Carnival Expands Wi-Fi Access Fleetwide

The cruise lines adds wireless Internet aboard its 21 'Fun Ships'

By: Ana Figueroa

Carnival Cruise Lines is expanding wireless Internet access to all public rooms and suites aboard its 21 “Fun Ships” by the end of 2006.

With strategically located Wi-Fi “hot spots,” guests sailing on Carnival can now access Web sites and send e-mails via any wireless-equipped laptop computer from virtually anywhere aboard ship, including all lounges, bars, pool areas, open decks, dining venues and suite accommodations.

The project is roughly 75 percent complete, with the balance of the fleet expected to be completed by year’s end. Wi-Fi technology expands Carnival’s existing shipboard wireless Internet capabilities, as guests can use wireless-equipped laptop computers in select areas in and around the Internet cafés fleetwide. Carnival Valor and Carnival Liberty also feature “100 percent bow to stern” wireless access. 

The wireless technology can be added, if needed, into any laptop simply by installing an unintrusive “radio card” in the computer’s PC card slot. Guests are welcome to bring their own computer or rent a laptop through the ships’ Internet cafés for a nominal fee.

In addition to the wireless Internet technology, all Carnival ships offer Internet cafés featuring flat-panel workstations, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

Both the wireless Internet and Internet cafés cost 75 cents per minute to surf the Web and review e-mails, in addition to a one-time activation fee of $3.95. Minutes can also be purchased in bulk at a discount.

This marks the latest high-tech initiative aboard the “Fun Ships” designed to enhance guests’ cruise experience. Carnival and Wireless Maritime Services, a joint venture of Cingular Wireless and Maritime Telecommunications Network has also announced that it would offer fleetwide cell phone service to guests sailing aboard the “Fun Ships” in any cruising region.