for our guests wherever their cruise vacation takes them,” said Reza Rasoulian, vice president of global connectivity and shipboard technology operations for Carnival Corporation. “With this approach, we are giving our guests faster Internet speeds without constraining the time they can be online through our packages, which has led to more people than ever using their devices to connect while on our ships and a steady improvement in guest satisfaction ratings as the new plans and pricing are rolled out.”