Princess Cruises promises guests the “best internet at sea.”
But is it really the best? And how fast are MedallionNet internet speeds?
We’ve put Princess Cruises MedallionNet WiFi to the test to determine if it lives up to the name. Read our review on Princess’ internet plans.
Princess Cruises WiFi Plans and Prices
MedallionNet WiFi starts at $9.99 per device per day when purchased before sailing. Platinum and Elite Captain’s Circle members receive a 50% discount on all internet packages.
You can expect to pay a higher price for the internet plan if you purchase it on the ship.
Princess Cruises offers one of the lowest wifi plans in the cruise industry.
Still, you can get it even cheaper!
Guests who purchase the pricier Princess Plus fare receive free drinks, gratuities, and wifi. If you plan on buying a Princess Cruises drink package and the internet plan, you can save hundreds of dollars on your cruise fare by opting for the Princess Plus fare.
How Does MedallionNet Work?
Before discussing the speed of Princess Cruises WiFi, it’s essential to understand how MedallionNet works.
Cruise ships often travel to remote destinations around the globe and spend vast amounts of time far away from land-based cell phone towers. For this reason, cruise ships rely on satellite connections to keep passengers connected at sea.
In the past, cruise ships connected to satellites in geostationary orbit – up to 22,000 miles (36,000 kilometers) from the earth. Although radio waves travel at the speed of light, the distance means up to 240 milliseconds of travel time.
It may not sound like much, but consider that your home internet likely has a connection speed below 30ms.
What makes Princess Cruises MedallionNet WiFi so fast?
Princess Cruises has switched to faster medium-earth orbit satellites like other cruise lines. The cruise line’s connectivity partner, SES Systems, operates a collection of satellites only 5,000 miles (8,000 kilometers) above the earth’s surface. These satellites are known as O3B, short for “other three billion people.”
These satellites provide faster internet speeds, reduced latency, and much more bandwidth.
Despite the benefits, there’s one major disadvantage – the lower orbit means these satellites are continuously on the move. While they’re not as fast as Starlinks Low Earth Orbit systems, they require constant tracking.
To overcome the potential disruption caused by frequently switching connections between satellites, MedallionNet maintains a link to two or three satellites at a time.
Further, there aren’t any satellites providing coverage near the earth’s poles. Cruise ships sailing in regions like Alaska, Antarctica, and Northern Europe won’t be able to connect to the O3B network.
Instead, the Princess cruise ships will connect to the older geosynchronous satellites. After all, slow internet is better than no internet.
How Do You Access Internet on the Cruise Ship?
Accessing the MedallionNet internet is a straightforward process. Just follow the steps below to get your device connected in minutes.
- Open your device’s WiFi settings and select the MedallionNet WiFi connection.
- After connecting, you’ll be automatically redirected to the login page.
- Sign in using your cabin number and birthdate.
If, for some reason, your device won’t connect to the ship’s internet, visit guest services for assistance.
How Fast is Princess Cruises MedallionNet WiFi?
We conducted several speed tests during our Caribbean cruise on Regal Princess to measure MedallionNet’s internet speed accurately.
We conducted our speed tests multiple times throughout the day to get the most accurate data sample.
We found download speeds of 12.6 Mbps and upload speeds of 1.9 Mbps.
In our experience, MedallionNet Wifi provides the fastest internet at sea compared to other mainstream cruise lines.
However, it’s important to note that the internet speeds aren’t as fast as you might be used to back home. The onboard WiFi is great for basic web browsing, emails, and messaging, but you will notice pages take slightly longer to load.
Further, while you can video chat and stream movies, tv, and music, don’t expect 4k video.
That said, for a cruise ship traveling in the middle of the ocean, Princess Cruises provides incredible internet speeds.
And, thanks to the higher bandwidth connections provided by O3B, Princess Cruises’ internet plans are priced by the day rather than the minute. You can say goodbye too quickly, logging on, rushing to get your stuff done, and logging off to save minutes.
You can keep your devices connected through the cruise and never miss an update or email!
In late 2021, SES began launching a new generation of satellites that promise even faster internet speeds. According to SES, the new O3B satellites will provide gigabit internet speeds to thousands of customers, including passengers on Princess Cruises.
MedallionClass Wearable and App
It’s no surprise that Princess Cruises offers some of the fastest internet speeds. Every ship in Princess’ fleet is equipped with OceanMedallion – the cruise line’s award-winning wearable device program.
OceanMedallion replaces traditional room cards with a wearable that provides passengers with touchless boarding, room access, locating family on the ship, ordering food and drinks, and the ability to make purchases around the vessel.
The OceanMedallion wearable and accompanying app create a more personalized experience for passengers.
With thousands of passengers simultaneously using the technology, Princess cruise ships require a serious internet connection. The advancements in internet connectivity at sea and MedallionClass technology coincide with one of the fastest internet plans on a cruise ship.
Princess Cruises MedallionNet WiFi provides some of the fastest speeds among mainstream cruise lines.
While not as fast as you’ll find at home, the internet connection works perfectly fine for web browsing, emails, and messaging. It’s even fast enough to video chat back home and stream videos from Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Youtube.
Can I Stream Movies and TV on Princess Cruises MedallionNet?
Princess Cruises MedallionNet WiFi is fast enough to stream movies and TV shows. On our last Princess cruise, we could stream from Netflix, Amazon Prime, and YouTube.
Can I Make Video Calls on Princess Cruises WiFi?
Yes. Princess Cruises WiFi is fast enough to make video calls at sea.
Can I Send Messages With Princess Cruises Internet Plan?
Yes, you can send messages using a Princess Cruises internet plan. You can use messaging apps such as Facebook Messanger, Signal, Whatsapp, etc.
Do I Have to Purchase an Internet Plan to Use Princess Cruises MedallionClass App?
You don’t need to purchase the Wi-Fi plan to use Cruises MedallionClass App.
You can use all of the app’s features on the ship without purchasing an internet plan.
Can I Use One Internet Package for Multiple Devices?
Yes, you can use one internet package for multiple devices. But, you can connect only one device at a time to the Wi-Fi.
For example, you can connect your laptop to the internet using the WiFi package. Once finished, you can connect your phone using the same plan.
The login screen will notify you that you have reached your device limit and ask if you would like to connect to the new device. After you accept, your phone will connect to the internet, and the wifi will kick off your laptop the network.
This trick is a great way to save money if you need a constant internet connection throughout the cruise. And You can use it for as many devices as you need.