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-   -   Norwegian Cruise Line First To Offer Onboard Cell Phone Service for North American Cr (http://www.cruisereviews.com/forum/norwegian-cruise-line/6054-norwegian-cruise-line-first-offer-onboard-cell-phone-service-north-american-cr.html)

Oggy Boy 08-17-2004 03:03 PM

NCL Corporation today announced that it will be the first cruise line to bring passengers on North American cruises the ability to use their cell phones even when communications towers are oceans away. The company is providing the innovative new offering through Wireless Maritime Services, a joint venture of AT&T Wireless and Maritime Telecommunications Network (MTN).

Leading the way in shipboard technology, NCL pioneered the industry's first Internet access on the high seas with its Internet cafe in 1999. In 2002, NCL became the first cruise line to provide remote wireless Internet (also known as Wi-Fi) to its guests. Both services are now standard throughout NCL's entire fleet.

"Cutting-edge onboard technology is important to our guests," said Colin Veitch, NCL's president and CEO. "While we recognize that some guests traveling with us choose to disconnect, others need to stay connected to loved ones or business associates in order to get away - it's just another choice offered to our guests as part of the Freestyle Cruising experience."

The new technology is expected to be introduced on the Norwegian Sun as soon as next month and could be available fleet-wide within a year. The offering combines satellite and wireless services, enabling passengers to make and receive calls on their own cell phones with their own phone numbers while in international waters.

The service will be available to most passengers with GSM phones that operate at 900 MHz and 1900 MHz, which are common in the U.S. These passengers will be able to make and receive both voice calls and text messages. In addition, the planned offering will enable passengers with data-capable GSM/GPRS devices to access data services, such as email and picture messaging. Passengers will be billed by the carrier to whom they subscribe at roaming rates set by that carrier, just as if they were roaming on land instead of at sea.

Earlier this year, AT&T Wireless and MTN announced the formation of Wireless Maritime Services, which combines MTN's expertise in providing satellite services to the cruise industry with the expertise of AT&T Wireless in delivering wireless services to consumer and business travelers. Wireless Maritime Service was formed to develop and launch this convenient and affordable communications offering for cruise ships.

About NCL Corporation

NCL Corporation is an innovative cruise company headquartered in Miami, Florida. With a fleet of 14 ships in service and under construction, the corporation oversees the operations of NCL, NCL America and Orient Lines. On July 4, 2004, NCL made U.S. maritime history when it introduced the reflagged Pride of Aloha, the first modern U.S.-flagged cruise ship in nearly 50 years. The 2,002 passenger ship is 100% U.S.-crewed, with most seafarers hailing from Hawai`i. The company is currently building three ships - Pride of America (delivery on June 6, 2005), Norwegian Jewel (delivery in August 2005) and Pride of Hawai`i (delivery in April 2006).

Oggy Boy 08-17-2004 03:03 PM

NCL Corporation today announced that it will be the first cruise line to bring passengers on North American cruises the ability to use their cell phones even when communications towers are oceans away. The company is providing the innovative new offering through Wireless Maritime Services, a joint venture of AT&T Wireless and Maritime Telecommunications Network (MTN).

Leading the way in shipboard technology, NCL pioneered the industry's first Internet access on the high seas with its Internet cafe in 1999. In 2002, NCL became the first cruise line to provide remote wireless Internet (also known as Wi-Fi) to its guests. Both services are now standard throughout NCL's entire fleet.

"Cutting-edge onboard technology is important to our guests," said Colin Veitch, NCL's president and CEO. "While we recognize that some guests traveling with us choose to disconnect, others need to stay connected to loved ones or business associates in order to get away - it's just another choice offered to our guests as part of the Freestyle Cruising experience."

The new technology is expected to be introduced on the Norwegian Sun as soon as next month and could be available fleet-wide within a year. The offering combines satellite and wireless services, enabling passengers to make and receive calls on their own cell phones with their own phone numbers while in international waters.

The service will be available to most passengers with GSM phones that operate at 900 MHz and 1900 MHz, which are common in the U.S. These passengers will be able to make and receive both voice calls and text messages. In addition, the planned offering will enable passengers with data-capable GSM/GPRS devices to access data services, such as email and picture messaging. Passengers will be billed by the carrier to whom they subscribe at roaming rates set by that carrier, just as if they were roaming on land instead of at sea.

Earlier this year, AT&T Wireless and MTN announced the formation of Wireless Maritime Services, which combines MTN's expertise in providing satellite services to the cruise industry with the expertise of AT&T Wireless in delivering wireless services to consumer and business travelers. Wireless Maritime Service was formed to develop and launch this convenient and affordable communications offering for cruise ships.

About NCL Corporation

NCL Corporation is an innovative cruise company headquartered in Miami, Florida. With a fleet of 14 ships in service and under construction, the corporation oversees the operations of NCL, NCL America and Orient Lines. On July 4, 2004, NCL made U.S. maritime history when it introduced the reflagged Pride of Aloha, the first modern U.S.-flagged cruise ship in nearly 50 years. The 2,002 passenger ship is 100% U.S.-crewed, with most seafarers hailing from Hawai`i. The company is currently building three ships - Pride of America (delivery on June 6, 2005), Norwegian Jewel (delivery in August 2005) and Pride of Hawai`i (delivery in April 2006).

Raoul Fiebig 08-17-2004 03:58 PM

Hi Tom,

I just hope the use of cell phones will be restricted to certain areas of the ships such as passenger cabins and open decks. I would not want to have dinner in one of the alternative restaurants (or the dining rooms) with cell phones ringing all over the place.

While I do take my cell phone with me on cruises, I only use it inside my room / on my balcony (or on an open deck if reception is bad indoors) during port calls or on excursions.

Oggy Boy 08-17-2004 07:01 PM

Raoul, you make an excellent point. One of the things I like about cruising is that fact that you can escape. I suspect the environment might change with cell phone access anywhere, anytime.

Tom

Karen Knowlton 08-18-2004 11:09 AM

I do too! The idea doesn't necessarily make me happy! I also wonder if the roaming rates will be much higher than on land - I sure hope so, to discourage the ubiquitous cellphone usage we see around us at home!
http://cruise-chat.com/groupee_commo...s/icon_eek.gif

NancyN 08-19-2004 04:00 AM

Boy, Karen I could not agree more! It also takes away from the "escapist" element of a cruise. There was something totally freeing about being onboard ship and not having to deal with "day to day" stress and worries, then Internet access shattered that illusion. Now there is one more way for work, life, etc to follow us onboard.
Nancy


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