Carnival's announcement today that wireless cell phone users can now use their phones onboard sets up a good news/bad news scenario. Sure, using your own phone beats trying to connect via sea at ridiculous $12.50 per minute rates. But will it encourage a proliferation of obnoxious chatterers in locales ranging from the dining room to the pool deck?
Regardless, the new technology will be welcome to most. Carnival has teamed up with Cingular Wireless and Maritime Telecommunications Network to establish the system, which enables users to send and receive calls as well as text and multimedia messages. International roaming fees will apply. The service, according to a Carnival spokesman, is available on "essentially all cell phones," not just those that are part of the Cingular network.
The service is currently only available on Carnival Triumph but the rest of the cruise line's 21-ship fleet will be receiving the technology by early 2007.