Carnival Cruise WiFi Sucks

Sorry gang. Carnival’s WiFi (which costs $.75 a minute), is pretty flaky and pretty much sucks. Flickr stalls when I try to upload even low res photos (yes, with full signal strength) and this very post cost just me five bucks because it’s so slow. Gmail doesn’t load either….so I can’t check email.

Hopefully there will be a faster connection on land once in Cozumel.

Jody and I are having fun. I’m writing and taking pictures every day….I’ll post as soon as I get a good WiFi connection.

Update: Buyer Beware: If you purchase WiFi services from Carnival from your laptop in your cabin, NO WHERE on their Intranet does it state that you won’t be credited for unused blocks of time. So don’t buy any more than you have to.

I bought a 100 minute package, and when I was coming close to using it up, I purchased another 100 minute package. When it became quite obvious that the WiFi connection was substandard, unusable, and not worth the money, I stopped using it…never tapping into my second package.

I stopped down to the Internet office and spoke with the Carnival Cruise Internet Manager, Tim, asking if I could get credited for the unused time.

Tim was rude, dismissive and completely unprofessional (and a dork, if you want to know the truth).

Tim told me that if I had “made a mistake and accidentally purchased more time because you clicked the wrong button”, he could credit the account no problem. But since I knowingly made the purchase but simply didn’t use the time, “It’s not my problem”.

“It’s not my problem”, he said.

I’m standing there like…did you just say that to me? It’s not your problem? Did you really just said that to a customer? I was flabbergasted.

Cruise Tip: If you buy more Carnival WiFi time that you need, lie about it to Tim, and he’ll credit your account. Otherwise, it’s not his problem.


  1. Martin Edic
    Mar 18, 2008

    Nice to see that Carnival is milking their customers for every cent they can- I guess that’s how they offset their cheap rates. $.75/minute is highway robbery…
    The hospitality business in general doesn’t understand that free wi-fi is going to attract customers while rip-offs like this just piss them off. It’s stupid to cheap out on this- now they’ll just lose you as a repeat for the big dollars.

  2. Keith Schweizer
    Jun 2, 2008

    The lower the per minute price the more net profit Carnival will make off the internet. Many of the 4or 5 star hotel charge $10.00 a day. This makes sense and I would pay a $10.00 charge.

  3. Michael
    Jun 2, 2008

    Thanks for the comment, Keith. I also would pay $10 a day, but at .75/minute, Carnival charges $360.00 a day.

  4. Linda
    Jul 13, 2008

    We took a Carnival cruise in May, and had the same problem. you have to purchase the minutes, the 100 minute package is the best deal, you figure in a week you will certainly use that and more…..and then you try and log on from your room, nope, not once during the entire week did it work from our cabin. so you pack up your computer and take it down to the internet library, and….no connection. I had to load a different browser (was using IE), tech loaded Opera. it worked that time, but the next time, nope, had to have him mess with the computer all over again. bottom line, even if you use their computers, the connection is very very slow,and you can be in the middle of typing an email and the connection is lost, and so is your message. unless you have to check in daily, don’t bother buying blocks of minutes. Took my cell phone, had no problem at all making calls or receiving them, so do that for your emergency, and don’t count on the internet! It’s a real waste of money! and don’t get me started on the “beverage card for $48”. we will not be using Carnival again.

  5. Pissed Off
    May 16, 2009

    My wife and I work alot on the computer, we both have sprint cards and decided to take a cruise using our Marriot points, we could have gone to Hawaii, but I wanted something simple, leave out of Long Beach. 1 hour from our house, go to Mexico and work on the cruise….

    They told us they had free wifi on the phone….. We got there and found out $100 for 250 minutes…. plus they block my Sprint Card….. We were also redirected to Canada because of Swine Flu…. Thats ok, but it was cold and windy and we had to spend all the time inside, no problem, we had to work about 8 hours a day…..

    But with both us it would cost us over $2000 this week for wifi, I asked them if I could pay $500.00 for unlimited they said no…. I asked them I paid $500.00 for 1250 minutes could they give me 500 additional minutes since the cruise was giving away a contest of minutes anyways, they said no…..

    I was not upset that other people only paid $199.00 to take our cruise that costs us equivalent of $700 each….I was not upset when we they did not upgrade us to room with a balcony because of the cancellation of our Mexico cruise, I was not upset when I tried to pay the extra $400 out of my pocket to get a balcony because apparently they were full, but we met a couple that upgraded the day of the cruise….

    But after I pleaded with them over an over to please help me out with the internet and even communicated to them that my wife and I are tyring to determine if we must fly back at our first stop in Victoria because it is may be cheaper for us to FLY back so we can continue to do our jobs rather than paying the internet fees then I started getting frustrated… I asked can they help us determine what we need to do to disembark and possible flights….. They said that is our problem and they cannot help us with air arrangments or customs….

    2 hours later we started getting messages on our room phone from the stating that they were mistaken and they needed us to fill out paperwork if we were to leave the ship and not return…… We never responded, they called every hour for a few days……we never responded…

    We were the perfect cruise ship couple we are entrepenuers never crused before and live in Orange County….. We are now looking into the a 30 day cruise on Royal…… We have no kids and can basically live and work on a cruise as long as we have internet….

    Carnival sucks

  6. Mike Davisohn
    Sep 27, 2009

    That lot was an unpleasant eyeopener!!
    My son and his wife has planned a cruise for us all
    on “Freedom” to Carib etc! I had hoped to use WIFI onboaed!
    But after reading these dismal tales, NFW! Oh well, I can live without it fortunately for the relatively short period aboard! Being retired, there is no business interests to keep abreast of, so that works. The “Beverage” codts on board seem excessive! If not darned right gauging! Our only crise experience has been with Holland-America where one expects to pay extra! Still will be great to have our little “family reunion” though!
    Good Luck You All
    Bon Voyage etc

  7. Brent
    Mar 8, 2010

    Your right to be upset, I have worked in hotel management, I would have refunded in a heartbeat I bet you speat over 1k on your cruise, dang.

  8. Jim
    Jul 20, 2010

    Some research and preplanning would go a long way to avoiding some of the problems that others have reported. It says very clearly on Carnival’s website, as well as their onboard intranet that prepaid minutes are not refundable, so I’m not sure why people are surprised when they ask for a refund and are denied. Don’t just come complain that you didn’t see where it said that…translation, you didn’t bother to read the website before committing to purchase… via

  9. Michael
    Sep 23, 2010

    Actually, Jim, I’m one of those guys that *does* carefully read the ‘Terms of Use’ and ‘Terms of Service’ documents very carefully when buying online.

    And as a matter of fact, back in early 2008, there *wasn’t* any mention on the site regarding unused plans not being eligible for a refund (or even unused minutes, for that matter). I assume, Jim, that you actually bothered to *read* my post, and that you understand that I was not trying to get a refund on unused minutes, but a refund on a plan that I never actually used. My guess is that they added the no-refund policy in writing after people started to complain about it.

    I actually took screen shots of the FAQ, Terms of Service, and landing page when I got back to my cabin to prove it later if I needed to. That’s how “preplanning” I can be.

    But I also think that you are missing the whole point of the post title, “Carnival Cruise WiFi Sucks“. I was less annoyed with the extra charge than I was with the fact that Carnival Cruise’s WiFi simply didn’t work.

  10. steve
    Jan 28, 2011

    I am going on a cruise next week. my wife booked it. I guess I assumed wifi would be free since it is free even at the cheap hotels where I live. $24 for 60 minutes is a complete rip-off and this is the (first) and last cruise with carnival–or any cruise line without free wifi–that I will go on. Call me cheap if you want, but I am spending almost $6,000 (family) on this cruise. The reason it is bad is because it is satellite. I can live with that, just not the outrageous prices.

  11. Luke
    Mar 4, 2011

    Um hello people. This is a ship in the ocean running internet off a satellite. Satellite internet speeds are like 1.5 to 3 Mbps. Obviously it is going to be slow, you have 2,000+ people on board. Granted not all of them are online, but just 50-100 would use up that speed supper quick. Running internet on a moving ship in the middle of nowhere is not cheap for them, so obviously it will not be cheap for you. Some of you are comparing it to a hotel, but they have fewer people, faster speeds available to them, and it is cheaper for them.

    If the internet was free to many people would be on it for the satellite to handle and no one would get a connection. I love the internet and I use about every hour i am awake, but come on people the point of being on vacation is to get away! When I was on a cruise for the first time 2 months ago it was nice to not be able to connect to the internet. being on the ship with no connection to the outsides world takes you away from all your tasks and worries the internet gives you. We are such a internet reliant society, can’t you live with out internet for 4-8 days? I mean come on! Go look at the ocean and attend the shows. Cruise ships already have so much fun stuff to offer!

  12. magic
    Mar 18, 2011

    no door dog barking next door.. no bill collectors….only sun , sky, water,,, and new friends… that is what it is all about….. i looking forward to going in aug 2011

  13. magic
    Mar 18, 2011

    set back internet.. no phone… no door bell … no dog barking next door…………. awwwwwwwwwww what a way to relax…

  14. Patrick
    Mar 26, 2011

    Thank everyone for your comments, I think I will leave the laptop home and bring a good book or two

  15. JJ
    Nov 22, 2011

    Just returned from a cruise on Carnival and they are still milking you for everything (Nov. 2011). Wifi is so slow you waste 5-10 min every time you access it. Last session did not stop on time so a couple extra min cost me $6.95. Never again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. Israel Lopez
    Aug 17, 2014

    Just about to get off the Carnival Valor. Now in 2014 many of us carry a phone and a tablet. First thing is you can only use the connection on one device at a time. Second the internet is censored. I understand censoring “adult” websites but it is so much more than that. I couldn’t even get an iPhone online game to load or Xbox Live to connect on my Surface with Windows. Finally, forget updating your apps, backing up your photos or sharing anything that requires uploading to social media or email… The connection only works for very light web browsing, and slowly. Prices are crazy too. You might be better off with international data roaming on your phone.

  17. Pablo Picasso
    Feb 26, 2015

    Us Carnival Crew members all laugh at this blog.

    We pay 10 cents a minute and we have much bigger bandwith.


  18. Siqing cheng
    May 17, 2015

    There front deak people sucks, they don’t know how to do the WIFI cancellation and when u ask too much, they told u to back to the line and wait for the next customer, never again! They won’t even tell u if there is cancellation fee comes with it! Just boarded the ship and started not like the cruise already!

  19. Selena
    May 17, 2015

    The front desk people suck, her name is Jessica and the other woman next to her (I forgot her name), I asked Jessica to cancelled my WIFI, but she never did, and the other woman she did cancel it for me, but her attitude is awful and told me to wait in line for the next question! I don’t have anything against the cruise, but they can hire someone with better attitude on customer service, just boarded the cruise and already not liking it!

  20. John
    Aug 18, 2017

    Fast forward August 2017, Wifi on the Carnival Sunshine sucks. The worst part is that their premium service which is about $140 for the entire cruise advertised as 3 times faster than Value ($96) is not significantly better. In fact it seems like a ripoff. Web pages take forever to load if they do. I was able to Youtube late nights with lag. Other cruise lines have introduced much better internet services to the extent you an upload pictures, videos and even stream Netflix. If you need reliable and capable internet services consider another cruise line and to be fair this was my experience on the Carnival Sunshine so I can’t speak for their other ships.

  21. WillieC
    Sep 21, 2017

    Why are so many people trying to use the internet on a cruise ship!?! I’ve only been on 2 so far, saving for my next one. I look forward to the days when I can put my phone and computer down. No one from the job wants anything…no requests to complete anything while on VACATION and best of all, I can relax.
    People, take a break. If you can’t deal with not having WiFi, fly to your destination and pay a little more for an all inclusive and flight, luggage fees, etc. Otherwise, sit back, enjoy the view, laugh at sea sick people (hopefully it’s not you) and take a break from the digital age! I’m still in my early 40’s and have all of the latest gadgets but a cruise is sacred ground … maybe you’ll have a fire in the incinerator at sea but make it fun w/o wifi

    • Michael Johnson
      Sep 21, 2017

      Our grandmother died suddenly while we were on the ship. We were trying to console loved ones and make arrangements and stay in touch with people (voice service was even sketchier than WiFi). As much as we would have loved to “take a break from the digital age”, we had life to attend to on this trip.

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