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Valiamo

Which Internet package do we choose on Emerald

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Trying to figure out which internet package is the best for 2 devices our upcoming Panama Cruise on the Emerald (Social or Surf).  The Princess website is so, so lacking in details. From what I understand the ship will have the PrincessCONNECT service available once it leaves dry dock .

 

  1. PrincessCONNECT Social Package -  Says that you get access to popular social websites*.  *Streaming may not be available

  2. PrincessCONNECT Surf Package - Says you get access to email, news, sports, etc*.  *Again saying streaming may not be available.
     

Does the Social package actually restrict your access to email and only give access to specific “popular social websites”.  If so, Is there a list of these websites? Has anyone who purchased the Social package actually been blocked from accessing other websites (like gmail) or was the speed just throttled back?

 

We do not need to have high speed internet, don’t watch online movies, don’t need to skype our dog, and our kids don't video conference.  While we will get (for the very first time) our platinum tier internet minutes, it is not quite enough for the two of use on our next cruise of 15 nights.

 

I have already pre-purchased the $99 Social Packages, but am concerned that we might have picked the wrong package for our needs. We just need access to our email, send instant messages via Whatsapp, look at/gloat about our cruise on Cruise Critic and browse other like websites.  

 

Thoughts and comments from those that have purchased and used the packages would be greatly appreciated. 

 

PS, to those that suggest to disconnect for 15 nights, just not gonna happen. I admire those that can do it.

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Hi - the social package (as experienced on another cruise line) only allowed Facebook etc.  You couldn't look at this site for instance.  Definitely go for the surf package.  Also remember that you don't need to buy two packages, just one.  You only need two packages if you both intend to be online at the same time.  We never buy two as I can log off and my husband can log on on his device no problem.  Personal preference of course. On our Emerald cruise we have also been offered a third option which is where you can stream as well - we have opted for this only for the sake of photos that might upload etc from our computer to iCloud.  

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Yes you should also have the third option which is full internet access without restrictions.  On the Surf option, some apps are restricted - such as WhatsApp.  If you are on a ship that offers the old minutes package, using/paying by the minute gives you the open access, just like the top unlimited package.  As Platinum, you should get a discount off the new unlimited packages. 

 

If you are a very light internet user, and good at preserving minutes, the old packages, plus your free minutes may do the trick. 

 

But if you want to use internet on phone and PC for email, browsing, port research, checking on news, etc, I would go with the full cruise new packages that are unlimited minutes.  On our last cruise, I used the SURF package and at the end when we had seas days left, I upgraded to the full top package.  That is offered online every day and price drops accordingly.  It cost me $5/day to upgrade for the final three days.

 

This summer, we are on an Ocean Medallion cruise, so there we have purchased two full cruise packages at a discount.  We find we are often both looking to use the internet at the same time and you need two packages for two devices.  Medallion is different as you don't have to choose among three package levels - you just get the best.

 

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4 hours ago, Valiamo said:

We do not need to have high speed internet, don’t watch online movies, don’t need to skype our dog, and our kids don't video conference.  While we will get (for the very first time) our platinum tier internet minutes, it is not quite enough for the two of use on our next cruise of 15 nights.

 

Hopefully you do realize that, if you are both Platinum, you will each get the 250 minutes of free Internet. We find that plenty of time for 15 day cruises - even when there is only the older, slow Internet access.

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33 minutes ago, Thrak said:

 

Hopefully you do realize that, if you are both Platinum, you will each get the 250 minutes of free Internet. We find that plenty of time for 15 day cruises - even when there is only the older, slow Internet access.

 

Yep, we do realize that we will have the 250 minutes each, but that comes down to a 33 minute per day allowance (16.5 minutes each day) that we will zip thru those minutes, like drunken sailors, in the first week.   I suspect that we will upgrade to the Surf package for the last 1/2 of the cruise. 

 

Still looking to see if they actually block sites when you are on the ship, or just throttle down your speed to make them unusable.

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1 hour ago, steelers36 said:

If you are a very light internet user, and good at preserving minutes, the old packages, plus your free minutes may do the trick. 

 

But if you want to use internet on phone and PC for email, browsing, port research, checking on news, etc, I would go with the full cruise new packages that are unlimited minutes.  On our last cruise, I used the SURF package and at the end when we had seas days left, I upgraded to the full top package.  That is offered online every day and price drops accordingly.  It cost me $5/day to upgrade for the final three days.

 

This summer, we are on an Ocean Medallion cruise, so there we have purchased two full cruise packages at a discount.  We find we are often both looking to use the internet at the same time and you need two packages for two devices.  Medallion is different as you don't have to choose among three package levels - you just get the best.

 

 

Good to know on the upgrading part way thru the cruise.   

 

Alas we are not not light users, and typically will spend the first hour of the morning updating our emails, forums, and catching up on news.  

 

Looking forward to a Medallion cruise maybe in the 2021 season.   

 

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FYI~

Got on the Emerald today....with my 250 free minutes, a Surf (2nd level) package for 15 days was $140. Speed is normal-slow. 

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On 5/3/2019 at 5:06 PM, dockhl said:

FYI~

Got on the Emerald today....with my 250 free minutes, a Surf (2nd level) package for 15 days was $140. Speed is normal-slow. 

Thanks for this update.  Did you check the Princess site prior to boarding on internet packages?  I ask, since ours is empty for our late May Med cruise.  I admit, I'm like 90% sure we won't be buying any since I think we're at the same "level?"... Platinum.

TIA

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On 5/3/2019 at 2:06 PM, dockhl said:

FYI~

Got on the Emerald today....with my 250 free minutes, a Surf (2nd level) package for 15 days was $140. Speed is normal-slow. 

 

Since you have 250 free minutes why are you purchasing Internet minutes? Is it so you and have unlimited and never have to log off or what? I have to admit that I just don't get it. I admit to spending waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much time farting around on the computer and Cruise Critic at home but when I'm cruising I tend to check email and let it go at that. With free minutes one must still be on the MedallionNet system. It sounds as if Princess uses throttling in order to offer upgraded packages. I will just stick with my free minutes. Even with the absolutely horrible Internet that has been the norm on Princess ships neither my wife nor I have even used all of our minutes on our last several cruises.

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On 4/14/2019 at 1:23 PM, Valiamo said:

 

 

Trying to figure out which internet package is the best for 2 devices our upcoming Panama Cruise on the Emerald (Social or Surf).  The Princess website is so, so lacking in details. From what I understand the ship will have the PrincessCONNECT service available once it leaves dry dock .

 

  1. PrincessCONNECT Social Package -  Says that you get access to popular social websites*.  *Streaming may not be available

  2. PrincessCONNECT Surf Package - Says you get access to email, news, sports, etc*.  *Again saying streaming may not be available.
     

Does the Social package actually restrict your access to email and only give access to specific “popular social websites”.  If so, Is there a list of these websites? Has anyone who purchased the Social package actually been blocked from accessing other websites (like gmail) or was the speed just throttled back?

 

We do not need to have high speed internet, don’t watch online movies, don’t need to skype our dog, and our kids don't video conference.  While we will get (for the very first time) our platinum tier internet minutes, it is not quite enough for the two of use on our next cruise of 15 nights.

 

I have already pre-purchased the $99 Social Packages, but am concerned that we might have picked the wrong package for our needs. We just need access to our email, send instant messages via Whatsapp, look at/gloat about our cruise on Cruise Critic and browse other like websites.  

 

Thoughts and comments from those that have purchased and used the packages would be greatly appreciated. 

 

PS, to those that suggest to disconnect for 15 nights, just not gonna happen. I admire those that can do it.

We are Platinum as well but still buy one surf pkg.  We logon and logoff so we can both use the pkg, but one at a time.  The person not on the surf pkg uses the Platinum minutes for small stuff.  A bit of jockeying but it works well for us.

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On 5/6/2019 at 7:57 PM, hobbyfarmer2 said:

We are Platinum as well but still buy one surf pkg.  We logon and logoff so we can both use the pkg, but one at a time.  The person not on the surf pkg uses the Platinum minutes for small stuff.  A bit of jockeying but it works well for us.

 

Thanks for the advice.   Looks like this is what we will be doing.  We have a 15 night, so the Surf package seems to be the best option. 

I still hope to find out if the social package actually blocks websites, and is unusable for email (like Google)

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On 5/5/2019 at 2:55 PM, Thrak said:

 

Since you have 250 free minutes why are you purchasing Internet minutes? Is it so you and have unlimited and never have to log off or what? I have to admit that I just don't get it. I admit to spending waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much time farting around on the computer and Cruise Critic at home but when I'm cruising I tend to check email and let it go at that. With free minutes one must still be on the MedallionNet system. It sounds as if Princess uses throttling in order to offer upgraded packages. I will just stick with my free minutes. Even with the absolutely horrible Internet that has been the norm on Princess ships neither my wife nor I have even used all of our minutes on our last several cruises.

Business....can’t have the possibility that I have to pay usurious rates to get online after using all my free minutes trying to connect on this stupid slow system. With the surf package I have been able to access all sites but not run even a little video. Having trouble downloading a large .pdf file, too. Grrrrr....

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