Royal Caribbean will use SpaceX’s Starlink to Provide Faster Internet Access on its Cruise Ships
Royal Caribbean, which also owns Celebrity Cruises and Silversea Cruises, has announced that it will empower its ships with SpaceX’s Starlink internet service. According to the company, the service will make internet access at sea faster and more reliable.
Royal Caribbean appears to be pushing ahead with Starlink deployment — it trialed the service on one of its ships over the summer and will officially launch it on September 5th, beginning with the Celebrity Beyond. The service is expected to have been fully implemented across the network of the company by the first quarter of 2023.
Royal Caribbean’s announcement lacks technical details, such as how many Starlink dishes its ships will use or how much bandwidth will be shared among a few thousand passengers. People will, however, be able to use streaming services and make video calls, according to the company.
Starlink Maritime, SpaceX’s boat-focused web service, was launched earlier this summer. It currently only covers coastal waters in North and South America (including the Caribbean), Europe, and the area around Australia and New Zealand, but SpaceX says it plans to cover the majority of the world’s oceans by Q1 2023.
At the moment, SpaceX is very busy with Starlink. The most visible is its collaboration with T-Mobile to beam texts and calls to cell phones via second-generation satellites that it plans to launch next year. In addition, the company is collaborating with Hawaiian Airlines and charter carrier JSX to provide in-flight Wi-Fi, which Delta (and likely others) are considering. The company recently launched a version of Starlink for RVs for those of us on land.
Current Situation of the Cruise Industry
Meanwhile, according to Reuters, the cruise industry has struggled to recover from the pandemic. Cruise lines, like many other businesses, have had staffing issues, forcing some to cancel trips. There’s also the question of whether people will continue to spend money on luxuries like cruises, despite warnings from financial leaders like Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell that fighting inflation will “cause some pain to households and businesses.”