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Odyssey wifi


rfsdvm
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have read in a couple of reviews that wifi was "spotty" on Odyssey.

I had intended to be able to do a couple of end-of-year computer

tasks while onboard....curious to get more details on how unpredictable

it actually is (or does spotty just mean certain areas of the ship)?

Thanks!

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13 hours ago, cmariegold97 said:

Is Voom comparable to the wifi on other cruise lines?

Princess has the fastest internet using the newer O3b satellite technology.   O3b is a satellite internet provider owned by SES.  It's often referred to as SES/O3b.

Royal's Oasis,  Quantum and Freedom class (plus Enchantment) also use O3b.  The difference is that Royal caps each user to 4Mb down and 2Mb up.  Princess doesn't impose a per user limit so you get what is available at that moment which is typically 10 to 15 times faster than Royal.  The technology and service provider is the same so it's a matter of speed.  Latency with O3b is typically 200-300ms.

Older Royal ships (pre-Freedom, except Enchantment) use the old legacy satellite technology with the same per user cap of 4Mb down and 2Mb up.  Latency on the older technology is typically 600-700ms.  

Carnival varies by ship.  All ships use the older legacy satellites but newer ships don't impose a per user limit.  The newer ships also leverage shore cellular when in select ports but only on the newer ships.  The older ships have abysmal performance (inc. Breeze and older) while the newer ships have a better experience but still pale compared to Princess and Royal's newer ships.

MSC uses the new O3b on newer ships including and since Meraviglia.  Older ships uses the legacy satellite technology from a European satellite internet provider.  MSC limits per users to roughly 6 Mb down and 3 Mb up.  Some MSC plans also have a total transfer cap and once you reach that you have to buy another plan.  It's 1.5GB IIRC.

NCL most plans still go back to the days of bucket of minutes and the need to logout or burn though your bucket of minutes very quickly.  That places them in their own miserable spot on the sea of ship internet.  In this case being in their own league is not a good thing.  

So in summary:

  1. Princess has the fastest and best internet at sea
  2. MSC has the next fastest on the newer ships but with a possible total transfer cap.  Older ships are middle of the pack.
  3. Royal has the next best internet on newer ships.  Older ships fall back to having 2nd slowest internet at sea.
  4. Carnival has faster internet but higher latency on the newer ships rendering a 4th place finish behind Royal's newer ships.  Older ships are dead last in the internet speed race at sea.  They are more of a snail's internet pace.  
  5. NCL is on a different playing field.  A playing field covered in mud and hard to draw comparisons. 

Having said all that satellite internet on all lines is impacted by rain fade and occasionally from being in a less desirable spot on the sea at times.  If the internet seems dreadfully bad it's possible the ship is passing through a heavy rain cloud.  You might not know this in the casino, or pub, or inside the ship somewhere so at times people declare the internet is terrible when really it's just that moment in time.

Alaska is so far North it's really hard for any ship to have good internet up there.

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There are two components to consider when it comes to the internet experience on board a ship.

The first is the actual internet connection and on a ship that is a satellite connection.

The second is the WiFi platform on a ship.  That is how your device connects to the ship.

The two are distinctly different but either one can independently play a factor on your internet experience.

I could write 10,000 words on either and still not explain it all.

When it comes to WiFi each device works differently based on the chipset (hardware) and operating system (software).  How an iPhone 7 works is different than an iPhone 8 even if they are both running the same iOS version and they are both different compared to how an Android on a Samsung 7 works versa Android on a Pixel 6.  The software version also makes a difference so two iPhone 11s running different versions will behave differently.

Someone who has an older device and who has never upgraded their phone will have a very different experience compared to another person with newer gear.  All that first person knows is that they couldn't watch a cat video on FaceBook so... "the ship wifi is terrible" meanwhile it's their device at fault.

Cabins are made of steel.  Those steel walls and door that so many use with magnets they bring are pretty much the definition of how to create a terrible wifi experience.  If you goal was to build a room that would reduce signals and minimize radio waves reaching you, a room with steel walls, floor, ceiling and door are exactly what you would use to do it.  Unfortunately that often means less than ideal wifi coverage in a cabin.

If we took 20 devices mounted on a cart then walked down the promenade 100 times how each device would associate and re-associate with the different ship access points they can see along that walk would be different every time for every device.  In some cases devices make bad choices and hold onto a distant access point longer than they should.  In most cases it's the device that decides how and when to associate to different access points when you are moving around.  Blame your device if it retains a connection to a distant access point longer than it should.  Yet people will always blame the ship wifi. 

If you walk into the pub and three people are streaming football games that makes for a pretty noisy RF airspace and it's likely your device will have some issues trying to associate with the best access point.  An hour later if those streamers are all gone and you walk into the pub your device may behave much better.  Yet all people know is a cat video on FaceBook wouldn't load so the ship wifi is terrible.  Meanwhile if they had gone to the solarium instead the cat video would have played purrfectly.  

Sometimes a cat video on FaceBook won't load because FaceBook is having issues yet people will still declare the ship wifi is terrible.  

Most humans consider wifi to binary.  It's there or its not.  Yet there is so much more to it and more times than not it's the device to blame, not the ship wifi.  

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The other aspect is a matter of expectations.

Family members have DSL internet on their rural farm.  They get 3Mb down and 1Mb up.  That is the fastest they can get.  They don't always get that, sometimes it is worse.  The ship internet works much better than their rural DSL service.

Some people have gigabit fiber at home with speeds that blow away the DSL on the rural farm.  When they visit the farm, or when they go on a cruise, they feel the internet is terrible.  Compared to their internet at home it is.  

It's a matter of expectations and what different people are accustomed to.   

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5 hours ago, twangster said:

  

It's a matter of expectations and what different people are accustomed to.   

definitely don't expect speed like home...just enough for functionality.

I do have a hotspot strength app on my phone, so plan to do a little walkabout to

find the best locations to use.  Not sure if the ships still have the little computer 

shop that actually had some hardwired computers (which likely wouldn't run what

I need to run)...I suppose they might know of good spots.

In Glacier Nat Park last year the access point was in the main lodge on the ceiling,

so if we sat on the top floor near the railings we could actually get a signal =:-).

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