Tips for Staying Connected for Free on Royal Caribbean Cruises

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Do you want to stay connected with WiFi on your Royal Caribbean cruise? It can be expensive, and the cost can add up quickly. However, you can do a few things without breaking the bank.

In this guide, I’ll share some tips on how you might be able to get free WiFi on your next Royal Caribbean cruise.

View of a bustling Royal Caribbean cruise ship deck featuring colorful waterslides, a rock climbing wall, and an outdoor amphitheater with rows of vibrant lounge chairs under a clear sky.

Before going into the details, it’s important to know that Royal Caribbean does not generally offer free Wi-Fi.

The Wifi package usually comes with a fee, starting from around $13 per day for a single device. However, the pricing is influenced by various elements like the ship you’re on, the date you’re sailing, and the type of internet usage you’re planning, whether streaming or just basic web browsing.

That said, there are some strategies you can employ to reduce this cost. From taking advantage of advance booking discounts to seeking out special promotions, there are options for staying connected without burning a hole in your pocket. 

Free WiFi on Royal Caribbean

If you’re keen to use Wi-Fi sparingly and are open to other options, read on for my range of tips.

1. Use Free Wi-Fi Hotspots in the Ports

When I’m cruising with Royal Caribbean, one of my go-to strategies for staying connected without spending a penny is taking advantage of the free Wi-Fi at the ports we stop at. 

Sometimes, I didn’t even need to leave the ship to get free Wi-Fi. I simply stroll along an open deck and see if I can connect to any networks coming from the port terminal.

If that fails, look out for crew members having a day off. They’re usually easy to identify because, like me, they’re often on their phones hunting for Wi-Fi. They’re often all headed somewhere to speak to their loved ones. 

Another tip is even before I go on the ship, I download a Wi-Fi finder app. This is a lifesaver, especially when I decide to wander a bit further from the port area. The app maps out all the nearest free Wi-Fi spots, which is incredibly convenient.

Also, I usually find that local cafés and restaurants near the port are eager to lure in tourists with the promise of free Wi-Fi. Most of the time, all it takes is buying a cup of coffee or a small snack to get the Wi-Fi password. Look out for signs, they usually advertise their free Wi-Fi quite visibly.

Lastly, some of the ports may be covered by my existing mobile plan. For example, when the cruise stops in places like France, I can use my regular data without any worries. If your mobile plan includes international coverage, you can use this without racking up extra charges.

Related reading: Do Cell Phones Work on Carnival Cruise Ships?

2. Take Advantage of On-Board Credit

Now, here’s another trick I often use to save on Wi-Fi costs: leveraging the onboard credit that Royal Caribbean occasionally offers as a booking incentive. This is a way to essentially get ‘free’ Wi-Fi without shelling out additional money.

When I book my cruises, I keep an eye out for special promotions that include onboard credit. This extra perk is commonly used to entice passengers to upgrade their cabins, perhaps from an inside room to one with an ocean view or even a balcony.

Once I’ve got that onboard credit, it’s simple to use it for a Wi-Fi package. I just go to the Royal Caribbean Cruise Planner and allocate my credit towards purchasing the package before setting sail.

Here’s the catch: while it might seem like you’re getting free Wi-Fi thanks to the onboard credit, you should know that these perks are often baked into the overall cost of the cruise. In other words, the fare might be a bit higher during these promotional periods. But if you’re going to spend the money anyway, you might as well get some ‘free’ Wi-Fi out of the deal, right?

So, when booking your next Royal Caribbean cruise, pay attention to these promotional periods. You could save yourself the Wi-Fi costs and maybe even enjoy a room with a better view.

Recommended Reading: Royal Caribbean WiFi Cost: Is The Internet Package Worth It?

3. Play in the Casino

One of my go-to strategies for potentially securing free Wi-Fi involves a bit of a gamble – quite literally. I often allocate a small budget for ‘fun money’ to use in Royal Caribbean’s onboard casino, always operating under the premise that I’m probably going to lose it.

After all, it’s essential to remember the house usually wins! However, the more I play, the more I accumulate Tier Credits through Club Royale, Royal Caribbean’s casino rewards programme.

The Club Royale program has different tiers, from ‘Choice’ to ‘Masters,’ and as you climb these tiers, you become eligible for various perks, including discounted or even free Wi-Fi. For instance, once you hit the ‘Prime’ tier, you qualify for a discount on a VOOM Surf & Stream internet package, while ‘Signature’ tier members get complimentary Wi-Fi on one device. If you reach the ‘Masters’ tier, you can enjoy free internet on two devices.

However, I wouldn’t recommend gambling just for the sake of free Wi-Fi. It’s not the most cost-effective strategy, however, if you’re like me and enjoy having small flutter in the casino within a budget, those Tier Credits can add up to some free or discounted internet access.

A smiling woman leaning on a gaming table in the vibrant Royal Caribbean casino, surrounded by colorful slot machines and the lively atmosphere of the gaming floor.
Having a quick game in the casino.

4. Use Royal Caribbean’s free chat feature in the app

Royal Caribbean offers an affordable alternative to a full Wi-Fi package if you’re mainly interested in staying connected with your travel companions while onboard. For a modest $1.99 per day, their chat app allows you to text other guests on the ship.

I’ve found this a cost-effective way to stay in touch with my spouse or newfound friends on board, whether we’re coordinating where to meet after enjoying separate activities or making dinner plans.

Before setting sail, make sure you’ve downloaded the Royal Caribbean app. Once on the ship, simply connect to the ship’s Wi-Fi; no actual Wi-Fi package is needed for this. 

Inside the app, you’ll find a chat icon; click on that to start messaging others. To add someone to your chat, you’ll need their stateroom or reservation number and birthday, ensuring you’re communicating only with those you intend to.

So, while it’s not entirely free, the chat feature offers a convenient and economical way to keep in touch without the need for a pricier Wi-Fi package.

5. Cruise Regularly and Become a Crown & Anchor Society Member

For those who find themselves regularly cruising with Royal Caribbean, joining their Crown & Anchor Society loyalty programme is a no-brainer, especially if free internet is on your wish list. 

Top-tier members, Diamond, Diamond Plus, and Pinnacle Club enjoy free Wi-Fi days during their cruise, and even lower-tier members can snag a discounted rate.

If you’ve reached Diamond status, with 80-174 cruise points, you’ll be rewarded with one free day of Wi-Fi on each cruise. Two free Wi-Fi days per cruise are granted for Diamond Plus cruisers, who have 175-699 points. Pinnacle Club members who have amassed over 700 points even receive a complimentary Surf & Stream internet package for one device, a perk that can save you a considerable amount over time.

There’s no need to worry for those who haven’t yet reached these high levels. Even at the Gold, Platinum, and Emerald levels, you’re eligible for discounted Wi-Fi packages, with savings of 10% for Gold members and 15% for Platinum and Emerald members. As a Platinum member myself, I’ve found these discounts to add up, making the loyalty programme a worthwhile investment for frequent cruisers.

Close-up of a Royal Caribbean Gold Member SeaPass card displaying the ship name 'M/S NAVIGATOR OF THE SEAS', the guest's name 'HANNAH', dining details, and the non-smoking stateroom status.
My seapass from when I was a gold member.

6. Stay in a Suite

If you’re looking to splurge a bit on your next Royal Caribbean cruise, booking a suite could have the added benefit of complimentary Wi-Fi. Specifically, if you opt for a Grand Suite or higher on the Quantum, Oasis, and Icon Class ships, you’ll receive a free VOOM Surf & Stream Wi-Fi package for each person in your cabin. This offer is exclusive to Royal Caribbean’s Royal Suite Class program.

It’s worth noting, however, that this perk doesn’t extend to every type of suite or ship. If you’re staying in a Junior Suite or in a Grand Suite on the Vision, Radiance, Voyager, and Freedom Class ships, you’ll need to pay for Wi-Fi or employ one of the other strategies for discounted or free internet access.

Elegant and modern Royal Caribbean suite interior, featuring a cozy living area with a gray sofa and vibrant cushions, an artistic wall painting, and a sleek staircase leading to an upper-level bedroom.

Wrapping It Up

While Royal Caribbean doesn’t typically offer free Wi-Fi as a standard, there are numerous strategies to circumvent or minimise this expense. From utilising the free hotspots at various ports to taking advantage of onboard credits and casino rewards, savvy cruisers have several options to stay connected. 

For those who mainly want to keep in touch with fellow passengers, the chat feature in the Royal Caribbean app is a cost-effective alternative. Long-term loyalty also pays off; as a Platinum member, I can vouch for the value of climbing the ranks to earn free or discounted Wi-Fi.

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I'm Hannah and I've been cruising for as long as I can remember.

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