Technology

Spark looks to transform the cruise ship guest experience with Moneyball approach to the cruise industry

In:
14Nov2017

Spark Cooperative launched a new toolset that has one simple goal: revolutionize the way cruise lines plan the onboard guest experience.

Spark's SET software suite is designed to let a cruise line utilize models and visualizations of the guest experience to cater to guest segments. Once experience plans are made, brands can run game-changing analytics to reveal a number of insights, such as where they can reduce associated resource costs, and how best to deliver experiences for all types of climates and scenarios.

"Traditionally, in the 80s, 90s, and even early 2000s, there was really kind one type of cruiser, and it was really easy to kind of plan the six o'clock, eight o'clock dinner, and the six o'clock, eight o'clock show. These early cruisers were really satisfied with the way that cruise lines planned ahead for them," said Joshua Belz, Principal, Spark Cooperative. "Then NCL introduced Freestyle cruising, which was revolutionary at the time, and has really spread through the industry. . .What SET is going to do for cruise brands, and resort and hospitality brands that compete on experience, is think through the day of all of their different segments simultaneously."

"It has gotten to a point now where everyone expects so much from these brands that rely on experience, that you really need to segment your populations," said Ronnie Farzad, Principal, Spark Cooperative. "What SET does for these brands is actually allow them to spend a significant amount of time up front planning for those processes and planning for those people who are going to show up at the pier, but it basically takes all the guess work on the adjustments they have to make on a cruise by cruise basis during rain-or-shine scenarios, or when itineraries change.  They experience design up front, and it creates all the tools for their teams to be able to actually execute that on the go."

SET offers flexible plans to span the marketplace: from international enterprises with multiple brands and properties to single-property portfolios. The software comes with responsive and reliable support, and because it’s web-based, it can be accessed from anywhere at any time.

What this software aims to do is attempt to disrupt process that has been done traditionally by historical experience, and instead infuse data and analytics into the modeling and simulation tool to give cruise lines an operational plan.

Belz talked about the impetus for SET is as much a market demand today as it will be going forward, "Just looking at the roadmap of the industry, so many ships coming online in the next 10 years, so many more guest experiences, way more complex and exciting demographics coming onboard.  The industry is going to be hungry for a way to address these new cruises."

Farzad explained, “For hospitality companies, carrying forward experiences delivered to the previous properties worked for a period of time. In the experience economy, brands are asking how can we differentiate further? And that’s exactly what we want to do. We want to make it a data-driven and design-driven process.”

ABB to deliver first fuel cell system for Royal Caribbean

In:
13Nov2017

Heavy electrical company ABB announced it will deliver its first fuel cell system to be piloted on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship.  This will be the first fuel cell system to provide an energy source for a luxury cruise ship.

The pilot installation, including control, converter and transformer technology from ABB, will generate 100 kW of energy, and has been fully developed, marinized, assembled and tested by ABB Marine & Ports. ABB selected an FCvelocity® proton exchange membrane (PEM) pure hydrogen fuel cell engine from Ballard Power Systems for its pilot system.

Fuel cells generate energy by exploiting an electrochemical reaction at the interface between the anode or cathode and the electrolyte membrane. They involve no combustion, converting fuel directly to electricity and heat.

"Our goal is to take the smoke out of the smokestacks", said Harri Kulovaara, Executive Vice President of Maritime and Newbuilding, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. "We are dedicated to innovation, continuous improvement, and environmental responsibility, and using fuel cell technology gives us the opportunity to deliver against all three of these pillars."

This test installation is part of Royal Caribbean's drive to include emissions-free fuel cell technology as part of the powering for its forthcoming Icon-class ships.

Royal Caribbean announces new fleetwide tech innovations to enhance guest experience

In:
08Nov2017

Royal Caribbean announced today a slew of technological innovations that aim to make things simpler and easier for guests going on a cruise.

At the heart of the new technology overhaul is a new smartphone app that will be rolled out to every Royal Caribbean ship over the next two years.  The app promises to eliminate check-in lines at ports, equip crew members to anticipate guests’ needs, and enable giant cruise ships to sail through the water on a fuel-saving curtain of air.

Some features of the new app include 

  • Allowing guests to board ships in the time it takes to order fries from the drive-through, skipping check-in lines thanks to facial recognition technology that knows who they are on arrival.
  • Sign up for shore excursions, order drinks and make dinner reservations without ever leaving their chairs by the pool thanks to an intuitive app on a device most of them already have—a smartphone.
  •  Indulge in VR and AR experiences that transform ship spaces into virtual environments and interactive games, where stateroom ceilings might be replaced by starry skies, the walls of a restaurant can transform into the sights and sounds of an outdoor café and digital signs challenge you to play an arcade game.

Many of these same technologies are being deployed to put the power to manage your vacation in the palm of your hand. Jay Schneider, RCL’s senior vice president, digital, explained, “Our new app will make it simpler than ever to book and plan your cruise vacation from home or with a travel agent. Once on board, you can navigate our ships with interactive maps and guides, explore the ship with cool features like x-ray vision, or order drinks that can be delivered to you wherever you are on the ship.” The app, along with the next generation of the company’s WOW Bands, will also unlock guest staterooms and enable guests to control stateroom lighting and temperature.

This technology will be available on 13% of ships by the end of 2017, 50% by the end of 2018 and fleetwide by the end of 2019.

Frictionless Check-in

Royal Caribbean is turning to a combination of technologies to make the process of getting onboard a Royal Caribbean ship the easiest it has ever been.  In Royal Caribbean's eyes, less time spent boarding means more time for vacation.  To that end, Royal Caribbean is utilizing technologies ranging from facial recognition to RFID tagging to GPS mapping to Bluetooth-enabled beacons to streamline boarding, manage check-ins automatically and improve wayfinding. 

“We are finding ways to eliminate friction and frustration, giving guests more time to make the memories that make vacations special,” said Schneider.

Lessened environmental impact

At a Royal Caribbean's invitation-only Sea Beyond event in New York City, innovations aimed at enhancing overall ship management and improving energy efficiency were on display.

For example, forthcoming command centers will use augmented reality to assist with navigation and maneuvering. “Think of it as enabling the nautical equivalent of flying on instruments,” said Richard D. Fain, RCL’s chairman and CEO. “Our ships always operate with keen sensitivity to the limitations the weather may impose. But having new means to mitigate the weather’s impacts on departures and arrivals helps us uphold schedule and itinerary commitments important to our guests,” added Fain.

Royal Caribbean is also innovating to reduce fuel consumption across its fleet, which not only lowers operating costs but also lightens stack emissions that are part of cruising’s environmental footprint. Historically, each new class of RCL ships is significantly more fuel efficient than its predecessors as new high efficiency appliances, window tinting and improved lighting, heating and cooling technologies help reduce energy needs. The company continues to evolve hull designs to reduce drag, an evolution most evident in the “bulbous bows” now common on cruise ships. In addition, RCL is pioneering the use of an air lubrication system that coats the hulls of its ships with millions of microscopic air bubbles to further reduce resistance and drag. In initial uses, air lubrication has reduced fuel consumption at speed by 7 to 8 percent.

Complementing RCL’s energy conservation efforts are initiatives to use alternative energy sources. Some RCL ships are already equipped with solar panels that generate sufficient power for limited onboard needs. At Sea Beyond, RCL will be previewing the use of fuel cells for power generation. Fuel cell use could fundamentally change ship design by distributing power sources throughout the ship. Furthermore, adoption of fuel cells would also mean producing less energy from diesel generators, reducing ships’ environmental footprints. The company is planning fuel cell experiments on existing ships, with an eye to extensive use of fuel cells and liquefied natural gas (LNG) propulsion on its upcoming Icon class of ships. “We are fully embracing the expectation that we run an environmentally sustainable business,” said Fain. “Experimenting with new ways to power our ships is just part of our broad commitment to being a responsible environmental steward.”

Focus on the crew

The innovations enriching the cruise guest experience will be complemented by a suite of tools for crews, as well. For example, the app-enabled offerings for guests will be mirrored on the crew side by mobile applications that help crew members check-in guests, complete required paperwork, track delivery of guests’ bags to their staterooms, and interact with guests and anticipate their needs throughout their vacations.

In addition, crews will have access to easier means to manage their own schedules, stay connected to friends and family while onboard, and stay connected to RCL during their off-contract periods.

How to stay in touch with someone on your Royal Caribbean cruise

In:
27Jul2016

We get a lot of questions about taking a Royal Caribbean cruise, and there is one question that gets asked a lot about how to stay in touch with those on the same ship as them.  Often, the question goes something like this, "I am cruising with several groups of people. How do you recommend we stay connected on the ship besides the room phone?"

Royal Caribbean cruise ships range in a guest capacity of about 2,000 to 6,500, so finding one person onboard is not always a simple task.  If you are also wondering the best way to get a hold of someone you are cruising with, here are some helpful means of doing so.  Each has its advantages or disadvantages, and price will vary as well.

Thanks to Billy Hirsch for contributing a lot to the writing of this blog post!

Royal Caribbean's phones

Utilizing Royal Caribbean's in-room phones and phones in common areas is a simple way to communicate with guests onboard your ship and onshore.

If you are trying to reach a guest onboard the ship, you can make a call to their stateroom and optionally leave a message.  Use of the phones for calls to a guest's stateroom is complimentary.  Of course, it requires the guest to be in the room to answer the call and/or check the voicemail.  This can result in "phone tag," where it seems like you are always missing each other.

If you want to get in contact with someone on land, there are two options.

Calls made from land to your Royal Caribbean cruise (shore to ship) can be achieved by calling (888) 724-7447/(321) 953-9003 to reach passengers.  The cost of this service is $7.95 per minute, and is chargeable to a Visa or MasterCard credit card.

Calls made from your Royal Caribbean ship to somewhere on land (ship to shore) can be made from your stateroom phone and also costs $7.95 per minute, billed to your SeaPass account.

Using your cell phone service

These days, almost everyone has a cell phone with them and your cell phone will function while on a cruise, although the cost of doing so will vary greatly.

Phone calls made while at sea and using Royal Caribbean's cell phone service will come with a hefty cost, depending on your cell phone plan.  Usually, calls cost $6-8 per minute depending on your carrier.

Text messaging, however, is far less expensive. Once again, rates will vary, but most SMS messages that are sent will cost anywhere from 25 cents to $1 per message, with incoming messages free or up to 50 cents per message.  

Using your cell phone's data plan can be prohibitively expensive, with costs of $1 per MB or more.  You are better off skipping this option and looking at Voom options (scroll down to see more about this).

Some cell phone providers offer a special international plan for use on a cruise ship.  For example, AT&T has a partnership with Royal Caribbean, where you can pre-purchase a plan that provides an allotment of phone usage at sea.

For $120 per month, this plan provides

  • 50 minutes of voice calls, with $1 per minute over.
  • 100 SMS messages, with $0.50 per message sent over.
  • 100 MB of data, with $10 per 10 MB over.

Voom for data services

Royal Caribbean's high-speed internet option it offers to its guests on all ships is known as Voom, and it provides an affordable means of using internet data to stay in touch with friends and family.

There are two Voom plans offered:

  • Voom Surf
    • This offers basic web browsing, with no streaming services allowed
    • Starts at $9.99 per day for 1 device
      • The price gets cheaper as more devices are added to the plan
      • Most guests can get a 30% pre-cruise discount via the Cruise Planner site
      • There is also a Crown & Anchor Society discount once onboard
  • Voom Surf + Stream
    • Full internet access, including streaming services
    • Starts at $12.99 per day for 1 device
      • The price gets cheaper as more devices are added to the plan
      • Most guests can get a 30% pre-cruise discount via the Cruise Planner site
      • There is also a Crown & Anchor Society discount once onboard

Use Voom Surf + Stream to make calls

Royal Caribbean's top-tier internet option not only can allow for web browsing, but also provides the ability for savvy users to make phone calls while onboard your cruise for significantly less than the other means listed earlier in this blog post.

WiFi calling

The easiest option is to use WiFi calling through your carrier.  Most major cell phone carriers these days provide a means of making phone calls via an internet connection instead of relying on a cell phone connection. 

WiFi calling has no additional cost and works just like you are at home and supports voice calls, text messaging (SMS and MMS).  It works with most newer devices, including iPhone 5C and later, Android and Blackberry devices.  Check with your carrier for exact devices that are supported.

At last check, these carriers supported WiFi calling

  • Verizon
  • AT&T
  • T-Mobile
  • Sprint
  • GoogleFi

To make a phone call over WiFi, put your device into airplane mode and connect to Voom via WiFi.  If set up correctly on your phone, your calls, texts will be routed through Voom.

Free/low cost VoIP Services

There are many applications for your smart phone, computer or tablets that allow for free or low cost phone calls as well. There are a number popular applications we recommend using.

With all of these solutions, we highly recommend testing them out before your Royal Caribbean cruise to ensure you understand how it works and is set up correctly.

Skype

Skype is quite easy to use and offers voice, video and texting between Skype accounts for free.  All you need to do is install Skype on your device and have the person you are communicating with do the same.

Skype users can also make voice calls and text message between Skype and a phone for a low cost.  There is no contract or commitment to use this service, just load up your Skype account with Skype credit.

Google Hangouts

Google's messaging application, Google Hangouts, is completely free and supports free outbound domestic phone calls. Unfortunately, there are no inbound calls possible in most cases.

Google Hangout also allows for free messaging to anyone else with a Google account (which is everyone these days), as well as video chat.

WhatsApp

Another popular messaging application for smart phones is WhatsApp, which supports easy communicating.

Before your cruise, set up an account (you will need to verify your account via SMS messaging).  Once set up, WhatsApp users can message between WhatsApp users, conduct video chat and make calls to and from WhatsApp users.

Facebook Messenger

Another free option is to use Facebook Messenger.  This is totally free, and allows for messaging between Facebook users, as well as video chat.

Facebook Messenger also supports calls to and from Facebook users.

Your Thoughts

Which means of communicating with friends and family on your ship and at sea do you find to be the best option? Did we miss one you know about? Share your comments and suggestions in the comments!

Spotted: Expanded functionality Wayfinders on Anthem of the Seas

In:
28Oct2015

Royal Caribbean has been adding digital wayfinders to their cruise ships since they were first introduced on Oasis of the Seas, but recently, they have gotten a software upgrade that gives them much more functionality.

Royal Caribbean's digital wayfinders are interactive kiosks found in the elevator lobbies of most ships. It offers guests access to what is happening on the ship, directions to anywhere on the ship and even restaurant information.

Recently, Royal Caribbean upgraded the software for these wayfinders to allow guests to locate any ship in Royal Caribbean's fleet, read more information about the officers and more.

When using the wayfinders, guests can choose from a variety of options.

The "Ship Locator" is one of the new links, that will give guests a look at the location of every ship in the fleet.

In fact, the Ship Locator will also show the location of sister company ships, such as Celebrity Cruise and Azamara Club Cruise ships.

Guests can also look up information on the officers onboard their Royal Caribbean ship and learn more about each one of them.

Big thanks to Royal Caribbean Blog reader Rich Freudenberg for providing these photos!

In addition, the wayfinders feature a Port Explorer feature, which highlights the itinerary you are on and allows guests to explore the port from a Google Maps experience

These new features were first introduced on Quantum of the Seas, and will also be available on Harmony of the Seas and Ovations of the Seas.

How to bring Royal Caribbean to your new iPhone 6s

In:
25Sep2015

For those unaware, Apple released today its brand new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus phones and all over the world, and already there are lots of people are waiting in line (or at home for the delivery man) to get their hands on the hottest phone.

So once you have your brand new iPhone unwrapped and ready to use, here are some ways to bring a little Royal Caribbean to your phone so you have one more way to get a quick virtual escape!

Buy a Royal Caribbean inspired case

Show off your new iPhone in style with a snazzy new case that not only protects your iPhone, but tells everyone you love to cruise.

Even though the iPhone 6s just launched, there are plenty of cases already available to suit your needs.

We went through what was available and picked some of our favorites!

Anchors Case (available in black or pink)

ULAK Heavy-Duty Anchor Blue case

ULAK Heavy-Duty Case Red Anchor-Neon Pink

 

Play Penguin Ahoy

Did you know Royal Caribbean released a side-scrolling race game based on the Oasis class cruise ships?

In Penguin Ahoy, users try to avoid the sprinklers, dodge the basketballs, slide under the inflatables to keep the penguin running for as long as possible without being caught by the crew! 

The game is a fun way to spend some time seeing the FlowRider in action, the Rock Wall, H2O zone, Ice Skating, Golf and Basketball court.

The game is free from the App Store.

Get the official app

Of course, we would be remiss if we did not mention downloading the official Royal Caribbean iOS app.

The Royal Caribbean app allows users to see where Royal Caribbean sails, explore unique onboard features that are only on Royal Caribbean’s ships, learn about our many destinations, and see what is happening onboard the Oasis & Allure of the Seas.

Like the game, it too is free!

Download Royal Caribbean wallpaper

If you like seeing Royal Caribbean more often, try setting your lock screen or wallpaper to something Royal Caribbean!

iPhones allow you to change the image you see when your phone is locked or have something behind all of your icons.

To find a perfectly cropped photo for your iPhone, do a Google Image search for "royal caribbean iphone wallpaper".

You should find plenty of choices to pick from and then you can always see something Royal Caribbean when you turn on your phone!

Share with us how you bring a little Royal Caribbean to your phone or tablet in the comments below!

Previewing Harmony of the Seas: Technology

In:
24Sep2015

Royal Caribbean has built a reputation for itself in being a technological leader when it comes to the technological advancements it brings to its cruise ships and on Harmony of the Seas, guests can expect the very latest innovations.

Technology will be at the heart of what Harmony of the Seas offers, so here is a look at what guests can expect to find at their fingertips when they get onboard the largest cruise ship in the world.

True high speed internet

When folks think of using the internet on a cruise ship, there is usually a groan and sigh involved because traditionally internet at sea has been mid-1990s slow.  

On Harmony of the Seas, guests can enjoy the high-speed internet experience known as Voom.  

Voom is Royal Caribbean's new satellite internet service that allows guests to post to Facebook and Instagram, post videos on YouTube, tweet about your shore excursion, and have face-to-face conversations via Skype and Google Hangouts. Plus, you can even stream movies, games and apps via your personal accounts with Hulu, Netflix, Amazon and more.

The Voom speeds are the real deal and Royal Caribbean even says if you need to do business work onboard, with Voom you can check email, transfer files, host video conferences, Skype and more, just as if you were on land.

Everything on your wrist

An undeniably cool innovation coming to Harmony of the Seas are the RFID bracelets known as WOW Bands.

WOW Bands give guests everything they have been accustomed to having in a SeaPass card, on their wrist.  This means getting access to staterooms, making purchases and checking in for entertainment has never been easier.

Guests can use their WOWband to enter their staterooms, purchase beverages, merchandise and anything else Royal Caribbean sells. Plus, WOWbands serve as an easy way to distinguish which muster station each guest is assigned to.

WOW Bands are an optional feature but once you try the WOW Bands, you will likely be leaving your SeaPass card behind in your stateroom.  

Get drinks made by robots

What happens when you mix your favorite beverages with cutting-edge robotics? You get the Bionic Bar on Harmony of the Seas.

Makr Shakr created Bionic Bar for the Quantum class ships and they have brought this impressive creation to Harmony of the Seas, where guests can order drinks from iPads and then marvel in the spectacle of robotic arms creating the drink on the spot.

Combining robots and mixology, Bionic Bar is something you have to see to appreciate because every time you walk by, it is so tantalizing to watch the robots in action.

The single armed robot will get the ice, mints and lemon and then squeeze and shake them to make your drink. Eventually, there wont be a limit on what the drinks the robots can make. The customization is what Royal Caribbean is aiming for.

A room with a (virtual) view

Staying in an inside stateroom does not mean you do not have a view anymore. On Harmony of the Seas, guests will be able to enjoy virtual balconies in their inside staterooms.

What is a virtual balcony?  Inside staterooms on Harmony of the Seas offer a floor-to-ceiling high-definition LED screen that shows real-time views from specific points on the ship.  

Royal Caribbean designed the virtual balcony to look (and sound) like the real thing, so guests can see everything going on in a port or just the vast serenity of the ocean passing by.

Guests can turn the virtual balcony off at any time, especially at night when sleeping but it's available anytime they want.

There's even natural sounds that are piped into your stateroom to provide as authentic an experience as possible.

The only thing missing is the balcony stateroom price tag!

There's an app for that

With the Royal iQ smartphone app, everything is easier to do onboard Harmony of the Seas.

Royal iQ allows guests to track their luggage as it comes onboard the ship, book shore excursions and dinner reservations as well as chat or call friends and family onboard.

Available for iPads, iPhones, and Android phones, Royal iQ gives you the flexibility to decide what to do and when to do it.

Royal iQ allows guests to manage details during the cruise, includes a convenient calendar that provides at-a-glance views of the cruise or conference program.

If you prefer not to carry a phone or tablet with you, Harmony of the Seas will offer eight freestanding iQ stations at Guest Services that give you the same functionality as the mobile apps. You will also find roaming Guest Services staff to assist as well.

Get to the fun faster

Royal Caribbean wants the boarding process for Harmony of the Seas to be the simplest yet.  Why waste time in the pier doing paper work?

Guests sailing on Harmony of the Seas can take care of all necessary documentation online including uploading your own photo and receiving digital boarding confirmation.

Without a check‑in counter, there aren't any forms to fill out or lines to wait in.

All of this means less time spent waiting in lines and filling out forms and a quicker way to get onboard and having vacation start a whole lot sooner.

Which tech innovation excites you the most? Tell us in the comments below!

Video: An inside look at the making of Royal Caribbean's azipods

In:
Category: 
25Aug2015

Always on the cutting edge of technology, Royal Caribbean uses azipods to propel and safely maneuver its ships on the high seas. Watch as these powerful propellers make ship navigation more precise than ever before.

Using your cell phone on a Royal Caribbean cruise

In:
25Aug2015

Cell phones are a way of life these days, with every guest bringing their phone with them onto a Royal Caribbean cruise, just like they would bring their wallet or identification.  The obvious question is can you use your cell phone onboard a Royal Caribbean ship and what are the costs.

Here is an in-depth look at what you need to know about using your cell phone while on a Royal Caribbean ship.

Calls, texts and data

Once you are onboard a Royal Caribbean ship and the ship begins to sail, Royal Caribbean operates a WMS mobile network, known as Cellular at Sea, that will work with any phone that allows roaming.

When the ship is sailing out of range of land-based mobile phone networks, mobile phone service will still be available. When the ship is in port, you can connect to local roaming networks as permitted by your home carrier.

Cellular at Sea is compatible with both GSM and CDMA technologies.

The exact rates will depend on your carrier and the cell phone plan you have signed up for.

As an example, AT&T charges

  • $2.50 per minute for voice calls
  • $0.50 per text message
  • $1.30 per picture or video message
  • $10.24 per MB ($0.0195 per KB)

Verizon Wireless charges

  • $1.79 per minute for voice calls
  • $0.50 per message sent
  • $0.05 per message received
  • $2.05 per MB ($0.002KB)

 Please note that calls to 800, 888, 866, and 877 numbers are not toll free. You will be billed by your home carrier for your international roaming usage on your regular mobile phone bill.

Not all prepaid phones are currently supported.

The bottom line is, using your cell phone on a Royal Caribbean ship while roaming can get very expensive, very quickly.

Cell phone plans for cruises

AT&T offers cell phone packages specifically for use on a Royal Caribbean ship.

There are three packages to choose from and they must be purchased prior to your cruise.

  • $30 package
    • 50 voice call minutes ($1 per minute overage)
  • $60 package
    •  50 voice call minutes ($1 per minute overage)
    • 100 text messages ($0.50 per message overage)
  • $120 package
    •  50 voice call minutes ($1 per minute overage)
    • 100 text messages ($0.50 per message overage)
    • 100MB data ($10 per 10 MB overage)

READ OUR REVIEW OF THE AT&T CRUISE PLANS

These cruise packages can be added by calling 800.335.4685 and a one-month minimum required.

Verizon Wireless offers Cruise Ship Preferred Pricing

  • $25 monthly access per line
    • 100 MB monthly allowance ($25 per 100MB overage)
  • For $15 more per line, add
    • 100 minutes ($0.25 per minute overage)
    • 100 sent texts ($0.25 per text sent overage)
    • Unlimited received texts

Sprint offers international rates for Royal Caribbean ships

  • $2.99 per minute voice calls
  • $0.50 per message sent
  • $0.15 per message received

T-Mobile offers international rates for Royal Caribbean ships

  • $5.99 per minute voice calls
  • $0.50 per message sent
  • Messages received deducted from domestic texting plan allotment
  • $15 per MB

Avoiding cell phone roaming costs

There are two simple ways to avoid the roaming costs that your cell phone provider may levy on you for using your phone while onboard.

Easiest and simplest is to turn your phone off before the ship leaves port.

Alternatively, if you would prefer to keep use of your phone in an offline mode, put the phone into "airplane mode".  

Airplane mode disables the phone's ability to communicate with cell phone towers and will ensure you can use your phone without incurring charges.

For instructions on how to put your phone into airplane mode, refer to your phone manufacturer.

Using WiFi on your phone

Many guests choose to put their phone in airplane mode but use WiFi signals onboard or onshore to retain data communication.

Nearly all modern phones allow you to put the phone in airplane mode while turning back on the WiFi signal.

Royal Caribbean provides internet service via WiFi on all of its cruise ships that can be purchased in increments or as unlimited packages.

Royal Caribbean ships with Voom high speed internet can pay

  • $15 per day, for one device for unlimited internet
  • $22.50 per day, for two devices for unlimited internet

Royal Caribbean ships without high speed internet can pay

  • $20 per day, for one device for unlimited internet
  • $30 per day, for two devices for unlimited internet

Staying connected with other guests

Often we hear from guests who want the best way to be able to communicate with other guests onboard their Royal Caribbean cruise.  Since voice calls are usually prohibitively expensive, here are some ideas for low cost ways to communicate with a phone.

  • Text messages are usually the least expensive option to use and may also be the simplest.  Depending on how much you text, the cost of this idea will vary.
  • If you purchase one of Royal Caribbean's internet data plans, you can use text messaging apps such as WhatsApp and Viber to communicate without any extra cost beyond the internet package.  iPhone users can use iMessage to also communicate for free with a internet package.
  • We have heard about the Ripple Cruise Communicator that purports to allow free communication on a cruise ship, but have also heard mixed results of how effective it is.

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