Royal Caribbean Group recently filed with the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to: SpaceX Bringing Starlink Satellite Internet Service to Its Cruise Ship Fleet† Within days, it was discovered that the company had already array of Starlink dishes on the Freedom of the Seas to test out the service before receiving approval, which the FCC asked to deliver “fast.”
The Starlink service on the Freedom of the Seas has now received its first published speed tests and rating, and it proved to be much better than the cruise line’s previous satellite internet offering.
The tests come from the Royal Caribbean fan blog, who recently booked a weekend cruise on the Freedom of the Seas in hopes of testing the Starlink service. Coincidentally, the company had the service running during their trip, giving them the perfect opportunity to try it out.
Royal Caribbean offers two levels of service. The first is Voom Surf, the basic package billed as perfect for your basic internet needs like sending and receiving email, browsing the web, social media and more. There’s also the higher tier Voom Surf and Stream, which offers more bandwidth and no speed limit for streaming and more data-intensive usage.
According to the blog, which is a frequent passenger aboard Royal Caribbean ships, “it was immediately apparent that this internet service went beyond what Voom usually offered.”
While still in port and on the Royal Promenade deck, “the Surf package showed a download speed of 9.01 Mbps and an upload speed of 20.34 Mbps. The Surf & Stream gave a download speed of 77.03 Mbps and an upload speed of 15.72 Mbps,” they said.
Despite being advertised and previously used only for basic internet needs, the Surf package could easily stream YouTube and Netflix without any buffering or lag. The blog also tested a Zoom call with video and audio and found similar results – no buffering or freezing.
At sea, the service delivered even better results, “with Surf showing download speeds of 19.93 Mbps and upload speeds of 8.19 Mbps, while Surf & Stream showed download speeds of 52.50 Mbps and upload speeds of 10.10 Mbps.”
The fan blog also reported that they were able to make FaceTime calls with no lag or delays, something they’ve never experienced before using the previous service. They were also able to livestream various events while at sea “without interruptions or buffering”.
The only times the service yielded less than great results was in their inside cabin, which is understandable given the sheer number of metal walls blocking the signal. Even so, they were still able to stream videos and surf the web much faster than before.
As you can see, Starlink even shows in early tests that it could be a game changer for the cruise ship industry. Royal Caribbean blog said Starlink blew their “cruising Wi-Fi expectations out of the water.” The only downside, they say, is “have to adjust our Wi-Fi expectations when sailing on other ships without Starlink.”
Source: Royal Caribbean Blog