"" Writer's Wanderings: You've Got Mail!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

You've Got Mail!

Traveling and connecting on the internet can be a real challenge especially if you don't have a fancy Iphone or Blackberry. And even if you do, it can get expensive. Recently I was asked for some advice about keeping the charge for internet services down while cruising when you want to check your email. Here's what I passed along:
  • If you have sailed with the line before, you will usually receive either some free minutes and/or bonus minutes if you purchase a package. A package will always reduce the cost of internet.

  • If you have your own laptop with you be sure you have your mail program in order so that you can download quickly to your inbox. I have two mail boxes (one Yahoo and one with my website) that download to one mail program. I can download my mail within 1-3 minutes depending upon how much is there, the size of the messages and the speed of the internet. Once downloaded, answer off line, save your drafts, and go back online and send them.

  • If you have to use the ship's computers, be sure to take notepaper and pen with you. Jot down anything you need to reply to and go off line. Compose your message on the notepad before you go back online. That way you don't waste time thinking about what you want to say. New messages should be written down on paper first and then copied when you go online.

  • Remember to LOG OFF! If you do not you may be charged for quite a few minutes before the computer program logs you off automatically--and some may not log you off if you forget.

On board the Celebrity Solstice their flat fee for internet was 65 cents/minute. We bought a package the first day for $60 which got us a little over 120 minutes @ 43 cents a minute but we got 20% extra for signing up the first day. That worked out well for me as I posted to my blog each day. It cost about $5-6/day for that. If Blogger made uploading pictures and arranging them on a page easier, the time would have been cut down since I composed off line then copied and pasted from Word. The pictures were the time consumer.

Oh, and if you should be so fortunate to own a fancy Iphone or Blackberry, be aware that once the ship leaves port you are hooked into their service which charges a hefty fee when someone calls you or you call out. Be sure to turn it off unless you really can't stand tech-withdrawl.

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