How to get internet on cruise ships

Robin Layton

Jun 12, 2024 — 3 min read

Four people taking a photo on a cruise ship.

Cruise ship vacations can be exciting and exotic, but before you post your Jack and Rose selfie from the ship’s bow, ensure the cute photo won’t cost you a mint to share. 

You have several options for internet access on cruise ships at varying price points. We’ll walk you through how to access Wi-Fi before you set sail and which option is the best for your wallet. 

What’s the cost of using Wi-Fi on a cruise ship? 

If you don’t want to use your own mobile phone carrier for your cruise, you can get an internet package from the cruise line before you board, or you can purchase it while aboard. Each cruise line has its own internet plan options and pricing. 

Read the fine print on access when picking your plan. For instance, a “social” plan is just that, you can access certain social sites, but not websites to surf the internet. 

Also, don’t expect the same speeds you get from home. In fact, Disney’s disclaimer can go for all cruise ships, “Due to the technology involved and satellite connectivity, the onboard Internet service may be slower than you may be accustomed to, and may be interrupted or unavailable at times.”

Carnival Wi-Fi plans 

  • Social Wi-Fi Plan: Starting at $15.30/person per day for select social media sites only.
  • Value Wi-Fi Plan: Starting at $19.55/person per day for browsing websites and checking emails. Music or video streaming is unavailable.
  • Premium Wi-Fi Plan: Starting at $21.95/person per day, this is the fastest possible. connection for e-mail to video calls, up to three times faster than the Value Plan. It supports Skype, Zoom and Teams video calling, where coverage allows.
  • Internet speed and connectivity: Speeds vary, but Carnival offers an advanced roaming network through Wireless Maritime Services (WMS) that allows guests to use cell phones as they regularly do. International roaming charges are billed by the guest’s home mobile carrier.

Royal Wi-Fi plans 

  • Voom Surf and Stream Internet Package: This package is available for up to four devices and costs around $20/day. 
  • Internet speed and connectivity: Satellite.

Virgin Voyages

  • Premium: Starting at $25/person per day.
  • Contemporary: Starting at $25/person per day.
  • Virgin Voyages Wi-Fi: Unlimited Wi-Fi browsing is included for social media, email, web browsing or messaging.
  • Internet speed and connectivity: A premium entertainment package is available for video streaming and calls. Or you can turn on cellular services and use the provided Starlink. satellite at sea to make a standard phone call home. The rates for calls at sea are set by your service provider, so check your rates before you use your data on a ship..

Disney Cruise Line

  • Stay Connected: Pricing starts at $16 a day when purchased for the entire voyage length.  
  • Basic Surf: Includes the Stay Connected offerings plus access to the web, email and voice calling. Pricing starts at $24 a day when purchased for the length of the cruise. 
  • Premium Surf: This includes everything offered in the Basic Surf, starting at $34 a day when purchased for the entirety of the trip.
  • Internet speed and connectivity: Satellite.


  • Unlimited Wi-Fi Package: One device at $29.99/per day, no streaming.
  • Unlimited Premium Wi-Fi Package: One device at $39.99/per day with streaming. You can add a second device for an additional $15.99 USD per day/$25.99 USD per day.
  • Internet speed and connectivity: Satellite.

How can I avoid cellphone charges on a cruise?

To avoid cellphone charges on a cruise, consider the following tips:

  • Turn off roaming: Disable cellular data and roaming on your phone before boarding the cruise ship to prevent accidental data usage at sea.
  • Put your phone on Airplane Mode.
  • Connect to the ship’s Wi-Fi for internet access instead of relying on your cellular data. There may be a fee.
  • Use messaging apps: Communicate with friends and family via free apps like WhatsApp.
  • Make calls using the ship’s Wi-Fi rather than cellular calls to avoid additional charges.
  • Check with your mobile carrier before the cruise to inquire about any international roaming packages or cruise-specific plans. 
  • Limit usage: Minimize data-heavy activities to avoid excessive data charges.
  • Download content you may need before the cruise to avoid the need for data usage while on the ship.
Avoid charges when using a cellphone on a cruise

Cruise internet FAQs

Is it worth it to buy Wi-Fi on a cruise?

If you plan to be online frequently checking emails, working, posting and sharing, streaming or more, then yes, it’s best to buy a Wi-Fi cruise plan from either your mobile carrier or the cruise line you are sailing on. 

Yes, you can use a ship’s free Wi-Fi, but remember it won’t be as fast with unlimited access like you’re used to at home. 

Yes, you can share Wi-Fi on a cruise ship by creating a hotspot on your device. Some cruise lines also sell packages for several devices to share service. 

Robin Layton

Written by:

Robin Layton

Editor, Broadband Content

Robin Layton is an editor for the broadband marketplace Allconnect. She built her internet industry expertise writing and editing for four years on the site, as well as on Allconnect’s sister site … Read more