How To Get Cheap Internet Access on a Cruise Ship

A Guide to Phone and Internet Usage

In today’s digital age, staying connected is essential, even while on a cruise ship. However, navigating the world of phone and internet usage at sea can be challenging. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore everything you need to know about staying connected on a cruise ship, including setting up Wi-Fi hotspots, accessing the internet, and managing phone usage. Let’s embark on this journey together!

Understanding Connection Types

When it comes to staying connected on a cruise ship, it’s crucial to understand the different connection types available. Smartphones typically offer two main options: cellular and Wi-Fi connections. Cellular connections utilize your mobile service provider’s network, allowing you to make calls and access the internet. Wi-Fi connections, on the other hand, are localized wireless networks available on the ship for internet access. Most people rely on cellular connections for calls and their home Wi-Fi networks for internet access.

Satellite Connection at Sea

Once the cruise ship sets sail, your regular mobile network provider’s coverage will no longer be available. However, cruise ships are equipped with satellite connections that provide cellular or mobile network services onboard. You may notice a network name like “Cellular at Sea” on ships with this technology. By enabling roaming on your phone and connecting to this network, you can make calls and access the internet as if you were on land. However, it’s important to be aware of potential high roaming charges. To avoid surprises, ensure you have the appropriate settings in place or consider using alternative methods for connectivity.

Mobile Phone Roaming

While mobile phone roaming can be a convenient way to stay connected while traveling, it can lead to high charges on a cruise ship. Enabling roaming on a cruise ship might result in unexpected expenses. It’s crucial to understand your phone’s network settings and configuration to avoid these charges. One effective way to manage costs is to activate airplane mode, disabling cellular network access, and preventing any potential roaming charges. Instead, rely on the ship’s Wi-Fi network for internet access.

Wi-Fi Access

Cruise ships offer Wi-Fi connections that allow passengers to access various ship-related services through companion apps. These services are usually provided at no additional cost while connected to the ship’s Wi-Fi network. However, to access external apps and websites, you will need to purchase internet access. Some cruise lines may include internet packages in certain fares or offer them for free to loyalty program members or suite guests. Make sure to check the available options and choose the most suitable plan for your needs.

HOT TIP Setting Up a Mobile Router for Onboard Connectivity

Accessing the internet on board can be quite expensive, with prices ranging from $13 to $30 per device per day. Thankfully, there are ways to navigate this challenge and share internet access among multiple devices. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore setting up Wi-Fi hotspots using a mobile router or a Windows PC. Let’s dive in!

Another option for staying connected on a cruise ship is to set up a mobile router. This device allows you to create your own personal Wi-Fi network within your cabin, sharing a single internet connection among multiple devices. Setting up a mobile router is relatively simple: plug it into a mains outlet, connect to its Wi-Fi network, access the router’s admin login page, and follow the instructions for configuration. Once configured, you can connect your devices to the router’s Wi-Fi network and access the cruise ship’s guest network as you would with a single device.

Setting Up a Mobile Router for Onboard Connectivity

A mobile router is a convenient solution for creating a personal Wi-Fi network on a cruise ship. Here’s how to set it up:

  1. Connect the mobile router to a mains outlet and wait for the LED lights to turn green, indicating readiness.
  2. In your device’s Wi-Fi settings, connect to the router’s Wi-Fi network (look for the tp-link network). If prompted for a password, refer to the Wi-Fi info card provided with the device.
  3. Launch a web browser and enter “” or “” to access the router’s admin login page.
  4. Log in using the default credentials (usually “admin”), and consider changing the password for security purposes.
  5. Opt for the quick setup option, which guides you through the process efficiently.
  6. Select “Dynamic IP” and choose the cruise ship’s guest network from the available options. If required, enter the network’s password.
  7. Optionally, personalize the network name and password for your router’s Wi-Fi network.
  8. Save the settings by clicking “Finish.”
  9. Congratulations! You’ve successfully configured a Wi-Fi network that enables multiple devices to connect to the cruise ship’s network. Simply connect your devices to the cruise line’s Wi-Fi network as usual.

Setting Up a Windows PC as a Wi-Fi Hotspot

If you have a Windows PC, you can turn it into a Wi-Fi hotspot to share internet access with other devices. Here’s how:

  1. Press the Windows key on your keyboard to open the search window.
  2. Type “mobile hotspot” in the search field and select “Mobile Hotspot” from the search results.
  3. The Mobile Hotspot settings page will open.
  4. Click the “Edit” button to set a network name and password for your hotspot. Choose something memorable, like “Cruisers with Friends Hotspot.”
  5. To activate the hotspot, toggle the switch from “Off” to “On.”
  6. Your Windows PC will now serve as a Wi-Fi hotspot until you turn off the hotspot or shut down your computer.

Tips for Staying Connected

To make the most of your connectivity on a cruise ship, here are some useful tips:

  1. Familiarize yourself with your phone’s network settings and configure them appropriately, especially for roaming and airplane mode.
  2. Inform others of alternative ways to contact you while traveling, such as through messaging apps or email.
  3. Utilize the ship’s Wi-Fi network for internet access and consider purchasing an internet package if necessary.
  4. Monitor your usage to avoid excessive data consumption or unexpected charges.
  5. Stay updated on any available promotions, loyalty program benefits, or discounted internet packages offered by the cruise line.


Staying connected on a cruise ship is no longer a daunting task. By understanding the different connection types, managing roaming settings, utilizing Wi-Fi access, and considering a mobile router, you can navigate the complexities of phone and internet usage at sea. Remember to prioritize cost management, explore available options, and stay informed about the cruise line’s connectivity offerings. With the right knowledge and settings, you can enjoy a seamless connection while experiencing the incredible journey of a cruise. Bon voyage and stay connected!

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