Carnival Cruise Line increases a key price (not Royal Caribbean)
The cruise industry tends to evolve in parallel with each other. Indeed, if a cruise line makes a decision that will be unpopular with passengers (like increasing mandatory daily tipping rates), it opens the door for others to do the same. The same applies when a company adds a new innovation or makes a change that customers will appreciate, all other industry players should follow.
Royal Caribbean International (RCL) has led the way in innovation by building the world’s largest ships and pushing the boundaries of onboard attractions. Carnival Cruise Line (CCA) however, hasn’t been far behind as its latest ships, the Mardi Gras, and the soon-to-sail Celebration rival the best that Royal Caribbean has to offer.
In one key area, however, Royal Caribbean has been more aggressive in addressing a key issue for passengers – internet service. The cruise line has partnered with Elon Musk’s SpaceX to bring Starlink satellite internet service to all of its ships. The move follows a test of the service on Freedom of the Seas which drew rave reviews from passengers.
Royal Caribbean did not give a timeline for adding Starlink to the rest of its fleet and did not say whether it would raise the price of onboard internet once the process is complete. For now, at least on Freedom of the Seas, Starlink satellite internet service does not cost more.
Carnival improves its Internet and increases its prices
Carnival hasn’t been as bold as its main rival, but it has taken steps to improve its internet service.
The cruise line has taken different steps to improve its internet, according to Vice President Luis Terife, Cruise Industry News reported.
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“We’ve seen a significant increase in customer usage, across the board, but especially with a greater emphasis on our premium plans,” he said. “We’re adapting to guest usage patterns by enabling a more balanced download versus download experience.”
It’s more of a tinkering around the margins to deliver a slightly better experience rather than a bold change, but that hasn’t stopped the cruise line from raising its WiFi prices.
In an email to people booked on upcoming cruises, Carnival said it plans to raise the price it charges for onboard internet.
“While we will continue to do our best to minimize the impact of rising costs, we will be implementing nominal changes to our onboard WiFi plans. WiFi purchases made prior to the price change will be at current rates. Book pre-cruise by Oct. 1,” the company explained.
Carnival did not share its new internet rates
Carnival currently sells three different internet packages on its cruise ships.
- Social: $8.50 per person per day, which allows you to send texts and check social networks,
- Assess$11.05 per person per day provides access to social media, email, and the web, but not streaming sites.
- Prime: $14.45 per person per day theoretically gives passengers full internet access, including streaming.
The cruise line hasn’t fully explained what its new fares will be, leaving open the possibility that they could vary by sailing. The email contained the following wording: “save up to 15% and up to 31% off new onboard fares,” Cruise Industry News reported.
Anyone who books an internet package for an upcoming cruise can lock in current prices.