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Redtravel

Has the wifi improved?

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The last time we sailed on WS, the wifi was terrible and expensive.   Has it improved? We sail this week.  I reminded my spouse today that WS doesn't include free internet.  He was shocked.  We travel often.  Most hotels and cruise lines include free internet.  Isn't it time for Windstar to offer some free internet.

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I can’t say that it’s much better. They could certainly include it in the price, but I guess that price would then go up. We’ll pay one way or another.  

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The other alternative is to use mobile data when in port - which is most days. I use KnowRoaming and the cost is $3.99 a day for unlimited data. 

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1 hour ago, Alturia said:

The other alternative is to use mobile data when in port - which is most days. I use KnowRoaming and the cost is $3.99 a day for unlimited data. 

 

 

I agree with this.  There are few ways to do this. 

 

Use a cellphone carrier in your home country that has "international roaming".  Some offer it for free.  This means you use your cell phone and your cell number.  You can even use your phone as a hotspot on some plans.  This of course onlt works when in port or close to land.  You need to make sure that you do accidentally use the ships cell service.  Read the fine print.  There is still the option to run your bill up - but no need to do that if you are careful.

 

You can also buy a sim card.  In Europe this is quite cheap.  Most other places it is reasonable.  All the same stipulations as above.  The main thing is know the plan you are buying.  I travel with an unlocked hotspot and can always use that.

 

Cell Carriers in the US that offer international roaming that is included in "some" plans are Sprint and T-Mobile.  Verizon and ATT offer a day pass for about $10 day and uses your existing data/text/mins from your plan.  

 

As a network engineer that works for a major international Internet service provider, the boat Internet will never be good.  It uses Satellite, and sending your data up to a satellite and then back down to earth and then on to its final destination will NEVER be "good", at least not by my standards.  I agree windstar could do better, and they are among the worse.  I am only speculating, but they could have a contract they are waiting to get out of OR the other reason, it is not cheap to replace those systems.  My guess is that it is that they are in a contract - they seem to be regularly making capital improvements, and this is something I know people complain about.

 

@Redtravel what cruises lines (and the boat) have you been on that had good and Free Internet.  I am curious to investigate what they use.

 

 

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I was on a Silversea cruise this past Feb/March in Patagonia and they offered a free wifi and an upgrade option. The "free" wifi was really not useable. First, the free wifi is throttled so it is pretty slow. Second, on sea days or in the early mornings and late afternoons when everybody was trying to connect it was impossible to use. We had dinner with a couple that purchased the upgraded option and they were, for the most part, satisfied. But the cost was about $350 for a 10 day cruise. 

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Different perspective: I am retired, thrilled that I am free of WIFI on the ship. When off will put it on maybe. It is very liberating to be free of it all for a time period. Neither my husband nor I want it for that period of time. I tell everyone I will not have it and send sporadic emails out if needed. Happy Sailing 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Strenz said:

Different perspective: I am retired, thrilled that I am free of WIFI on the ship. When off will put it on maybe. It is very liberating to be free of it all for a time period. Neither my husband nor I want it for that period of time. I tell everyone I will not have it and send sporadic emails out if needed. Happy Sailing 

 

I can hardly wait - I am NOT retired, and while I can put an "out of office" message on my email, I still really feel the need to at least check in once a day - I have about 300 employees in my division, and things happen that sometimes can't wait. Land-based service is fine when having a night in port - I can check in the evening and again in the morning, and Mrs. Milepig and I have a deal - we each get 30 minutes twice a day - I use my time mostly for work, she sends reports on the trip to facebook. The sea days are hard. When it's one day I'm out of contact for about 36 hours with no shipboard access and that's OK  - multiple days can be a stretch and for those I do buy a small access card onboard, make sure my auto updates are off and just look at email headers and open maybe one or two - my direct reports know to begin a the subject line with PLEASE READ. It all works out.

Edited by milepig

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11 hours ago, msears101 said:

 

 

I agree with this.  There are few ways to do this. 

 

Use a cellphone carrier in your home country that has "international roaming".  Some offer it for free.  This means you use your cell phone and your cell number.  You can even use your phone as a hotspot on some plans.  This of course onlt works when in port or close to land.  You need to make sure that you do accidentally use the ships cell service.  Read the fine print.  There is still the option to run your bill up - but no need to do that if you are careful.

 

You can also buy a sim card.  In Europe this is quite cheap.  Most other places it is reasonable.  All the same stipulations as above.  The main thing is know the plan you are buying.  I travel with an unlocked hotspot and can always use that.

 

Cell Carriers in the US that offer international roaming that is included in "some" plans are Sprint and T-Mobile.  Verizon and ATT offer a day pass for about $10 day and uses your existing data/text/mins from your plan.  

 

As a network engineer that works for a major international Internet service provider, the boat Internet will never be good.  It uses Satellite, and sending your data up to a satellite and then back down to earth and then on to its final destination will NEVER be "good", at least not by my standards.  I agree windstar could do better, and they are among the worse.  I am only speculating, but they could have a contract they are waiting to get out of OR the other reason, it is not cheap to replace those systems.  My guess is that it is that they are in a contract - they seem to be regularly making capital improvements, and this is something I know people complain about.

 

@Redtravel what cruises lines (and the boat) have you been on that had good and Free Internet.  I am curious to investigate what they use.

 

 

Oceania has complimentary unlimited wifi one device at a time per cabin. Viking has  complete unlimited on river and ocean.

on Celebrity and Azamara, we have loyalty that allows us a good amount of free minutes.  The only cruise line that we sail on that has no complimentary internet is Windstar.  We got the unlimited wifi package on one cruise. It didn't work often and when it worked it was very slow. 

I have learned from the crew where to find free wifi in ports. On one cruise on the Windsurf, I went to guest relations to buy some wifi. I was told not to buy it. They said that it did nlt work well and guests complained about the poor service.

it is time for Windstar to improve the internet and offer some complimentary wifi. 

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15 hours ago, Redtravel said:

Oceania has complimentary unlimited wifi one device at a time per cabin. Viking has  complete unlimited on river and ocean.

on Celebrity and Azamara, we have loyalty that allows us a good amount of free minutes.  The only cruise line that we sail on that has no complimentary internet is Windstar.  We got the unlimited wifi package on one cruise. It didn't work often and when it worked it was very slow. 

I have learned from the crew where to find free wifi in ports. On one cruise on the Windsurf, I went to guest relations to buy some wifi. I was told not to buy it. They said that it did nlt work well and guests complained about the poor service.

it is time for Windstar to improve the internet and offer some complimentary wifi. 

 

Nothing in this world is complimentary. If they offer it as part of the standard package the price of the cruise will go up.

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Increasing price to cover is ok if the service was good.  The world is changing.  Most people use devices and the internet to keep in touch or find info.  It is especially good when traveling.  I leave tonight for a WS cruise. Hope that the wifi is better than my last WS cruise. I still don't understand using megabyte usage on wifi.

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Internet on the ship is too expensive. I did not use it. Instead there was lots of freewifi in many ports. In some ports, I could get the terminal signal on the ship.  In Europe many cities are totally WiFi free. USA should do it too.

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FWIW, the Princess ships that have rolled out Ocean Medallion have very fast internet.  We were able to do facebook video messaging from our stateroom while at sea.  Technology marches on...

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Last summer I was actually offered free WiFi on our cruise as long as I tweeted and Instagram everyday with #WindstarCruises.  That was pretty cool. I follow Windstar on both platforms and always like their posts. Prior to our cruise I made it clear that we were planning on posting daily updates. And they caught on to it and compt for the service.

 

Cruising again in October....

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