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"Manage" Your Internet Minutes or You Lose

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Just returned from an 11 night cruise on Equinox out of Rome and we absolutely loved it -- except the internet service. This was our fourth cruise on a Solstice class ship and you would think by now I would have learned my lesson. I always buy an internet package and inevitably the service and access is spotty at best. Okay, I live with it because, gee, you are hundreds of miles out at sea! But I noticed on the past three ships that access gets especially bad the closer you get to the end of the cruise. The problem is that you get connected (which means you are burning up minutes) but you can't get any web pages to load at all or they are incredibly slow. I can only presume the problem is caused by everyone trying to use up their pre-paid minutes or to get back in touch with "reality" at home. Well, on the Med cruise this problem started two nights before the end of the cruise and continued until we returned. I complained to Guest Relations and they offered to add minutes back to my package. The young lady couldn't understand why I declined more minutes I couldn't use. I left the ship with at least $50 of pre-paid credit remaining, not to mention the $30 or $40 I burned up trying to get pages to load. Sure wish Celebrity would find a better way. They entice you with "discount pricing" to buy in bulk in advance but then don't deliver the bandwidth when its needed. It's very not becoming of what is otherwise a top-notch cruise line. There's got to be a better way! In the meantime be careful to manage your purchases and use.

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They offered to restore minutes to your account. Where have you been damaged? You could not possibly expect a refund. Imagine if everyone who had unused minutes would demand a refund. There are also some OnBoard credits that are lost if not used.

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Fortunately as Elite we do have two free internet packages. Our experience with the Internet is the same. Even in the harbor it is not better. Especially it's a problem if you are on the last days and will confirm your flight back home. Last time we tried 5 times but couldn't get connection while time out connection failed.

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Fortunately as Elite we do have two free internet packages. Our experience with the Internet is the same. Even in the harbor it is not better. Especially it's a problem if you are on the last days and will confirm your flight back home. Last time we tried 5 times but couldn't get connection while time out connection failed.

 

Mr. Bayley said in his Q&A that Celebrity recognized the problem and bandwith will be improving. I spend a lot of time on the ships so I hope it does, very soon!

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We are also Elite and used the free coupons. But they do not tell you when you are close to running out of your "free" minutes, so you have to be very careful or the excess is charged at rates more than we wanted to pay. We left some minutes on the table for this reason, and you have to be vigilant on the time. We only used it for e-mails and for my husband to check his Fantasy Football teams @@. I wish there was something that said "5 minutes remaining" so you'd know.

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We are also Elite and used the free coupons. But they do not tell you when you are close to running out of your "free" minutes, so you have to be very careful or the excess is charged at rates more than we wanted to pay. We left some minutes on the table for this reason, and you have to be vigilant on the time. We only used it for e-mails and for my husband to check his Fantasy Football teams @@. I wish there was something that said "5 minutes remaining" so you'd know.

 

They tell you how many minutes you've used for your session when you logout. I just keep a record. The person in charge can also check the minutes for you.

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Every time you log on, they tell you how much money is in the Internet account. If you are paying $0.55 a minute, or $0.75 a minute or whatever, you can figure it out.

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On one of my last cruises out of Rome on Celebrity on the last day the Internet Cafe was full of passengers trying to connect to their airlines. They were looking for confirmations, boarding passes, etc. The Internet was so slow a few people who had saved their remaining Elite minutes burned through them without getting the needed info. Some people never even got through to their airlines at all. People were demanding refunds and free minutes. Total chaos.

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They offered to restore minutes to your account. Where have you been damaged? You could not possibly expect a refund. Imagine if everyone who had unused minutes would demand a refund. There are also some OnBoard credits that are lost if not used.

 

Actual..that comment is sooo wrong.

 

 

Restoring or adding minutes is not compensation if the minutes cannot be used in the first place. You could add back 1000 minutes but if they system is not working the its irrelevant whether you have 1,000 or 1 minute left...the end result would be the same.

 

And if the product you have paid for is not fit for purpose.....in any civilized countries there are laws in place where you would get a refund. It's so against the law to sell a product that does not work....I mean please. some sense here...would you not seek a refund if your cable service back at home was not working 50% of the time.

Edited by 6andy6

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Mr. Bayley said in his Q&A that Celebrity recognized the problem and bandwith will be improving. I spend a lot of time on the ships so I hope it does, very soon!

 

If Michael Bayley is like many corporate CEO's, we could have a very long wait before he acts on this problem he said he recognized.

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I always purchase the $99.95 internet package on the first day (when there is usually a 10-15% bonus for early sign-up) and use my Elite coupon, so normally have 237 minutes of time for $50.00 net. However, on my recent Pacific Coastal Wine Cruise on the Century, I was not allowed to combine the early signup bonus (30 free minutes) with my Elite coupon, so only had 208 minutes.

 

I ran into nothing but trouble using the internet on the Century, and left the ship with $40.00 worth of time unused, because it became such a pain to use the internet.

 

I was surprised at how slow the connections were, as I was hoping that, being close to the US or Canadian coast for the whole cruise, the internet service would be better than usual. I generally use the internet late at night or early in the morning to avoid the "crowds", but service was always grindingly slow, worse than any cruise I have ever been on.

 

I had a couple of small issues where I needed some help (e.g. the computer locked up and I could not reboot or sign out) and the IT staff-member, who seemed to have a bored, arrogant manner, always looked annoyed to be disturbed by the needs of passengers.

 

Made me wish we had World Wide Warren on this cruise ;).

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I'd guess it's a matter of greater demand. Many times I've been in the ship's computer center on the last full day of the cruise and been amazed to see people still asking the staff for help setting up their accounts.

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World Wide Warren -- now there's a class act -- one of the nicest, most helpful, most knowledgeable guys on board any ship.

 

That is absolutely the truth. I was AMAZED at the 34-page set of notes that he emailed to us after we took a class with him onboard. So helpful to have, and it was great just to relax and not have to take notes.

 

Class act is a perfect description for Warren.. His buddy Dan was great as well.

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one thing is sure ..... if Celebrty does not find a way to increase internet speed they will be trailing FAR behind ...... no doubt other cruise companies are working on it.

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Actual..that comment is sooo wrong.

 

 

Restoring or adding minutes is not compensation if the minutes cannot be used in the first place. You could add back 1000 minutes but if they system is not working the its irrelevant whether you have 1,000 or 1 minute left...the end result would be the same.

 

And if the product you have paid for is not fit for purpose.....in any civilized countries there are laws in place where you would get a refund. It's so against the law to sell a product that does not work....I mean please. some sense here...would you not seek a refund if your cable service back at home was not working 50% of the time.

 

As long as you have time remaining on the cruise you can use the minutes. Perhaps you can't use them at the specific time you want to use them, but they are available. You paid for a specific number of minutes and received the minutes. Using your cable example: If they gave additional time to compensate for the lost time I wouldn't be damaged. Of course one could argue that I might have missed my favorite program and that is damage; however, don't think that that would meet the legal requirement of "damages" I've seen notices posted at the front of the internet room warning of slow speed.Therefore, they've given notice. Anyone who reads these boards should be aware of slow speed and interuption of service.

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With almost 50 cruises chalked up I have somehow managed to NEVER use the internet while on vacation. No cell phone, no computer, no news paper. I wonder just how I have survived.

 

Nothing against all of those who need these electronic devices, but you can actually get by without them. :D:D:D

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We had similar problems on our recent Century trip. We need the internet to check emails because we have a vacation rental that requires us to monitor inquiries several times a day or lose potential rentals/money. Using our own laptop is much faster than the ship's computers, plus we can use it in our room. We're experienced in using ships' internet services and know to always double check that we're correctly logged off when we're finished. We log off on the ship's connection page and also 'disconnect' on our own connection symbol. In spite of this double logoff, and keeping careful track of minutes used, at times we lost minutes between one session to the next. It was never enough to cause us to spend time and effort trying to get the problem solved, but annoying just the same and it did add up over the course of the cruise.

 

The other problem we had was mentioned by someone else - multiple instances of connecting and signing in, the system says we're conneced but when we try to get any internet page, we the the dreaded "Internet Explorer cannot display the page....." for every site we try. One time we even used extra online minutes trying the 'troubleshooting' feature on our laptop but it couldn't identify the problem and said to 'contact your system administrator'. The last day we couldn't connect at all and went to the computer center. After asking twice for help and advice twice, we were given $10 in extra minutes, but that was kind of useless at that point. All in all, a very frustrating experience that we wouldn't bother with if we could avoid it.

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We've never had a problem using our internet (Elite) minutes. However, we only use it to email family and print our airline boarding passes. We don't use it in "prime time", we choose a time when it isn't crowded. Like others have said, we are on vacation and don't need the internet.

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Just returned from an 11 night cruise on Equinox out of Rome and we absolutely loved it -- except the internet service. This was our fourth cruise on a Solstice class ship and you would think by now I would have learned my lesson. I always buy an internet package and inevitably the service and access is spotty at best. Okay, I live with it because, gee, you are hundreds of miles out at sea! But I noticed on the past three ships that access gets especially bad the closer you get to the end of the cruise. The problem is that you get connected (which means you are burning up minutes) but you can't get any web pages to load at all or they are incredibly slow. I can only presume the problem is caused by everyone trying to use up their pre-paid minutes or to get back in touch with "reality" at home. Well, on the Med cruise this problem started two nights before the end of the cruise and continued until we returned. I complained to Guest Relations and they offered to add minutes back to my package. The young lady couldn't understand why I declined more minutes I couldn't use. I left the ship with at least $50 of pre-paid credit remaining, not to mention the $30 or $40 I burned up trying to get pages to load. Sure wish Celebrity would find a better way. They entice you with "discount pricing" to buy in bulk in advance but then don't deliver the bandwidth when its needed. It's very not becoming of what is otherwise a top-notch cruise line. There's got to be a better way! In the meantime be careful to manage your purchases and use.

 

I agree and sympathise with everything you have said, I also did a Mediterranean cruise out of Rome on the Equinox last year. I took along my iPad, I asked a few staff members where the free internet cafe's were in each port.

 

I was able to utilise free internet in a couple of ports. My favorite spot was St Stefano's beach in Mykonos, it was a quick walk from the ship. I went there had a swim, bought a light snack and a drink and used the free internet (which was quick), I was able to catch up on emails, upload to Facebook and Skype.

 

St Stefano's Beach, Mykonos

710.JPG?gl=AU

Edited by Aussie Claire

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I agree and sympathise with everything you have said, I also did a Mediterranean cruise out of Rome on the Equinox last year. I took along my iPad, I asked a few staff members where the free internet cafe's were in each port.

 

I was able to utilise free internet in a couple of ports. My favorite spot was St Stefano's beach in Mykonos, it was a quick walk from the ship. I went there had a swim, bought a light snack and a drink and used the free internet (which was quick), I was able to catch up on emails, upload to Facebook and Skype.

 

This is a good idea if you are not doing excursions or are at the particular port for the first time. We do this once in a while, but I do not like very much walking around wit my ipad when we are visiting a port.

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one thing is sure ..... if Celebrty does not find a way to increase internet speed they will be trailing FAR behind ...... no doubt other cruise companies are working on it.

 

We have cruised on 12 lines and with the exception of the luxury lines (much smaller ships) the internet situation is awful just about everywhere. Additional Bandwidth (this is what you need to speed things up) is very expensive and cruise lines do not want to spend the big bucks. Because so many passengers now want to use the internet (laptops, smart phones, etc) there is just not enough Bandwidth to satisfy demand. When we cruise in Europe or Asia we always take a small notebook computer and do any real internet browsing on land (just like most of the crew). Since we are Elite we do get hundreds of internet minutes and only use this to retrieve our e-mails (which can easily take 15 min with the slow connections).

 

One helpful hint is that the internet is often faster if you use it when others are not! We eat late and will often use the internet while the early folks are having dinner. Otherwise we like to logon very late at night when most folks are asleep.

 

Hank

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They offered to restore minutes to your account. Where have you been damaged? You could not possibly expect a refund. Imagine if everyone who had unused minutes would demand a refund. There are also some OnBoard credits that are lost if not used.

 

Orator, You simply do not understand the situation. When you log on and connect the "meter" starts -- you begin using minutes. Now you try to load webpages, say cnn.com, and the page either never loads or takes several minutes to load. In the meantime you are using up minutes. If you spent twenty minutes connected and never got a page to load properly you still would be charged for 20 minutes. Hence, as another poster stated, they could give you a 1,000 minutes and it would not equal a refund. By the way, after spending $6,000 for the cruise, thousands in airfare and thousands more for other things, I'm not trying to get a $50 refund; i'm trying to get my email.

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Orator, You simply do not understand the situation. When you log on and connect the "meter" starts -- you begin using minutes. Now you try to load webpages, say cnn.com, and the page either never loads or takes several minutes to load. In the meantime you are using up minutes. If you spent twenty minutes connected and never got a page to load properly you still would be charged for 20 minutes. Hence, as another poster stated, they could give you a 1,000 minutes and it would not equal a refund. By the way, after spending $6,000 for the cruise, thousands in airfare and thousands more for other things, I'm not trying to get a $50 refund; i'm trying to get my email.

 

I have experience the same slow speed connection many times, especially on TA's When this happens I inform the person in charge and they reset my minutes. I've been on a number of cruises where a sign was posted when the system was slow. The waste of valuable time can be most frustrating. I disconnect as soon as I see the system is slow and logon at another time. The more people using the system, the slower it will be and it seems that there are times when everyone on the ship wants to use it at the same time.

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We agree that all the large ships in the mainstream cruise lines have the same problem. This has little to do with Celebrity specifically. I believe the problem is twofold:

 

(1) It is not that the ships are failing to increase bandwidth. It is that they are unable to increase bandwidth as rapidly as use is increasing. This is the same problem that telephone companies and TV services are facing. Servers are bogged down in big cities throughout the U.S. for companies like Verizon and Comcast. Do you think that they choose to ignore the problem? They simply can not keep up. So why would anyone expect cruise ships to be any different?

 

(2) I believe the problem on cruise ships is exacerbated by passengers ignoring requests not to use bandwidth-intensive applications (e.g., some video services). When you read all the narcissistic letters on CC, it is hard to believe the same attitude is not adopted by these passengers when they use internet services.

 

In the "for what it is worth" category, my son runs a SMALL start-up in Palo Alto. The nature of the company is very bandwidth-intensive. As the number of users monthly reached the tens of millions, he had to look for other sites to place banks of servers. It was an eye opening experience. Many of the most well known IT cities could not rent him the bandwidth he needed. We are talking about one little star-tup --- and it would have exceeded the capacity of, as I said, entire towns and cities with worldwide IT reputations. I don't think the average person can envision how fast bandwidth demands are increasing around the globe.

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