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HAL's internet speed and Zoom/Video Calls


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Hey Everyone!
I'm lucky to be able to work from anywhere and was thinking of booking a few HAL cruises to work from. From time to time I would have to join a zoom type call and was curious if this is possible on HAL? Basically in your experience, was the internet pretty reliable? Worst case I can join by audio only but would prefer video. Thanks in advance! (This would be on the Kon or Zuiderdam)

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I never had any luck with enough bandwidth for video to work. I use MS Teams and usually it would "stall". Not to be a "downer", I couldn't even get the audio to work successfully. 

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27 minutes ago, seagarsmoker said:

I never had any luck with enough bandwidth for video to work. I use MS Teams and usually it would "stall". Not to be a "downer", I couldn't even get the audio to work successfully. 

Not a downer at all, this is exactly the type of feedback I need. Thank you! I know NCL has pretty advanced internet (Netflix can even work) but wasn't sure about the other lines. Thanks again! 

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The internet on HAL has improved a significant amount over the years, but I wouldn't depend on it for enough bandwidth or strong consistency of signal enough to do Zoom or similar. Particularly if the ship is moving, plus busy times of the day have serious demand/bandwidth issues.

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1 hour ago, ohioNCLcruiser said:

Hey Everyone!
I'm lucky to be able to work from anywhere and was thinking of booking a few HAL cruises to work from. From time to time I would have to join a zoom type call and was curious if this is possible on HAL? Basically in your experience, was the internet pretty reliable? Worst case I can join by audio only but would prefer video. Thanks in advance! (This would be on the Kon or Zuiderdam)

A bigger factor is your location.   You will find faster connections in the carribean than in the mid pacific.    I can easily stream or zoom in the carribean on any ship.....off the coast of Cook Islands - not so well.    

 

There are many more satellites and bandwidth available to the ships in the carribean.   I think that is much more of the limiting factor than the ships hardware.  

 

Nevertheless, I wouldn't go on ANY cruise if missing a ZOOM call was a big deal.   Even the fastest ship will have issues from time to time - and usually at the WORST possible time....

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Since most internet satellites are over the equator, don't expect much in Alaska.  Speed is very slow while sailing and the farther north provides spotty connections at best.

 

Speed in the Caribbean is good enough to check email or limited surfing.  Since you will be sharing bandwidth with all of your fellow passengers, from 8:00 AM until 10:00 PM ship time will be slow.  If you are lucky enough to have a repeater in your stateroom, you will have a better connection.

 

I would not count on Zoom sessions.

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43 minutes ago, The-Inside-Cabin said:

A bigger factor is your location.   You will find faster connections in the carribean than in the mid pacific.    I can easily stream or zoom in the carribean on any ship.....off the coast of Cook Islands - not so well.    

 

There are many more satellites and bandwidth available to the ships in the carribean.   I think that is much more of the limiting factor than the ships hardware.  

 

Nevertheless, I wouldn't go on ANY cruise if missing a ZOOM call was a big deal.   Even the fastest ship will have issues from time to time - and usually at the WORST possible time....

An often overlooked factor.  I suspect most who post about better internet speeds are on coastal US, Caribbean or Med cruises.

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Immediately before the shut down Carnival Corporation announced a new satellite upgrade.  We won't know until people start reporting after this summer's sailings.  I look forward to reading those reports

 

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In August/September of 2019 I had to participate in two Zoom calls.  We were off the coast of Greenland for the first one and Iceland for the second one.  The first one worked perfectly, the second not so great, but the problem may have been that the tablet was uploading photos from my memory card.  I should have waited to start that.   I had the premium package that I had pre-ordered before the cruise.

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The speeds vary considerably with the overall load. Everyone on the ship is sharing the same "pipe" so it can be very fast at times and snail's-pace sluggish at others. Unless your work video meetings are at really odd times, I wouldn't count on having enough bandwidth for video. Audio is probably okay as long as you're not "meeting" right after breakfast. That's when things are usually slowest.

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20 minutes ago, POA1 said:

The speeds vary considerably with the overall load. Everyone on the ship is sharing the same "pipe" so it can be very fast at times and snail's-pace sluggish at others. Unless your work video meetings are at really odd times, I wouldn't count on having enough bandwidth for video. Audio is probably okay as long as you're not "meeting" right after breakfast. That's when things are usually slowest.

Keep in mind the "Have It All" package and many promotional offers over the last year include internet.  "Have It All" includes the mid-grade "Surf" package but some of the earlier offers included HAL's fastest "Premium" package.  The result of all the included internet packages is an almost certainty that more cruisers will be trying to use the onboard internet pipe than was the case pre-COVID.

 

Unless HAL upgraded onboard bandwidth during the cruising stoppage (I don't recall seeing any HAL announcements of that happening), that larger number of internet users likely will clog the bandwidth resulting in slower service for all.  I believe HAL may have upgraded speeds somewhat pre-COVID but the larger number of internet users, because of those packages, may more than offset those speed gains.  If that turns out not to be the case, everyone can treat it as a pleasant surprise.

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On Volendam last January and February, we found that HAL's Premium Internet (which was the inky plan that allowed streaming video) had a daily limit (IIRC 500MB), and also blocked some sites (why DuckDuckGo search engine?).

You might want to call HAL and ask specifically about Zoom, signal strength on  particular voyages, and how much daily bandwidth you'd get with the Premium plan. Also, you may want to check the price (notwithstanding Internet service being included in the fare). Good luck!

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