In order to save money while online I usually write e-mails and other documents in my laptop, in Word for example, and put it all on a diskette. Then I can copy/paste while I am online and save the amount of time it would take for me to slowly type these messages or documents.
My new laptop does not have a floppy drive but it does have a cd-burner. I figured I bring a couple of rewritable disks with me and use those. Is there a disk drive in the on-board Internet computers? Does anyone know? I would like to avoid buying an external floppy drive if I don't have to...
The Regatta has a large computer center and two other computers for use in the Library. The computers in the computer center have disc drives and you can burn a cd too. I imported all my digital pics, edited them with Photoshop Elements 2 (a great program that I bought when I got back from my 7/5 cruise) and then for $10., the computer lab burned the photos to a cd for me.
The email is quick, but you need to buy a package and be careful of your on-line time. I bought 100 minutes for $80. and it was just right for my use during the two weeks that I was there. There is no charge to use the computers for other stuff and the only conflict would be when they have the classes for various tasks (Excel, Photoshop, etc.).
Thank you, Peter. I think i "get" it... I don't have to buy an external floppy, I can write e-mails and pics offline onto a cd-rom disk and copy/paste from there into e-mail, saving me time online. That's exactly what I needed to know, and I am grateful to you for telling me.
I have Adobe Elements 2 as well, and have made sure to load it into my laptop before my cruise (along with Photoshop 7!)
So Peter, you can sit at a computer and use it for free and then only pay when you have to go online? Or are the free computers not connected to the Internet.
I remember on Radisson they have the computers set up so you only pay when you are actually "using" the Internet, that is actually transferring files! You were connected, but if you were just reading and not clicking on new pages you were not being charged. That saved a bundle of money.
Thanks so much for your help, I will be there soon myself! Can't wait.
I am the editor, but I also speculate, ask questions and play devil's advocate. I reserve the right to change my mind.
>>I remember on Radisson they have the computers set up so you only pay when you are actually "using" the Internet<<
That's the way Silversea does it as well, and it is an extremely considerate way to handle Internet charges. I don't type quickly but even so, on a mass-market ship I was charged $27 to send ONE e-mail; the attendant told me that the satellite was slow that day, but offered no discount.
On Silversea I was online reading e-mails for about half an hour, writing and sending a couple of responses, and my charge for 48 minutes was $5.
It MAY be the same as Silversea and Radisson, but what those two lines do is charge only for the time that you are sending, not while you are sitting and composing your e-mail. On those two lines you don't need to put it on a disk, you can do it in the Internet center and only be charged while you receive or send e-mail, not while you read or write it.
Mass-market lines charge per minute that you are sitting at a terminal and even though Oceania isn't mass-market, they do too. Seabourn probably uses the system that RSSC and Silversea uses.
From what I've read, you pay the per minute charge only while connected to the Internet. So you can compose emails, etc. "off-line" on Oceania's PCs at no charge. Besides the computer room they also have PCs in the Library which is usually a really nice quiet space. The PCs are also connected to printers and printing is free.
We're on the Regatta at the end of September, but sailed on R8 a couple of years ago.
Are you doing a story on Oceania soon?
The Regatta computers may be used when not connected to the Internet for no charge.
What is usually done is to compose your email on one of the Regatta's computers using Microsoft Word or Notepad (they have Windows XP and Microsoft Office installed), copy the text to the clipboard, then sign onto the Internet (the $.90 cents per minute time clock starts ticking), and paste your text from the clipboard into the email composition form, add the addressees and the subject, and send it. Then, unless you want to do anything else on the Internet, sign off the Internet to stop the per minute charges.
Some members of the OceaniaCruiser Yahoo!Groups message board who wanted to check the message board while on the Regatta, arranged to receive a Daily Digest (it's one of that message board's delivery options) which is a compilation of the previous day's message board posts, sent to them in a single email.
While aboard the ship they signed onto the Internet, checked their email, and immediately printed the Daily Digest email, which gave them the entire previous day's board activity in hard copy without having to waste time signing onto the message board and reading each of the individual posts while on line. They reduced Internet usage charges, and the printed copy (printing is free) of the Digest email containing the previous day's message board posts could be read at their leisure, off line, without the hassle of Internet time charges.
Since there is a charge for each email received at the special email address that Oceania provides to each passenger in their documents package, many cruisers set up a free Internet email account before they cruise (hotmail, yahoo, etc) where they can send and receive email during their trip. That way they don't get charged for each email received at their special shipboard email account.
Yes, once you sign online the "clock" starts tivkin' and you must remember to sign out and then sign off ( the ships computer after you sign off from aol or whatever you use).. otherwise you keep getting billed.. and it's an expensive mistake. ;-)
I see that others answered the question for you. To be honest, I prefer to do my emails online, rather than downloading. Additionally, I wasn't expecting anything so important that it couldn't wait a few days, so I found it easier to find a cyber cafe in a port and spend a half hour doing my mail. Most of them charged about 3 - 5 Euro's an hour.
I did ask my catsitter to send me an email after about 3 days that all was well and I had it sent to the Oceania email address that they give you for emergencies. It cost $2.00 for the one email, but it was important to me that the kitties were good.
I can easily do e-mails in Word on my laptop as long as I can port them over to the online computers. That was my biggest question. I work online so I need that ability. I can go a couple of days without responding to e-mails but not longer than that.
Which itin were you on? I will be on Dover to Barcelona 13 September. I love using cyber cafes in foreign ports; it's as cultural an experience for me as many museums are!
I just got a snappy new lightweight laptop with wi-fi so if there are any wireless cafes near where the ship docks I might take it out for a test drive.
I'm looking forward to my Oceania experience. Just eleven days to go before I leave...
We were on the inaugural cruise, from Barcelona to Dover.
In Barcelona, our hotel had cheap internet access, so I never checked out a cyber cafe in that city - though I saw many - but I easily found very inexpensive ones in Cadiz, Bordeaux and Lisbon. I'm sure the other ports had them as well, I just didn't look.
Hi Jana - hope you're enjoying your cruise! Can't wait to read your reviews, especially aftering seeing the pre-cruise cabin photos you posted!
Oceania@Sea charges for every minute you're online, whether or not you're actively downloading or uploading data. Note also that the internet speed via the satellite uplink is much slower than via land-based DSL or cable modem line, so it took me nearly twice as long to check e-mail or to download various webpages.
Despite the fact that we were unable to use the satellite link up for three days (there was no coverage over the eastern Baltic), I still managed to burn through 100 minutes just checking e-mails every other daily. I'd strongly recommend buying the 100 minute package for $80, as each additional minute over 100 will cost you only 80 cents, instead of the advertised 99 cent rate.
Something to consider is using your Oceania@Sea account if you need to compose messages online. You'll have your own Microsoft Outlook account, and you can take your own sweet time writing a message without worrying about per-minute charges. It's $2.00 to send or receive each message, so if you think it's going to take you more than 2 minutes to compose and send an e-mail using your personal account, you might as well save money and do it from your Oceania@Sea account.
One good thing about Oceania@Sea was that they allowed you to print unlimited documents for free, as Charles noted above. But as Charles may not have noticed, (or been too polite to mention) some staff took umbrage at the fact that we were printing off the sometimes-lenghty Yahoo Daily Digests at their expense, "abusing" our free printing privileges. Plus, I overhead them discussing how quickly they were burning through reams of paper, and what a problem it was going to be to order additional ones.
Regarding Internet Cafes, most cities seemed to have them - the only problem was finding them, particularly in places where the signs aren't printed in English. Another complication were those on-screen instruction boxes in the native language, telling you to do something in order to proceed. I didn't know whether to "Zlozyts Plzad" or to "Zlozyts Iszmir." Cultural experience is right!!! I didn't notice whether they were hooked up for wi-fi, however.
I was on the Regatta the end of August and I agree with Rich Wong. If you are doing a lot of emailing, buy the package -- $80.00 for 100 minutes. I'm on dial-up at home and the ship's satellite connection was even slower. I sent one email to my whole address book (14 people) and it was $20.00. After that, I found internet cafes in some very interesting places. I just asked at the Information Centers in each city or asked someone college age. I don't think I missed a port and even had 15 minutes free access in Helsinki at a coffee counter in a big department store. In Oslo, it was on the college campus. We couldn't get service on the ship for almost four days so we all looked for other places in the ports. Some people found access at libraries. You can even ask the crew. They have to pay 65 cents per minute so they look for alternatives also.
I'm back, had a wonderful time, and YES! Internet services were very expensive (and slow) on Regatta. I had to use the service while on board because I was in the Bay of Biscaye watching Hurricane Isabel on CNN as she headed directly towards my home in North Carolina!
Except for the charges though, the Internet center is great, the instructors are great, and there were many people who learned a great deal from the computer classes offered. For the first time they were able to send pictures with their e-mails, and learn how to port a word.doc into a message. The range of offerings was impressive and not all of them directly related to being on-line. The manager and staff on our cruise were knowlegeable and friendly, and it was nice seeing so many people come away so happy from the classes.
Oceania's satellite service is being ( or will be) upgraded, and that ought to speed up Internet access somewhat.
You'll also be able to send and receive e-mails in your stateroom (but only with your Oceania-supplied address, I believe) via your TV and a wireless keyboard once the SeaLynx movies-on-demand-with-Internet-access system is fully operational.
BTW, for those of you who like clicky keyboards, I'd suggest using the terminals in the library, wihch are available 24x7 and have keyboards with more tactile response than the Compac laptops in the computer center.
What about burning CD's. My wife and I are signed up for a cruise next July on the Insignia and I will be taking "lots" of digital photos that I need to write them to CDs. I understand that computers are available but I am unclear how it works. Can I burn my own CDs or do I need to get the resident geek to do it at some rediculous fee?
The photo shop will burn your digital camera's images to CDs for $10 or so, as I recall. I'm pretty sure (but not absolutely certain) that they use CD-RWs that allow you to add more images to the CD later on at no additional charge.