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dmb0619

Avoid NCL if you need access to email or internet!!!!!

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I don't like flaming companies online with complaints (even the best businesses will disappoint at times). But, I cant let others experience the damage that I experienced by not being able to connect to my work email (or the internet generally) for the duration of a voyage.

 

Let me be clear -- do NOT book on NCL if you need access to Internet. My family and I traveled in December on the NCL Gem. Because of work, I needed to connect to email and figured I would have no issues since they advertised services that included "streaming" packages where you could access You Tube and other heavy bandwith sites. I figured access to work internet shouldn't be a problem -- boy was I wrong. Despite paying close to $400, most days I couldn't even load gmail.com without a timeout. I measured download speed and it was often below 500KBS (that is slower than old time AOL dialup speeds. I am not exaggerating.

 

I spoke with the internet manager onboard on multiple occasions and he acknowledged ridiculously slow speeds (and that the ability to "stream" was laughable), but also indicated he couldn't do anything, including refund my money. I wanted to give NCL the benefit of the doubt and lodged a complaint with their customer service after returning home. Their response was underwhelming (basically that the service depends on satellite and can't be as fast as land service -- no kidding...). They also refused to even refund my money. Note that I wasn't looking for blazing speeds, all I wanted to do was access gmail!

 

Perhaps I just had bad luck, and others had better experiences. I actually had hoped that someone would have just admitted it was an anomaly so that I could feel safe booking another cruise on NCL. But given their response, I can't afford to take the chance on NCL again -- I will have to limit myself to RCL (which has awesome internet -- in fact much faster than I would ever need). 

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Posted (edited)

Sorry about your issues, but I cruise to be on vacation...checking email sounds like work to me. YMMV

 

Thst said, a refund seems to be a reasonable request...I assume you couldn’t connect at all? 

Edited by PTC DAWG

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I've noticed little difference between NCL and other cruise lines in terms of internet speed, and I normally buy the packages. There is a lot of gripe about with NCL - their internet services seem to be about what I get on other cruise lines.  If you are looking for a vacation where you have dependable internet access, I recommend some all-inclusive resort, not a cruise ship in the middle of an ocean.

 

 

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500KBS [sic] is 4Mbps.

Your speed test was probably 500Kbps (500 kilobits per second).

Dial up networking when one used a modem with AOL was 53 kilobits per second (53Kbps) with a PERFECT phone line and 56K modem. 

 

500Kbps is very fair for shared satellite.  The latency is going to be considerably higher than home broadband, however.

 

O3B backhauls used on Quantum class vessels at RCI is another thing altogether.  Comparing the two is like comparing fighting a fire with a well and buckets vs. 200gpm pumper and pond!

 

Cheers,

 

Norman

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Posted (edited)

Yes, their internet is actually getting worse.

 

I have received pro-rated refunds for my WiFi connections on my last two sailings (Escape and Bliss). I cannot stress how helpful it is to be respectful and friendly with the network manager. They must get yelled at all day long.

 

”I go on vacation to unplug” is a useless response in 2019. NCL is selling a service they frequently can’t provide. (At the very least, they should stop advertising a streaming service on the megaships.) That’s all that’s relevant in this thread.

Edited by AdoraBelle

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Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, AdoraBelle said:

Yes, their internet is actually getting worse.

 

I have received pro-rated refunds for my WiFi connections on my last two sailings (Escape and Bliss). I cannot stress enough how helpful it is to be respectful and friendly with the network manager. They must get yelled at all day long. (On Bliss I simply left a note at the desk: “Room #####, please refund me for a few days so I feel less silly for paying for the premium package. Hang in there. <3”)

 

”I go on vacation to unplug” is a useless response in 2019. NCL is selling a service they frequently can’t provide. (At the very least, they should stop advertising a streaming service on the megaships.) That’s all that’s relevant in this thread.

 

Edited by AdoraBelle

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The internet service on NCL is actually quite good. We sail multiple NCL and RCCL cruises a year and VOOM does not mean it goes vroom. The service is comparable. We've been successful in moving large amounts of data to photo live post on all of our recent cruises. No problem. Those who expect that satellite internet (with its inherent latency) sharing a connection with thousands of other people will be the same as their home fios service are just mis-informed. 

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OP,  sorry to hear that.  Not here to defend nor to cheer NCL's satellite WiFi options, which like other lines, faced multitude of "obstructions" and known limitations; and, IS the most expensive, not a good return on one's investment of dollars, even when it's a reimbursed business expense item.  

 

We sailed the Gem last year and 2016, the Breakaway several times and twice on the Escape within the past 6 months - and found the "basic" free plan of 250 minutes to be usable & adequate for our needs.  Personally, I would NOT and given this poor valued-added product - would never spend extra for unlimited upgrade, unless it is for urgency & emergency matters, which existed then & even now ... but, I had other options, just in case, on a limited scale (a T/A crossing would be a problem for data access, however ...) 

 

Nevertheless, we did not experience any connectivity issues with Gmail - both to personal accounts and *.edu based mail server ("Bmail") - along with most suite products by Google, exception being VoIP as it was blocked (could be due to VPN)   No issues whatsoever whenever we're docked in the Caribbeans and in Mexico, switching over to our cellular 4G LTE services instead (Google Fi has inexpensive roaming, same as being with home carrier, just $10 per 1 GB used)  

 

Could you elaborate whether the problems experienced was on the laptop/notebook/Chromebook, smartphone or iPhone, tablet or iPad, etc.  Did you tried other "devices" to see or was it just "slow" speed as measured, regardless ?  I know that I spend a few minutes using the iCafe's desktop terminal (don't remember whether they're Asus or Lenovo micro's) just to compare, as they're wirelessly connected - and, speed was fairly good, nothing like our 100/100 Fios package at home - but browsing wasn't a problem ... latency was high but much improved than 8 to 10 years ago, it was pathetic then, barely 3G speed onboard (both the Gem & Jewel then) 

 

Voom on RCL is great and Princess is rolling out theirs - both are competitive priced & reasonable compared to NCL, as they have access to "superior" technologies and charging less.  

 

As for NCL refusing to refund and adjusting the charges for not delivering the claimed products, I would suggest contacting your credit card issuer to file a dispute.  I know of other instances of the iCafe manager onboard issuing credits and/or partially refunding the charges - as they know it is often faulty but beyond their capacity to come up with the fixes.  It isn't as simple as rebooting & power cycling the router-modem or switching from 2.4Ghz to 5Ghz for a cleaner channel.  

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, dmb0619 said:

Perhaps I just had bad luck, and others had better experiences. I actually had hoped that someone would have just admitted it was an anomaly so that I could feel safe booking another cruise on NCL. But given their response, I can't afford to take the chance on NCL again -- I will have to limit myself to RCL (which has awesome internet -- in fact much faster than I would ever need). 

From my experience, I would say that you had bad luck.

 

i have cruised two or three times a year for the past few years and always need the Internet for work. In that time there have been a two or three occasions when I have not been able to do so for any length of time (ie where I had to give up and try later). Other than that I have always found the Internet to be quick enough for Internet and general website use. That is on a variety of ships.

 

There are times when it is better than others. I always find that around embarkation time is very slow as lots of people get back and post to Facebook etc.

 

Just to be clear, I am not saying that the internet on NCL is particularly good, just that the issues experienced by the OP sound a lot worse than anything I have experienced, and that general internet useage and email access is usually not a problem in my experience.

Edited by KeithJenner

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Thank you for this note. I’m truly excited about this type of vacation coming up. If I can’t connect. I can’t work. Which is fantastic news! 

 

Sorry you spent time time trying to rectify it. Any luck when you got to ports? There’s free WiFi all over the place these days!

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9 hours ago, PTC DAWG said:

Sorry about your issues, but I cruise to be on vacation...checking email sounds like work to me. YMMV

 

Thst said, a refund seems to be a reasonable request...I assume you couldn’t connect at all? 

 

Couldn't have said it better myself.  I don't choose cruises for the internet access.  Next cruise will be the first one where I will have internet minutes since I picked one with all the perks for "free".  I'm sure my son's or wife will be using most of the minutes.

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As a consultant I'm continually bemused by people in different circumstances saying something like "I go on vacation to unplug". Good for you. If I don't work I don't bill, if I don't bill I don't eat, ergo if I can't have access to reasonably reliable internet I can't cruise. Therefore - because I love to cruise - I bite the bullet and work for a while each day while cruising. The fact that I need to tend to my business while I'm traveling has ZERO affect on anyone else. The OP has legitimate concern and whether others who want to unplug on vacation care or not, internet is offered with the top tier package claiming streaming capabilities meaning NCL anticipates pretty decent satellite bandwidth.

 

Fortunately I have had reasonable experience with wifi and NCL in the past and - based on my experience - would say the OP faced a bit of an anomaly in not being able to access basic web-based email platforms. The service on the Epic in December was better than expected. Their entire system shut down for a 24-hour period and the internet manager patiently explained the issue to anyone who asked and refunded a prorated portion of my unlimited package without fuss.

 

Like other posters I would suggest that people new to cruising or at least new to requiring internet access while doing so should radically temper their expectations of performance versus a land-based standard. 

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On a recent cruise on the Dawn, we witnessed the IT professional being very unprofessional with a couple who had spent a fortune on internet, he couldn’t care less, he didn’t careless about our problems either, probable he was just plain lazy

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Posted (edited)
Quote

As a consultant I'm continually bemused by people in different circumstances saying something like "I go on vacation to unplug". Good for you.

 

The flip side is: I don't drink, but I never go into the drink package threads about pricing, and post:  "BLAH BLAH I CAN'T UNDERSTAND WHY ANYONE CRUISES JUST TO GET DRUNK EVERYDAY."

 

I guess I just don't need internet validation for the fact that I don't drink, which I assume is what the 'unpluggers' are after, because why else do they care what we do?

Edited by AdoraBelle

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10 hours ago, BirdTravels said:

The internet service on NCL is actually quite good. We sail multiple NCL and RCCL cruises a year and VOOM does not mean it goes vroom. The service is comparable. We've been successful in moving large amounts of data to photo live post on all of our recent cruises. No problem. Those who expect that satellite internet (with its inherent latency) sharing a connection with thousands of other people will be the same as their home fios service are just mis-informed. 

I do not depend on the internet for work as I am retired (thank God) but I will mention, for anyone who has internet concerns with NCL internet, please to not cruise Princess. YOu will really be disappointed. 

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As someone said up thread there are better and worse times to be online. The worst is the time between returning from port and dinner time as everyone seems to be checking email/social media. If I know I need to be online I try to get up early or do it late in the evening when fewer people are online. The other thing to try is to bring your laptop to other parts of the ship and see if your speeds improve. Your room just may be in a poorly located portion of the ship. I am a consultant, so understand the need for the internet. I also have been known to pop into a local McDonald's or coffee shop near the port to download everything, respond to what is urgent and then just leave the rest for later. I will then compose responses to the less important and then try connecting at a slower time, such as late at night or early in the morning.

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Well, did the OP get connected or not?  That was my basis for thinking he would have been entitled to a refund.  

 

No access is different than slow access.  

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, cdnsteelman said:

As a consultant I'm continually bemused by people in different circumstances saying something like "I go on vacation to unplug". Good for you. If I don't work I don't bill, if I don't bill I don't eat, ergo if I can't have access to reasonably reliable internet I can't cruise. Therefore - because I love to cruise - I bite the bullet and work for a while each day while cruising. The fact that I need to tend to my business while I'm traveling has ZERO affect on anyone else. The OP has legitimate concern and whether others who want to unplug on vacation care or not, internet is offered with the top tier package claiming streaming capabilities meaning NCL anticipates pretty decent satellite bandwidth.

 

Fortunately I have had reasonable experience with wifi and NCL in the past and - based on my experience - would say the OP faced a bit of an anomaly in not being able to access basic web-based email platforms. The service on the Epic in December was better than expected. Their entire system shut down for a 24-hour period and the internet manager patiently explained the issue to anyone who asked and refunded a prorated portion of my unlimited package without fuss.

 

Like other posters I would suggest that people new to cruising or at least new to requiring internet access while doing so should radically temper their expectations of performance versus a land-based standard. 

Hey, I'm in sales and only commission too...I feel your pain.   It can run your life at times.  I try my best to not let it.  

 

Cruising is my excuse to not be in touch.  Just a choice on my part.  My upcoming cruise in April on MSC is the only cruise I've ever had that afforded an internet perk...not sure what I think about that.  🙂

Edited by PTC DAWG

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1 minute ago, PTC DAWG said:

Hey, I'm in sales and only commission too...I feel your pain.   It can run your life at times.  I try my best to not let it.  

 

Cruising is my excuse to not be in touch.  Just a choice on my part.  

I just understand everyone has individual circumstances and I get a kick out of those who feel the need to be judgy about the need for internet LOL. From my perspective I actually am blessed in that I also REALLY enjoy what I do. For me to connect for 60-90 minutes late at night or early in the morning when the ship is quiet is not a hardship. I also get to write the cost of the internet package off. In December I closed a $10K contract from my phone at the poker table. Well actually I had to stand up and pay a dead blind to do it because, technically, there's a no phones while playing rule LOL. On the flip side - when I'm at home, if I want to see a movie mid-week in the afternoon or drive out to the mountains for the day... I clear it with myself and off I go 😉

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Last year on our cruise on the Jade, one of the "perks" was the wifi. My wife used it a couple times a day to do an update on Facebook and had no issues whatsoever. That was basically posting a diary of our day and pictures.

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1 hour ago, AdoraBelle said:

 

The flip side is: I don't drink, but I never go into the drink package threads about pricing, and post:  "BLAH BLAH I CAN'T UNDERSTAND WHY ANYONE CRUISES JUST TO GET DRUNK EVERYDAY."

 

I guess I just don't need internet validation for the fact that I don't drink, which I assume is what the 'unpluggers' are after, because why else do they care what we do?

Some people seem incapable of viewing the world through anything but their own eyes. Everyone actually has different circumstances, which means that they make different decisions.

 

The internet is full of people who judge others by the decisions that they make without considering the circumstances behind that decision. It never reflects very well on them.

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3 minutes ago, KeithJenner said:

Some people seem incapable of viewing the world through anything but their own eyes. Everyone actually has different circumstances, which means that they make different decisions.

 

The internet is full of people who judge others by the decisions that they make without considering the circumstances behind that decision. It never reflects very well on them.

 

I can only speak for myself but I'm not judging anyone on any choice that they have made while cruising. But for me, I get tired of all the "Avoid NCL because their internet sucks" or "Avoid NCL because you have to pay service charges on free perks" or "Stay away from NCL because the Epics beds aren't rectangular"..."I'll never choose NCL again because I had a bad steak at Cagney's"....

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To those that cruise to get away from the internet, great for you, I am one of those. However others can ONLY cruise because they can stay connected. Last week on the Epic my 2 sisters, both realtors, paid for internet and found that it was Not workable. Today back home they are scrambling  to save their deals . To those that will say, 'they should not have cruised if the had a deal pending'. Well it doesn't work like that. No one can know how any deal will progress, making it impossible to book a cruise in between them. Long story short, they found NCL internet unworkable.

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Posted (edited)

The network gets stupid slow at work sometimes. I may never work here again!

Edited by RedwingHockeyFan

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, AdoraBelle said:

Yes, their internet is actually getting worse.

 

 

It's not getting worse, the problem is more people are using it. Their is a limited amount of data at anyone time which can be dowloaded to the ship. With a 100 people using it at the same time the speed might be fast, with 2000 people using it it will be slower. On our last 4 cruises I've noticed the speed about the same, however some times it can be much slower. Take a look around at your fellow pax and see how many are online and steaming videos. 

 

One of my main priorities on a cruise is internet speed.....Not 😂

 

I tell my work pretend I'm dead, if no one else can handle the problem the company has a really big problem. We tell our family members if anyone dies just to keep them on ice, their is nothing we can do about it

Edited by Laszlo

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