Posted March 8th, 2018, 08:34 AM
Here's some answers to questions based on my experience with unlimited Internet on other cruise lines and my technical knowledge of how browsers and apps work. I have not used unlimited Internet on NCL yet so these answers might not be 100% right, but I am reasonably confident in them based on past experiences elsewhere.
question is whether there is the bandwidth to dynamically handle the extra loads & demands [of streaming], etc. at sea.
On the newer RCL ships I used their Voom streaming unlimited Internet and was about to get 6-8Mbps download during sea days in the middle of the Caribbean. I was pleasantly surprised.
I'm not entirely sure how NCL is providing its high-speed Internet. A few key points for others who are interested:
1. The more people using the Internet, the slower it goes. This means that sea days will see more usage and therefore slower speed than port days, and times around breakfast and dinner (when people might stop to check social media) are more apt to be slower than at 4am.
2. The speed depends on a lot of technical factors. It sounds like they are upgrading their satellite technology which can help. But it also sounds like some of their speed increases comes from utilizing connections that require being either at or near or port, or at least at or near a semi-populated shore that helps in connecting to the Internet. If this is indeed the case then what you'll see is that the Internet is fastest when you're in port (and probably least likely to use it, as you'll be out doing shore excursions or shopping or maybe even using free in-port wifi at a restaurant) and slowest when you're in the middle of nowhere like the middle of a transatlantic (when you are more likely to want to use it because you can't be anywhere else but on the boat and there is more downtime). I'll try some speedtests myself, but won't be on a NCL boat again until September.
Is unlimited per person or per cabin?
If it's like other cruise lines it's "per device", which means if you have two people in the room you can share the unlimited plan, but only one of you can be connected to the Internet at a time. If Person #1 is connected they will have to use the option to disconnect before Person #2 can connect, or else it might be (as it was on RCL) that when Person #2 connects it automatically disconnects Person #1.
Also, do the socialmedia apps work with this or does it only work through a browser.
I've not used unlimited on NCL but most likely the mobile apps for, say, Facebook will work. Technically speaking it would make sense, and that's how it worked on Carnival when I had a social media package. It's possible it might not work for some apps for technical reasons but I imagine for "major" ones like Facebook, Instagram, etc., it'll work.
I saw that, but I wonder what the “etc.” in the list of socialmedia sites include.
I'm just guessing here, but I bet this is one of those things that three computer geeks in a building somewhere know definitely and no one else, so that getting The List will be impossible. It may also change slightly over time. You'll probably have better luck asking about specific sites and seeing if someone online with the package can test them.
I hope someone tries out the new Social Media soon because if I can post to Tapatalk with pictures I'll get that for the Bliss transatlantic.
Based on a purely technical understand on how I imagine Tapatalk must actually work, I think at best it'd be on a 'message board per message board' basis. For Tapatalk to work, under the hood it has to be able to access the web site that hosts the forum you're posting on. There's also a chance it has to connect Somewhere Else that is specific to Tapatalk for arcane technical reasons, which may mean that even though you can connect to the forum's web site directly you can't post it through the Tapatalk app. This is something you'd really want to ask someone on a ship with the package to check.
Which package would I need for FaceTime please?
Premium. It's video transfer, so it'll count as streaming.
I'm trying to decide what package I need in order to video chat with my daughter. Would I be able to use Facebook video chat if I just got the social media package?
I've not tried it so I can't be 100% sure but I am 99.875% sure that you would need unlimited premium wifi for that. It's video streaming, basically, even though it's through the Facebook app, and I imagine they will block the video chart part of Facebook (which is technically not that hard for them to do with their computer people) for the social media package.