Have you ever paid through the nose for Internet access on a cruise ship, only to waste precious minutes waiting for pages to download? I’ve spent many hours online while at sea, uploading blogs or emailing my friends, family, and editors. I can certainly attest that onboard Internet is so slow, it’s almost not worth using.
Fortunately, there may be hope for all the onboard emailers out there. [% 13516 | | Crystal %] has just implemented new WebAccelerator technology that speeds up the connection time for satellite communications. I’m no techie but Crystal describes the WebAccelerator as “a highly specialized device designed to compress the data in transit between the ship and satellite, optimizing communication and transmission time.” That’s geek-speak for “your Web pages will load faster.”
In addition, Crystal has increased its onboard bandwidth by 33 percent and upgraded its routing components. The cruise line offers wireless Internet and cell phone service on both the Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony.
Sadly, these services don’t come cheap. First, you have to pay thousands of dollars just to get on a Crystal cruise, and online connectivity fees are pricey on any line. In truth, while Crystal’s technology upgrades are a welcome relief to those of us who have to send messages at sea, most cruisers are better off reserving an hour or two during port days to surf the Web from a land-based Internet cafe.