Cruise Lines Compete For Wi-Fi Supremacy

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By the Caribbean Journal staff

This week, cruise giant Royal Caribbean made news in announcing that it would be expanding its VOOM high-speed Wi-Fi to all 24 of its ships.

That seems to have kicked off a cruise line Wi-Fi competition, as another high-profile cruise line has announced its intentions to do the same.

On Thursday, Norwegian Cruise Line said it would be quadrupling its bandwidth across its Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises fleets “to meet the rising internet expectations of cruise guests..”

The expansion is part of the company’s long-term strategic agreement with EMC to enhance its Wi-Fi.

To support the new Wi-Fi network, Norwegian said it would be installing fleetwide upgrades in the form of multimillion-dollar bandwidth and performance-boosting technology upgrades before the end of June.

That will include new satellite dishes and EMC’s “SpeedNet” program.

“With the addition of new hardware, combined with the significant increase in satellite bandwidth, shoreside connectivity and EMC’s SpeedNet, we have moved beyond the decade old problem of slow data speeds from satellite to deliver a much more efficient and faster internet experience for our guests,” said Ross Henderson, vice president, onboard revenue, at Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings.  “Our guests can consume content, post to social media, and stay in touch with family and friends on the ships’ network just as they are used to on land,” Henderson continued.