After spending seven years sailing the seven seas like Julie McCoy on the Love Boat, I was recently back on board with for a family celebration. I agree with Terrance Richardson that to continue to capture the attention of travelers, cruise lines will need to meet their 21st century demands about things like wi-fi! Enjoy his article:
Free Will at Sea
The fiery and long running debate whether or not we should unplug during our holidays is not worth getting involved in. There are always going to be those people who cannot live without the presence of their gadgets. At the same time, there are those travelers who would rather leave their tablets and phones charging at home, preferring the soothing company of a book or good old-fashioned social interaction. A holiday is not the time to moralize or pass judgment on anyone. After all, free will is what makes us human. If you would rather be compulsively checking your emails than taking a shore excursion to a tropical waterfall, then that is your prerogative. Technology is not going anywhere, and whether you decide to embrace it when you are on holiday is your choice. However, now that all cruise lines are featuring satellite Wi-Fi, it certainly appears like they have embraced technology.
The Perfect Leisure Device
The iPad is as much a recreational and leisure device as it is a possible business tool. In other words, the iPad is the ideal accessory for when you are relaxing and lounging on a sun-kissed deckchair with a tropical drink in hand. Steve Jobs was lounging on a comfy sofa when he first demoed the iPad. There is a reason why he chose a comfortable sofa and not an office cubicle. The iPad is the perfect leisure device.
Similar to an Internet cafe, most cruise lines will charge you for a Wi-Fi connection. However, as tablets have become increasingly popular, the price for a Wi-Fi connection has come down significantly. While some cruise lines use iPads to give virtual tours of the ship, the more luxurious cruise ships even sell iPads on-board. Seeing how hotels, restaurants and other sectors of the tourist industry have incorporated technology into their brand, cruise ships have followed suit.
The Benefits of Cruising with an iPad
Tourism is a business. Now it’s 2012 cruise lines want to market their services to a younger demographic, then they need to offer online capabilities. People who go on solo cruises are also more inclined to be using iPads or other forms of interactive technology. From booking shore excursions and day trips to securing reservations for dinner, the iPad adds an element of convenience to the cruise holiday. Believe it or not, being connected and online helps some people relax. Without the our gadgets, some of us even experience a form of tech-anxiety. This is a side effect of life in the modern world. The cruise lines understand and have embraced the idea of technological free will at sea. Now they just have to provide us with free Wi-Fi.