What options do I have for connecting to the internet in my stateroom on Carnival ships? I plan on taking a netbook with me if possible. If I have to rent a wireless card I will need to buy an adapter to use it, so I am wondering if there are ethernet ports in the room or if it is wireless only. Also, can you use built in wi-fi to connect to the ships internet instead of their cards?
You should be able to use the ships wifi using your built-in network adapter. You will want to purchase a package x minutes for y $ rather than pay by the minute. It's like at a hotel, when you first try to connect to a webpage you will be redirected to a logon screen for the wifi. Remember this is a shared satellite connection so it will be much slower than what you currently use (unless you use dial up).
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My main purpose is to upload the days photos to make them available to friends and family, as well as to keep my hard drive and memory cards cleared off.
Your built-in wireless card will work just fine. The wi-fi on the ships are 802.1 b-g compatible. All wireless cards are at least 802.1 b.
If you plan on uploading photos I STRONGLY suggest that you resize your photos to a much smaller size. If you are shooting a 4megapixel your photos can be 3 megabytes in size. You don't want to upload anything more than 500Kb. The connections on cruise ships are slow. It will seem similar to the old dial-up days. These slow connections can be expensive. The standard rate is $.35/minute with packages that lower the rate per minute.
If you want to save money you may want to just bring a couple more memory cards or wait until you get home.
I have uploaded photos from my cruise for the website and I have easily used up 200 minutes on a seven day cruise.
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My cruise is a 4 day(after my travel agent rebooks for me), and naturally I would wait until the times when there are fewer people using the internet. Probably during for a bit of time during one of the dinner seatings when fewer people are likely to be using it. Regardless, I am planning to take a netbook so people can keep in touch with me.
Have you looked into the cost of your cellphone package in combo with tethering the laptop? Doing this in port using your cell may come out cheaper, or waiting til in port and using the available wifi signal in port vs the ships.
I wouldn't take the card to a net access shop in port.
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