Carnival Cruises has announced all ships across its nine brands will benefit from improved internet speeds, up to 10 times faster than current connections. The WiFi@Sea service incorporates a combination of land-based wireless systems and satellite technology which can flexibly switch between shore-side antennas alongside a cruise route, satellites and port WiFi to help provide uninterrupted connection throughout a cruise.
Automatically switching between the connectivity options, the internet service will intuitively select the service which offers the best user experience at the time.
Ramon Millan, senior vice president and global CIO for Carnival Corp, enthused: “This is a major technology breakthrough designed to enhance the cruise experience for our passengers,” said Ramon Millan, senior vice president and global CIO for Carnival Corp.
“Our goal is to give our passengers the best possible connection to the Internet whether they are in port, cruising near a coastal area or sailing in the middle of the ocean.
“It is different to be in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico versus being in the Port of Miami. You have access to different technologies. So our hybrid model is looking for what technology, in that specific moment and situation, offers the best connectivity and smoothly switches to it.”
Comparing the service to the connectivity provided by mobile phones, the WiFi will switch service without the user noticing and without the service being interrupted. The service has been designed to incorporate new and developing technologies.
Millan continued: “As technology changes, we can change how our network operates. It is very possible that one of the technologies we are using today in our network may be replaced by a newer, better technology a few months from now. That flexibility means we can constantly be on the leading edge of updating our integrated network and making sure our passengers have the best possible solution for staying in touch.”
“The hospitality industry in general, not just the cruise industry, is moving toward that [megabyte usage model]. It is a more optimal approach because it allows us to optimize the capacity that we do have and offer it depending on the needs of each guest, as opposed to treating everyone the same way and assuming everyone will use the connectivity in exactly the same way.
“I won’t be surprised if we see one package for multimedia purposes and another package for email and text and another one for video conferencing.”
Images sourced via Flickr Creative Commons. Credits: El Coleccionista de Instante, cjuneau