A cruise is a great vacation, a chance to get away, relax and disconnect. But sometimes we may need to access the internet to keep in touch with family and friends or perhaps quickly check in with work.
The use of wifi is not complimentary on MSC Cruises and even if your cell provider has a plan that covers Mexico, it won't cover you in the middle of the ocean. If you want to stay connected, you will need to purchase an internet package.
MSC Cruises offers two main packages for guests to connect while onboard, as well as some useful free apps. And, if you book ahead, there are a few ways to save money.
Here is what you need to know about internet and wifi on an MSC Cruise.
Internet Package Overview
MSC Cruises offers guests two types of internet packages:
Browse Internet Cruise Package
The Browse Internet Cruise Package is a basic package, it includes:
- Unlimited data
- 24 hour a day access
Best suited for:
- Sending and receiving emails with images
- Chatting on messenger apps (like WhatsApp)
MSC does not recommend this package for watching videos, streaming on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Music, YouTube or video chats.
Browse & Stream Cruise Package
This Browse & Stream Package provides a better quality/ speed of internet. It includes:
- Unlimited data
- 24 hour a day access
It is best suited for:
- Browsing the web
- Sending and receiving emails and images
- Chatting on messenger apps such as WhatsApp, and video chat
- Streaming music and videos
- Posting video and live streaming on social media
To activate a purchased internet plan, guests need to sign in to the MSC Captive Portal and complete the registration. Any additional devices will use the same username and password but must purchase the internet device package for a second device.
Internet Package Details
Internet packages can only be applied to one device, and it is essential to note that you can't switch between devices. For example, if you want to have internet access on both a phone and tablet, you will need to get the two-device package. MSC does provide a discount if more package is purchased.
Prices for internet packages are not listed on MSC's website but become available once booked. They are generally less than $20 per day and must be purchased for every day of the cruise.
Internet access is not restricted to cabins and is available in public areas. And, for guests' convenience, there are onboard internet cafes, which have full size screens, keyboards and printers. They are currently available on MSC Musica, MSC Orchestra, MSC Magnifica, MSC Poesia, MSC Divina, MSC Preziosa, MSC Splendida.
While visiting Ocean Cay Reserve, MSC Cruises private island in the Bahamas, guests can use the ship’s wifi to send pictures and post on social media.
Speed & Reliability
MSC acknowledges that guests may experience lower speed levels than they are used to getting on land. This is because they use satellite internet, and the data needs to travel from the ship to the closest satellite. This can be slowed by obstructions such as storms or large objects.
MSC’s internet may be slowest during peak times. When is this? Probably when you want to access it as well. In the morning or afternoons when guests are returning to the ship.
Once onboard, you can always upgrade from browse to browse and stream if desired, paying the difference in price.
What can you do without internet access?
There are some things that cruisers can access onboard without purchasing an internet package.
The MSC for Me app is available on newer ships in the fleet, such as the Meraviglia and Seaside classes. It assists passengers with planning and communication both pre-cruise and while onboard. One great feature is MSC for Me is its onboard messaging without the need for internet. The app works on either android or apple devices.
MSC for ME app is available on MSC Seashore, MSC Virtuosa, MSC Bellissima, MSC Grandiosa, MSC Meraviglia, MSC Seaside, MSC Seaview and will be available on the soon to be launched MSC World Europa and MSC Seascape. It is available on MSC Splendida and MSC Magnifica; however, it has reduced program features. It should be downloaded prior to boarding.
Another free app is PressReader which allows guests to enjoy popular newspapers and magazines for free while cruising. Local and international news, style, health, and entertainment publications are among the wide selection of content to choose from. The app is available on Google Play and the App Store.
Other technology includes Zoe, a virtual personal cruise assistant to answer any guests’ questions, check the bill, and reserve restaurants in seven different languages, without the use of the internet.
How to save money on internet packages?
MSC Cruises currently has special bundle offers that include internet access and drink packages. Guests receive the Easy Plus Drink, the most basic drink package with beer and wine, along with the Browse Internet Cruise Packages for two devices. Or for those guests just wanting an internet package, the cruise line offers 20% on pre-cruise purchases.
MSC provides customers with different experiences to choose from when booking a cruise. The MSC Wellness Experience, which caters to wellness enthusiasts, provides complimentary internet access as well as the use of MSC’s mywellness app.
Guests who have booked an MSC Yacht Club cabin, the top tier of rooms and service, receive complimentary access to the Browse & Stream Cruise Package for two devices..
Other ways to save money on internet
Download movies ahead of time - streaming services like Netflix allow customers to download movies and shows ahead of time, to watch offline. This may provide for better quality and be more cost effective than buying the browse and stream package.
Use internet in ports – not always the fastest (or private), but many restaurants and bars provide complimentary internet access to patrons. This may work well for some guests who need minimal time online.
Use airplane most - make sure to keep your phone on airplane mode so that you do not get exorbitant roaming fees from cell phone providers.