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crunchii

Looks like pre-booking of Internet plan is now available

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Just noticed "Internet" in the "Manage My Bookings" for our September 2020 Zuiderdam cruise. It lists "Premium Internet Plan - 10 Days" for $143.99.

 

No such thing for our August 2019 Nieuw Amsterdam cruise though, so it might be just available on later cruises or on some ships.

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34 minutes ago, crunchii said:

Just noticed "Internet" in the "Manage My Bookings" for our September 2020 Zuiderdam cruise. It lists "Premium Internet Plan - 10 Days" for $143.99.

 

No such thing for our August 2019 Nieuw Amsterdam cruise though, so it might be just available on later cruises or on some ships.

Thanks.  I just looked, and it's available for our Westerdam May 2019 cruise but not on our Nieuw Statendam or Koningsdam Sept-Oct. 2019 cruises.  Also just the Premium plan, and we prefer the middle tier, Surf.  So I'm thinking I'll pass unless they add other tiers...

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They may be rolling this out one ship at a time, and one tier at a time. Hopefully at some point it will all be pre-bookable. HAL has lagged behind their peers in many aspects related to IT.  Hopefully things will continue to improve. 

 

That said, I just checked my cruise planner - there are currently no internet packages pre-bookable for my 7/29/19 14 day cruise on the Amsterdam.

Edited by AtlantaCruiser72

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My 16 night Zuiderdam Transatlantic sailing in April, 2019 lists the Premium plan for $199.  I would like to see what other plans might be available before purchasing this one. 

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I just looked at my 11 day Zuiderdam cruise and it offers the Premium Plan for $151.99. Seems to be a few $ cheaper than the price that is offered on board. At least if you go by the price table in this thread ($189.99 for 11 days):

 

 

Looks like HAL is pushing the Premium Plan at a slight discount if purchased ahead of time. Not sure it's worth the few $ you might save, especially if you only really need the Surf Plan and you want to use your OBC.

 

Nothing is ever straight forward these days. :classic_angry:

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1 hour ago, shrimpboat123 said:

Not sure it's worth the few $ you might save, especially if you only really need the Surf Plan and you want to use your OBC.

Several people have reported that the Premium does not offer substantially better performance than the Surf, and one person said it was worse:

 

  On 2/20/2019 at 10:43 AM, Cruising-along said:

My experience was that "streaming" was worse than "surf".  This was on the Rotterdam, Voyage of the Vikings last summer.  I made the mistake of upgrading to streaming for the last week, thinking that I'd be able to FaceTime with the grandkids more easily, and watch the videos they sent me.  Instead it was worse.  Could have just been my experience on that ship, I don't know.

Edited by catl331

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According to the previously posted chart, 19 day premium cost was $289.99.  This price is $58.00 less.  :classic_biggrin:  This is for the Viking Passage on the Zuiderdam in August 2020.

Internet plan not available for pre purchase for October 2019 Med cruise on the Nieuw Statendam.

INTERNET.PNG

Edited by I like vacation
add info

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Just like any online purchase with HAL, the money comes out of your pocket.   If you wait to buy it onboard, you can use your HAL or TA provided cabin credits.   Unlike shore excursions, there is no chance they will run out of internet packages and wait list you.   If you do have OBC, then wait until you get onboard.   Who cares if you have internet booked before you board the ship ?  Signing up takes 2 minutes on your device.   HAL would love it if people used their own cash to buy the internet packages, instead of the free HAL provided OBC.

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1 hour ago, TAD2005 said:

Just like any online purchase with HAL, the money comes out of your pocket.   If you wait to buy it onboard, you can use your HAL or TA provided cabin credits.   Unlike shore excursions, there is no chance they will run out of internet packages and wait list you.   If you do have OBC, then wait until you get onboard.   Who cares if you have internet booked before you board the ship ?  Signing up takes 2 minutes on your device.   HAL would love it if people used their own cash to buy the internet packages, instead of the free HAL provided OBC.

 

I totally agree. What better way to use up that non-refundable OBC. Plus there is no real benefit to purchasing the Premium Plan.

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What is the real difference between the Surf and the Premium Internet plans.  I want to access Facebook, Email, and FaceTime calling (iPhone).  Can I get away with the Surf package?

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9 minutes ago, michael620 said:

What is the real difference between the Surf and the Premium Internet plans.  I want to access Facebook, Email, and FaceTime calling (iPhone).  Can I get away with the Surf package?

Yes, you can do what you want with 'surf'. The Premium package lets you add streaming.

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14 hours ago, RuthC said:

Yes, you can do what you want with 'surf'. The Premium package lets you add streaming.

Hi Ruth,

A year ago, (March 2018, Rotterdam) HAL was saying that to use Skype, you needed the Premium package.  I got it and Skype worked fine, but I only use Skype voice calls, not video calls.   I think Facetime, like Skype, uses VOIP, (Voice over Internet Protocol).  If one type of VOIP  service,  (Facetime) works OK on the middle level "Surf" plan,  then Skype should also work.

I guess I can buy the Surf plan, and if it doesn't work, or HAL has Skype blocked with the Surf plan, then I can upgrade the plan.

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5 minutes ago, TAD2005 said:

Hi Ruth,

A year ago, (March 2018, Rotterdam) HAL was saying that to use Skype, you needed the Premium package.  I got it and Skype worked fine, but I only use Skype voice calls, not video calls.   I think Facetime, like Skype, uses VOIP, (Voice over Internet Protocol).  If one type of VOIP  service,  (Facetime) works OK on the middle level "Surf" plan,  then Skype should also work.

I guess I can buy the Surf plan, and if it doesn't work, or HAL has Skype blocked with the Surf plan, then I can upgrade the plan.

That is correct, you need the Premium package for Skype and Facetime.  I upgraded to Premium from Surf  at the end of our VOV because I wanted to Facetime with the grandkids but it was no better than Surf, in fact everything was slower.  So (in my case) it was wasted money.

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12 minutes ago, Cruising-along said:

That is correct, you need the Premium package for Skype and Facetime.  I upgraded to Premium from Surf  at the end of our VOV because I wanted to Facetime with the grandkids but it was no better than Surf, in fact everything was slower.  So (in my case) it was wasted money.

You indicated that HAL requires the premium package for Skype and Facetime.   But you then said that you upgraded from the Surf package and Facetime was no better using the premium package.   That implies that you tried  Facetime with the Surf package and it worked, but the quality was poor.   So, if I am understanding what you said,  Facetime (and Skype) will work with the Surf plan, but the quality is not good.   Is that what you meant ?

 

If that is the fact, then it appears that HAL does not have an absolute block on VOIP services through port blocking, they just throttle down the available bandwidth with the Surf plan.   I have had very successful Skype voice calls,  (video turned off) with bandwidths as low as 750 kb/s.   I don't need the video part of Skype, because the calls I make are to landline phones where a video call is useless.   

I am not familiar with Facetime.  Does it have the option of switching off the 2-way video, and just have a voice call ?  That might work in cases where you have the Surf plan and the video call has poor quality.   Sacrifice the video part of the call and save a bunch of money !!

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19 hours ago, catl331 said:

Several people have reported that the Premium does not offer substantially better performance than the Surf, and one person said it was worse:

 

I doubt that it's worse. In my case (Zuiderdam, Dec 2018) it was identical in terms of throughput. However, it did give access to certain streaming hosts that weren't allowed on the mid-tier plan. (However, don't get your hopes up about streaming. You're still haring a satellite link with hundreds of others.)

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Facetime is a wifi based calling system used by iPhones.  You can call over either video+audio, or audio only.  We have used it all over the world and on Azamara ships while at sea (when we had free included wifi).  Perhaps we can use the audio only FaceTime with the mid-tier wifi package and upgrade if necessary.

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5 minutes ago, TAD2005 said:

If that is the fact, then it appears that HAL does not have an absolute block on VOIP services through port blocking, they just throttle down the available bandwidth with the Surf plan. 

 

I looked for throttling (speed reduction) and didn't see any. I think others have reported the same thing. It's a combination of both port and host/IP blocking. (For example, I couldn't get to the DuckDuckGoose search engine. It's not a high bandwidth site - not even remotely. They just block it for reasons unknown.)

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5 minutes ago, TAD2005 said:

You indicated that HAL requires the premium package for Skype and Facetime.   But you then said that you upgraded from the Surf package and Facetime was no better using the premium package.   That implies that you tried  Facetime with the Surf package and it worked, but the quality was poor.   So, if I am understanding what you said,  Facetime (and Skype) will work with the Surf plan, but the quality is not good.   Is that what you meant ?

Yes, that's pretty much what I meant -- I did try Facetime and to watch Facebook videos with the Surf package (just to see if it would work).  I didn't try Skype.  The videos never worked with either plan  (spinning wheel of death), and Facetime was very sketchy with both plans. If we connected at all, we either lost connection altogether, or lost audio or visual -- it never worked well if at all.  Premium was also slower, because of so many people streaming etc.  

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10 minutes ago, POA1 said:

I doubt that it's worse.

You can doubt me, but that was my experience.  Granted it could have been just that ship, but others on my cruise reported the same.  Others may have different experiences, as you did.  I'm just reporting how it was on the Rotterdam last summer.

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29 minutes ago, Cruising-along said:

You can doubt me, but that was my experience.  Granted it could have been just that ship, but others on my cruise reported the same.  Others may have different experiences, as you did.  I'm just reporting how it was on the Rotterdam last summer.

 

I'm reasonably sure that I wasn't quoting you or doubting anything that I knew you to have said. I was simply pointing out that I did actual speed tests between the two plans. I upgraded on the last day of our Zuiderdam cruise - wasting $5.00 that could have been otherwise used for something useful like Chapstick or a Toblerone - and saw now appreciable difference. I tested to three different speed test sites as well as to two of my own servers. When I got 5 sets of similar results, I decided that the advice that the mid-tier was good enough for almost everything was solid.

 

I can certainly understand the need for video conferencing if there's visual information that needs to be imparted, but the vast majority of Facetime and Skype video could be accomplished looking at a head shot of a person and using a regular phone.

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4 minutes ago, POA1 said:

 

I'm reasonably sure that I wasn't quoting you or doubting anything that I knew you to have said. I was simply pointing out that I did actual speed tests between the two plans. I upgraded on the last day of our Zuiderdam cruise - wasting $5.00 that could have been otherwise used for something useful like Chapstick or a Toblerone - and saw now appreciable difference. I tested to three different speed test sites as well as to two of my own servers. When I got 5 sets of similar results, I decided that the advice that the mid-tier was good enough for almost everything was solid.

 

I can certainly understand the need for video conferencing if there's visual information that needs to be imparted, but the vast majority of Facetime and Skype video could be accomplished looking at a head shot of a person and using a regular phone.

No problem, you wouldn't know unless you quoted catl331's entire post post #6), where she quoted me.  🙂  

I'm glad you saw no appreciable difference.  I agree the mid tier is good, it definitely was great on the VOV. I just should have stuck with it that last week.  Others noticed the same, that it was slower on the Premium.  YMMV. 😉 

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13 minutes ago, POA1 said:

tested to three different speed test sites as well as to two of my own servers. When I got 5 sets of similar results, I decided that the advice that the mid-tier was good enough for almost everything was solid.

 

I went with Premium because I needed to use Wi-Fi calling to receive a call for login verification purposes.  Do you think that would have worked with the Surf plan based on what you were seeing? 

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4 hours ago, bEwAbG said:

 

 

I went with Premium because I needed to use Wi-Fi calling to receive a call for login verification purposes.  Do you think that would have worked with the Surf plan based on what you were seeing? 

I intend to try it on the Eurodam on March 9.   I need to call a few places that are landlines.  I have an account with Skype with $10 deposited, so I can call any landline phone.  I don''t need the video part of Skype, which uses most of the bandwidth.   So, unless HAL blocks the specific ports that Skype uses or the actual URL, I think it will work on the Surf plan.   I will try it and report back.

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37 minutes ago, TAD2005 said:

I intend to try it on the Eurodam on March 9.   I need to call a few places that are landlines.  I have an account with Skype with $10 deposited, so I can call any landline phone.  I don''t need the video part of Skype, which uses most of the bandwidth.   So, unless HAL blocks the specific ports that Skype uses or the actual URL, I think it will work on the Surf plan.   I will try it and report back.

 

Thanks!  I need to know for future reference, too.

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6 hours ago, bEwAbG said:

 

 

I went with Premium because I needed to use Wi-Fi calling to receive a call for login verification purposes.  Do you think that would have worked with the Surf plan based on what you were seeing? 

I had the Surf plan last summer on the Rotterdam and no problem with Wi-Fi calling.  In fact, I was initially surprised to receive a call I wasn't expecting with the phone in Airplane Mode.  

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