WiFi wars – Carnival strikes back

It is one of the commonest complaints from passengers – why is Wi-Fi so expensive?

Now, at last, comes as little relief. Carnival Cruise Lines will be rolling out cheaper social media packages from early 2016 to its entire fleet of ships.

A Carnival Australia spokesperson confirmed that guests will soon be able to upload holiday snaps to Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest, Tweet about their holiday on Twitter and send videos on Snapchat to friends and family for just $6.70 (US$5) a day.

But that doesn’t include Internet – but it does allow passengers to talk to each other on Facebook and share pictures and videos.

Royal Caribbean, last year, announced it would roll our “cheap” WiFi packages onboard Quantum of the Seas.

A basic one-week package will cost $150. A faster premium package that enables streaming will cost $160 and the premium-plus package for guests who require the fastest speeds will cost $280.

But this is the Rolls Royce of Internet from a satellite which follows the ship, and speeds are good.

But if you are happy with just social media, and don’t need to download newspapers and magazines, Carnival’s social media package is now the cheapest Internet plan available at sea.

The discounted plan is available on 13 of Carnival’s 24 ships in the United States and will soon be rolled out in Australia.

Passengers will then have unlimited access to the most popular and widely used social media networks.

The cruise line is looking to encourage passengers to share more social media content while they on holiday.

“Fast, affordable and reliable social media channels and the Internet have become essential on today’s cruise ships,” said Gabriel Gonzalez, Carnival Corporations vice president of guest technology.

“We have thoughtfully approached this area to ensure we are providing options that guests sailing throughout our fleet find truly valuable and reliable.”

The line will also be offering a value plan for guests who want to check their emails, weather updates and sport scores. The premium plan will offer Internet services with fast connection speeds to stream videos and use Skype.

The line also be rolling out its new mobile app, Carnival HUB for guests to get a look at the ship’s facilities and updates on events and the happenings onboard.

It also has a chat feature for guests to exchange messages with their travelling companions.