Royal Caribbean’s VOOM Internet service is billed as “The Fastest Internet at Sea.” That’s good news because gone are the days where having Internet service was considered a luxury. Today, it’s a necessity. And even if you want to disconnect while on a cruise (which is a good idea) there are still times where you’ll want access to hop online.
Whether it’s checking in for a flight, sending a quick email back home, or checking in with work while you are sitting on the balcony, there is no shortage of reasons you might need access. As the public becomes more dependent on Internet access, cruise lines have made real strides to offer online access to their guests.
VOOM offers two different levels of service — a cheaper “Surf” package made for general browsing and checking email, and a more expensive “Surf + Stream” that offers the ability to video chat, as well as stream movies and music.
If you’re taking a cruise, then you might be wondering exactly how the service works, how fast it really is, and how much it costs.
In This Article...
Price of Royal Caribbean’s VOOM Internet Service
First things first, if you are planning to get online during your cruise, then expect to fork over some considerable money.
While we appreciate the complexities that are involved in accessing the Internet from the middle of the ocean aboard the ship, the price of the VOOM service is still considerably more than you would pay for service on land.
While rates may vary based on your specific cruise, expect to pay $20-25 per device, per day.
If you wanted the most basic service — dubbed “Surf” — then the cost for multi-day packages is typically around $21.99 per day, with a discount (which varies) for booking early. The “Surf” package allows you to do basic web browsing and email, but nothing data intensive like streaming content or video chat.
If you upgraded to the “Surf+Stream” package, then you are given speeds that let you stream things like music and video (such as Netflix or YouTube), as well as video chat. The cost for the upgraded service is around $26.99 per day if bought as part of a multi-day package. Again, there is a discount for booking ahead of time.
What if you just want to hop online for a single day or just for a few minutes to check email? There are time blocks available for purchase, as well as a daily rate that is higher than the multi-day package rate.
It should be noted that these prices are only for one device. If you want to connect more than one device at a time, then you will have to pay more.
One tip: For the biggest savings you can pre-purchase an Internet package through the Royal Caribbean Cruise Planner. The cruise line usually offers a discounted rate on Internet packages if booked ahead of time. We’ve seen this often at 10-20% off the onboard rate.
Signing Up/ Logging In to Access the Internet
The sign-up process for Royal Caribbean’s VOOM service is relatively simple. First, passengers enable Wi-Fi on their device and then select the ship’s service from the list of available connections.
Then, you will open up a new browser window. If you don’t see a login prompt to connect, then simply open a window and go to “Login.com”. From there, it should walk you through the steps to sign up for access, including creating a username and PIN.
You should continue to have access to the Internet throughout the rest of the trip, but if the connection drops or you disconnect, then simply make sure you are connected to the Wi-Fi network and then visit “Login.com” again to sign-in.
During our trip, it seemed to help if we accessed the login page via a new private window, which cleared out any prior cookies from our browser.
If you have trouble accessing the Internet, there is a help-desk available on the ship.
Testing the Speed of Royal Caribbean’s VOOM Service
How fast is Royal Caribbean’s Internet? As mentioned above, there are two levels of service, and we’ve tested both.
The faster of the two is the “Surf+Stream” service. As promised, the service did allow us to stream content (more on this below), but the speed is slower than we are used to from home Internet.
During the course of the cruise we performed several different speed tests. These tests all returned results in the 3-5 Mbps range for download speeds. For reference, many home broadband connections range between 20-50 Mbps (you can test your current connection speed here.)
In other words, there is a slowdown that can be felt in browsing compared to what you might be used to back home. Sites may take a few extra seconds to load. In our case, checking email was perfectly fine, but surfing many sites (especially multiple pages at once) caused slowdowns.
That said, considering you are in the middle of the ocean, the speed felt adequate to us.
We’ve also tried the slower “Surf” package. This package is less expensive, but offers slower speeds. In our case, the speeds were drastically slower to the point that it was unusable. Our speed tests showed average speeds between 0.20-0.30 Mbps.
- Surf: 0.20 to 0.30 Mbps
- Surf+Stream: 3-5 Mbps
In our case, doing anything other than sending a text message was agonizingly slow. If you decide to purchase a package, we have to suggest the faster “Surf+Stream.” While it’s not the fastest connection you’ve ever used, it does allow you to reasonably browse the web versus the lower-tier “Surf” option.
For that reason, we’d suggest anyone paying to access Internet on their cruise go ahead and pay a little more for the “Surf+Stream package.
Reliability of the Internet Connection
It can be frustrating to try to access the web, only to have issues with the Internet connection. Unfortunately, you may run into some issues with the reliability of VOOM at times.
For instance, during the first day of one trip we took, the weather was bad, which has an impact on the connection. We had issues accessing websites and the service seemed to come and go. In fact, we had a similar issue during a morning storm later on in the cruise. There were also other times here and there that the connection seemed to be hit or miss for short spurts. Often it was resolved by logging out and logging back in.
Another cruise to Alaska aboard Royal Caribbean saw the Internet completely down for almost a day. When we went down to talk to the staff, we found an entire line of other passengers already there with the same complaint.
In general, however, the connection has been strong when we’ve cruised, offering plenty of speed and reliable uptime.
Bottom line: Don’t be surprised if the connection has some issues occasionally (you are at sea, after all), especially if you run into bad weather. For the most part, we found the service reliable.
VOOM Internet After the Introduction of Starlink
Starlink is an Internet service provided by Elon Musk’s SpaceX. The service is designed to provide access to remote areas (such as at sea) at speeds and reliability that’s much better that was previously available. Royal Caribbean announced in 2022 that it would transition its entire fleet over to Starlink.
We sailed a cruise with the new service. So how was it?
While we were anticipating much faster speeds, we noticed no difference in either connection speed or reliability. For example, our speed tests during that particular cruise topped out around 3.5 Mbps — in line with other trips without Starlink.
And we noticed that when in a crowded theater, the connection dropped (possibly due to so many people in one area?).
So while Starlink may prove to be a major improvement, in our personal experience there was no difference that we saw. In fact, we wouldn’t have known Starlink was being used if we weren’t told about it.
Can I Stream With VOOM?
These days, streaming is a major part of everyone’s lives. The good news is that yes, you can stream with the “Surf+Stream” package.
We tested Netflix on the VOOM connection. According to Netflix, the absolute minimum required speed to access the service is 0.5 Mbps, with 3 Mbps recommended for standard definition streaming, and 5 Mbps recommended for HD streaming.
In our test, Netflix shows worked well. We were able to watch in HD. While loading took a little time, it wasn’t anything too long. We also had success with YouTube videos and streaming Hulu. In general, the picture showed up clear and crisp.
In other words, yes, streaming will work on VOOM. Note that you would not be able to stream with the slower “Surf” package.
Are There Dead Zones for Service Around the Ship?
You likely know that in your house there may be spots — like the corner of that one bedroom — where for whatever reason your wi-fi just doesn’t work. With a huge ship there may be dead zones for wi-fi service, but we’ve never encountered them.
Yes, there may be spots where the signal strength declines some (from a full three bars to two), but that’s never seemed to impact the speed of service. In fact, whether in a cabin, a dining room, the theater, or anywhere around the ship, we’ve been surprised at how consistent the wi-fi signal is onboard.
Can I Use One VOOM Account for Multiple Devices?
One of the big drawbacks of the service is that for a considerable price, you only get the ability to connect one device. So if you want to hook up with your laptop and your traveling partner wants to connect their phone at the same time, then you need to pay for two devices. This costs considerably more.
As a workaround, if you don’t need full-time access you can simply use multiple devices, with only one connected at a time. So you can login on your laptop and browse. When you are done, your spouse can then sign-in on their phone using the same account.
It will inform you the device limit has been reached and ask if you want to connect the new device. If you do, then the new device will login and knock the other device offline.
What About Using Video Chat Services Like Facetime?
Want to get in touch back home? During our cruises we’ve been able to use Facetime on our iPhone. The call quality did depend on the Internet connection. Some calls were choppy here and there, while others were crystal clear. Overall, it was easy to talk to people back on land using the service.
Can I Message and Make Calls on my Phone via Wi-Fi?
Yes. While connected, we used WhatsApp to both message and make calls through the app. It worked flawlessly, and the voice calls were crystal clear. Other messaging apps or wi-fi calling should work as well.
While connected, Royal Caribbean says you should still your phone in airplane mode to avoid any potential roaming charges. While in airplane mode, you might have issues sending regular text messages. On our iPhone we could make iMessage texts to other people with iPhones, but could not send regular text messages to Android users. Messaging apps, however, worked fine.
Have more questions about the specifics of using the VOOM service? Let us know in the comments below.
Hi, I’m thinking of cruising on Explorer of the Seas with Royal Caribbean. I’m going to need to possibly have an ethernet connection (wifi may be an option but not sure yet) for some zoom meetings I’ll have to do for work while there. Curious if you know what the speeds are now with Voom since this article was written and if they have the option to connect via ethernet in staterooms or somewhere else on the ship. Just not sure I can completely rely on cruise internet to get me through a bunch of zoom meetings. Thanks for your input.
Jose — I’ve never seen an option to connect via ethernet. And even if there was, you’re still relying on a satellite signal at sea. Royal Caribbean has moved to Starlink which is said to offer faster speeds, but on the ship we sailed with the service in November, we noticed no difference. At that point, service was in the 5-10 Mbps.
I will say that I’ve never used Zoom at sea, but have made video calls. The experience varies from perfectly smooth to very choppy, depending on the signal at that point. I’d think a schedule of full-fledged group video calls might be a big ask in my experience.
Jose, expect a 4 second delay when on any sort of “real-time” communication program at sea (like Zoom). There is quite a bit delay added between the ship and the satellite, then another delay added between the satellite and the Earth.
Patience is needed.
I phoned Royal Caribbean to query whether it was necessary to pay for 4 devices two my own two husbands if only using one each at any given time. They said need to pay for 4 which is more than £1000 in UK. Reading above information on this usage basis, we only need to pay for one device each and switch between using the connection on our phone and laptop. Is that correct please?
Right. If you don’t need all four connected at once, then you can pay for one device and switch between them.
Hi, I’m going on Mariner of the Seas at the end of the month. I need to log into an app which requires GPS location when I sign in and out at the end of the day. If I purchase the Surf & Stream using ships WiFi and I put my iPhone on airplane mode, will my app work and give my location?
Oh, that’s a tough question. I’m not 100% sure, but it seems like the location services tie to where the signal is based. For instance, I think I remember seeing mention of my device being in Miami while online on the ship. I would count on accurate GPS positioning not working, but not totally sure.
On Day 7 on Liberty of the Seas- bought the surf+stream – haven’t seen anything above 600Kbps since day 2- average has been between 200 and 400 Kbps or about 10X slower than the promised 2-3 Mbps. My business is dead in the water because I can’t do simple functions like send documents for esignature, access my CRM application or do other basic business tasks. I can barely send an email. Max speed in our stateroom (where you might actually want to stream a movie) has maxed out at 170 Kbps-
I echo previous comments that they treat you like an IT idiot- and say things that don’t actually make sense- it might work on some of the old retired folks on this cruise but not everyone- the least they could be is honest.
Just off Mariner of the Seas. Boom was pretty bad. I had Voom Surf and Stream package. IT Rep told me Mariner is limited to 2Meg up an download. My experience was between 1.0 and 1.8 with upload being faster than download one time. Voom is different from one RCI type ship to another but RCI does not publish that disclaimer. Buyer beware!
can i connect to vpn using VOOM
That’s one that I’m not sure about. Royal Caribbean doesn’t mention anything specifically on its website and haven’t personally tested it before.
Will the Surf&Stream speeds support being able to take a Covid test for returning to the US. I’ll be on Serenade for an Alaska cruise.
I would think it should work. I was able to stream Netflix while at sea with it.
Cruising Jan 30th. I will need to log into daily Zoom calls for school. I live in Canada and have been out of country before and Zoom didn’t work. I wondered if you have any experience with this.
Not specifically with Zoom, but according to their requirements, you need to have 3.8Mbps/3.0Mbps (up/down) for group calls. It’s less for lower quality video. So you should be able to get that. Zoom might be blocked on the “Surf” (lower tier) but should be available on the “Surf + Stream” tier.
Keep in mind that your connection speed can vary depending on location and weather.
Hi cruising Jan. 8th on symphony of the seas purchased voom will I be able to call my brother back home anytime from any port or at sea ? Also will my brother be able to call me anytime from home when we’re at a port or when we’re at sea.
For phone calls, that will depend on the wi-fi call settings on your phone. That said, I’ve done video calls via Facetime and WhatsApp and it worked well.
hi there we are going to Alaska on Quantum of the Seas and My teen needs internet for school work. How well does it work going thru Alaska?
Haven’t personally tested it in that region. But in general, it’s much slower than at home. If they are connecting via video chat, then it might be pixelated/laggy… or it could be clear (it varies in our experience). If it’s getting to websites to submit assignments, then it should be fine.
I just experienced the worst possible internet service on R.C.’s Grandeur of the Seas. Speed measured in Kbytes instead of Mbytes, ping never less than 600 and even the end of cruise ‘deal’ cost $50 for 3 days of service. I did complain and was treated as if I were a computer novice, which I am not. They informed me that maximum speed was rated at 4 Mybtes but wifi service would be somewhat slower. Yes, 90% slower.
We have AT&T mobiles, and see that they have cruise packages in conjunction with the cruise lines. So if we purchase their $100 unlimited package for each phone, does that mean we use it on board, and don’t have to purchase VOOM? And we use our phones as usual? Adventure of the Seas on December 15.
Not entirely sure about the ins and outs of your phone’s plan. Sounds like it would work for you, however.
I am booked on Liberty if the Seas and purchased a 4 device package. There are 4 of us going. Does that mean we all 4 can log on at the same time or do I need to have a package for each?
If you booked the four device package, that means you can log on all at once. If you book the one device package, you can all four use it, but only one person at a time.
I sailed on Ovation of the Sea 7/5 – 7/12/2019. I purchased Voom for one device. It worked when it felt like working. I visited the Voom desk multiple times and was told that the area we were sailing in just had bad service. I paid nearly $100 for the week and did not get my money’s worth. They advertise that they are the fastest and best at sea. That is not true. It sometimes took me 30 minutes to log on. Very frustrating. I can’t even find someone to talk to about getting some kind of a refund.
If I purchase the Voom, will I be able to use a fire stick on the Vision of the Seas? How is the internet connection on The Vision of the Seas?
On the Independence of the Seas the internet is horrendous. Not worth the price. RC has fixed the TVs so you cannot use a fire stick even if the internet was faster.
We’d highly doubt it. The connection isn’t always great and the input ports on the TV are usually disabled.
Currently on the Voyager of the Seas, off the coast of Vietnam.
The service is much better than what we’ve had on Holland America in the last couple years.
However it’s hardly “streaming” capable. I would guess that the massive use of handheld devices is causing the systems to collapse under the load. All of these devices are constantly making updates to Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, etc and the cruise companies are still not equipped to deal with it.
Thanks for the update! It really helps other passengers.
Royal Caribbean Rhapsody INTERNET SUX! Connectivity was extremely poor and at times nonfunctional. It consistently dropped connections requiring one to constantly re-sign in. Speed tests showed under 2Mbps consistently tested over the course of 6 days in several areas of the ship which made streaming or uploading photos to social media simply impossible, never mind video calls. This indicated a switch not outputting enough POE to supply enough power to WAPS or simply not enough WAPS aboard for consistent coverage. Very disappointed that it was touted “the fastest internet at sea”. Completely useless and unmanageable. Seeking a refund.
Ah a comedian! 😉
So if I paid for 2 devices, I assume I’m just given 2 codes? We have 2 rooms and hoped each room could use 1 device. (Even though one person bought the 2-device package?)
It’s not codes, it’s just that you login to use the Internet. With two devices paid for you will be able to login with both at the same time. If you only paid for one, you would be booted off the other device when a new one logs in.
I prepaid for Voom on my upcoming cruise because they offered a discount precruise. So when I go to sign in, will they know that? I want to make sure I don’t get charged.
The system should recognize that you’ve already paid. Don’t worry though, there are staff members on the ship who are there to help people get online. If you have questions you can just talk to them to get everything sorted out.
I´m currently in Mariner of the Seas, and have been doing several speed test fom my phone (iPhone10) and my laptop (Lenovo Yoga); I´m using the “Voom Surf + Stream” service, and the speeds have have been: Ping at 628ms, Download at 0.78 Mbps and Upload at 0.65 Mbps.
Video chat is not possible. Video streaming is very very slow and poor quality.
Thank you for the update! There’s no doubt that speeds will vary from ship to ship, but those speeds are particularly slow.
I tried to stream my DirecTV on my tablet while in port in Canada, and it did not work. I also tried to watch via Bravo’s website, and I got an error message that I could not use the service due to my location. I called DirecTV and they informed me that I cannot access content from my account outside of the US. Will I be able to connect while using Voom on a Caribbean cruise? I’d like the ability to stream live TV or view on demand shows during down time.
We aren’t sure, but would guess that you would not given that you will be outside the U.S. If you have Netflix, you can download some shows to watch offline. Maybe DirecTV has the same feature?
I read that the ships use US IP addresses. Has anyone else heard or have experience with this?
We’d love to know! We did you Youtube and Netflix and didn’t seem to have any issues with being out of the country. Not sure if other programs like DirecTV might raise an issue.
I’m going on Anthem of the Seas in 2 weeks. I teach English to kids in China over the internet live each day. I had planned on teaching from the ship. Now, I’m worried. I’ve paid for Voom streaming but 3mbs won’t work. I need at least 20.bs and a ping no higher than 100 at the most. Is there any service anywhere I can buy? Help!
That’s a tough one. I would guess that you can likely connect via Skype or a similar service, but the video will likely be a bit grainy through VOOM. You could connect to faster wi-fi when you are in port. Many restaurants and shops in ports offer wi-fi as a service to their customers.
Becky, did it work? I do the same thing and am going on my cruise at the end of the month.