My family enjoys vacations on cruise ships and while we should all be offline and enjoying the break, our desire to be connected even extends to the open seas. Carnival just announced a new hybrid wireless network that will be rolled out to all of its 101 ships.
I paid for the wireless access on my last cruise to continue writing here at ZDNet and also stay in touch with clients for my engineering work. Carnival's new WiFi@Sea system will use land-based antennas along regular routes, Wi-Fi from port connections, and satellites to provide coverage for passengers and crew.
While I wish we could all stay disconnected on vacation, it is fun for family and friends to share your fun moments while they are back home and you are out sailing across the ocean. I am sure many people will use this new network for social media and if it makes people on vacation happy, then it makes sense for Carnival to provide the service.
The new network will be capable of speeds about 10 times faster than current service. It is scheduled to launch in the fourth quarter for ships in the Caribbean with Alaska getting service in 2015 and other areas of the world in 2015 and 2016. There is no specifics on pricing as it will likely vary by region, duration of your connection, and by the amount of data you purchase.