Wave Entertainment Network announced yesterday that Oceania will add satellite TV to Insignia on April 4, 2008. Nautica and Regatta will offer the service later this year; though exact dates for the implementation for these two ships have not yet been released. New onboard programming will include video-on-demand, live sports, live national news, kids' television and adult programming, in addition to premium channels. Passengers can also save their favorite television programs and watch them whenever their schedule permits with Wave Entertainment's interactive "store and forward" feature, much like TiVo. This service will be available in all cabin grades.
Wave Entertainment will use the satellite technology of SeaMobile's Maritime Telecommunications Network, responsible for many cruise lines' at-sea cell and Internet connections, to provide live events and network shows in their original time slots. Not all shows will be offered in your local affiliate's time slot, but Oceania's new interactive satellite TV system is certainly an upgrade from typical cruise line television programming.
We've yet to see if Oceania's newest technological addition will be copied by other cruise lines or significantly improve the cruising experience. It's nice to know you won't miss your favorite TV show on your next cruise; yet we can't help but wonder -- if watching TV is how you plan to spend most of your time onboard, should you really be cruising in the first place?
--by Caroline Costello, Editorial Assistant