Whether browsing the web, checking emails, or connecting with loved ones back home, there is no shortage of reasons why you might need internet at sea. The good news is that Royal Caribbean internet packages make at-sea internet faster, more affordable, and more reliable than ever before.
Royal Caribbean advertises their onboard WiFi as the “fastest internet at sea.” But is it really the fastest?
Voom offers two different levels of service. The cheaper Surf package for general web surfing and the more expensive Surf & Stream for video chatting, streaming, and more.
If you’re considering your options for staying connected on your Royal Caribbean cruise, we’ll give you a first-hand experience of what you can expect.
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Voom Internet and Starlink
Before diving into the Voom internet packages, it’s essential to understand how the internet works when sailing out in the ocean.
Traditionally, internet speeds on ships are far slower than what you are used to on land.
While sailing, there aren’t any high-speed internet cable lines or line-of-sight transmitters with which the ship can connect. As a result, cruise ships use a costly and complex satellite system designed to connect with cruise ships traveling at speeds of 20 knots through bouncing waves.
While most ships rely on older medium or high-earth orbit satellites, Royal Caribbean has partnered with Elon Musk’s SpaceX to use Starlink internet on its cruise ships.
In June 2022, Royal Caribbean filed a request with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to expedite approval for cruise lines to use SpaceX’s satellite internet system, Starlink.
Starlink provides high-speed satellite internet through a constellation of low-earth orbit satellites. With a shorter distance than traditional satellite providers and better technology, Starlink promises internet their service rivals that of land-based internet speeds.
A couple of weeks after the announcement, eagle-eyed cruisers noticed Starlink internet dishes onboard Freedom of the Seas.
After much excitement and waiting, Royal Caribbean announced on August 30, 2022, that they would add Starlink internet across the entire fleet.
The cruise line is the first to announce the use of Starlink. And thanks to that partnership, Voom internet is the fastest at sea.
Royal Caribbean Internet Packages
Thanks to Royal Caribbean’s Voom service, staying connected on a cruise is fairly inexpensive. The Voom internet on a Royal Caribbean ship provides unlimited internet access during your vacation.
Royal Caribbean offers two internet packages. So, which internet package is right for you?
Voom Surf Voyage Package
The Voom Surf Voyage Package is the base internet package. It offers basic web browsing, such as internet browsing, email, and social media.
The Voom Surf Voyage Package includes:
- 24-hour internet access
- Browse the web
- Send and receive emails
- Chat on messenger apps (e.x. Whatsapp, Signal)
Royal Caribbean throttles the Surf Voyage package to keep speeds lower. The package works great for basic web browsing, but if you need access to more bandwidth-demanding applications, you should upgrade to Voom Surf & Stream.
Voom Surf & Stream Voyage Package
The higher tier Voom Surf & Stream package is advertised as the full internet experience.
Essentially, Surf & Stream has faster internet speeds which allow users to access audio and video streaming onboard.
The Voom Surf & Stream Voyage Package includes:
- 24-hour internet access
- Browse the web
- Send and receive emails
- Chat on messenger apps (e.x. Whatsapp, Signal)
- Video chat live
- Stream movies, music, videos, TV shows, and more
- Live stream and post on social media
Surf & Stream costs more than the basic Surf package but comes with faster speeds and the ability to stream music, movies, audio, and more.
How Much Does Royal Caribbean’s Voom Internet Service Cost?
Rates for Royal Caribbean’s Voom internet services are constantly changing.
The price for the basic Surf package is typically around $12.99-$15.99 per device per day, while Surf & Stream is usually around $17.99-$19.99 per device per day.
The above rates are based on buying the internet service for the entire length of your cruise.
If you don’t need internet access for the entire cruise, you can purchase a 24-hour pass at a higher price. On my last sailing, a 24-hour internet pass cost $25.99 for the Surf package and $32.99 for the Surf & Stream service.
The above rates are the standard prices we’ve found when purchasing internet service on the ship. But that’s not the best way to do it!
How to get a discount on a Voom package
Royal Caribbean offers significant discounts if you purchase the internet package before your cruise.
The internet packages are cheaper when you buy before sailing to encourage more purchases. So, if you need internet access on your cruise, you’ll definitely want to pre-purchase the internet package.
Log into Royal Caribbean’s Cruise Planner and navigate to Internet & More to order the Voom internet service.
Royal Caribbean also offers discounts when you purchase internet service for more than one device.
The price of the cruise ship WiFi package fluctuates throughout the year. So check back often to see if there is a price drop. If the price drops below what you paid, you can call the cruise line and ask for the discount. Or cancel and re-buy the package.
Royal Caribbean Crown & Anchor Society members who are Diamond or above also get a special discount.
You can’t use your Crown & Anchor discount before sailing. You’ll have to wait until you’re onboard the ship to purchase the Voom internet package.
The discount for Diamond and higher Society members varies between 9.6% to 28.8% depending on the duration of the cruise:
- 4-night itineraries: 28.8%
- 5-night itineraries: 23%
- 6-night itineraries: 19.2%
- 7-night itineraries: 16.4%
- 8-night itineraries: 14.4%
- 9-night itineraries: 12.8%
- 10-night itineraries: 11.5%
- 11-night itineraries: 10.5%
- 12-night itineraries: 9.6%
How Fast is Voom?
Thanks to Royal Caribbean’s partnership with Starlink, Voom internet is the fastest internet at sea.
When Nicole Feist from Royal Caribbean Blog sailed on the Starlink-enabled Freedom of the Seas, she found that “Surf & Stream gave a download speed of 77.03 Mbps and upload speed of 15.72 Mbps.”
According to Nicole, internet speeds fluctuate depending on the ship’s location and the number of satellites overhead.
And there is a noticeable drop when you connect to the internet in your cabin.
But, if Nicole’s test is any indicator, Voom’s internet speeds are incredibly fast. Fast enough for basic web browsing, email, messaging, video calling, and watching movies and videos from streaming services and YouTube.
The cruise line expects to have its fleet updated to Starlink by the end of the first quarter of 2023.
If you’re sailing on a ship that hasn’t yet received the update, you should expect much slower internet speeds.
On non-upgraded ships, the Surf Package is fast enough for essential internet use, but you will find a noticeable slowdown compared to your internet back home.
Checking email is perfectly fine, but you may find some websites load slower than you are used to. Webpages may take a couple of extra seconds to load, especially if you have multiple pages open.
Surf & Stream is significantly faster because it’s not as throttled down. Our speed tests typically show 3-5Mbps download speeds, which is fast enough for streaming music, videos, and audio.
Bottom Line: Ships using Starlink technology provide high-speed internet. You can browse the web, video chat, and stream as you would back home. If you sail on a ship that hasn’t been upgraded, you can expect much slower internet speeds.
Reliability of the Voom Internet Connection
It can be frustrating to try and access the web, only to find internet connection issues.
Royal Caribbean’s internet service uses satellites to deliver internet throughout the ship. Remember, there are no high-speed cable lines or line-of-sight systems to reach the vessel. When you are sailing, the only access to the internet comes from expensive satellite technology.
As a result, factors like weather and your location can impact the reliability of Voom’s internet service.
Thankfully, Voom provides exceptional reliability.
On Starlink-enabled ships, you can expect to find consistent and reliable internet speeds almost anywhere in the world.
The other ships in the fleet use older satellite systems. Though the internet speeds are slower on ships using traditional satellite internet, the experience is surprisingly reliable.
Except for sailings in Alaska and Northern Europe, the traditional satellite internet provides reliable service. Depending on the ship’s location or weather, you may find rare outages, but outages aren’t long-lasting.
Bottom Line: Most of Voom’s internet service is very reliable. Newer ships use the newer O3b satellites to deliver high-speed internet access. But don’t be surprised if you occasionally run into issues, especially during bad weather or outside the O3b coverage area.
Which Voom Package Should You Buy?
Regardless of how you use the internet, I recommend everyone purchase the Surf & Stream Package.
The Surf & Stream package is much faster than the throttled-down Surf package and makes for an overall better experience. The speedier internet package means quicker load times even if you aren’t streaming.
Logging In to Access the Voom Internet Service
Connecting your device to the Voom internet package is relatively simple. First, enable the WiFi on your device and select the ship’s internet service from the list.
When your device connects to the ship’s internet, your device will open a new web browser. If your device doesn’t automatically open the browser, you can open it yourself.
At this point, you should see the login prompt. If not, visit “Login.com” where you can sign in using the provided password.
You should have an internet connection throughout the ship, but if you lose the connection, check that your WiFi is turned on, then visit “Login.com” again to sign in.
It’s important to note that the internet might not be available throughout the entire ship. If you have any internet connection, visit the help desk.
Can I Stream With VOOM?
Yes, you can stream with the Surf & Stream Voyage Package. According to Netflix, the minimum internet speed to access the service is 0.5Mbps, with 3Mbps recommended for standard definition streaming and 5Mbps recommended for HD streaming.
In our tests, the Surf & Stream package has speeds between 3-5Mbps. Good enough for streaming HD movies. In our experience, TV shows and Movies take a little longer to load, but you can still watch movies in high definition.
We also successfully streamed YouTube videos, Amazon’s Prime Video, and Hulu.
Can I Use Voom For Video Chat Services Like Facetime?
Yes, you can use Voom for video calls back home. We’ve used Facetime, Whatsapp, and Facebook Messenger while on Royal Caribbean. The call quality can be choppy here and there, but nothing that interfered too much.
Overall, the Voom internet makes connecting with friends and family back home easy.
Can I Use Voom to Message and Make Calls on my Phone via WiFi?
Yes, you can use the Voom internet with messaging apps to make calls and send messages via WiFi. We’ve tested Whatsapp, Signal, and Facebook Messenger with no issues. The messaging worked flawlessly, and the voice calls were crystal clear.
Other messaging apps should work just as well. While connected, Royal Caribbean recommends keeping your device on airplane mode to avoid roaming charges on a cruise ship. While in roaming mode, you might have issues sending a regular text message. However, messaging apps still work great.
Can I Use One Account for Multiple Devices?
Perhaps the biggest drawback of the service is that you can only connect one device. So, you must pay for two devices if you want to connect your laptop while your spouse wants to connect their phone.
There is a workaround. If you don’t need full-time internet connectivity, you can use multiple devices with only one device connected at a time.
For example, once you finish browsing the web on your laptop, you can connect a phone to the WiFi. 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, the new device will be connected while the old one is kicked off the WiFi.
Which Royal Caribbean Ships Have Starlink Internet?
Internet service via Starlink is currently available on Freedom of the Seas, Independence of the Seas, Allure of the Seas, Enchantment of the Seas, Liberty of the Seas, and Harmony of the Seas.