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C_Pepper

Travel router crack down?

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In a few weeks my kids and I will be going on our second RC cruise, this time on the Harmony of the Seas.   Needless to say we are very excited, and since we went last year on Adventure of the Seas, we sort of know what to expect from cruising and very excited about the new, to us, ship.   Last year we brought a travel router for internet and it worked out great.   We were able to share WiFi in our room, when we were in our room and the kids enjoyed being able to message their mom etc.   I'm worried because I read a post of two here that RC is cracking down on travel routers.  Is this true?  Are things relatively the same as they were a year ago.   thoughts appreciated.    Last year I attempted to bring a power strip and they found it very quickly at checkin, just worried the same will happen with the router.   Other than a travel router I am good with all their other rules and regulations, I really LOVED our vacation last year and anxiously waiting for this years sailing.    

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7 hours ago, C_Pepper said:

In a few weeks my kids and I will be going on our second RC cruise, this time on the Harmony of the Seas.   Needless to say we are very excited, and since we went last year on Adventure of the Seas, we sort of know what to expect from cruising and very excited about the new, to us, ship.   Last year we brought a travel router for internet and it worked out great.   We were able to share WiFi in our room, when we were in our room and the kids enjoyed being able to message their mom etc.   I'm worried because I read a post of two here that RC is cracking down on travel routers.  Is this true?  Are things relatively the same as they were a year ago.   thoughts appreciated.    Last year I attempted to bring a power strip and they found it very qI fuickly at checkin, just worried the same will happen with the router.   Other than a travel router I am good with all their other rules and regulations, I really LOVED our vacation last year and anxiously waiting for this years sailing.    

I do not think they can stop everyone with travel router in the check in , they can try and block the usage of travel router by different ways , not sure they want to do it.

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There are some ships that are known to interfere with specific travel routers.  Radiance and Liberty come to mind.  Travel routers that can clone a MAC address of another device continue to work fine on them.  

So it becomes a matter of the ship and if your travel router can clone a MAC address. 

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8 hours ago, C_Pepper said:

 Last year I attempted to bring a power strip and they found it very quickly at checkin   

Wait, power strips aren't allowed? Why is that? Every video I've watched about what to pack for a cruise says to bring a power strip. 

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Jersey Joe, yeah they don't allow power strips and I know everyone says to bring them.   they are apparently a fire risk.  Last year my kids bags arrived to the room and there was a note for me to report to security where they asked if we could open my bag, and they recovered my power strip.  I was sort of scared but they just took it from me and told me I could get it back when we got off the ship.    Honestly we really didn't need it anyways.  I think some know how to get them through but be careful.   

Bring a travel router, sounds like you can still use them and it's pretty handy for multi devices you own.

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21 minutes ago, SYRbob said:

You can have a power strip but not a power strip with a surge protector or circuit breaker.

You can obtain a Sunbeam three outlet power strip at Dollar Tree stores for just a dollar.

 

Strange, because I thought the whole point of the surge protector is to protect against fires. 

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1 minute ago, JerseyJoe said:

Strange, because I thought the whole point of the surge protector is to protect against fires. 

The surge protector protects the user but can disrupt the electrical circuits on board the ship.

The cruise line is more concerned with providing good electric service to all of its guests, not just one cabin.

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1 hour ago, JerseyJoe said:

Strange, because I thought the whole point of the surge protector is to protect against fires. 

Ships don’t have a “ground” like land based power systems do.  Surge protectors work by sending over voltage spikes to ground.  

On a ship that would be a problem.  In fact the power systems and isolation from the hull also prevent electrolysis leading to salt corrosion that would quickly become a huge issue for steel hulls. 

Plus surge protectors are not there to prevent fires specifically.  They are used to protect sensitive electronics from damage caused by power surges.  In some extreme cases that might lead to fire but usually it just protects poorly designed electronics from dying.  

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Twangsrer I can tell you have a LOT more Cruise experience than me, but I’m pretty sure my power strip didn’t have a surge protector.  But no matter what it was taken. Not a huge deal and I encourage people to go with your reasoning. I’m a relative newbie to all of this.  That said I can’t wait to be on this ship ! Power strip or nor 🙂 

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A way around the power strip/surge protector problem is that many devices we use these days are USB charged.  A USB charging bank has yet to be on the prohibited list (may only be a matter of time)  If your device is USB charged, plug it into the USB bank instead.  If you travel with a laptop, use the laptop's USB ports for charging your USB charged devices, and if you bring a laptop with you (I dont travel without my laptop, one of these years I'll do a fully unplugged from the outside world cruise but... not today LOL)  you can bring a USB hub with you.  I have a cheapy one I got at a trade show or was a promo or something, I forget where I got it from but its promo branded and has 4 USB ports on it.  Slam that into the laptop and I've expanded 1 USB port to 4 USB ports and all of them can be used to charge stuff (camera, phone, gopro, tablet, nintendo DS, vape pen for designated location use only!).  A small USB hub should cost under 5 bucks, you dont need bells and whistles.  Same with a USB charging bank.  You dont need one with power levels or charging statuses, or a massive bank.  4 ports should be more than enough for all of your charging needs.  I also highly recommend bringing a USB adapter.  I have one from my company (I have a ton of promo gadgets/gizmos for some reason) and it converts from standard USB to Lightning, mini USB, and like 5 others.  That way the number of charging cables I need to bring are at a minimum.  And I'm going to throw out this recommendation for cable management when travelling.  I color code my individual charging cables with a small piece of colored tape.  I keep a piece of paper with the colors for the cables and their associated device, and I check in the cables when packing to leave for the cruise, I check them out when I unpack, then check them back in when returning.  I havent lost a charging cable yet when using this method.  Helps around the home too when wanting to locate charging cables and all of them wind up looking alike and you wind up with a drawer full of a tangle of charging cables.  

Also, dont be afraid to ask your cabin steward for a power strip once onboard.  They have a limited number of power strips onboard (same with extension cords for CPAP users)  If you're a CPAP user and need the extension cord, dont forget to fill out the special medical needs form!  This will make sure your CPAP machine has the necessary water and extension cord.  

Another way to get an extra plug out of your cabin, normally the older cabins have 1 US outlet and one .... not US outlet (sorry dont know what they're called).  A travel adapter will allow you to use both the US and the non US outlets, maximizing what outlets you do have access to.  

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OH and before I forget.  When you're using the WiFi onboard, practice the same safety with your personal information that you do on land, even more so in my opinion.  Even when connecting to Voom, protect yourself.  I like using a VPN (there are several low cost or free ones available, a popular one is NordVPN) to protect sensitive information such as any website you need to log into with a username and password.  

Yes it will be tempting to check your bank balance online while travelling.  Its a good thing to keep track of your spending!  BUT, assume that everyone on that public WiFi is looking directly over your shoulder when you log into websites.  Even if your bank protects your account with a PIN and a secret picture/phrase, still assume someone's looking over your shoulder.  Practice strict security with your data especially when travelling.  This goes for hotel, airport, coffee shop, cruise terminal, etc wifi.   Just having a login page to get onto the paid wifi isnt enough.  Checking your bank balance or other sensitive information via phone or a secure encrypted app from your bank is FAR more secure.   

This isnt meant to scare people (ok maybe a little fear is a good thing when it comes to securing your personal information), but you dont know everyone on that cruise ship, or in that port.  Wifi is a wonderful thing.  But you dont know who else is on that wifi network like you do at home.

Edited by ThyriC
clumsy typing

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35 minutes ago, C_Pepper said:

Twangsrer I can tell you have a LOT more Cruise experience than me, but I’m pretty sure my power strip didn’t have a surge protector.  But no matter what it was taken. Not a huge deal and I encourage people to go with your reasoning. I’m a relative newbie to all of this.  That said I can’t wait to be on this ship ! Power strip or nor 🙂 

Security in the terminal is a 3rd party security company.  They hire people oriented to security services.  They are not electricians who can discern one with versus one without.  Safer to confiscate.  

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That’s a great reminder @ThyriC! It’s funny because I have a VPN that I always use at airports and in hotels but for some reason it never occurred to me to also use it on a cruise. I will def make sure to use it when browsing in May though! 

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On 3/10/2019 at 6:21 PM, ThyriC said:

A way around the power strip/surge protector problem is that many devices we use these days are USB charged.  A USB charging bank has yet to be on the prohibited list (may only be a matter of time)  If your device is USB charged, plug it into the USB bank instead.  If you travel with a laptop, use the laptop's USB ports for charging your USB charged devices, and if you bring a laptop with you (I dont travel without my laptop, one of these years I'll do a fully unplugged from the outside world cruise but... not today LOL)  you can bring a USB hub with you.... 

Good suggestion! We love ours - charges both phones, both iPads, and 1-2 Apple watches at once. I did the best research that I could on the hubs and went with the Anker 60W 6 Port USB Wall Charger PowerPort 6 for about $25 at Amazon. It’s been great for us.

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On 3/11/2019 at 12:05 AM, Notlad said:

Because of the restrictions banning passenger brought extension cords and power strips I just let them know I have a CPAP machine and require an extension cord and they provide it.

My husband needs a CPAP also.  We called RCCL and asked for special needs department.  He requested an extension cord and also a gallon of distilled water.  They said they would be in our room when we arrive.

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@twangster there was a great thread where you had gone to great lengths to explain the router setup, but I have searched and cannot find it anywhere. 😟 It was one of the best threads that I have seen in the topic, so I very much hope that it was not somehow deleted? 

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1 hour ago, jhatle01 said:

@2Beeze

I had seen that thread mentioned previously and when I checked the link that someone else had posted it showed that it was deleted... 😧

I can’t imagine why it would be, it was so useful. Maybe I am just not in the know around here but ....That sucks big time 😥

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@jhatle01 I found an extremely interesting (and very recent) article on this topic at yourwarrantyisvoided.com - I am sending you a direct message with the direct url (I would put it here, but the fact that the other thread disappearex confuses me, so maybe it’s better to do it this way). Happy sailing!

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I don't understand why they would crack down on travel routers.  It's not like you get more speed out of your VOOM plan.  If you top out at 15Mbps and you have 5 devices on your router you will be sharing that 15Mbps divvied up across all 5 devices.  Maybe it's from a security standpoint?

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10 minutes ago, delerium98 said:

I don't understand why they would crack down on travel routers.  It's not like you get more speed out of your VOOM plan.  If you top out at 15Mbps and you have 5 devices on your router you will be sharing that 15Mbps divvied up across all 5 devices.  Maybe it's from a security standpoint?

Well , its not about the speed its about the revenue ...

Lets say you are traveling with two kids that just hooked to the social media and want to stay in contact with there friend , such router will allow them to do it with a single Voom package  while if you can not use the router many will buy the two or three device Voom plan , just not to get to endless fighting who has the internet now. As long as the router "hacked" was something that did not influence the stream of revenue (as not many used it) no one cared , but if (and here I speculate) they started to see decline in the multi device plans they might wanted to start and close this option. Voom is one of the most profitable stream of revenue for Royal.    

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2 minutes ago, Traveler said:

Well , its not about the speed its about the revenue ...

Lets say you are traveling with two kids that just hooked to the social media and want to stay in contact with there friend , such router will allow them to do it with a single Voom package  while if you can not use the router many will buy the two or three device Voom plan , just not to get to endless fighting who has the internet now. As long as the router "hacked" was something that did not influence the stream of revenue (as not many used it) no one cared , but if (and here I speculate) they started to see decline in the multi device plans they might wanted to start and close this option. Voom is one of the most profitable stream of revenue for Royal.     

Very good point.  I guess if you are not doing any bandwidth intensive things (like Netflix/YouTube streaming) then splitting a single connection would work.  But yes, I agree Royal is most likely making a killing on the Voom packages.

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