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Everyone's complaining about the internet on Princess, is it just as bad on HAL?


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We have had awful Internet on just about every cruise line.  At best, cruise ship Internet is hit/miss.  On Princess we have actually had excellent Internet until we didn't :).  Just when everything is working well the entire system might come crashing down.  As to HAL, prior to COVID we thought that HAL had the worst Internet service in the industry.  We have not been back aboard HAL in the past two years (HAL cancelled 4 of our cruises).

 

My best advice for cruisers is have decent worldwide cell coverage (such as you get with T-Mobile) so that you can, at least, rely on Internet coverage when in (or near) ports.

 

Hank

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10 minutes ago, Hlitner said:

We have had awful Internet on just about every cruise line.  At best, cruise ship Internet is hit/miss. 

Our experience is pretty much identical, across many lines including Princess and Hal.  Generally, the internet has been good enough to check emails, to download newspapers and the like and for a little light browsing and that is more than enough for us.  If my circumstances were such that guaranteed internet access was absolutely essential, I wouldn't risk a cruise with any line.  

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We just completed the transpacific on the Grand Princess. I thought the internet was great. Sometimes hard to download pics but I could stream. The one place we had no wifi was Astoria believe it or not.  Even in the middle of the ocean no problems 

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Did 10+1 days in Carribean this month. Never had a problem but I have a relatively new (S10  - 2+ years so maybe not in phone years) and didn't have a problem doing video calls. DW has an ancient IPhone 6s and had problems. We use T Mob service (which is spotty at home) for what it's worth. I think specific problems occur with older phones and larger number of passengers using bandwidth so I imagine if I tried using it during lunch or other prime times, it may have been different. Of you're not looking for gaming speeds or VPN, you should be fine. 

 

 

 

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This year we had pretty good internet on Princess (Mexican Riviera) and quite bad internet on HAL (Eurodam Panama Canal).  Interestingly, the HAL internet got magically much better the last several days after our Aruba port stop; it made me wonder if they were still in "Alaska" settings and trying to use the wrong satellites until someone set it properly at the Aruba port stop.

 

I think of "good" internet as having a messy site like CC work well, maybe being able to use facetime or wifi calling, etc.  We don't stream video, so I don't pay much attention to that.

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2 hours ago, Wakepatrol said:

I have

never had good

Internet on 20 plus cruises. Nowadays people expect to work and zoom and have 5 Star internet. Good luck with that one

5 star internet.  Hardly.  I couldn’t get into my bank account, American Express and air Canada to check on my reservation or to check in to name a few.  I wasn’t trying to work or watch videos.  Also tried to update my podcasts that I like to listen to.  I couldn’t do any of that. 2 star would have been good.

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I never rely on ship internet for more than texting and email.  If I get more I am pleasantly surprised.   I have a decent cell phone/data plan for ports.  Thank goodness i no longer have to seek out an Internet cafe - I wasted far too many hours of my life doing that. 

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17 minutes ago, sun~ said:

I am on the NA right now. Internet is dreadful. Very slow. Won't load basic apps and pages.

Interesting… we were on the NA 2 weeks ago and never had an issue and only used the basic that came with the HIA.  We were able to use all our social media apps.  Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram… no problems at all… 

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16 hours ago, Mary229 said:

I never rely on ship internet for more than texting and email.  If I get more I am pleasantly surprised.   I have a decent cell phone/data plan for ports.  Thank goodness i no longer have to seek out an Internet cafe - I wasted far too many hours of my life doing that. 

Well this is 2022 not 1922.  The internet should work better than it does.  I think if hal wants to attract younger cruisers that will be important.  Not everyone has been retired for several decades and needs to be connected.

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8 hours ago, Florida_gal_50 said:

Well this is 2022 not 1922.  The internet should work better than it does.  I think if hal wants to attract younger cruisers that will be important.  Not everyone has been retired for several decades and needs to be connected.

The travesty isn’t the lack of quality, the insult is what they charge for it. For the quality it should be free

 

In the Caribbean, North America and Europe I do not pay.  I only pay for very remote, long cruises.

Edited by Mary229
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When we cruise we don't bother with the internet, we can live without it for 7 days. 

That being said, the internet should be free on the ships just like it is on hotels all over the World.

Edited by MISTER 67
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1 hour ago, Mary229 said:

The travesty isn’t the lack of quality, the insult is what they charge for it. For the quality it should be free

 

In the Caribbean, North America and Europe I do not pay.  I only pay for very remote, long cruises.

I wouldn’t have an issue paying for it if it would work for more than 10 percent of sites.  They should stop offering it in hia and sub in crew incentive.

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5 minutes ago, Florida_gal_50 said:

I wouldn’t have an issue paying for it if it would work for more than 10 percent of sites.  They should stop offering it in hia and sub in crew incentive.

I have often said HIA would be better with a menu of options. Pick 2 from this column and 2 from this column.  As a limited drinker, one glass of wine a week, I would like other choices also. In my first post I wasn’t making excuses for their internet I was simply stating my practical solution.   I don’t buy it unless I am away more than 2 weeks and then it depends on the reliability of port-side internet.  

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1 hour ago, Mary229 said:

I have often said HIA would be better with a menu of options. Pick 2 from this column and 2 from this column.  As a limited drinker, one glass of wine a week, I would like other choices also. In my first post I wasn’t making excuses for their internet I was simply stating my practical solution.   I don’t buy it unless I am away more than 2 weeks and then it depends on the reliability of port-side internet.  

Love that  idea about being able to pick.  I’d be dumping Shorex for sure.

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45 minutes ago, Florida_gal_50 said:

Love that  idea about being able to pick.  I’d be dumping Shorex for sure.

LOL, we hear you on the Shorex issue.  We have HIA on a long HAL cruise ($500 each) and despite having numerous ports we really have to hold our nose to choose any excursion.  Our norm is not to even consider a cruise line excursion unless it does something we want to do that we cannot possibly do on our own or with a small private tour.  In most parts of the world that means we are interested in no cruise line excursions.

 

For folks that might wonder why a frequent cruiser would not like excursions I would offer the following.  Shore Excursions generally involve large groups (60 or so per bus) being herded around (like cattle).  Lots of time is spent just waiting for other folks to go to the rest rooms, finish their shopping, get back on the bus, etc.  But the worst part, for us, is the inability to do one's own thing.  For example, when DW and I are in many ports we will often choose a decent restaurant/cafe to enjoy a long relaxing lunch.  We do not generally need to be concerned with time and can do things at our own pace.  If we happen to go to a museum that catches our interest we can simply opt to spend more time in that place.  If something is not of much interest, we can either skip it or quickly move on to something else.

 

Just yesterday, DW and I spent more than an hour looking at all the HAL excursions that are offered during a 14 day crossing from Japan to Seattle.  We did not see a single excursion of any interest but HIA means we have $200 (each) to spend or lose.  So we will make a choice to take an excursion, out of desperation.  I would prefer if HAL would let me use that $200 (per person) money on a couple of decent bottles of wine :).

 

Hank

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10 minutes ago, Hlitner said:

For folks that might wonder why a frequent cruiser would not like excursions I would offer the following.  Shore Excursions generally involve large groups (60 or so per bus) being herded around (like cattle).  Lots of time is spent just waiting for other folks to go to the rest rooms, finish their shopping, get back on the bus, etc.  But the worst part, for us, is the inability to do one's own thing. 

 

If you were truly interested in doing your own thing...you wouldn't be a frequent cruiser.

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1 hour ago, Mary229 said:

@Hlitnerwe first choose the transfer service as it is a sink cost.  I have to pay someone 🤷🏻‍♀️

I get it although we seldom to never use cruise line transfers.  Same ole reason which is the usual waiting and often ridiculous cost.  Just consider Port Everglades where we hop into a taxi or Uber and are dropped (less than 10 min later) at our desired airport terminal.  The cruise line transfers means getting on a bus, waiting until the bus is full and luggage loaded (by which time we would be at the airport and checked -in) and it costs more than 2 persons in a taxi.  And the transfer buses drop folks at a common area which can be a long distance from one's desired terminal.

 

  The last time we had an included transfer was a few years ago on a Celebrity cruise from Buenos Aires.  We booked their pre-cruise package (hotel and transfers).  When we arrived at EZE we were met by the transfer folks who told us to relax in the coffee shop for about 1 1/2 hours since they were waiting for other folks coming in on a later flight.  We immediately grabbed a taxi to our hotel, checked-in, went out for a nice breakfast, and when we returned to our hotel about 2 hours later that transfer van was just arriving!  ARGH!  Celebrity did refund some money for that situation.

 

In the case of European/Asian cruises we always fly-on days in advance and have no use for cruise line transfers.  

 

Hank

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11 minutes ago, Hlitner said:

I get it although we seldom to never use cruise line transfers.  Same ole reason which is the usual waiting and often ridiculous cost.  Just consider Port Everglades where we hop into a taxi or Uber and are dropped (less than 10 min later) at our desired airport terminal.  The cruise line transfers means getting on a bus, waiting until the bus is full and luggage loaded (by which time we would be at the airport and checked -in) and it costs more than 2 persons in a taxi.  And the transfer buses drop folks at a common area which can be a long distance from one's desired terminal.

 

  The last time we had an included transfer was a few years ago on a Celebrity cruise from Buenos Aires.  We booked their pre-cruise package (hotel and transfers).  When we arrived at EZE we were met by the transfer folks who told us to relax in the coffee shop for about 1 1/2 hours since they were waiting for other folks coming in on a later flight.  We immediately grabbed a taxi to our hotel, checked-in, went out for a nice breakfast, and when we returned to our hotel about 2 hours later that transfer van was just arriving!  ARGH!  Celebrity did refund some money for that situation.

 

In the case of European/Asian cruises we always fly-on days in advance and have no use for cruise line transfers.  

 

Hank

What I meant is I use the Shorex credit that comes with HIA  for transfers.  I usually do the city tour and airport.   Sit back and unwind while viewing where I want to go next time,   My port visits are always ahead of the cruise 

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1 hour ago, PACD_JG said:

 

If you were truly interested in doing your own thing...you wouldn't be a frequent cruiser.

Not really.  We would rather cruise than fly.  We would rather cruise, drive or bike than fly.  DH really hates flying - ear problems.   So I understand Hank’s pov

Edited by Mary229
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