Skip to main content

Crew Internet: What is free and what is available during the restart?

Submitted by kgnadmin on

No doubt the internet is one of the most important things for crew working onboard the cruise ships. The net is the window to the outside world, connecting the crew with their loved ones back home.

Each day crew members are joining the ships as more countries reopen the borders allowing cruise ships to sail. And while guests can go out in ports crew members are, unfortunately, not allowed ashore yet, or have limited access. Before the pandemic, many of the crew use to go out in ports to get free internet access at the nearby bars, restaurants or beach resorts and chat with their family and friends. With the current restrictions, many of the cruise lines are now offering free internet for the crew. In order to find out more about what is free and how much the cruise lines are charging for additional services, I spoke with my fellow crew members onboard. Here’s what they said.

Carnival Cruise Line

A crew member onboard one of the Carnival cruise ships getting ready to start cruising said they have unlimited free internet access to all apps, except YouTube.

“We have two vouchers per week of 450min each and free unlimited social media (Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger, LinkedIn and Snapchat). If you ask they will give you more vouchers. But so far I got 6 vouchers and I only used 20 min of the first one ” said the crew member

The crew are rushing to get the ships ready so they have little time to chat or browse the net, this is not only the case on the Carnival ships but all cruise lines as well. Housekeeping, restaurant and technicians are especially busy during the restert. When asked if the crew will have the same internet privileges once guests arrive the crew member said “We have free internet until the start of cruises. After that nobody knows but it will probably go back to what it was before” 

Royal Caribbean Group

The crew onboard Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises ships have 24/7 access to WhatsApp and one hour of free internet per day, which needs to be used at the same time when they log in. 

“Here in Royal we have pretty much the same as Celebrity. We have unlimited WhatsApp 24/7 (text only) and 1 hour free per day.” said Royal Caribbean crew member. “We are super busy at the moment but once we get on track, everything will be fine. When we're at CocoCay, we have free internet on the island and it’s a good speed though.”

Costa Cruises

A crew member working for Costa Cruises said the crew receive a voucher for free internet of 250 MB once they embark on the ship.

“When you embark you’ll be in quarantine 7 days hard and after 7 days soft. On embarking you’ll get a voucher for full internet of 250MB. So this is the voucher crew received on embarkation day and needed to last for 2 weeks during the quarantine. Since 2 weeks after reopening the Costa Crew has in general the CrewWifi for free use of WhatsApp - No pics, No Voice just Text  - for free, but at least is for free 24/7

If you don’t want, you can pay: on port 3 cents each minute or at sea 5 cents each minute. They have as well packages: 1GB €15 - 5GB €45 for 30 valid, not used will disappear after 30 days. "

Norwegian Cruise Line

So far NCL has opted not to charge crew for internet until the first guest steps onboard. Ncl hasn’t decided yet for when guests sail. According to our source, they said it will be paid packages again.

Viking Ocean Cruises

Viking has free unlimited internet for the crew even as the guests started sailing on the Viking Ships. All apps are enabled, the speed is great and the crew can even watch YouTube but sometimes the videos need more time to upload.

MSC Cruises

A crew member onboard MSC Virtuosa said that the company has free WhatsApp for text messaging only and the crew can use Facebook Messenger to make video or audio calls. The crew can also purchase internet packages such as the monthly internet package 50 euro of 3GB. One thing we noticed is that this package in 2019 was 45 euros for the crew. So there is an increase in the prices, but the crew said at least they are giving free WiFi which was not offered before by the company.

Are you a crew member? Do you want to contribute and share your experience about what is available on your ship?

You can send us a message HERE.

Crew Insights

Articles and experiences shared by crew members working on cruise ship. Find out more about ship life at sea together with tips and advices for first time crew members and cruise oldtimers.