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Princess Cruises MedallionNet WiFi

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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

Man on a cruise connecting to Princess Cruises MedallionNet Internet on a laptop

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?

Family using their devices on a Princess Cruise Ship

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.

  1. Open your device’s WiFi settings and select the MedallionNet WiFi connection.
  2. After connecting, you’ll be automatically redirected to the login page.
  3. 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?

Family Using Princess Cruises MedallionNet WiFi on their phone in cabin

We conducted several speed tests during our Caribbean cruise on Regal Princess to accurately measure MedallionNet’s internet speed.

We conducted our speed tests multiple times throughout the day to get the most accurate data sample.

We found download speeds of 5.3 Mbps and upload speeds of 1.2 Mbps.

In our experience, MedallionNet Wifi provides similar internet speeds 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.

Family taking a selfie on Princess Cruises cruise ship

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

Passengers on a on a Princess cruise ship by the pool with medallionclass bracelet
(Photo Credit: Princess Cruises)

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.

Final Thoughts

Princess Cruises MedallionNet WiFi provides comparable internet 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.

FAQ

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, using the WiFi package, you can connect your laptop to the internet. 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 want 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.

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Author

Marcello De Lio

I’ve been cruising since I was 11 years old. I love the freedom that cruising provides, meeting new people, and exploring amazing new ships. I love to share my passion for cruising and travel with readers.

14 thoughts on “Princess Cruises MedallionNet WiFi”

  1. I was recently on a Carribean cruise aboard the Enchanted Princess over Thanksgiving this year. The Medallion Net service seemed okay at first but every time that I tried to access my email on either Yahoo or Gmail, the service bogged down tremendously, most often preventing me from even logging in to retrieve my emails.

    I have sense booked new cruises for next fall and currently there is no options to add Medallion Net Wi-Fi to my bookings. Princess is planning on hiking the cost of their services in February, and I am guessing that they are not showing any options until their new rates go into effect. I am an elite member of Princess Cruise Lines and have 25 cruises under my belt. I believe that the new Medallion Net Wi-Fi today is inferior to what I have experienced in the past and now soon, will have to pay even higher fees for the service. It’s my opinion that by promoting the service to many more passengers by making it part of their Plus and Premium packages is causing an overload to their available bandwidth.

    Reply
    • It’s true that internet speeds used to be faster. Today, more people connect to satellite internet, but the number of satellites hasn’t kept pace. This means that the limited bandwidth is divided amongst more people. It’s not just cruise lines but other ocean vessels, airplanes, and remote regions connecting to satellite internet.

      Some cruise lines have been vocal about this issue. And several low-earth orbit internet providers are starting up. The low earth orbit satellites are faster because the connection doesn’t have to travel as far. The hope is that internet speeds will drastically improve in the near future as cruise lines make deals with the new satellite providers.

      Reply
    • Thanks for this information… I am taking my first Princess cruise on the Enchanted Princess in a couple of weeks, can’t wait… do you have any more hints and suggestions?

      Reply
  2. Hi Marcello,
    Thanks for you excellent article.
    I am currently on the Majestic Princess cruising around New Zealand.
    I was getting between 0.03M and 0.51M download. (Using Googles Speed Test) (I can supply screen captures if required)
    On the Internet Cafe PC, the speed was even slower!
    Doing anything useful on the internet is impossible.
    (Outlook does not work – Times Out)
    I asked the IT manager about the slow internet speeds.
    He said that there was nothing he could do to fix it.
    He also advised that around the Caribbean the internet was fast. (Not much use to me!)
    For a 13 day cruise I paid more than I do for my monthly home 100M service. (As Elite I used to get Free Internet, but sadly no more).
    I have cruised with Princess for over 10 years, and this is the slowest I have seen!!!

    Reply
    • That must be an incredible cruise. New Zealand and Australia are on my bucket list, but I haven’t had a chance to sail there yet.

      I was in Alaska over the summer and experienced similar speeds, especially further north. It’s unfortunate, but the internet speeds outside of the Caribbean are extremely slow. Even in the Caribbean, internet speeds are far slower than many are used to at home.

      I’d love to add those screen captures to the post and give you the photo credit. If you don’t mind me adding them, you can send them to marcello@highseascruising.com.

      Reply
  3. Thanks for explaining why the internet is slower in Alaska. I was on the Majestic Princess a few weeks ago and not only was it very slow, we kept losing the Wi-Fi altogether. Hopefully, these newer satellites will make a big difference. Thanks again!

    Reply
    • I was in Alaska last month. It’s incredible how slow and unreliable the internet is a day or two after leaving Seattle/Vancouver. That should change shortly, thanks to newer technology.

      Reply
  4. I once heard that the princess ships throttle high bandwidth users so they don’t hog all the bandwidth for everyone else. Is there any truth to that?

    Reply
    • To my knowledge, cruise lines throttle the bandwidth for all passengers. Most cruise lines rely on satellites in medium earth orbit or geosynchronous orbit. These systems have high latency, and limited bandwidth, forcing cruise lines to limit the bandwidth per device.

      This will hopefully change in the future as cruise lines make the switch to low-earth satellite internet providers like Starlink.

      Reply
    • Thanks for sharing your experience. Internet speeds in Alaska are typically slower than in the Caribbean. I’m happy to hear you had a good experience!

      Reply
  5. Sorry, I had the exact opposite experience on Ruby Princess on an Alaskan cruise. Internet speed was between 12 and 36 kbps (yes K, as in poor dial up speeds!). This was on a phone, laptop and even one of their own Internet cafe computers. Horrible wifi!!!

    Reply
    • I am sorry to hear about your experience. The internet speeds we measured were on our sailing in the Caribbean. Unfortunately, internet speeds are slower in Alaska because there isn’t coverage from medium-earth orbit satellite providers. In Alaska, Princess cruise ships switch to the high earth orbit satellites which have less bandwidth and slower internet speeds. Hopefully, this will change soon with SpaceX’s Starlink system looking to get approval for use on cruise ships.

      Reply

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