Carnival Cruise Line has confirmed that Wi-Fi pricing will be increasing for Australia cruises beginning on Monday, October 16, 2023.

Guests who are currently booked or book before mid-October can still lock in the current pricing for their sailing no matter what the departure date, but after October 16 the package prices are set to increase.

Guests booked on upcoming Australian sailings with Carnival Cruise Line have noticed encouragement to lock in lower rates on Wi-Fi packages before October 16, 2023, when package prices will be increased.

“You should know that we are adjusting Wi-Fi pricing,” the notification through the cruise line’s app reads. “Make sure to add your Wi-Fi package early to lock in the current package price for your upcoming cruise.”

The current pricing for packages depends on the service selected. Carnival offers three plans – social, value, and premium – that are priced at AUD $15.30, $17.85, and $21.25 per person, per day ($9.83, $11.47, and $13.65 in USD, respectively).

While the new prices have not been revealed, a further note on the lock-in notification notes that the current savings are “up to 15% (and up to 34% vs new onboard pricing” when packages are booked before sailing.

Carnival Luminosa (Photo Credit: Ian Dewar Photography / Shutterstock)

This would indicate a price increase of approximately 19%, which could make the purchase rates approximately AUD $18.20, $21.24, and $25.29 after the price hike.

At the moment, pricing for the Wi-Fi packages for US sailings is $12.75 for the social plan, $17 for the value plan, and $18.70 for the premium plan. Even after the price increase, the Australian package prices will still likely be below the rates charged on US sailings.

The “Social” plan offers guests access to popular social media websites and apps, such as Facebook, Instagram, X, SnapChat, and others, but does not permit access to general websites or apps.

The “Value” plan offers social media as well as email, news, sports, weather, and banking access, but does not support streaming services.

The “Premium” plan is the most extensive, covering everything in the Social and Value plans as well as video calling, Skype, Zoom, and other options at speeds up to three times faster than the Value plan.

Photo Credit: Jon Ingall / Shutterstock

All Wi-Fi packages must be purchased for the full length of the cruise, and are not available to purchase for a single day or prorated partial cruise.

Carnival Cruise Line has been rolling out StarLink Maritime access across its fleet, bringing more reliable connectivity and faster speeds to guests no matter where they may be sailing. As of July 2023, eleven ships in the Carnival fleet have been StarLink equipped, with more ships being outfitted each month.

“For many of our guests, it has become more and more important to maintain the type of connectivity at sea that they’ve become accustomed to at home, and of course, to share the unforgettable experiences of their cruise with friends and family,” said Josh Weinstein, CEO of Carnival Corporation.

While Carnival Luminosa and Carnival Splendor – the two ships currently offering Australian cruises – are not yet equipped with StarLink, that upgrade is likely coming in the near future.

There is some speculation that upping the Wi-Fi package fees for Australian cruises indicates a price change is also coming to Carnival Cruise Line’s Wi-Fi packages for US cruises, though this is not likely.

The price increase has been brought to the attention of the cruise line’s brand ambassador, John Heald, who confirmed the increase and where it applies. “This is for Australian cruises only,” Heald said.

Of course, pricing on any cruise vacation add-ons – whether it is Wi-Fi, a drinks package, shore excursions, gratuities, etc. – are also subject to change at any time. Booking packages early ensures guests the best prices and availability no matter where or when they set sail.

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