Carnival Corporation has announced it has expanded its innovative hybrid connectivity system to create the cruise industry’s largest Wi-Fi network – and one of the world’s largest satellite mobility networks.
With over 31 advanced satellite systems, the company’s expanded WiFi@Sea connectivity network features the broadest high-bandwidth internet coverage in the industry currently deployed on 30 of its 100 ships - far more than any other cruise line company - with further deployment planned over the next several months.
In addition, several of its cruise line brands have introduced new plans and pricing packages that make staying connected on a cruise more convenient and affordable - and are improving the guest experience and increasing the number of guests using Wi-Fi while cruising.
Expected to be extended to nearly 40 per cent of the company’s industry-leading fleet across several of its global brands by the end of 2015, the expanded WiFi@Sea service has led to increased guest satisfaction, higher usage rates and greater number of devices connected during voyages.
Carnival Corporation’s brands currently using the new features include AIDA Cruises, Carnival Cruise Line and Holland America Line.
Building on existing broadband Wi-Fi capabilities already available throughout its fleet of 100 ships, Carnival Corporation is continuing the deployment of its technology solution with plans to expand the new system on the majority of its fleet across its 10 global brands through 2016.
The company’s system represents a first in the cruise industry on this scale - providing the broadest high-speed global coverage across dozens of ships coupled with on-board intelligence to enhance the guest experience – a breakthrough technology innovation for overcoming the challenging circumstances of sailing in the middle of the ocean and still providing fast, reliable and affordable wireless internet access for guests.
The system is a first-of-its kind solution that integrates a combination of advanced satellite systems, on-board software, networking equipment, land-based antennas and Wi-Fi from port connections.
The technology is expected to change how millions of travellers stay in touch during their cruise and generate even greater interest in cruise vacations, especially among tech-savvy millennials and people of all ages who want to stay in touch, research destinations or share their vacation experiences via social media.
With the continued rollout of the enhanced connectivity system across the fleet, guests will be able to access the websites, social networks and apps most important to them at speeds up to 10 times faster than those previously available on the company’s ships.
“As we continue to enhance our WiFi@Sea system, we implement technologies, packages and overall approaches that will create the best experience and value for our guests wherever their cruise vacation takes them,” said Reza Rasoulian, vice president of global connectivity and shipboard technology operations at Carnival Corporation.
“We optimise all of our service layers continuously to ensure a great connectivity experience. With this approach, we are giving our guests faster internet speeds without constraining the time they can be online through our packages, which has led to more people than ever using their devices to connect while on our ships and a steady improvement in guest satisfaction ratings as the new plans and pricing are rolled out.”