Cruising for a Signal: Staying Connected on the High Seas

by Luke Jones  on Monday, Sep. 3, 2012 12:00 am  

During the evolution of international high-speed communication, one of the bigger difficulties for global travelers was connecting with the family back home.

That barrier has largely been removed with international cellphone plans and Wi-Fi available almost anywhere.

"Lots of people would either use or find Internet connections on vacations just to stay in touch with families," said Christine Vogt, professor of tourism marketing at Michigan State University's College of Agriculture & Natural Resources. "People enjoy being able to easily stay in touch with family members, sometimes by email or phone, sometimes by things like Facebook."

But there's still one major area where connectivity is difficult: the middle of the ocean.

"Thousands of people want to stay connected, but the cost is too high," Vogt said.

Not so high that it can't be had, though. How much is a Facebook status worth on a cruise ship? According to, most cruise lines charge around 75 cents per minute for Internet use, with prepaid packages available. Norwegian Cruise Line, for example, offers 100 minutes for $55 or 250 minutes for $100. So if you're really planning to live-blog your cruise, you'd better have that checkbook ready.



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