We are booked for Golden Princess in Oct. We want to do e-mail from the ship to our kids. I thought I read somewhere that we needed to have a hotmail account. Does anyone know details about this??
Most cruise lines have it so you can access many of the major email services such as hotmail, AOL, Yahoo and other major online services. Not sure if there would be problems with email if you were using just a local email service.
At least thats the way it has been when I used the internet on the cruise lines I have been on. 2001 was the last time I was on Princess so not sure if it is still the same on Princess but I would think so.
I am the Internet "expert". Anne Campbell and I were the first people to ever access the Internet from Golden Princess... we did it from a cell phone connected to our laptop dialing in to AOL's number in Istanbul.
You do not NEED a hotmail account, but what you do need is some kind of email account that you can access through the internet, a so-called "web-based" email account. These would be hotmail, msn, yahoo mail, etc. OR if you use AOL then you can get on AOL on the Princess ships (or go to AOL.com through an Internet browser).
What you cannot access is an email account that you access at home through Outlook Express or some other email program where you have to put in your server information.
HOWEVER -- if you are reading this from a ship and you need to access your email from such an account - there are alternatives that work sometimes. Try a website called http://www.mail2web.com. This site asks for your email address and password and searches for your email account based on logical assumptions. It works a majority of the time, but will not work if you have a small ISP or if your email address is different from your pop3 server.
And whatever account you use, the most important thing is this... write down your password and list of friend's email addresses before you go. You will not have access to your address book on the ship, nor will your password be "stored" on the computer there.
1. As long as you have an account with a major ISP, or with a service like Hotmail, you can access the account from any Internet connection (including those onboard ship) with your screen name and password. Be sure you know the name of the hosting website (e.g. "aol.com") to put into the browser to access their system. If you're using a cable or DSL broadband service at home, and are using Outlook as your mail shell at home, be sure copies of your e-mails are being left on the ISP's server. The ISP's help desk can tell you how to do this.
2. Shipboard Internet terminals are expensive, and can run in the $.50 a minute range. Some ships have deals where you can get a connection in your cabin for a flat rate per cruise if you bring your own laptop. This only makes sense if you're a workaholic and/or Internet junkie and suffer physical pain if you're away from your screen for longer than a couple hours.
3. Internet cafes are pretty easy to find at most ports. It's usually easiest to simply ask where to find one at the first store you enter. Prices are always dramatically lower. In Madiera a few months ago we found a cafe for $1 an hour, plus whatever coffee you drink. $1 for 15 minutes is not uncommon in major cities.
A reader just sent me an email pointing out something important. Many ISPs (where you may have an account for which you use Outlook) ALSO offer web-based email. We even have that for our CruiseMates email.
For example, if your email account is with Roadrunner cable modems, you can access your email account by going to the Roadrunner website and accessing their WEBMAIL. You will need your username and password to get in, so write it down.
Another important thing to remember is this... Turn off your email at home, or check "leave a copy" on the server in Outlook before you leave home. If your email is running at home it will download all your email from the mail server and you won't be able to read it from the ship!
If you have a laptop computer, and IF you can connect it to the ship's local network, that may be a less expensive way to send and receive mail. You can compose email on your laptop offline, then connect just for the time it takes to upload and download messages. If your laptop is set up to access your mail server directly, you won't need to do any web browsing. Just launch Outlook Express (or other mail program) and click the send/receive button. This method depends on being able to connect to the ship's network, of course. Ask your cruise line if that option is available.
The upcoming cruise I'm taking on the Crystal Harmony offers this service. I should be able to plug my laptop into an Ethernet port right in my cabin and do all my email from there. On the downside, there is a ten-minute minimum charge per session, and rates are rather high. Still, it seems more convenient than connecting through Internet cafe terminals and having to read and write mail while the meter is running.
You can almost always find an internet cafe close by the cruise ships, cost is around $5.00 for an hour. As the previous posters mentioned, if you already have an aol or hot mail e-mail account, its then very easy.