Becoming more popular all the time on cruise vacations is using an iPhone or iPad to connect to the Internet. As at-sea connectivity continues to get better, these devices and others work better all the time, making them a viable option for everything from streaming video to reading books.
Prepare Your Device for Onboard Use
To maximize your connectivity, we recommend the following iPad/iPhone/iPod settings while on board:
1. Airplane Mode ON
2. Wi-Fi ON
3. Connect to Carnival WiFi using your choice of plans
4. Disable the following:
b. Auto Join
c. HTTP Proxy
5. Check the following settings of your Safari browser:
b. Accept Cookies should be either set to From Visited or Always
c. Clear Cache, Clear Cookies
d. Proceed to connect
Good To Know – iPad/iPhone/iPod
The settings that allow your iPad to play music for an impressive 10 hours on one battery charge alone are the same settings that control the internal radio signal connecting the iPad to the onboard WiFi. In order to provide such a long battery life, the iPad’s internal radio is less powerful when compared with other devices (a laptop for example).
- WiFi Connectivity – By design, iPads assign less battery power to their internal signal resulting in a less powerful radio. Should you experience an intermittent connection, refer to the suggested steps above.
- 3G and 4G – Onboard systems do not support the 3G and 4G technology; the only option for accessing the Internet on board on your iPad is via WiFi
- Satellite Signal – The satellite signal fluctuates by nature and iPads are more sensitive to this fluctuation, which may interrupt your iPad Internet session while going unnoticed on other devices.
- NOTE: Screen Brightness – In iPads, the WiFi power consumption is tied directly to the Screen Brightness. You will experience better WiFi stability by making sure that your iPad’s display screen is at its brightest setting.
Should you experience any challenges using the Internet service, see the Internet Café Manager on board for assistance. The hours they work are posted in the Internet Café (AKA Fun Hub) and meeting them up front, at the beginning of your sailing is a good idea. Later, should you experience connectivity issues, be able to connect but nothing happens or any of the other common issues that come up with Internet at sea on any moving vessel, you’ll be talking to a friend.
One final tip: Select the plan you think will work best and buy the one above it. It’s all about efficiency of the onboard system for the most part. There will be times when it is less efficient than others. Coming in or going out of port, for some reason, is one of those times. Heavy-use times like sea days when all passengers are on board can be a challenge…but no as much as in the past, especially on new Carnival Breeze, outfitted with the very latest equipment.
Example: My standard rule of thumb on sea days: Don’t even attempt to upload photos, it will take forever and burn up a lot of time as opposed to uploading during more efficient times like in the night or on port days when most passengers are sleeping or off the ship.
On Carnival Breeze I uploaded a bunch of photos in the middle of the day on a day at sea with no hesitation.
Remember, there are actually two connectivity issues at play here: Connecting wirelessly to the ship’s wireless system (consistent) and having a signal for that connection to do something with (less consistent). In other words, connecting to the ship’s wireless system is relatively easy. Doing something with that connection is harder and totally depends on the strength and reliability of the signal the ship receives via satellite. Because the ship is a moving object, it constantly has to realign with satellites and that causes connectivity issues.
A new system being rolled out right now uses multiple satellites to maintain a more constant incoming signal, resulting in a better Internet experience.
Carnival has that system on the new Carnival Breeze.