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Tips for New Viking Ocean Cruisers


roothy123
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Hi all,

 

I have searched for this answer, but can't find a recent one. What is the wifi policy and how good is coverage on the ship? Will my husband and I be able to text each other while on the ship, do they have the silly one device rule?  

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1 hour ago, khuselid said:

Hi all,

 

I have searched for this answer, but can't find a recent one. What is the wifi policy and how good is coverage on the ship? Will my husband and I be able to text each other while on the ship, do they have the silly one device rule?  

 

@khuselid,

 

@TayanaLorna provided responded to a similar question under a related topic where her response was: #2. "It's one device per person per cabin.  So if you want to use Wifi on your tablet or laptop, you need to disconnect your phone from it."

 

Additionally, in My Viking Journey, within the ONBOARD EXPERIENCE section under Stateroom Services, there are the following comments regarding the internet service which you might find of interest:

Internet Access

All the ships offer free Wi-Fi. You may use your personal device or one of the ship’s computers in our Business Center on Deck 1. Our connection relies on a VSAT satellite terminal—the best possible solution for ocean cruising. Due to the nature of data bandwidth and latency, as well as potential interruptions in satellite signals based on terrain and weather, you may experience slower online connections than you are accustomed to at home. In order to ensure fair usage for all, we reserve the right to limit heavy-bandwidth applications, downloads or software upgrades so that all our guests have access to Wi-Fi. We suggest that guests limit large uploads/downloads and live streaming. Please download your content prior to your cruise, as bandwidth will affect your service and cannot be guaranteed. We would be pleased to help you with your device settings once you are on board. We hope you will understand that we will do our very best to provide you with an enjoyable online experience, and remember you will likely be able to access standard Wi-Fi and data roaming services on shore in most towns and cities you visit.

 

I've also seen bits and pieces in various CC Boards regarding the WiFi service.  NY Nick had some comments you might find useful in this post: #382

 

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7 hours ago, khuselid said:

Hi all,

 

I have searched for this answer, but can't find a recent one. What is the wifi policy and how good is coverage on the ship? Will my husband and I be able to text each other while on the ship, do they have the silly one device rule?  

Suggest you download a texting app so you don't have to pay for your cellular service.  My DH and I communicate on board by using WhatsApp which uses WiFi and we keep our phones in airplane mode.

 

We have found WiFi onboard to be pretty good even in the Southern Ocean or Arctic Circle.  The only time with poor or spotty service was in fjords surrounded by high mountains.

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27 minutes ago, TayanaLorna said:

Suggest you download a texting app so you don't have to pay for your cellular service.  My DH and I communicate on board by using WhatsApp which uses WiFi and we keep our phones in airplane mode.

 

We have found WiFi onboard to be pretty good even in the Southern Ocean or Arctic Circle.  The only time with poor or spotty service was in fjords surrounded by high mountains.

Agree with this 100%, although we've never used our phones on the ship to communicate, as we just go looking for each other if we need to communicate.  But the fjords in Norway was the only place we found WiFi sketchy, as TayanaLorna indicated.  When there, it might have helped to have gone to the area where the computers are located on Viking ships, but perhaps not enough.  Those mountains are high!

 

We've used WhatsApp on our basic android phone a few times to communicate with someone overseas.  It's pretty easy and helpful as long as you have WiFi.    Just be aware that (unless things have changed since 2019) both parties need to have it loaded to be able to use it. 

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18 minutes ago, IWantToLiveOverTheSea said:

Agree with this 100%, although we've never used our phones on the ship to communicate, as we just go looking for each other if we need to communicate.  But the fjords in Norway was the only place we found WiFi sketchy, as TayanaLorna indicated.  When there, it might have helped to have gone to the area where the computers are located on Viking ships, but perhaps not enough.  Those mountains are high!

 

We've used WhatsApp on our basic android phone a few times to communicate with someone overseas.  It's pretty easy and helpful as long as you have WiFi.    Just be aware that (unless things have changed since 2019) both parties need to have it loaded to be able to use it. 

Correct, both parties need to have it loaded.  We discovered WhatsApp when we went to South America and did all private tours.  All the companies used WhatsApp and it worked great.  Our group of 6 used it to communicate on board.

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1 hour ago, TayanaLorna said:

We have found WiFi onboard to be pretty good even in the Southern Ocean or Arctic Circle.  The only time with poor or spotty service was in fjords surrounded by high mountains.

 

For everyone's information:

 

The "wi-fi" onboard is consistent throughout your voyage, as "wi-fi" is the internal signal used to connect your device to the ship's onboard servers.

 

What changes is the quality/availability of the satellite link from the ship to the landside servers.

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10 minutes ago, FlyerTalker said:

 

For everyone's information:

 

The "wi-fi" onboard is consistent throughout your voyage, as "wi-fi" is the internal signal used to connect your device to the ship's onboard servers.

 

What changes is the quality/availability of the satellite link from the ship to the landside servers.


True. I believe speed also changes depending on usage, like when all of deck 5 decides to download cute grandkid videos at the same time. 

Edited by Twitchly
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2 minutes ago, Twitchly said:

True. I believe speed also changes depending on usage, like when all of deck 5 decides to download cute grandkid videos at the same time. 

 

The internal wifi speed is faster than what you are getting through the satellite "pipe".  And that satellite link is quite finite, so when you have more users and more people doing data-heavy tasks, the individual slice of that pipe shrinks.  Dramatically.

 

IMO, too many folks don't recognize the limitations of a sat connection, nor of the bandwidth demands that they are putting on the system.  If all video was blocked, there would be very few issues with sat communication.  But passengers want that "convenience" and are so used to having it at home on land.

 

As they say above:  We suggest that guests limit large uploads/downloads and live streaming

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8 hours ago, TayanaLorna said:

Correct, both parties need to have it loaded.  We discovered WhatsApp when we went to South America and did all private tours.  All the companies used WhatsApp and it worked great.  Our group of 6 used it to communicate on board.

Lorna -  how funny!   We also discovered WhatsApp for our South America trip.   They all used it there and we did all our private tours that way as well.  Works great!   Been corresponding to our Rome Italy Apartment owner several times already.

We'll have to connect on WhatsApp!  Will send you an email.

Kent

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Just remember that all of your messages on WhatsApp go through the Facebook (now Meta) servers, and that by using the app, all of your data and messages are freely given to FB to harvest for whatever use they wish.  That's per the usage terms and conditions.

 

As the old saying goes, if the app is free, it's not the product that's being monetized - it's you.

 

 

 

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19 hours ago, CCWineLover said:

Lorna -  how funny!   We also discovered WhatsApp for our South America trip.   They all used it there and we did all our private tours that way as well.  Works great!   Been corresponding to our Rome Italy Apartment owner several times already.

We'll have to connect on WhatsApp!  Will send you an email.

Kent

One of our SA guides expressed surprise that we used WhatsApp saying all the Europeans did but not many Americans.

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It's easy, just set all privacy settings as low as possible. Even technicological morons such as myself can use it. Practice by sending messages to a friend. One of the first few messages you send will be something like '' Abfcfgbb3&) %☺️🎼xdfvg278i🐂crkjrb''

 

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I'm not too great with phones, but WhatsApp wasn't hard to use.  Our driver/guide in Bali suggested getting it, so I did.  I called and texted him at home before we left to make sure I understood how to use it, keeping in mind the 12 hour time difference of course.  Then I used it in the Bali airport to let him know we had landed. It worked well. 

 

If you have a way of "compressing" photos into a smaller size before sending ("bit" size, not physical size) that will help keep the WiFi flowing quickly for everyone on the ship.  And using the WiFi in the early morning or during dinner hours helps, too!  But then, I've always found the WiFi on Viking better than that of any other ships I've sailed on, so I've seldom had a problem using it for basic things like googling or emailing.

Edited by IWantToLiveOverTheSea
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There are definitely concerns about WhatsApp privacy but I use it all the time for domestic and international messages and it is great for phone calls and for sending photos and short videos. Signal is an alternative that some people think is better and more secure. Botim is used extensively in the middle east. 

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3 minutes ago, 1985rz1 said:

I may be missing something.  If one's phone supports WiFi calling, why not just use the phone's native message app in airplane mode?

 

I would think the same, but it may depend on how the carrier processes the call.  I have yet to follow up with my carrier (Verizon), but I came across this comments in there FAQ section for their TravelPass international travel plan offering.

 

https://www.verizon.com/plans/international/international-travel/travel-pass/

Q: Can I use Wi-Fi calling with TravelPass?
A: Wi-Fi calling isn't included with TravelPass.
Wi-Fi calling to a country other than the US is charged international long distance rates regardless of whether or not you have an international travel plan.

 

So sometime over the next month I plan on following up with them to better understand their charging policy and how this might apply to third party applications such WhatsApp and Signal.

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17 minutes ago, UWDawg said:

 

I would think the same, but it may depend on how the carrier processes the call.  I have yet to follow up with my carrier (Verizon), but I came across this comments in there FAQ section for their TravelPass international travel plan offering.

 

https://www.verizon.com/plans/international/international-travel/travel-pass/

Q: Can I use Wi-Fi calling with TravelPass?
A: Wi-Fi calling isn't included with TravelPass.
Wi-Fi calling to a country other than the US is charged international long distance rates regardless of whether or not you have an international travel plan.

 

So sometime over the next month I plan on following up with them to better understand their charging policy and how this might apply to third party applications such WhatsApp and Signal.

Yes, it's meant for calling or texting to US numbers, including folks on the ship.  It's not meant for calling to international numbers, for which Travel Pass is designed.  But you need to be careful and make sure WiFi is turned off when calling on Travel Pass,  so you don't inadvertently make an international call of WiFi.  I have Verizon and both approaches worked well for me.  I don't think Travel Pass covers the onboard ship cell service, though.

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After turning on “airplane mode”, I have made calls to US using “TMobile WiFi” with iPhone.

This was on the Sun (WC) and, in August on the Venus.  The wifi on the Sky last month was really slow so it only worked around 2am (8 or 9 pm EST).

 

Cell calling is 25¢/minute and 2G (very slow) data is free from many countries with TMobile.

Just DO NOT use ship’s cell service unless you want to spend a lot $$$.

 

Tom

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