I have been on many cruises and used the ships computers to check emails and get on the internet and such, but have never taken my own laptop. If I am set for wireless internet is that all I need to get connected or do I need to obtain something from the pursers office to operate. I know I have to pay a rate per minute depending on the package I get, but do I just go to a hotspot and get connected and start surfing, or what is the correct procedure. Thanks
I suppose it varies by ship, but it's essentially the same as the internet cafes. You find a hot spot, the first time you try to connect to a website you have to select the package you want and go from there. I'm not sure how it works if you try to use something like Outlook for e-mail.
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I have been on many cruises and used the ships computers to check emails and get on the Internet and such, but have never taken my own laptop. If I am set for wireless Internet is that all I need to get connected or do I need to obtain something from the pursers office to operate. I know I have to pay a rate per minute depending on the package I get, but do I just go to a hotspot and get connected and start surfing, or what is the correct procedure. Thanks
Any wireless laptop will connect from a wireless hotspot on the ship. I.E. if your laptop has 802.11b g capability (and almost all newer laptops do) you are good to go.
Once you get to the hotspot you will open your browser and you will get the ship's sign up screen where you can purchase minutes and set up your account. The Internet Cafe will have full details on how to set up your account and the cost of bundled minute packages.
I have brought my laptop on every one of my cruises since 2000 and have used it each time. One thing to remember: Don't expect blazing speeds!!!!
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Internet speeds while at sea are slow and you pay by the minute. Try logging on and download your E-mail and then log off to read your messages. Type up your replies or blogs offline and then log on to post them.
Almost every port has an Internet cafe nearby. Their rates are much less than on the ship ($3 for 30 minutes) with a faster connection. They also usually have flat rate phones you can use to call home.
My laptop goes on all my cruises. I use itmostly to download my digital photos every night. I organize them by date and port. Each day I can take as many photos as I want, download to the computer, then delete them from the camera and start over the next day. I love to take pictures so by doing this I don't have to worry about filling up my camera card. It's empty everyday when I start and I know I can get at least 700 pictures before I'm out of space. Once I get home I go thru the files on the computer and organize them into a slideshow. We enjoy pulling out the shows and rewatching them over and over when we are having cruise withdrawals.
If you have a fairly recent laptop and you like to be close to the internet --then by all means take it with you. The down sides will be the slow hook ups and speed of the service coupled with the high per minute cost. You will also find limited "hot spots" aboard ships, regardless of what the cruise line may tell you. Take the laptop on ashore at the next port and you should be able to find high speed service and many times at no charge. Just purchase a cup of coffee at the closest coffee shop and hook up to the internet. You will be surprised to find that in thirty minutes at the coffee shop you will get downlaods, send e-mails, etc. that would take you much more time aboard ship. Also, expect to find some really helpful computer staff aboard some ships and aboard others that could care less about you as a passenger.
If you send a lot of e-mail may I suggest a tip that will save a lot of costly minutes. On e-mails you are sending prepare them before hooking up to the internet. Then send as an attachment or if you have them on a flash drive just copy and paste. Anything to save those costly minutes the ship will charge. Some proprietary software may not let you do some of these things.I even do this when I am going ashore and using internet cafes. It saves time.
A lot of Carnival ships have bow to stern Internet connectivity.
A laptop and a decent email client will allow you to connect, download messages, and disconnect. You can then take your time reading and replying. Then reconnect, send, and disconnect. Repeat as necessary.
When you use the Internet cafe terminals, the clock is ticking as you are sitting there reading and replying.
Speed is relative. Some times are faster than others on a cruise ship, just like a freeway. If everyone is trying to use at the same time it can grind to a halt. Using the Internet at off peak times can get you faster speeds and better throughput.
Most Princess ships have wireless accessiblity to the internet from most cabin areas, as well as in the atrium and other locales.
I recently purchased a netbook that I will be taking on my next cruise in a few weeks. I look forward to being able to doing my email from my balcony, and being able to download each day's photos and stashing them in an individual folder on My Pictures each day.
The only time I will have to use the internet cafe computers is to check in for my flight home and to print my boarding pass. I can check in using my netbook, but, of course, won't have a printer in my cabin.
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MOst ships have wireless access, but for some reason some ships actually block you from using Outlook Express (MSC and Costa do this). You HAVE to use web mail.
The advantage to taking your laptop is that you have all of your passwords and important email addresses already in the computer - if you keep your laptop current that is.
If you use the ship's computers you have to remember all passwords, email addresses and favorite web site URLs.
Personally, I also always take my laptop. I download pictures and actually work updating CruiseMates all the time. This website has been updated from as far south as Tahiti and as far north as Spitsbergen inside the Arctic circle.