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Ocean MedallionNet on Royal in Alaska

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How well is the unlimited internet service performing in Alaska? Is it spotty or is  the internet usage/streaming reliable and fast?

 

After viewing a video on the Ocean Medallion sticky (thank you for the information, idahospud), I am rethinking purchasing internet service.

 

Any more recent Royal Princess travelers who can update?

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As far as I understand, the internet usage/streaming is the same on any ship anywhere.  We were on the internet in the middle of the Caribbean sea and Atlantic and it was great.  I would recommend purchasing the unlimited internet and then you don't have to worry about logging on and off, etc.  

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Knowledgeable techies have explained that due to a lack of satellite coverage closer to the poles that internet service is diminished in areas such as Alaska.

 

Besides the video by idahospud, I have read other posts about poor internet access in Alaska.  But having an unlimited plan at a good price if it’s slow you’re not paying by the minute.

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1 hour ago, zahav1 said:

As far as I understand, the internet usage/streaming is the same on any ship anywhere.  We were on the internet in the middle of the Caribbean sea and Atlantic and it was great.  I would recommend purchasing the unlimited internet and then you don't have to worry about logging on and off, etc.  

Not the same in Alaska..........see Franks post #3)

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2 hours ago, Astro Flyer said:

Knowledgeable techies have explained that due to a lack of satellite coverage closer to the poles that internet service is diminished in areas such as Alaska.

 

Besides the video by idahospud, I have read other posts about poor internet access in Alaska.  But having an unlimited plan at a good price if it’s slow you’re not paying by the minute.

 

One added consideration... The few satellites that are available to ships in Alaska hang low in the sky.  When in Glacier Bay, they hang lower than the hilltops = zero internet.  Ditto if your ship gets a bad berth in Juneau or Skagway.

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I was recently on the Royal in Alaska.  MedallionNet sucked there. Worse than the slowest dial-up and much of the time not available at all.   I regret not asking for a refund.  If you are elite, just take what minutes you get and use them wisely.  I would not pay again personally.  This is my experience ... YMMV

 

Ocean Medallion and MedallionNet are not the same thing or necessarily tied to each other.   Ocean Medallion is the gadget and all it's associated apps that gets you on/off the ship, order food and drink, find each other, un-lock cabin door, etc.  MedallionNet is the newest version of Princess on board ship internet service.  MedallionNet can be on a ship that is not Medallion Class.

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Just now, Haboob said:

 

One added consideration... The few satellites that are available to ships in Alaska hang low in the sky.  When in Glacier Bay, they hang lower than the hilltops = zero internet.  Ditto if your ship gets a bad berth in Juneau or Skagway.

 

Thanks...I depend upon knowledgeable people like you & others for credible information.

 

Hopefully no damage from yesterday’s quake. 🤞 

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1 minute ago, hpeabody said:

I was recently on the Royal in Alaska.  MedallionNet sucked there. Worse than the slowest dial-up and much of the time not available at all.   I regret not asking for a refund.  If you are elite, just take what minutes you get and use them wisely.  I would not pay again personally.  This is my experience ... YMMV

 

What was your cell phone experience?

 

When in USA, Canada or Mexico ports my cell phone plan provides free text, data & calls so I need fewer minutes on the ship at sea.

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3 hours ago, Astro Flyer said:

 

What was your cell phone experience?

 

When in USA, Canada or Mexico ports my cell phone plan provides free text, data & calls so I need fewer minutes on the ship at sea.

 

I did not attempt to access the internet on my cell phone, it stayed in the cabin safe.  I can not tell you how cell phone experience is in Alaska, Sorry.

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Did anyone notice a difference in the speed and access of the internet on the Royal as the ship moved further south as compared to the upper reaches of Alaska? For example, was the speed better as you were getting closer to Vancouver as opposed to Anchorage?

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Off Royal today.   Used my 150 free minutes.  Did not have great performance, quite slow.

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Medallion net on the Coral worked great in Alaska in June. There was only one morning where it wasn't working and we were in Port and getting off the ship anyway. It was working by the time we re boarded. We did not have any other issues with it whatsoever, it was well worth the $59.99 each we paid for the week.

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On 7/6/2019 at 6:42 AM, Bwana Tom said:

Did anyone notice a difference in the speed and access of the internet on the Royal as the ship moved further south as compared to the upper reaches of Alaska? For example, was the speed better as you were getting closer to Vancouver as opposed to Anchorage?

 

There would not be any change until and unless the ship's crew points their antennae at a different (and faster) satellite that was now above the horizon.

 

In theory: We hope they would.  In practice: Is there unsold bandwidth available on the satellite?  Are they motivated enough to do the paperwork for a 2 or 3 day uplink lease?  Are they savvy enough to know it's an option?

 

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On 7/6/2019 at 4:25 PM, molly2kit said:

Off Royal today.   Used my 150 free minutes.  Did not have great performance, quite slow.

Same here. SO glad we didn't purchase the unlimited package.  We found the internet speeds to be much better with the previous iteration aboard the Island and Coral on our previous Alaska cruises(plus we had more Elite minutes!). Logging in and out without Unlimited is also a bigger P in the A. 

 

Wait till you are in port and use free WiFi(at many bars) or 4G. 4G was available in all ports(Verizon).

 

 

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I was looking for the older thread about performance of MedallionNet and couldn't find it so will post here.  We just disembarked the Royal last Saturday and can attest to the fact that it is worse than the old internet in terms of speed in Alaska.  We will be on the Coral Princess in South America / Antarctica in January and they will also offer MedallionNet.  Does anyone know if the satellite positioning affects performance near the south pole as badly as it does up north?  Guessing yes but hoping there is a techie who knows the answer.

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4 minutes ago, azbirdmom said:

I was looking for the older thread about performance of MedallionNet and couldn't find it so will post here.  We just disembarked the Royal last Saturday and can attest to the fact that it is worse than the old internet in terms of speed in Alaska.  We will be on the Coral Princess in South America / Antarctica in January and they will also offer MedallionNet.  Does anyone know if the satellite positioning affects performance near the south pole as badly as it does up north?  Guessing yes but hoping there is a techie who knows the answer.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:O3b_satellite_constellation.png

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1 hour ago, azbirdmom said:

I was looking for the older thread about performance of MedallionNet and couldn't find it so will post here.  We just disembarked the Royal last Saturday and can attest to the fact that it is worse than the old internet in terms of speed in Alaska.  We will be on the Coral Princess in South America / Antarctica in January and they will also offer MedallionNet.  Does anyone know if the satellite positioning affects performance near the south pole as badly as it does up north?  Guessing yes but hoping there is a techie who knows the answer.

 

It was nice meeting you for a moment at the meet and greet.  We found the internet to be about the same as the old.  The internet manager told us there would be two times when we would have no internet but I don't recall when.  I think he may have said for an hour  or so when we would be at a specific place.  As for South America/Antarctica... sorry, can't answer.  You might want to post this as a separate post as many people who have cruised South America may not read this thread.

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4 hours ago, Haboob said:

 

Well that answers it - we won't expect "blazing fast" internet on the Coral.  Thank you!

 

2 hours ago, dickinson said:

 

It was nice meeting you for a moment at the meet and greet.  We found the internet to be about the same as the old.  The internet manager told us there would be two times when we would have no internet but I don't recall when.  I think he may have said for an hour  or so when we would be at a specific place.  As for South America/Antarctica... sorry, can't answer.  You might want to post this as a separate post as many people who have cruised South America may not read this thread.

 

It was nice meeting you as well!  One of the places was definitely Glacier Bay so I didn't even bother.  There were times when I tried to post even a couple of pictures to FB and it would time out.  That never happened with the old internet and certainly not with MedallionNet when were on the Regal in the Caribbean.  We will pack patience and take it as a sign that we need to unplug 🙂 

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I also found this by the way.  I think it is also in the sticky but thought I'd add it here as well as it explains where MedallionNet is slower and why:  

 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, azbirdmom said:

I also found this by the way.  I think it is also in the sticky but thought I'd add it here as well as it explains where MedallionNet is slower and why:  

 

 

Glad they're finally owning up to the MEO/GEO issue and the 50º latitude issue.  Kudos!

 

One (deliberate?) slight-of-hand still in there, though:  The "faster" they're talking about in the video is latency, which only really matters if you're playing a FPS (first person shooter) game.  What we folks grouse about when we talk about "faster" is bandwidth.

 

The MEO satellites are much "faster" (bandwith sense) because they fly 10 dish antennae instead of a dipole, letting them sell the exact same uplink bandwidth to 10 different ships (as long as they are few miles apart), which means cheaper uplink cost, which in turn means the ship can buy more uplink bandwidth with the money we pay for internet. 

Edited by Haboob

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