Fast, reliable internet is increasingly important to cruise passengers and can be a factor when considering which cruise line or ship to book.
The good news is that simple internet tasks -- browsing websites, reading and sending emails, posting updates to social media sites -- are faster than they've ever been across most cruise lines. But performing more data-intensive tasks -- downloading or uploading photos, using Wi-Fi calling and VoIP (Skye, FaceTime, WhatsApp), and streaming TV shows, movies or music -- is still a crap shoot, with some cruise lines not supporting streaming at all.
A handful of cruise lines do stand out for significantly expanding the bandwidth capacity on their ships (typically from 1 to 2 megabits per second to as high as 10Mbps). Some of them can be commended for making internet access affordable, while others force you to pay for enhanced service. The following six cruise lines are our favorites for fast and/or affordable Wi-Fi onboard.