/ The Cruise Traveler
Cruise — By Liz Lewis on May 29, 2010 at 9:28 am
Filed under: dawn princess, featuredarticle, internet at sea, world cruises

Staying Connected at Sea

Gone are the days when the only way of staying connected at sea was by telegraph and postcards from various ports of call. These days, you can stay as connected as you want while at sea. In fact, internet cafes are pretty much the norm on most cruise ships.

But be warned – staying connected will cost you.

Exactly how expensive, of course, depends on how often and how long you stay connected.

Access to the internet is charged by the minute, with most ships offering  a variety of plans to cater for everyone from the occasional to the heavy user.

Here on the Dawn Princess World Cruise, the rates per minute range from 150 minutes for $75 ($0.50/Minute) to 1000 minutes for $250 ($0.25/Minute).

Now a 1000 minutes might sound like quite a lot but if you’re a heavy user like me, you’ll find it soon disappears – I’ve already gone through 500 minutes during the first week on board.

Unless I go on an internet diet, I could end up with a pretty hefty bill by the time we reach Southampton in four and a half weeks.

But just how to reduce internet use?

Regular cruise travelers on board the Dawn Princess recommend the following tips:

1. Write all emails in a word processing document prior to connecting. Once the emails are written, connect and paste into new messages.

2. If you are planning on sending the same email to a number of recipients,  set up an email group with all the email addresses. Then when you are ready to send email, add group rather than each individual email address.

3. If you are using a laptop, connect and download emails to you inbox and then go off line to read them.

4.  If you are doing any research online, whenever you find an interesting article you want to read, open in a new window and then log off before you start reading it.

5. Connection can be very slow during high peak usage times, so try to connect during off-peak hours, such as at dinner time.  By the way, internet is also faster when the ship is not moving.

6. Use land-based internet cafes when in port. But don’t go for the first one you see when in port. Often those closet to the port are the most expensive.

To find out the connectivity of various cruise lines, check out this cruise line internet roundup by cruise mates.com.

Photo credit: sxc.hu

Tags: dawn princess, featuredarticle, internet at sea, world cruises

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