Sunday, 21 September 2014

At sea

This is my first cruise, and so far so good...

I'll post more on the holiday later, but for now - what about Internet.

There are several options. One, I brought with me, is an Iridium Go! which provides 2400bps connectivity. There is a package that allows unlimited data and free texts. This basically works, but trying to use it from the balcony it does occasionally drop the data call. The only real use you can make of the data is something like ssh/irc, which works quite well, or batch email using their app.

However, the Iridium Go! does have a couple of other features. One is calls (which are expensive) but the other is texts. These work like normal texts and have been a good way for someone to contact me. I can see on its screen that a text is waiting and pick up on my iPhone. Pretty much all other ways to access the internet involve me logging in to check, so random delays . This is more active.

The other key thing, and perhaps the main usage for the Iridium Go!, is that it is texting a GPS location ever 5 minutes. This is quite cool as friends and relatives are seeing where we have got to.

However, there are other methods of access. The phone can roam on to a ships mobile signal - but my SIM will not work (yet). I know that if I did use that it would be expensive, even for incoming texts. We are trying to get the SIM sorted as these should work in the US (it didn't) and on the ship. This is probably the most expensive option, but is by the MB for data.

Finally, the ship has wifi based Internet. Annoyingly it is charged by the minute. It it was by the MB, I could leave my laptop on irc all day and use bugger all. By the minute it is $0.75/min, or if buying 100 minutes $0.55/min. It is based on Inmarsat, we think, so horrid latencies but reasonable speed. I was able to check email, and make this post. What was quite impressive was a working FaceTime call - and being charged by the minute for FaceTime is probably not such a bad deal!

Next thing will try is the Iridum on the top desk rather than a balcony - see if it can properly stay in a data call.


  1. Where are you cruising from and to? Is this a river or ocean cruise? I'm guessing ocean or you wouldn't need Iridium.

    I will be river cruising from Amsterdam to Budapest this time next year so am planning possible internet access.

  2. Have you ever considered going on holiday to get away from it all?

  3. Are you bored yet?

    I can't think of anything worse than being cooped up on a boat with nothing of interest to do. Except maybe drink too much.