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montesn

Onboard WiFi Network

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This might be out of the realm of common knowledge, but I figured I'd ask anyway.

I know that most of the ship is blanketed with WiFi and that you can use that connection to access the internet on a pay-per-minute plan. My question is, does Celebrity limit clients who are connected to the access points from talking to one another?

The reason I ask is that we've got a large group going on a cruise next year, most of whom work in IT. Assuming the WiFi network permits internal communication, we can use our cell phones to communicate over the network peer to peer without needing internet or actual cellular coverage.

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I don't have any personal experience with such a request, but I'd wager the onboard IT manager will say no, since it's only his/her job to be responsible for paying customers using the Internet, not folks who want to use the ship's wifi to communicate peer-to-peer.

I'll bet he or she could come up with all sorts of implausible scenarios in which your activities would mess up Internet access for everyone else -- for example, what if you spend hours a day videochatting between cabins! ;^> Not that you'd do anything like that, but all he or she will care about is the risk.

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Well, the point would be not to be paying. Generally those type of networks are set up to keep people from getting out without paying, but not to regulate internal traffic. This just may not be answer we can get until we get there and try.

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[quote name='fredflint']as long as you are both paying should not be an issue[/QUOTE]

I think you may have misunderstood the OP's question, which hinged on the fact that the scarcity onboard isn't Wi-Fi per se but Internet bandwidth. Ideally, p2p traffic onboard would reflect that.

Montesn, give it a try! Maybe the IT manager will be in a charitable mood.

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[quote name='RandomBaritone']I think you may have misunderstood the OP's question, which hinged on the fact that the scarcity onboard isn't Wi-Fi per se but Internet bandwidth. Ideally, p2p traffic onboard would reflect that.

Montesn, give it a try! Maybe the IT manager will be in a charitable mood.[/QUOTE]

I wouldn't expect their IT manager to bend any rules on this. Basically either their network is totally locked down or they've only put thought into stopping people from getting outside the network and using their satellite internet. Either way, it either works or it doesn't, but it's not something we'd involve the staff in.

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it would depend on how you were billed if you could log onto the network and not send traffic thru the WAN you would probably not be billed but I am not sure how you would talk with the phones you would need a walkie talkie type program since instant messaging goes back thru a server.

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[quote name='fredflint']it would depend on how you were billed if you could log onto the network and not send traffic thru the WAN you would probably not be billed but I am not sure how you would talk with the phones you would need a walkie talkie type program since instant messaging goes back thru a server.[/QUOTE]

The company I work for makes software like that. I'd just have to have it loaded on a laptop. Assuming the network allowed internal communication, phones would just talk to the laptop.

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[quote name='montesn']I wouldn't expect their IT manager to bend any rules on this. [/QUOTE]

Umm, well to be clear neither would I. I was just trying to stay positive. ;^>

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I'm curious ... how would you communicate between phones within you group, using WiFi? Skype? Sounds like a great idea which our small group of six could try after we leave Hong Kong in April.

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[COLOR=Green][SIZE=3][FONT=Comic Sans MS]What [SIZE=3]I think i[SIZE=3]t really comes down is whether the s[SIZE=3]hip ne[SIZE=3]twork has been configured with [SIZE=3]each connection getting its own stub subnet and [SIZE=3]unable to "talk" to the [SIZE=3]other subnets. [SIZE=3]I have not been impres[SIZE=3]sed with the sophistication of Celebrity's IT group so [SIZE=3]I suspect they have not done that. And their con[SIZE=3]cern seems to be protecting rev[SIZE=3]enue streams, not [SIZE=3]each [SIZE=3]client. [/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE]But[SIZE=3], as said by others, it will have to wait for you to test it.

[SIZE=3]j[/SIZE]
[/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/FONT][/SIZE][/COLOR]

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[quote name='montesn']The company I work for makes software like that. I'd just have to have it loaded on a laptop. Assuming the network allowed internal communication, phones would just talk to the laptop.[/quote]

When is your cruise and on what line? I'd be courious to hear if it worked. I was thinking of trying out something similar by installing openfire, an xmpp server, on my laptop in the cabin, and xabber, an xmpp client, on mine an my wife's phone that connected to the server on the laptop. I think this will require their routers to assign an ip that starts with 10. so all connections can recoginize others no matter what router on the ship they are connected to, and to have the routers name be the same throughout so that you don't have to manually connect to wifi on the phone every time to move to another area.

I was able to test this in a hotel that had 2 routers and an ip that started with 10. The routers had different names though so it would be a pain if the ships routers have different names.

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As far as I know you will have a few problems:

The use of the wi-fi network on the ship is limited to accessing the internet. You are billed at $0.75/minute for all minutes you are logged onto the system regardless of the amount of data, if any, being transmitted.
They almost always have access blocked to VOIP programs such as Skype and even if access wasn't blocked the internet bandwidth access speed is so slow that the connection probably wouldn't work in any event.

NCL has announced an experimental program that would allow phone to phone communications over their wifi system. But I read they are just planning on putting it on one ship as a test and don't know if it is up and running yet or not. so maybe some day.....

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I tried to do this with my devices on our carnival cruise last December, I couldn't see the other devices on the ships wifi. I tried both a walkie talkie app, as well as setting up my own ventrillo server, no dice, the network is locked down, which is good, cause you don't know what virtual noro virus your computer might get. ;-)

I did see today that carnival is beta testing something that will do text messaging as well as walkie talkie functions on the breeze. I have also read that NCL and Disney have something similar available.

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I was able to perform the previously stated message that I posted on the carnival breeze that I was on several weeks ago. In a nutshell, I had openfire, an xmpp server, on my laptop in the cabin always running and connected to their wifi, and xabber, an xmpp client, on my wife and I's phone that connected to the server on the laptop by specifying the ip address that my laptop was using. The only draw back was that when I was in an area of the ship that I was never in before I had to manually connect my phone to the wifi, but after the first time it would automaticly connect.

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[quote name='Orlando Dave']I was able to perform the previously stated message that I posted on the carnival breeze that I was on several weeks ago. In a nutshell, I had openfire, an xmpp server, on my laptop in the cabin always running and connected to their wifi, and xabber, an xmpp client, on my wife and I's phone that connected to the server on the laptop by specifying the ip address that my laptop was using. The only draw back was that when I was in an area of the ship that I was never in before I had to manually connect my phone to the wifi, but after the first time it would automaticly connect.[/QUOTE]

Dave...I'm curious if you had to pay to have your laptop/server connected to the wi-fi system. Also...did you happen to hear from anyone else using the Carnival Fun Phone App being tested on the Breeze? Or have any idea how much they were charging to use the app?


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I will be going on the allure in Oct and will be bringing an iPad, 2 iPhones and a laptop. My experience on a previous cruise was that the Access points on the ship do not allow devices connected to them to communicate with each other. It is something that the access point can be configured to allow or not.

But I will see on the Allure if this does work. I am interested to see if it does.

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If you visit my infoblog there is info about RCL wifi costs and how to get Free Wifi in Ports

[url]Www.mednavigator.wordpress.com[/url]

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I am on the Allure, and there is no way to communicate directly between devices even if you purchase a plan for each one. They block all interdevice communications at all times.

So any service that relies on being attached to WiFi to communicate directly between devices will not work.

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[quote name='Orlando Dave']I was able to perform the previously stated message that I posted on the carnival breeze that I was on several weeks ago. In a nutshell, I had openfire, an xmpp server, on my laptop in the cabin always running and connected to their wifi, and xabber, an xmpp client, on my wife and I's phone that connected to the server on the laptop by specifying the ip address that my laptop was using. The only draw back was that when I was in an area of the ship that I was never in before I had to manually connect my phone to the wifi, but after the first time it would automaticly connect.[/QUOTE]

Does anyone know if you can do something like this on an iphone? I will be cruising with princess and want to try this out

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On the Princess Ruby over the new year, I tested and they appear to have AP isolation turned on for their access points; I couldn't ping one phone from another.

As someone mentioned, ad-hoc would probably work, but the range is no good. I was trying to use the ship's wi-fi to get messages from one point on the ship to another without buying Internet access. Hopefully this is something that the cruise lines will enable, since it wouldn't cost them much of anything; they could even sell some advertising on a "ship to ship" communication application!

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So FYI, for anyone who might have been following this, we took our cruise on the Reflection and I was able to confirm that they don't have any restrictions on inter-client communication even if you haven't logged in and started paying for internet. Given how easy these restrictions are to set up, I can only assume (and hope) it's a conscious decision on Celebrity's part to allow guests to use the internal WiFi network if they so choose.

In short, I was able to set up OpenFire, a free IM server, on a computer that I connected to WiFi and left running in my stateroom. We installed compatible clients on our phones and connected to WiFi. It's important to note that we never went to any webpages to sign in, we simply connected to the open network and never did anything further. The phones were able to roam throughout the ship and we were able to communicate with no headaches.

I thought I'd pass this along to help everyone else. Hopefully Celebrity doesn't see this as a reason to lock things down, since it's costing them nothing and using little to no bandwidth. It was an immense help to us to be able to do this on a large ship like the Reflection and never worry about wasting time finding one another.

[quote name='montesn']This might be out of the realm of common knowledge, but I figured I'd ask anyway.

I know that most of the ship is blanketed with WiFi and that you can use that connection to access the internet on a pay-per-minute plan. My question is, does Celebrity limit clients who are connected to the access points from talking to one another?

The reason I ask is that we've got a large group going on a cruise next year, most of whom work in IT. Assuming the WiFi network permits internal communication, we can use our cell phones to communicate over the network peer to peer without needing internet or actual cellular coverage.[/QUOTE]

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This is interesting! I'm glad it worked out for you.

However, I suspect that if their IT staff knew what you were doing, they would want to shut you down. Why? Because if different customers' computers can talk to each other over the network, that could be a liability for them. In your case you wanted your phones and computers to talk to each other. But what if someone unauthorized was trying to access your phone network, or your file shares, or managed to plant malware on your devices?

There is a reason why most hotels, restaurants, etc. enable the client isolation mode on their routers...

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[quote name='GreyingJay']This is interesting! I'm glad it worked out for you.

However, I suspect that if their IT staff knew what you were doing, they would want to shut you down. Why? Because if different customers' computers can talk to each other over the network, that could be a liability for them. In your case you wanted your phones and computers to talk to each other. But what if someone unauthorized was trying to access your phone network, or your file shares, or managed to plant malware on your devices?

There is a reason why most hotels, restaurants, etc. enable the client isolation mode on their routers...[/QUOTE]

Those are legitimate concerns, and they only reinforce the point that Celebrity should think about setting up their own system for either calling or texting while on the ship. I know Disney has been running a pilot program with VoIP phones on their ships. Hopefully Celebrity will continue to innovate and keep up with the curve on this one.

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I've not had much success with P2P stuff while on board any ship.

I have noticed this product from the company that provides the internet access on most cruise lines:

[url]http://www.mtnsat.com/mtn-news/delivers-oceanphone-mobile-industry-first-calling-app-maritime-crew[/url]

I've downloaded the app, but can't get it to like the user-name and password...

Here's the site where you sign up... Again, I've not been able to get it to work. App does not like my user-name and password for some reason...

[url]https://www.connectatsea.com/oceanphonemobile/login.aspx[/url]

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[quote name='JimHayes']Dave...I'm curious if you had to pay to have your laptop/server connected to the wi-fi system. Also...did you happen to hear from anyone else using the Carnival Fun Phone App being tested on the Breeze? Or have any idea how much they were charging to use the app?


Sent using the Cruise Critic forums app[/quote]

I did not have to pay to connect to their wifi. Anyone can connect to their wifi for free. Some people may confuse connecting to the wifi and connecting to the internet as the same, but it is not. After connecting to their wifi you will get a screen asking for payment information if you try to go to most websites. Websites such as carnival.com are free, and maybe some others. I've never heard of the carnvial fun phone app.

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[quote name='ehfl']Best bet might be to set up your own ad hoc network, rather than using the ship's wifi.[/quote]

the only problem with that is that if your bring your own router, then the signal will not be strong enough for the whole ship.

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I've had the same question over a few different cruises and considered doing the same. One idea is to use a Raspberry Pi and install the chat server on that. More portable.

Has anyone tried using a Jabber-compatible chat server?

[I]Carnival Splendor - March 2016[/I]
Carnival Sunshine - December 2015
Carnival Conquest - March 2015
Island Princess - October 2014
Carnival Miracle - March 2014
Carnival Miracle - March 2012
Norwegian Pearl - March 2011
Majesty of the Seas - April 2010
Disney Wonder - August 2009
Disney Magic - April 2009
Carnival Victory - November 2007
Carnival Victory - November 2006
Celebrity Century - October 2001
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Since you have a large group, you could each bring a router, and probably cover a good portion of the ship with your own network.

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By putting the chat server on the ship wifi network, I don't think a router would be necessary. For instance, on the Carnival Sunshine it looks like all clients are in the same Class C network.

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Any one have success setting this up on rcl?

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