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CruiseeCrazee

Telecommuting from Explorer?

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My husband is booked as a single on Explorer on the November 29 2019 sailing (he booked alone because I don't have any vacation time left to go with him), and he's trying to talk me into going with him and working from the ship for that work-week instead of him just sailing alone or me taking vacation time I don't have. We would have an inside cabin. I'm apprehensive, not at all sure I'd be able to find a comfortable place to work from, or that the internet would be adequate, or that it wouldn't be too distracting. On the other hand, I have a lot of "downtime" on cruises where I'm borderline-bored, and surely I could fit work the work that needs to get done into those hours. And it would mean someone else cooked and cleaned for me for a week while I worked, which is very tempting. So I thought I'd ask for opinions:

  • Have you worked (like, a full work day or week, not just checking your work email) from a cruise ship before? If so, tell me about it!
  • Is the desk in inside cabins on Explorer big enough to fit a laptop and a portable monitor to work from? If not, would it be better in a higher cabin category?
  • Is the surf + stream internet up to doing video and/or voice call meetings for up to 3 hours a day?
  • Is there anywhere else besides my cabin on Explorer that I could park myself, my laptop, and maybe my portable monitor and use them comfortably (i.e. table and chair not at an uncomfortable mismatch in height) and not obnoxiously (obviously I wouldn't be taking calls out in a public lounge or anything, but I also don't want to monopolize lounge space other people need/want or anger the service staff) for a few hours? Particularly where I could plug the laptop in?
  • Is this just a Really Bad Idea that I should forget about?

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58 minutes ago, CruiseeCrazee said:
  • Is the desk in inside cabins on Explorer big enough to fit a laptop and a portable monitor to work from? If not, would it be better in a higher cabin category?
  • Is the surf + stream internet up to doing video and/or voice call meetings for up to 3 hours a day?
  • Is there anywhere else besides my cabin on Explorer that I could park myself, my laptop, and maybe my portable monitor and use them comfortably (i.e. table and chair not at an uncomfortable mismatch in height) and not obnoxiously for a few hours? Particularly where I could plug the laptop in?

Yes, though a bit tight.

That's very sailing/location dependent.

I think there's a desk in the library where you might be able to do that, minus the extra monitor.

 

It's not a bad idea, you just need to manage expectations.

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1 hour ago, CruiseeCrazee said:

Is the surf + stream internet up to doing video and/or voice call meetings for up to 3 hours a day?

 

From my recent experience on Explorer the wifi is very slow and video of any kind including FaceTime, YouTube etc was almost impossible.   Internet browsing is fine but slow, voice calls might be possible.

 

The ship doesn't have the newer O3B satellite technology so has a much higher latency than the ships with upgraded voom.

 

Here's a few speedtest results from across a 2 week period.

 

 

IMG_5321.thumb.jpeg.f871e2a0662cd72751ab3854f13dfd9d.jpeg

 

IMG_4848.thumb.png.3b1595a431fb19c7e805873fbc8e6605.png

 

IMG_4910.thumb.png.d416e68757e5e3cb839992b58ca242b3.png

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I can’t speak for explorer, but I was recently on Mariner and was able to teach a class live using zoom and the ships voom. I still can’t believe it worked, but am so excited because it opens up a whole lot of telecommuting possibilities for me.

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We're on this sailing as well!  We have VOOM for this sailing, but from reports I've read is to not expect much as it's not great.  Heading in with lowered expectations and would love to be surprised with good speeds.  Hopefully you're able to join us!

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I can't believe your husband would even go on a cruise by himself because you don't have the vacation time....

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3 hours ago, matj2000 said:

I can't believe your husband would even go on a cruise by himself because you don't have the vacation time....

Why? I do it all the time. Seems like a strong relationship with reasonable people who actually care that the other gets to use their well deserved time, would be a given. I guess some relationships are not strong enough for that. Sad. 

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18 minutes ago, Mikew0805 said:

Why? I do it all the time. Seems like a strong relationship with reasonable people who actually care that the other gets to use their well deserved time, would be a given. I guess some relationships are not strong enough for that. Sad. 

 

Have fun by yourself.

 

Like most normal people,  I will bring my wife...……….

Edited by matj2000

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Just now, matj2000 said:

 

Have fun by yourself....

Thanks, I always do. 

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Back to the original question...🙄....I always found the internet to work fine, sometimes it’s a little slow, but for the most part, it’s working and causes no problems.  I’m not in an Inside cabin....mostly OVs and balconies. I don't know if that makes a difference. 

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45 minutes ago, little britain said:

Currently on Explorer : this is the Surf test I just did 

 

2565C630-FED9-4316-B146-2B9DDA1730C2.png

If you see Sandra and Chris Toombes in the diamond lounge please say hi to them from me.

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I wouldn't want to guarantee that internet speed is sufficient to work while on a cruise. 

 

In terms of cruising without my significant other, I get more vacation time with my wife. I've considered it, but she has voiced her "concerns" over me doing so.

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I often cruise without DH. I am retired whilst he is not (toy boy...🤭).  I tell him I’m only doing it for his benefit so he can rep the rewards of more points whenever we do cruise together! 

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Seeing the speed tests posted, that is not enough to maintain a VPN connection or use VOIP (phone). It would just allow you to send/receive email and browse web (slowly). Maybe consider a ship with Voom? Also, double check and make sure VPN is not blocked on upgraded ship if VPN is a requirement.

 

Love the idea, good luck!

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23 minutes ago, Heymarco said:

 ...  Maybe consider a ship with Voom? ...

 

All Royal ships have VOOM.  You probably meant O3b internet service.

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On 10/26/2019 at 4:43 PM, CruiseeCrazee said:
  • Have you worked (like, a full work day or week, not just checking your work email) from a cruise ship before? If so, tell me about it!
  • Is the desk in inside cabins on Explorer big enough to fit a laptop and a portable monitor to work from? If not, would it be better in a higher cabin category?
  • Is the surf + stream internet up to doing video and/or voice call meetings for up to 3 hours a day?
  • Is there anywhere else besides my cabin on Explorer that I could park myself, my laptop, and maybe my portable monitor and use them comfortably (i.e. table and chair not at an uncomfortable mismatch in height) and not obnoxiously (obviously I wouldn't be taking calls out in a public lounge or anything, but I also don't want to monopolize lounge space other people need/want or anger the service staff) for a few hours? Particularly where I could plug the laptop in?
  • Is this just a Really Bad Idea that I should forget about?

I have worked on cruises twice.  But in full disclosure, I never tried calls or video conferencing from the ship.  In fact I never got the internet service.  I didn't trust it.  

 

We were in the Caribbean.  I worked on sea days in the Library and some in a far table in the Schooner Bar.  No one minded.  There were outlets in both locations.  The tables in the Library were more desk height.  The Schooner bar was true laptop work.  There are actually lots of quiet places to work on a ship, I'm sure you'll find them.  I admit that I work on my laptop all the time, even in the office, so I don't use an external monitor.  

 

Calls, file transfers, emails, and conferences.  I did these in ports.  I would ask the crew members where the best internet was, and head there.  In Antigua (I think) I actually went to the All Inclusive with my family, and worked from the Lobby.  I just felt like the internet was more reliable this way.  I hear ship internet is better, but still don't trust it enough for work.

 

I don't know the nature of what you do, or if you can control the call times enough to schedule while in port.  Good luck, I hope it works out. 

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2 hours ago, Host Clarea said:

 

All Royal ships have VOOM.  You probably meant O3b internet service.

Yes you are correct, thanks for the correction Bob!

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Good topic!
I will be telecommuting from Explorer 1.5 days of Christmas cruise.

From similar ships I worked on Adventure and it was OK.

Even from Grandeur it was ok except VPN + Microsoft SQL studio were not working great together. I couldn’t switch between databases, so later I used script to do this. 
It does depend on area too. In Bar Harbor whole ship lost connection to satellites. I used hot spot from my phone then.

 

   Overall wifi was spottier than on let’s say Anthem where I’m going to work for the fourth time this Thanksgiving. For three days so we booked balcony this time. 🙂 

 

 I wouldn’t get anything less than surf & stream. On Anthem first time I think I used surf, but Anthem has overall faster internet 

Edited by Tatka

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You may need to  be in port to  facilitate your most demanding communication needs besides your ship tele-commuting time . 

Edited by richstowe

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Thanks everyone for your thoughts! After talking it over with my boss, we decided it's worth me giving it a try as long as we have contingency plans (e.g. I work weekends to make up time) in place in case something goes wrong. Here's hoping nothing goes wrong!

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I've done work from the ships. It's OK if you're dealing with emails but undependable and slow if you need to download or upload documents or images. (Eats up a good bit of time) Definitely wouldn't depend on being able to conduct a 3 hour videoconference call.

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We have some very good friends currently sailing on Explorer with the Surf and Stream package.

They are very disappointed with it  ( had nothing to do with the extremely rough weather they encountered whilst sailing through the Bay of Biscay and therefore arriving a couple of hours late in Madeira so they were told )

Apparently all they’ve had much joy with is to send and receive emails but face time is extremely slow and anything else very poor.

They've got much better WiFi ashore today but are hoping things may improve round the Canary Islands they are in Tenerife tomorrow.

 

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