Disney Cruise Lines Internet Data Plans vs Cell Phone Companies

We cruised the Mediterranean with Disney in 2013 and wanted to keep in touch with family, friends and of course clients by posting photos to Facebook while away.  In years past I wanted to completely disconnect but with a child, part of me wanted some means of communication with home.

My first stop was with Verizon Wireless since that was my cell phone carrier. They offered an Global Data Package which was $25 per 100MB — not too unreasonable I thought.  Over the course of the week I likely spent $100 total which included uploading photos as well as reading Facebook posts, all of which counted toward my data usage.

Disney Cruise Lines Connect@Sea Internet Program

On 9-Night Norwegian Disney Cruise, I did the same thing – went online and signed up with Verizon Wireless for the Global Data Plan so we could promote Disney Cruises for the agency … as well as make friends and family jealous.

Upon arrival in Copenhagen I wasn’t able to get a signal despite rebooting my phone and when I arrived to the Disney Cruise Terminal I was able to use their free WiFi to let folks know we arrived safely.  That is when I found Disney’s Connect@Sea program which was $89 per 1GB of data — an amazing deal!  That same amount of data with Verizon would have cost $250!

Disney Cruise Lines Satellite Internet

As soon we we got on the ship, I noticed that the Internet was very slow but, in retrospect, I suspect that many people were logging on right away, checking emails, posting photos, etc.  We’re all sharing the same satellite connection to the ship so the pipeline can only handle so much before it slows down.  I was a little worried this would be my experience the entire trip.

When I woke up the next day, I was easily able to check emails and my photos went though without an issue so people were settling in and no jamming the satellite with data.

In fact, I don’t think I had an issue for the duration of the cruise!

Limiting Your Disney Cruise Lines Connect@Sea Data Usage

After a few days I checked my data usage and I had used about 1/3 of my 1GB of data — and panic ensued because I didn’t want to purchase more data.

Checking my phone, I was able to stop my email from reloading every few minutes – data saved!  I turned off notifications from Facebook – data saved!  I went through each of my apps to turn off the background data usage and before I knew it, my data usage was only creeping up as I posted my photos to Facebook.  Make sure you check out your phone beforehand – or on that boring flight – so you can turn off unnecessary data usage while you’re away.

In the end, Disney Cruise Lines Internet Program was under my data usage and saved quite a bundle since my Verizon Wireless plan didn’t work.  It turns out there was an error when I turned the Global Data Plan on — it did it for the following month but I had returned by then.  In the end they credited my plan for the error.

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